You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jason Bentley to Exit as KCRW Music Director and ‘Eclectic’ Host

The most familiar voice on what is arguably Los Angeles’ most influential radio station, KCRW, is about to exit his two key roles there. Jason Bentley, who had served for a decade as the station’s music director and inheritor of the key “Morning Becomes Eclectic” slot, will step aside at the conclusion of his August 30 show, it was announced Thursday.

The move does not come as a surprise to anyone who’d read the tea leaves — or just recent news stories about the changes in store as KCRW moved to a new $38 million studio and looked to rebrand for the future in the face of stiffer competition. In a Los Angeles Times story in March, Bentley said he was at “the tail end” of his time at KCRW and had mused: “There’s a magic here that I definitely am going to miss.”

A press release from the public radio station used the words “Jason Bentley to Complete Tenure” to describe his impending departure from the station, with KCRW president Jennifer Ferro saying in her statements that there is a roughly 10-year lifespan that has worked well for Bentley and the figureheads who have preceded him in that role.

Bentley was named music director and took over the wide-ranging “Morning Becomes Eclectic” in 2008. He started at the station as a volunteer in 1988 and took on his first on-air role with a weekend shift in 1992.

His 27-year run on the air at the station is not completely coming to an end: Bentley will remain on KCRW for one shift a week, as host of “Metropolis,” his long-running Saturday night EDM-oriented show.

“It’s been the honor of a lifetime to serve this community, working closely with musicians and local arts institutions, and helping shape the sound of the greatest radio station on Earth,” Bentley said in a statement. “Now, I’m excited to explore new directions and make way for KCRW’s continued success.”

He’s not likely to go unemployed anytime soon, with or without a gig at KCRW: Bentley has been in demand over the years for high-profile DJ gigs at major show-biz events, from Sundance to the Emmys, and he fulfills A&R and music supervision functions outside of the station. “The Matrix” is among his film credits.

“Every Music Director at KCRW has made their lasting mark on KCRW and Jason is no different,” Ferro said in a statement. “His radio-perfect voice and impeccable music taste has inspired so many. Jason’s attention to detail and programming instinct made a true impact here. I know he leaves KCRW in a better place and am excited to see what else he does next.”

Bentley’s time at the station saw a dramatic shift toward the music of DJ culture, with a bent toward EDM and ambient music. In the wake of a deemphasis on singer/songwriter-type styles, more traditional rock sounds were picked up by a public radio rival to the north, KCSN in Northridge, which hired Bentley’s predecessor, Nic Harcourt, as well as KCRW alumnus Gary Calamar. KCRW has faced competition on the talk front, meanwhile, from KPCC in Pasadena.

More Music

  • Jenni Rivera Biopic

    Authorized Jenni Rivera Biopic in the Works

    An authorized biopic of the late singer Jenni Rivera is in the works, seven years after she died in a plane crash at the age of 43. The life rights deal was announced Tuesday with an agreement between Jenni Rivera Enterprises and producers Javier Chapa and Simon Wise of Mucho Mas Media and Donald De [...]

  • Toronto Raptors fans wait for the

    Drake Turns Raptors' Celebration Into a Million-Person Hugfest

    Drake chugged a can of beer that was tossed to him, did interviews, and signed merch along the Toronto Raptors victory parade route Monday, but when the NBA champions arrived at Nathan Phillips Square hours later — the procession’s final destination, where an estimated million people had gathered on the grounds and outskirts —  the [...]

  • Tencent Music presentation at Shanghai

    Shanghai: Tencent Proposes Alliance of Music and Film

    All tech companies strive to be ubiquitous. Within China, behemoth Tencent is a clear leader of the pack. From the company’s “pan entertainment strategy” in 2012 to its 2018 equivalent “neo-creativity strategy,” Tencent keeps unveiling new master plans, each time with more in-house platforms and business approaches involved. On the margins of the Shanghai International [...]

  • Dee Rees

    Dee Rees Directing 'Kyd's Exquisite Follies' Movie Musical

    “Mudbound” director Dee Rees will direct independent movie musical fantasy “The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies” from her own script. “The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies” will be produced by Cassian Elwes, one of the “Mudbound” producers. Santigold is set to compose the music, with Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic creating the film’s visual effects. Endeavor Content is repping the [...]

  • Genius Spars With Google Over Lyric

    Genius Accuses Google of Scraping Song Lyrics, Music Data Company Hits Back

    Lyrics annotation service Genius.com has accused Google of scraping its site and stealing its content, the Wall Street Journal reported this weekend. However, a lyrics data provider at the center of the controversy claimed on Monday that those allegations were without merit. The Journal reported that Genius had been complaining to Google about the alleged [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content