Herb Scannell, CEO of SoCal Public Radio, announces his resignation

Herb Scannell, president and chief executive officer of Southern California Public Radio, announced his plans to step down Tuesday, capping a four-decade career for the pioneering media executive.

Scannell took the helm of the nonprofit local media organization in 2019; Its portfolio includes the region’s most popular NPR affiliate, LAist 89.3 – formerly known as KPCC-FM – as well as the news site LAist and its podcast production company, LAist Studios.

Scannell, 66, told LAist He decided to retire for personal reasons as his brother and best friend had died and he had to work across the country with his wife and daughter living in New York.

“It’s really about starting another phase of your life being with those you love,” Scannell said, “and doing things you’ve always wanted to do.”

Succeeding founding president Bill Davis, Scannell took the helm of Southern California Public Radio, where he led the brand integration of LAist, which the company acquired in 2018. He steered the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic and generated a 38% increase in revenue during his tenure.

A long-time diversity advocate, Scannell also pushed for more diverse hiring and content, particularly after the killing of George Floyd in 2020.

Under his watch, the company also experienced the largest wave of layoffs in its history. It cut 21 jobs in June, citing a decline in sales. LAist reported that the cuts surprised the staff follows “a successful on-air fundraiser and the release of public executive compensation disclosures from the previous year.”

Scannell came to SCPR after several stints as head of other media organizations, most recently the English-language Latino media company Mitú. He spent most of his career at Viacom (now Paramount Global), where he was president of children’s television network Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2006 and later headed several of the company’s other cable channels, including Spike TV and TV Land. He also served as President of BBC North America for five years.

“I want to do what is not being done,” he told The Times in 2019. “If I’m going to do something that everyone else is doing, then I better do it differently.”

According to Southern California Public Radio’s board of directors, the search for Scannell’s successor will begin soon. The decision is expected to be announced next year.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing emma@ustimespost.com.

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