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“Speaking for myself and on behalf of the AIR Board, Ken’s record of success leading organizations like The Public Media Company, as well as his passion for tenets central to the AIR mission, including supporting and expanding economic opportunities for our members and his commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, make this an exciting day as we enter a new era of AIR.”
“It is an honor to serve as CEO of AIR,” said Ikeda. “Programs such as Localore and New Voices align with my passion for producing content that builds community, yields learning, and introduces opportunity. As newsrooms reinvent themselves, as podcasting expands and non-traditional sectors seek to organize and grow their audience, independents are more important than ever. At the same time, the ability to develop and deliver quality narratives is undervalued. A priority for AIR is to deepen our investment in programs, tools, and support for our members.”
Ken is a veteran of public media and independent production. During his tenure as Executive Director of BAVC, the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies was launched, the organization was awarded as a Creative and Effective Institution by the MacArthur Foundation and he co-authored the National Public Lightpath white paper as a blueprint for a public service internet for public media. As Managing Director of Public Radio Capital and Public Media Company, he co-architected the video streaming service, Vuhaus, and content-sharing platform, Channel X. Ken will retain his ownership stake at Studiotobe, a content development and production studio he co-founded in late 2017. There, he has served as Executive Producer for the podcasts Cooking By Ear and soon to be released Self Evident and Highwire. Ken has also served as a Board Director for the Center for Asian American Media, Greater Public and Youth Speaks. His combination of enterprise and knowledge of systems will help assure that AIR is positioned for and leading opportunities on behalf of AIR’s membership and partners in the future.
AIR celebrates its 30th anniversary year with a growing network of mission-focused talent integral to public broadcasting and America’s growing podcasting and streaming audio industry. The more than 1,300 journalists, podcasters, documentarians, technicians, and media entrepreneurs forming AIR’s creative community span 46 states and 30 countries worldwide. AIR’s recruitment and mentoring programs and its national Localore productions enrich and expand the ecosystem where storymakers create work that brings hope and enlightenment, with the power to embolden and unify.