KCRW and McSweeney’s partner up for The Organist

By Andrew Lapin

KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., has struck the opening chords for The Organist, a monthly arts-and-culture podcast from McSweeney’s.

The program is the latest collaboration between the station and the irreverent San Francisco–based publishing house, founded in 1998 by acclaimed author and screenwriter Dave Eggers. Produced by the editors of the McSweeney’s-published culture magazine The Believer, The Organist will produce 10 hourlong episodes per year covering a wide gamut of pop culture, with the help of some famous voices. The inaugural episode launched Feb. 1.

The Organist will function solely as a podcast for now as it builds an audience, with KCRW providing financial support and acting as executive producers and distributors, according to Harriet Ells, the station’s program director for arts and culture programming. Nine of the 10 new episodes will be released alongside new issues of The Believer, which publishes nine times a year. Some technical work for the program is also being done through the facilities of KBIA in Columbia, Mo.

KCRW is considering eventually moving the program to broadcast as well, but that’s not a priority. “If it never ends up on the radio, I think that’s fine,” Ells told Current, adding that The Believer has a “great online audience” that regularly consumes podcasts.

Questions, comments, tips? lapin@current.org
This article was first published in Current Feb. 11, 2013.

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