Larry Mantle

Life in Reloville

Talking with author Peter Kilborn of "Next Stop, Reloville," I thought about the reasons I resisted going into radio when I graduated from college. Chief among them was my belief that it would be impossible to progress in broadcasting without moving from city to city. That was the model I saw from almost everyone who worked in Los Angeles radio or television. Even those who were originally from the Southland had to work in several smaller markets before they could get back here.

Though the market-to-market life wasn't for me, I'm impressed with how experienced "relo" families are able to make the next stop feel like home. I'm very much a creature of my physical surroundings, but resilient and adaptive "relo" families seem able to transcend location. In Kilborn's account, the cyber world has been quite helpful to serially relocating families by allowing them to stay connected with extended family and friends. There are distinct trade-offs and sacrifices made in exchange for this peripatetic corporate life. One of them being, as Kilborn writes, that interest in local politics is notably low among those who won't be around in a couple of years to see what changes are coming to their suburban communities.

In my case, I obviouisly pursued radio despite my reservations. I ended up extremely fortunate in being able to stay in my favorite region while speaking to a much larger audience than when I started. KPCC has grown almost continuously since I joined the station 26 years ago. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Though I wasn't the most flexible, KPCC has certainly proven to be.

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