Jason Lopez

Reporter/Podcast Host

As a kid I loved nature. In high school I had a biology field research career all planned out. But in my senior year, just looking for something to do, I joined the high school Radio and TV Club. By my last semester I got on the air doing a student show on a local radio station as well as running a video switcher for Norman Lear’s Communications Services Inc. local origination station. I was hooked.

In college I studied journalism but my favorite class was the one I made up: the foriegn and art film series in the student union. I set my class schedule around it and saw every single film they showed. Yup. I’d get a bag of those French burnt peanuts and a Coke. That was a lot of sugar. These days I don’t eat anything with added sugar but still love art cinema.

After many years in commercial and public radio doing news, classical and jazz music in New Mexico, Iowa and New York, I got the chance to work in film in San Francisco. A funny thing happened. Film production really helped reveal to me the human immediacy of radio that makes it special. It made me appreciate the radio people I had learned from at places like KCUR, WSHU, KRWG, KALW, KGO and NPR. I actually produced Michael Savage as a fill in producer for a few months… but that’s another story.

Today I work for a social tech company I helped start in Silicon Valley and work remotely, which means I get to live on the Central Coast. I love KCBX and appreciate being a part of this public radio family.

I think this “biologist" has fooled people about knowing something about radio long enough to have actually developed a vision for it. For one, I like helping people realize their own creative potential in media. I also love reporting, especially on things like the environment and technology. I’ve also been a wine lover for the past 20 years and while I don’t have a lot to say about wine, the field is full of so many interesting people who do. Central Coast AVA is a show meant to find those folks and tell their stories.

Btw, my dad was in the military and I grew up overseas and in the U.S., and I get my nature fix from backpacking and also by providing some water habitat for tree frogs in my back yard.

Ways to Connect

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On this episode of Issues & Ideas, hear the second part of "Beyond the Furrows", our 12 part series on farmworkers in Santa Barbara County. Also, learn more about the health risks of smoke from wildfires and get some advice on how we can prepare for this wildfire season. And, during the pandemic lockdown, restaurants had to scramble to adopt digital technology in order to keep their businesses open. We’ll visit with the Makela family at their Santa Barbara County olive ranch. And finally, RISE and Stand Strong, two local nonprofits providing services for sexual and intimate partner violence, have merged to create the Lumina Alliance.