Rarey Now Leads NPR Labs

National Public Radio NPR Rich Rarey
Rich Rarey

NPR has promoted two of its technical employees. Rich Rarey is the new director of NPR Labs, succeeding Mike Starling, who recently retired and Mark Murphy is the new director of engineering for NPR Distribution.

NPR is thinking about the Labs’ mission; NPR Labs’ “re-imagined” efforts, Rarey says, encompass development and testing a variety of products and services for customers. The key areas that NPR Labs are targeting are development and evaluation of program service data, audio standards, program accessibility, and technology broadcast issues facing radio stations and networks, producers, public and private companies and consultants.

Previously, Rarey was manager of strategic technology applications for the labs.

He tells Radio World he’s working on completing the Department of Homeland Security Alerting for the deaf and hard-of-hearing project. This involves development of a specialized FM RBDS receiver to be used in an emergency alerting pilot for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the Gulf Coast region. The Consumer Electronics Association selected the receiver as a 2014 CES Innovations Awards honoree, we’ve reported.  

The current work — funded by funded by DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate — involves working with FEMA to test broadcast emergency texts with up to 500 volunteers through 26 public radio stations in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

National Public Radio NPR Mark Murphy
Mark Murphy

Rarey started at NPR in 1980 as the engineer in the Chicago Bureau. He was master control supervisor when he came to the labs in 2008. He is a long-time occasional contributor to Radio World.

Public Radio Satellite System’s Mark Murphy has been promoted to director of engineering for NPR Distribution, a new position. Previously, he was deputy director of engineering.

Since joining NPR in 1981, Murphy has held a variety of technical roles including satellite repair depot supervisor and senior project engineer. Most recently, he has been the engineering lead for the multiyear PRSS “Forward” project. In that role, he’s been responsible for the installation of new satellite dishes and other ground equipment at more than 80 public radio stations nationwide. 

In his new position, Murphy will oversee the satellite and terrestrial technologies that the PRSS uses to distribute broadcast content as well as a team of engineers.


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