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POP EYE

October 30, 1994|Steve Hochman

OFF THE AIR: Santa Monica public radio station KCRW-FM (89.9) has canceled "The Reggae Beat" and "The African Beat," shows that for years were cornerstones of the station's eclectic music schedule.

C.C. Smith, who hosted "The African Beat" for its 11 years, says that she was notified of the termination by mail Oct. 19 in a letter from station manager Ruth Seymour, citing fallen ratings and stating that the action was "effective immediately." Listeners were not even given that notice--no mention was made on the air or in the station's monthly newsletter.

KCRW music director Chris Douridas says that the changes are part of an ongoing move away from specialized "block" programming and that reggae and African music will continue to be a large presence in other shows, including his own weekday "Morning Becomes Eclectic" and Liza Richardson's new alternative-music slot, replacing the reggae and African shows on weekend afternoons.

Smith, who also edits the world music magazine the Beat, fears that those music styles will get lost in the mix. "Our shows had penetrated deeply (in the reggae and African communities) and shutting us down now doesn't make sense," she says.

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