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 email@example.com or 617.825.4400.
Jessica Clark is an online producer, researcher and journalist focused on media, technology, and what drives change. From 2007 through mid-2011 she directed the Future of Public Media initiative at American University’s Center for Social Media and contributed to a number of related projects: helping to launch the Public Media Corps, co-organizing the Beyond Broadcast and Public Media Camp conferences, and writing regularly for PBS MediaShift. She has co-authored several influential publications on shifts in journalism and public media, including Spreading the Zing: Re-Imagining Public Media through Makers Quest 2.0 with AIR Executive Director Sue Schardt, and Beyond the Echo Chamber (New Press, 2010).
Rebecca Feldhaus Adams
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 masters 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.
As Membership Director, Erin is primarily responsible for responding to the needs of AIR's diverse membership. Prior to joining AIR, Erin attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies radio program in Portland, Maine and directed the Digital Natives research project at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She also worked for several years at the Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS), where she drafted communications, shopped for tchotchkes, and managed PRSS's presence at public radio conferences and events. Erin also worked for several years at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, helping teens create video and audio pieces.
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.
Sam is a free spirit, in true AIR form. You may find her composing custom graphics from the rainy streets of Portland Oregon, or hand coding HTML in a New York City café. Sam proudly lays claim to her very own web and graphic design business, “Schongalla”, a gnarly creature with beginnings that are directly linked to her foray into public radio and support from AIR. Just as it has been, her whatsits and whereabouts will continue to be dictated by the winds.
Executive Editor, Localore
Noland Walker is the Peabody Award-winning producer/director of “Revolution,” an episode of PBS’ Africans in America series (1998). He is also an Emmy winner for his work as a producer/director on the television documentary A Day in the Life of Jeremiah Burke High School (2001). He wrote and co-produced the Emmy nominated documentary Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006) and his film Citizen King (co-writer, co-director) won critical acclaim around the nation as well as internationally. He produced and co-wrote the documentary feature Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story (2008) and teaches writing at Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia.
Deb George, Feature Editor
Stevie Beck, Copy Editor
AIR Board of Directors and Advisors
*AIR was incorporated on November 15, 1988. The founding members were:
Stephen Erickson, President
Marjorie Van Halteren
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.