Washington - Mar 22, 2012 - The Association of Public Radio Engineers (APRE) has chosen Mike Starling, executive director of the Technology Research Center and NPR Labs as the Meritorious Service Award winner for 2012. Starling is responsible for spearheading new public service technology initiatives on behalf of NPR and NPR member stations. His efforts, and the skilled work of his team of engineers and technologists, have increasingly focused on new public service outcomes. From multicasting on new HD Radio channels to public service spectrum initiatives and accessible public radio services for the visually and hearing impaired, NPR Labs has been at the forefront of recent broadcast radio developments.
The nomination form submitted to the Awards Committee cited Starling's work as leader of NPR Labs' Tomorrow Radio team (which resulted in HD Radio multicast technology), which "single-handedly transformed HD Radio from an answer looking for a question to an important expanded service of true practical worth to FM stations seeking to super-serve their audiences with a greater diversity of programming through limited spectrum resources." The nomination also cites his work in preparing and presenting the Project ACORN Summit in 2002, which "encouraged station managers and engineers to look at the then available opportunities for signal expansion and better service, in part through the use of translators." It goes on to state "These two single things are now working together, through regulatory changes at the FCC, to allow stations to broadcast HD Radio secondary multi-cast programming through fill-in translators at much higher power than previously imagined."
Starling is a founder of the Association of Public Radio Engineers.
According to the nomination, "[Starling] is and always has been passionate about radio, a firm and steady advocate for the technology, for the medium, and for stations. His commitment to technical excellence, innovation, and service are outstanding. Whether it is his work with the NPR Labs promoting accessible radio products for the sight and hearing impaired, or furthering the knowledge and competence of public radio engineers through the initial establishment of APRE, [his] untiring work and unfailing commitment to helping us be the best we can be have changed the landscape of our industry for the better."
The award will be presented at the annual APRE Engineering Awards Dinner, to beheld April 13 at Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Snow Crab at Caesar's Forum Shops in Las Vegas.