Sue Schardt is a transformational leader whose work has instigated innovation and expansion of mission-focused media across the U.S. She is the founding executive producer and creator of Localore, an award-winning national initiative directing gifted multimedia talent to explore new approaches to make stories ‘with and for the people” that best capture the rich diversity of America today. Throughout her 11-year stewardship of AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Schardt led the network to unprecedented growth and diversification. She and her Dorchester, Massachusetts based team advocated for industry rates and best practices, and instituted the New Voices program, focused mentorships, and launched an on-line talent directory which, together, have enriched hundreds of media makers who are vital to the future of podcasting and public media. She served previously for 9 years as a director on AIR's board. She launched Margin Media in September 2018 to focus on personal creative work. From October 2018 through March 2019, Schardt programmed a continuous stream into the galleries of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the exhibition "One Day at a Time, Manny Farber and Termite Art" curated by Helen Molesworth. She is currently Producer-in-Residence at the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia working with a community team on new, pandemic-instigated stories. Prior to her tenure at AIR, Schardt ran a consulting firm (SchardtMEDIA) focused on research and strategic program development. Over a 2-year period, SchardtMEDIA undertook and published the first benchmark research into the role and economic drivers of the independent audio producer sector in the U.S. "Mapping Public Radio’s Independent Landscape: Key Findings, Critical Questions" (2004), and "Opportunities for Innovation" (2006) laid the foundation for her work at AIR. She developed and advised the formation of Native Voice One (NV1) interconnecting reservation-based stations across the U.S. and Alaska, and was part of the team that developed a guidebook for Native American journalistic ethics and best practices. From 2010 to 2017, Schardt led multiple studies in partnership with Edison Research, Public Radio News Directors Association (PRNDI), Independent Television Service (ITVS) and scores of independent producers and public media stations. This includes most recently "Break Form: Making Stories With and For the People" detailing outcomes and recommendations designed to expand public media to more people in local communities. It was distributed to more than 10,000 journalists, indie talent, station managers, and funders across the U.S. Schardt writes and presents frequently on media-technology, including at the 2017 3D Journalism Conference in Moscow, the Australian Centre for Moving Image’s Co-Creative Communities forum, NEA’s National Council meeting, the European Radio Features “think tank” in Leipzig, and the FCC’s Future of Media in the Digital Age. In 2015, she was a member of a delegation of advisors to the National Public Broadcasting Corporation of the Ukraine. She has served on the NPR Board’s Distribution and Interconnect Committee, and received a lifetime achievement award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Schardt's work has been supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wyncote Foundation, the Waterman II Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, and through private donations. In addition to her media work, Schardt is an accomplished swimmer, musician and free form DJ.
The Association of Independents in Radio's national production, Localore, is collaborative public media documentary tasking independent producers to lead collaborative teams for up to a year. Working across the nation in communities large and small, AIR's Localorians have created intimate stories with people living there, exploring new story-forms to best reflect the rich diversity of American today.
- Show Development
- Field Producing
- Full mix sound studio, flash recorder, Barix encoders for remote streaming/broadcast