Matt Holzman, longtime KCRW host and producer, dies at 56


Matt Holzman, the intrepid producer behind several of KCRW’s popular programs, died Sunday of stage 4 metastatic cancer. He was 56.

The news was confirmed by his colleagues at KCRW.

Holzman was born in Long Beach on Oct. 31, 1963, to parents Benjamin and Marilyn. He majored in computer science at UC Santa Barbara and upon graduation found work as a consultant in Chicago.

Holzman quickly realized that corporate work was not for him and moved back to Southern California, where he stumbled upon KCRW, then just a tiny public radio station with fewer than two dozen employees.

Holzman got his start as a board operator before making a shift to audio storytelling. One of his first stories was an autobiographical retelling of his struggles with kidney disease, which left him on dialysis for three days a week in a five-year long wait for a donor kidney.

He was the first producer of “The Business,” a weekly program and now podcast about the entertainment industry hosted by Kim Masters.

“He was passionate about his work and was the very embodiment of KCRW to colleagues and listeners,” said Masters. “No one had a bigger heart. He had a great love for movies and even after he had moved on as producer he would tell us when to pay attention to a documentary. We always did and he was always right.”

Holzman was also behind KCRW’s underwriting department, the film club Matt’s Movies as well as the programs and podcasts “Press Play” (about L.A. news and culture) and “The Document,” which combined Holzman’s love for documentaries with his passion for the audio format.

Holzman was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last fall. Toward the end of his life, he began a relationship with his close colleague Adria Kloke.

Holzman is survived by sisters Stefanie, Janet and Lisa.