New Producer For KWMR

The West Marin Report returns to KWMR this Monday under the guidance of an ambitious new producer. Eric Brenner, a Mill Valley resident, will resume the show after its four-month
“This is an amazing opportunity to inform people and to become part of a station that has a huge base of support,” Brenner said.
The ten-minute program will air on weekdays at 8 a.m., 6:30 p.m. and at
midnight. According to Brenner, the format will remain much the same as it was back in August. “We’re sticking to just re-launching the old show— there aren’t current plans to make it any different.”
The show will continue to rely on its active volunteer reporter base, one which Brenner hopes to expand. “It’s crucial to the program’s success,” he said. “I’m in the process of reorganizing it and making it more location specific. I want to build a solid team and make sure we have at least one [volunteer] in each area.”
With the help of this team, Brenner hopes to cover breaking news stories from throughout West Marin. “We’re going to focus on stories that only affect this population. We want to keep conversations going with all the politicians of the area, and those from Sacramento in particular—to make sure they don’t forget about us.”
After completing a degree in radio and television broadcasting from San Francisco State University, Brenner decided to pursue a career in the movie industry. He worked as an actor and production assistant in such productions as Baywatch and Days of Our Lives, as well as many commercials. “I spent my 20s in this business,” he said.
His latest role was as an extra in the box-office hit “Milk” alongside Sean Penn. I’m in the scene where Penn’s watching the election results in a bar along Castro Street,” Brenner said.
Following a market downturn in 2000, Brenner noticed a changing atmosphere in industry. “The bubble burst and the movies crashed so I felt like I had to get back into radio.”
He started off as a producer for the Brian Copeland Show on KGO, where he booked major names for the show, including General David Petraeus, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and Fox News legal analyst Jim Hammer.
Then Brenner got what he calls his first lucky break, and went to work for the major broadcast company Westwood One, where he produced, reported, and wrote mostly live sound bytes for a number of stations throughout the Bay Area.
After another economic flux, Brenner was asked to either relocate to Phoenix, or find something new.
“I thought, ‘Here I am working these crazy hours and working just a few days a week, but where do I really want to live?’ I’d lived mostly in Marin, and I didn’t want to leave California.”
Brenner got his second break while browsing the KWMR website. He saw that they were looking for a news producer, and were based in Point Reyes Station.
“I just knew I had to get this job,” he said. “There’s something about Marin County— it’s the last of the great West because there is still no urbanization, and from what I knew about the population already it was going to be a good fit.”
Brenner opted to use a previous story he produced for KGO which exposed a government plan that would allow the state to spray pesticides over Marin as an example of his work in the area. The story got him an interview with Station Manager Kay Clements, which he said went very well.
“The truth is that this is my biggest break yet. I don’t care that I was on a national show, because I was limited by what I could do there.”
Brenner says he is looking forward to getting away from just having a passive listenership, and instead having people really listen to what he has to say on the air.
“They’ll take notice, and that means a lot to me,” he said.
To hear Brenner on The West Marin Report, tune in to KWMR 90.5 FM in Point Reyes or 89.7 FM in Bolinas. The show can be heard during any weekday at 8 a.m., 6:30 p.m. or at midnight starting December 15.