About Us

AIR was born in 1988 by a group of ten independent producers* sitting around a kitchen table on Murray Street in NYC. (Listen to our Founders' Montage.) The organization has since grown into a global social and professional network of 900+ producers – both independent and those employed by media organizations – representing an extensive range of disciplines, from NPR news journalists and reporters, to sound artists, station station-based producers, podcasters, gearheads, media activists, and more. The medium of sound is what unites our membership, and in this 21st century world, AIR’s members are rapidly diversifying and expanding their craft as they cut new edges in digital public media.

AIR is the primary advocate for producers in public and commercial media and its training programs have helped hone the technical, editorial, and strategic skills of hundreds of media professionals. The AIRdaily’s vibrant 24x7 discussion group is a daily destination for hundreds of members who interact on-line each day. To learn more about AIR and our vibrant community of makers, read our blog, subscribe to our mailing list, or contact us at join@airmedia.org or 617.825.4400.


Sue Schardt
Executive Director
Sue Schardt is a respected radio veteran and award-winning producer whose path has taken her through public, commercial, community, and international media. She founded SchardtMEDIA Strategies in 1998 to focus on independent, ideas-driven projects and worked extensively with the networks and leading stations and producers across the country. She assumed leadership of AIR, a growing, 800-member organization in September 2007. AIR marks 2011 with the launch of Localore, a significant new initiative with new CPB funding for producer-led projects designed to turbo-charge public media’s innovation capacity. With other industry leaders, she presented at FCC on the Future of Media in the Digital Age in Spring 2010.  Schardt also serves as a Director of the DI Committee of the NPR board, sits on the advisory board of Native Voice One – the Native American Radio Service -- and is an Artistic Advisor to NPR’s From the Top. She is a long-time volunteer music DJ on free-form radio station WMBR in Cambridge, MA. 


Rebecca Feldhaus Adams

Talent Manager
As the Talent Manager, Rebecca (you can call her Bec) is responsible for engaging with AIR's diverse membership. Prior to coming to AIR, Bec was the coordinator of regional outreach at Murray State University where she connected with school superintendents to strengthen relationships between districts and the university. At MSU, she completed a master's degree while also producing independent audio pieces with her colleague Shelly Baskin under the banner of baskhaus radio group. Bec got her start in radio at WKMS, spent some time in print at the Paducah Sun and has been seen in local and national magazines from time to time. An audio super fan, Bec is a fierce lover and promoter of Kentucky, her home state.

Betsy O'Donovan
Editor and Digital Strategist
Betsy is a little obsessed with digital media and the future of journalism. As a fellow at Harvard's Nieman Foundation for Journalism, she studied the values propositions that led to the collapse of the newspaper industry's business model. As a master's degree candidate at Trinity College Dublin, she examined digital disruption and innovation in the book publishing industry. She's an alumna of print newsrooms in Alabama, Idaho, Nebraska and North Carolina, a volunteer mentor with The Op-Ed Project, and a founding member of WIN (Women in News). She studied English at Wake Forest University, which is sometimes useful in her professional life, and concentrated on medieval literature, which is sometimes useful in making strangers walk away at parties.

David Dawson II
Operations Manager
David, a Detroit native who has lived in Boston for seven years, came to AIR from Boston University's School of Music. At AIR, he provides the administrative backbone and oversees our system of operations. David is an avid consumer of public radio, always tuned to one of the local NPR affiliates, and a musician by training (double bass) -- which, as Sue Schardt noted, "is a very useful skill he brings to help keep us steady."

 

Emily Boghossian
Star Intern
Emily is AIR's 2014 intern. As an English major at Carleton College, she studied narrative theory and wrote her thesis on narrative nonfiction. This summer, she has crunched numbers, surveyed AIR network producers, and written a case study about new ways to promote a podcast. Emily is an audio enthusiast and aspiring producer. Podcasts are eating up all of the space on her phone.




Publications:

Betsy O'Donovan, Editor
Stevie Beck, Copy Editor

AIR Board of Directors and Advisors

*AIR was incorporated on November 15, 1988.  The founding members were:
Lauren Krenzel
Jay Allison
Stephen Erickson, President
Deborah Begel
Karen Michel
Marjorie Van Halteren
Susan Poulsen-Krogh
Sandy Tolan
Steve Rathe
Karen Frillman

Disclaimer: AIR is a 504 compliant organization with policies that do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, or disability in administration of its hiring practices, membership, or programming policies.