Brian Watt to Anchor KQED Morning News

Bill Youngblood for KPCC

Brian Watt Photo Credit: Bill Youngblood for KPCC

KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM announced today that Brian Watt will host the station’s local news during its flagship program Morning Edition. His first day on air will be April 11, 2016.

Brian has been a reporter with Southern California Public Radio (SCPR), in Los Angeles, for nine years. Most recently he covered the working and entrepreneurship beat. Before joining SCPR, he worked as a producer for the Marketplace Morning Report. Brian’s work has won several awards from the Los Angeles Press Club, the Radio Television News Association of Southern California and Public Radio News Directors Incorporated.

“Brian’s passion for public service, great voice and depth of experience are exactly what we were looking for in a news anchor,” said Holly Kernan, KQED executive editor for news. “He’ll be a terrific addition to a very talented team, and we look forward to having Brian guide us through the local news landscape each morning.”

“KQED is a gold standard in local public broadcasting, so I’m honored, thrilled and humbled to get this opportunity,” said Watt. “This is the work that I’ve always wanted to do, in a place where I’ve always wanted to live. I’m very proud of my accomplishments as a reporter, but my ultimate goal in public radio has always been to host or anchor, to tell listeners things they need to know and bring them stories that they want to hear.”

Prior to dedicating himself full-time to journalism,  Brian gained deep experience in the arts and politics. In 1998, he earned a masters in theater from the Sorbonne Theater Studies Institute in Paris. As an actor, he appeared on TV shows including The West Wing and The District and performed in France, Italy, Poland and Brazil, and even filmed a movie in Budapest, Hungary. After graduating from Yale in 1990, Brian served as a personal assistant to U.S. Senator Harris Wofford before becoming campaign manager for his father Mel Watt’s successful congressional campaign.

Watt has deep ties to the Bay Area, “I am lucky to have married a woman from San Francisco, whom I met two decades ago in Paris. After years of making numerous visits, we’re bringing our four-year-old son to live closer to his grandparents and a huge Bay Area family.”


KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

As other news organizations have shrunk, KQED has expanded its efforts to cover the issues and events that are important to the Bay Area. As the most trusted source of news in the Bay Area, KQED is a multiplatform operation with offices and bureaus in San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno and Los Angeles. Stories from all KQED news programs are featured online at

KQED Names Scott Shafer Senior Editor of California Politics and Government Desk

Veteran reporter Scott Shafer will lead KQED News' politics and government desk.

Veteran reporter Scott Shafer will lead KQED News’ politics and government desk.

Scott Shafer (Twitter: @scottshafer) has been named Senior Editor of the California Politics and Government Desk at KQED. In the new and expanded role at KQED News, Shafer will lead the editorial direction of a three-person team covering the state. He will also help craft KQED’s in-depth coverage of the 2016 election.

“Scott is such an asset to KQED, hosting The California Report with great expertise for years, as a correspondent for our weekly television series KQED Newsroom and as a sharp political analyst and reporter,” said Holly Kernan, Executive Editor for KQED News. “He approaches politics in a way that goes beyond horse race coverage and helps us understand how policy impacts the lives of real people. There is no one better to lead KQED’s expanded political coverage of California.”

“There’s no more exciting place in the country to cover politics than California. It’s the ultimate laboratory for democracy,” said Shafer. “I want our audience to understand what’s at stake in government and whether government is working for them. Signing a bill or passing a ballot measure is just the first step. I want to explore what happens when new laws and ballot measures bump up against Californians in their daily lives, for better and for worse”

Since joining KQED in 1998, Shafer has covered stories for National Public Radio programs including All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition Saturday and Weekend Edition Sunday. Most recently, he hosted The California Report’s 30-minute weekly news magazine. Shafer and his team will continue to contribute to KQED Newsroom and The California Report.

Shafer has earned numerous awards for his political reporting. He was a member of the panel of journalists that questioned candidates in the televised 2010 U.S. Senate debate between Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina. He covered the gay marriage issue from the Proposition 8 Campaign through the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made same sex marriage legal in California. Shafer has hosted live statewide coverage of election night and State of the State Addresses every year since 1998.

Prior to joining KQED, Shafer was press secretary to San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos and Chief of Staff to Controller Gray Davis.

Media Contact: Bryce Eberhart,, (415) 730-9058

KQED Public Radio

KQED Public Radio was founded in 1969, and the station began broadcasting with a skeletal paid and volunteer staff later in that year. In 1987, the station’s format was changed to an all-news and information service. Since the format change, the weekly audience for KQED Public Radio has more than doubled. Consistently ranked among the top-rated public radio stations in the nation, KQED is currently the most-listened-to public radio station in the country, reaching over 740,000 listeners each week.

KQED Public Radio is an award-winning service heard throughout the Bay Area, the state and beyond with a wide variety of news, public affairs and cultural affairs programming. The broadcast schedule is composed of the work of station, independent and network producers, including productions by National Public Radio, Public Radio International and the BBC.

Reaching listeners as far north as the North Coast, as far south as Monterey Bay, and as far east as the Sierra Nevada, KQED 88.5 FM is one of the strongest public radio signals in the state of California. Two translator stations were added in 1991 and 2001: Martinez (88.1 FM) and Santa Rosa (88.3 FM) respectively. In 2003, KQED purchased 89.3 FM North Highlands/Sacramento, which extended the station’s reach to the greater metropolitan area of Sacramento. In 2000, KQED Public Radio began live streaming and in 2002, began offering archived audio files of its programs on KQED’s Web site,

KQED Public Radio produces local Bay Area newscasts broadcast weekday mornings and afternoons during Morning Edition and All Things Considered; The California Report, a statewide news and public affairs service carried by 25 public radio stations that includes nine-minute segments broadcast weekday mornings and a half-hour newsmagazine broadcast on Friday afternoons; Forum, a live interview and call-in program, hosted by Michael Krasny, that explores current politics, the arts and community issues; and Perspectives, topical commentaries by Bay Area residents broadcast daily during Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

KQED Public Radio also works with other public affairs organizations to co-produce series for public radio distribution, including City Arts & Lectures, The World Affairs Council and The Commonwealth Club of California.

Jo Anne Wallace is vice president and general manager of KQED Public Radio. Raúl Ramirez is director of news and public affairs.

KQED-produced programs:

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