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.
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.
Editorial Operations Associate
Emily came on board in 2014 as a summer intern after graduating from Carleton College with a degree in English. At Carleton, she studied narrative theory and wrote a thesis on narrative nonfiction. At AIR, Emily can be found surveying AIR network producers, cheering for #pubmedia through our @AIRmedia social media accounts, and writing case studies and reading lists for the AIR site. Emily is an aspiring producer with her ear to the ground for curious and captivating stories. Podcasts are eating up all of the space on her phone.
David Dawson II
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."
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 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.
Localore Network Manager
Adriana graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from Loyola University-Chicago in 2007, and has worked in journalism, public radio, and youth media education ever since. Starting at age 19, and upon graduation from Loyola, she trained and worked in grassroots media and community education. From 2009 through 2011 she was Radio Arte's Director of Youth Media (National Museum of Mexican Art). She co-founded Vocalo's Storytelling Workshops (Chicago Public Media) and cultivated youth arts and media programs in the city of Chicago's south and west sides for After School Matters (ASM). She served as editor for the online Latino arts and culture magazine Remezcla. Adriana spent 2014 traveling the country with the StoryCorps mobile booth. She is the recipient of a Jose Marti Gold Award from the National Association of Hispanic Publications, and was among Latina Magazine's "Future 15" women to follow.
Localore Curating Producer
Teresa is passionate about bringing public media stories to new audiences online and on the air. Teresa comes to AIR from NPR's editorial coaching and development team, where she helped NPR's affiliate stations and staff strengthen their reporting, editing, storytelling, and strategies on digital and social platforms. Some of her favorite projects included The Local Stories Project, a collaboration between 36 stations and NPR to bring local stories to more people using social media. Prior to joining NPR, Teresa was the social media editor at "PBS NewsHour." She worked on social media and online strategy and occasionally spent an early morning or late night live-blogging about elections and and eating newsroom pizza. Teresa holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University and is a proud resident of Somerville, Mass.
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.
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:
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.