Cable TV veteran and former Nickelodeon boss Herb Scannell has been named president and CEO of Southern California Public Radio.
Scannell will take his new post in February and will be succeeding founding president and CEO Bill Davis, who announced plans to retire last June.
SCPR operates KPCC and is publisher of the website LAist.
“I began my career in radio, and I couldn’t think of a better time, place or city to return to this medium I love,” Scannell said.
“We’re experiencing an audio renaissance. Podcasts are blossoming and local public radio is filling a journalistic void left by the diminishing number of local newspapers,” Scannell said. “At the same time technology is changing the game with the emergence of smart speakers and – very soon – smart cars. California and Los Angeles are the hub of both culture and innovation, and what happens here matters everywhere.”
Scannell served on the board of New York Public Radio since 2000 and was chairman of the board from 2009-2013.
“We are incredibly excited that Herb will lead SCPR through its next period of innovation and growth,” said SCPR board chair Ana Valdez. “Herb has the perfect mix of media experience and commitment to public service journalism. And through his Puerto-Rican heritage, he brings a very deep and personal understanding of the power of diversity and the importance of authentically representing the audience we serve. We are also thrilled that Bill Davis will continue his relationship with SCPR as President Emeritus.”
Under Scannell, Nickelodeon spent 10 years as the top rated cable TV network. After Nickelodeon, he founded Next New Networks, which was acquired by YouTube. He later joined BBC Worldwide as president, North America, overseeing BBC America. In 2017 Scannell moved to Los Angeles as CEO of digital media company mitú.