The opening of the Orange County Performing Arts Center Monday night will be given the red carpet treatment by Los Angeles-based KUSC-FM as well as by Orange County's KOCE-TV.
The public radio station will present a live broadcast of the entire opening-night concert featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic, plus the preconcert ceremonies. The three-hour special from the new Costa Mesa complex will begin at 7 p.m. and be aired nationally by other American Public Radio affiliated stations.
Huntington Beach-based KOCE, on the other hand, sometime ago ruled out telecasting the actual concert. "It's too costly. It would have meant something like $500,000 if you're talking as a nationally aired special. There's no underwriting for us for that kind of program," said Dale Bell, the KOCE project's executive producer.
Instead, KOCE will offer a 90-minute program, "A Night to Remember," that combines live coverage of post-concert celebrations with taped interviews and montages. The program, costing about $45,000, will be seen starting at 9:30 on Channel 50. The show will also be aired by KPBS in San Diego and KVCR San Bernardino.
Officials at both KOCE and KUSC, view the opening of the Orange County Center as an important event.
"When you open up a cultural facility of this scale, one with such great potential, it is an historic event for the entire region, not just for Orange County. We, of course, want to be there," said Wallace Smith, general manager of the USC-based radio station.
For years, KUSC-FM (91.5) has aired season-opening concerts of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from the Los Angeles Music Center and the Hollywood Bowl. Monday night's radio broadcast from the Orange County Center will be received by KUSC's sister stations, KSCA-FM in Santa Barbara and KCPB-FM in Thousand Oaks, as well as by at least 50 other American Public Radio affiliated stations, according to Peter Rutenberg, KUSC's executive producer. The program is expected to help boost Orange County support for KUSC, which has about 9,000 subscribers in Orange County out of an overall 26,000 membership, Smith said.
Smith added that KUSC's $20,000 production cost is being underwritten in part by C.J. Segerstrom & Sons Inc., the Costa Mesa developer firm that is the Orange County Center's leading patron.
Gail Eichenthal will be host for the radio show which will include taped interviews with composer William Kraft, whose commissioned work will be premiered Monday night; patron Henry Segerstrom, and UCLA musicologist Robert Winter. During the intermission, Eichenthal will discuss the growth of other Orange County cultural institutions, including the South Coast Repertory Theatre and the county's major museums.
KOCE's on-air hosts will be Stephanie Edwards, Meredith MacRae and the station's Jim Cooper. They will conduct live post-concert interviews with the county's cultural, corporate and political figures.