Michael Starling of National Public Radio

Receives IAAIS C. Stanley Potter Award

May 22, 2004

 

Presented by David Noble of Sun Sounds of Arizona, representing IAAIS

The purpose of the Award is to honor outstanding contributions to the audio

information industry. This particular individual has not only served IAAIS

on its Board of Directors, he has also served IAAIS in his work “outside”

audio information services.  He has not “grown up” in radio reading, but is

a convert to the cause.

 

One of the key factors in identifying a candidate for our most prestigious

award, is to find those who think “out of the box” in creating innovations

for furthering audio information access. This award is not about how long

one has been in this industry but what an individual or organization has

contributed to IAAIS's growth, success, empowerment, technological

advancement, and programming creativity.

 

This nominee does all this and is not a staff member or volunteer at a

member station of IAAIS.  He has contributed to the growth of this industry

by helping to represent its mission and purpose to the Federal

Communications Commission, the leadership of non-commercial radio and by

educating us on those things outside our sphere of knowledge.  He has

served in key roles that contributed to the industry’s success in

protecting existing radio reading services from the potentially harmful

effects of Low Power FM stations.  He champions IAAIS within the public

radio system, and is instrumental in helping IAAIS members meet with and

educate leaders in the broadcast industry.  With his support for the work

we all strive to accomplish, he helps further our organizational

development and our reputations as professionals in the broadcast industry.

 

This individual has offered expertise from both his legal training and his

broadcast engineering background.  Most commonly, this is put to use to

develop language for various filings and pleadings for IAAIS with the

Federal Communications Commission  filings in which he formulated position

statements that were irrefutable for their concise logic, broadcast

engineering expertise, and plain old good sense.   The man I am referring

to unselfishly devotes countless hours to attending IAAIS conferences,

standard setting committees for the broadcast industry, committee meetings

for IAAIS, and has served on our board of directors. He is well-known for

his ability to explain patiently  in layman’s terms  the vagaries of

complex technologies to aide our industry’s conversion to digital.

 

Currently he is spearheading the NPR led effort we know as the “Tomorrow

Radio Project”.  While its best-known purpose is to test the ability to

send more than one signal through the new digital radio system, he built

into the planning a “home” for radio reading services.  Because he meant

for reading services to be included in the plan from day one, the

developers of the digital radio system at iBiquity, and manufacturers like

Kenwood received clear messages that public radio and reading services were

to move into the future of radio together.

 

Like his “out of the box” thinking ability, he is “outside” our membership.

This has not prevented him from promoting the acceptance of IAAIS's needs

to his companion workers.  On countless occasions those co-workers will

remember him asking… “But what about the reading services”?  He has made it

a part of his position inside public radio to ensure that audio information

services will not be the step-child of digital radio.  He constantly seeks

technological solutions that will accommodate our industry’s need for

inclusion in the digital broadcast world tomorrow.

 

Ultimately, of course, his efforts are not just about an industry, or a

technology, or the politics of broadcasting. Ultimately, his work helps to

insure that all people everywhere, regardless of disability, can get the

information they need to be full functioning members of the community and

the society.

 

His current title is Vice President of Engineering at National Public

Radio.  Only a little while ago he had “Director  IAAIS” after his name as

well.  Michael reached his term limit on the IAAIS board and so was

required to set aside the title of Director, but he’s earned several other

titles.  We call him counselor, advocate, friend, and now; we call him to

our podium receive our highest honor, C. Stanley Potter Achievement Award.

 

David Noble, Past President, IAAIS