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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Erin Mishkin

Phone: 617-825-4400
E-mail: erin@airmedia.org

September 19, 2008


AIR leads effort to support radio makers who engage listeners in new ways


(HOLLYWOOD) -- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) today announced the Public Radio Makers Quest (MQ2.0), a new producer-focused initiative that will identify the best and brightest audio makers from within public radio and beyond and provide them resources and incentive to forge bold new paths that use both traditional broadcast and emerging digital platforms.

MQ2.0 — funded by CPB and administered by AIR — was introduced by CPB’s vice president of radio, Bruce Theriault, during a speech at the Public Radio Program Directors’ annual conference in Hollywood, California. MQ2.0 will disburse up to $400,000 in grants ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 each to about a dozen forward-thinking producers who are embracing new technologies and reshaping programming to fit new media. Grantees will be selected through a nomination process. Details will be published by AIR in early October on a special Web site to be launched at that time. An FAQ is now available at AIRmedia.org

Public radio stalwart Ingrid Lakey, former program director at WETA in Washington, D.C., and most recently executive producer for NPR’s Justice Talking, will lead the project as talent manager, working with the grantees to help mold their projects and help lead them to partnerships with public radio outlets. As she puts it, “I’ll provide ongoing support and cheerleading.” A talent committee will be announced in the weeks ahead, comprised of leading producers and program makers from within public radio and also those who are tapped into other talent pools.

“This time of change in our industry is intimidating to some," says AIR Executive Director Sue Schardt. “But for the most creative among us — particularly producers who are used to constantly adapting and evolving their ideas and approaches — this is a time of great excitement and enthusiasm, a time to shape the sound of tomorrow."

AIR was founded 20 years ago this fall with a commitment to preserving a place on public radio for the work and inspiration of the individual "maker." MQ2.0 underwrites those individual producers who, until now, had to compete with the major public broadcasting networks for CPB funds.

Bruce Theriault, senior vice president of radio at CPB and principal funder of this project, echoes Schardt’s sentiments. "The time is right to turn to the content makers and invite them to lead the way to the new era of public media," he observes.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Go to http://www.AIRmedia.org or contact Erin Mishkin at 617-825-4400 or erin@airmedia.org.

AIR was established in 1988. Its extensive social and professional network of nearly 700 producers and associates is at the center of unprecedented technology-driven change, rich with opportunity to define and redefine sound art and media — public media in particular. Central to AIR’s mission is providing support, training, and advocacy necessary for preparing thousands of audio creatives to lead the way to engaging more listeners, and to carry their inspiration to both traditional and emerging outlets.


Funding for MQ2.0 is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Robert E. Davoli and Eileen L. McDonagh Charitable Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which believes that a great nation deserves great art.