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Marisa Waddell

Director of Programming and Content/Host of The Road Home/Contributor KCBX News and Issues & Ideas

As director of programming and content, Marisa Waddell coordinates the radio programming on KCBX and KCBX HD2 and leads efforts to develop content on the KCBX website and other digital platforms.  She manages the KCBX on-air staff, including the newsroom (of which she is editor-in-chief), music hosts, continuity announcers and on-air volunteers. Marisa also hosts the Thursday night Americana music program The Road Home, and contributes interviews to the weekly KCBX radio magazine Issues and Ideas and to KCBX News.

Marisa has played a vital role in the success of KCBX's Live Oak Music Festival. She became a member of the Booking and Programming Committee in 1992, and chaired the committee from 2003 to 2016, assembling outstanding lineups of musical acts that have delighted and surprised audiences. She has been the artistic director of Live Oak since 2017.

Marisa has had a lifelong love for public radio. Her mom tells her that she was listening to Chicago's WFMT in the womb. She began as a volunteer classical music host and weekend staff announcer on KCBX at age 19, while studying broadcasting at Cuesta College. She worked at commercial station KKUS in San Luis Obispo and then received her bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications and Film from San Diego State University. While in San Diego Marisa was the weekday afternoon classical music announcer at KPBS FM. On her return to San Luis Obispo in 1990, she became the classical music director at KCBX . She also produced, wrote, edited and hosted a local issues radio magazine, "Audio Excursions," and contributed news stories to the statewide news program, "The California Report."

In 2006 Marisa left KCBX to pursue her master's degree in mass communication and journalism at California State University Fresno. Before returning to the station as program director in 2012, she worked in film and television as a producer, writer, director and editor of documentaries and commercials; and for and international educational media company as an implementation specialist and creator of digital content and training material.

Marisa enjoys cooking, reading, exploring nature, attending live concerts, playing percussion, and watching movies. She lives in Los Osos with her wife Patti.

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