Will Lewis, a member of the senior management team at KCRW, 89.9 FM, for more than 32 years, is retiring from the Santa Monica College news and music radio station effective this month.
He will continue to serve as media consultant to SMC.
Lewis’ departure follows the recent retirement of longtime KCRW General Manager Ruth Seymour, who said he had “helped shape the station.”
Seymour and Lewis had been a team in Southern California radio since 1971, first at KPFK-Pacific, where he was manager and she was program director. When Seymour took over the helm at KCRW, she appointed Lewis as management and programming consultant.
“The joy of working at KCRW is the way the station embraces change,” says Lewis. “It was one of the first to stream on the Internet in 1995 and became a leader in podcasting less than 10 years later.”
Dr. Chui L. Tsang, president of Santa Monica College, thanked Lewis for his years of dedicated service and innovation.
“Over the years, he collaborated with Ruth to produce subscription drives that raised millions for KCRW,” Tsang said. “They tell me that in the early days he would sleep in a trailer parked outside the station so he could be on the air from 5 to 9 a.m. and be back at 4 for another three-hour shift.”
Lewis began in public radio as a producer and tape editor at WGBH-FM in Cambridge, Mass., in 1957. From 1963-71 he was general manager of WBUR, Boston.
Lewis has taught broadcasting at Boston University, Emerson College, and California State University-Northridge. He was elected president of the Los Angeles Press Club in January and, according to the club, he was instrumental in its nomination of NPR Senior Foreign Correspondent Anne Garrels for the Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism.