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Good news/Bad news from Off-Ramp host John Rabe

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After 11 years of exploring the best city on Earth, John Rabe is retiring Off-Ramp to take an exciting new job at KPCC.

I’m very excited to tell you some really good news.

One of my bosses at KPCC said a very nice thing about Off-Ramp a few months ago: "Off-Ramp sounds like it's wrapping its arms around all of Southern California."

That's exactly what we set out to do almost 11 years ago when we started Off-Ramp. The idea was to tell stories from all over SoCal that encouraged all of you to take the off-ramp, to explore our city. As Mark Twain wrote in a letter to the San Francisco Alta California in 1867, "...nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people." That goes for traveling to Timbuktu ... or to Bakersfield.

With luck, some of that has rubbed off on me over the last 11 years. I hope producing and hosting Off-Ramp every week, meeting thousands of Southern Californians in that time, and relating their stories on the radio, has made me a better person.

Check out the slideshow for some of my favorite guests over the years!

You know where this is going.

While I've loved doing Off-Ramp, it's time to try something new and a little scary. Over the last few months, my bosses worked hard to craft a position for me here that will let me bring the essence of Off-Ramp to the whole station, and starting July 5, I'll start my new job as KPCC's Production & Promotions Director. I will be working with everyone at the station who wants to do better radio.

The final Off-Ramp will air July 1 & 2. While I’ll be sad to see Off-Ramp end, this is something I've been thinking about for a long time, and frankly, Steve Julian's passing death kicked me in the pants and made me ask myself: "Self, am I doing something that challenges me in a new way? Am I doing something that's a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit scary?" This new job will be a huge challenge, and I think a very rewarding one.

I’d like to thank everyone who made Off-Ramp a success for the last 11 years, from the producers and interns, to the hundreds of thousands of YOU who listened every week -- including the many of you who are KPCC members.

And especially, thanks to the thousands of Southern Californians who let us tell their stories. If I started naming them, I'd never stop. You know who you are, and your generosity and trust have enriched all our lives.

It's been an honor.

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