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AIR welcomes our new Executive Director, Keisha Salmon

Sept. 19, 2022 – Keisha Salmon has been named the executive director of the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), a 1500+ strong membership organization of independent radio and podcast producers, editors, engineers, and reporters.

Keisha Salmon Headshot

The board and staff of AIR are thrilled that Keisha will be joining AIR, as our organization approaches its 35th anniversary and builds upon our signature programming. Keisha is just the kind of strategist we’ve been looking for, with over 15 years of experience developing high-impact programs that protect and amplify the voices of emerging creators, established media makers, and authentic storytellers. 

Keisha has a long history of working for equitable access to power: having led the strategic initiatives and fundraising efforts dedicated to essential conversations on equity through her work at John Jay College Institute for Justice and Opportunity. Keisha was also instrumental in a national movement to increase the number of women who are appointed and elected to political office through her role as director of communications at ReflectUS.

Previously, Keisha developed and led the communications strategy for the national media arts nonprofit American Documentary and its critically acclaimed signature program POV on PBS, the longest-running television series dedicated to independent documentary films from around the world. In addition to redefining the brand, she created and led campaigns that have positioned films for Academy Award nominations and Emmy Award wins. Ms. Salmon began her nonprofit career at the Obie Award-winning off-Broadway production house, The Play Company (PlayCo), where she developed and executed integrated communication strategies for international playwrights to New York theater audiences. 

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead and advocate for the rights of AIR members and bring my experience and passion for representing public media to embrace, educate and uplift historically overlooked and extremely talented content creators and creative voices,” said Keisha. “Together, in our next era of growth and in line with AIR’s vision to amplify new voices and new narratives for public radio and podcasting, we will build on the successes that have been achieved in recent years, as well as strategize and innovate for the future as we navigate the changes taking place in the audio industry.”

The audio industry is growing exponentially. Independent producers, editors, reporters, and engineers working on the ground need more support and advocacy than ever, as they navigate relationships with an ever more diverse maze of clients within and beyond public media. 

Keisha is ready to help AIR face the future of public media and of podcasting. We couldn’t be happier to have her join us.

AIR board Co-President Kim Fox expressed her enthusiasm about Keisha’s appointment by saying, “We are excited to have Keisha join AIR as our executive director. Her vision for potential growth of AIR is right in line with our mission and her robust history of campaign work will help AIR contribute to shaping an audio industry that is more equitable.”

AIR Board Co-President Emily Kwong added that “During Keisha’s interviews, I was especially impressed with her focus on mentorship and supporting those around her. She brings a strong history of developing effective programming, and we want AIR members to feel that support right now.”

Keisha succeeds interim Executive Director Amanda Hickman who has led the organization since September 2021. Amanda served AIR’s membership primarily as our Managing Director, redoubling our efforts to ensure that independent audio professionals across the field have access to the data and information they need to negotiate fairly in an evolving audio industry. After three years of service, she will depart AIR in October. We will greatly miss her energy, leadership, and dedication to members and our mission. We know she will be extremely successful in her next project. 

We welcome and invite questions and interview requests. Please do not hesitate to contact [email protected]


About the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR)

The Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) is a 1500+ strong membership organization of independent radio and podcast producers, editors, engineers and reporters. AIR offers high quality training, access to jobs and opportunities. Since 1988, AIR has been a consistent advocate for fair pay and work conditions for freelancers in radio and more recently, podcasting. AIR’s rate guides are a vital tool that freelancers use to establish fair and reasonable compensation. AIR hosts Soundpath, an online platform where independent audio professionals can learn new skills and our fellowship programs like Edit Mode and New Voices provide vital support, community and mentorship to reporters and producers.

Keisha Salmon Headshot
AIR's new Executive Director, Keisha Salmon