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Take a Peek Inside PRSS With its Director of Engineering

Julio Cardiel will overseee NPR Distribution tech efforts and recently told Radio magazine about his plans

NPR Distribution has tapped Julio Cardiel to lead the Public Radio Satellite System as director of engineering, effective Jan. 27. He replaces Mark Murphy, who retired in 2015.

As director of engineering for NPR Distribution, Cardiel will oversee many technology initiatives for the distribution network.

Cardiel most recently spent six years as the senior director of national video distribution operations for Comcast Corp. in its Denver office.�He also previously worked for 14 years as a senior manager of network operations at DirecTV.

Cardiel participated in the following Q&A, which offers some insights into NPR Distribution�s operations and his own leadership style. �

Radio:How will your job as director of engineering differ from your previous position as senior director of national video distribution operations for Comcast and your work at DirecTV?

Julio Cardiel:In many ways, my function will be very similar. My previous and current role is to provide uninterrupted quality of service as well as provide engineered solutions to meet the needs of the business. The PRSS is a 24/7/365 business so providing stability and continuity is a priority for anyone in this role. Our station and producer community must have the confidence that we are here to help or support them at any time, day or night.

Radio:What are you most excited about in your new position at NPR Distribution?

Cardiel:I�m always looking for continuous personal and professional development. I looking forward to the opportunity to work with the many talented people that have made the PRSS what it is today and to get to know the members of the station and producer community that I now serve.

I�m very interested in meeting new people and learning about their personal experiences and diverse perspectives. The engineering and technical staff of the PRSS have an impressively broad range of skills, expertise and knowledge, and I�m looking forward to learning from them as I settle into my role.

Radio:What challenges do you anticipate in the transition from corporate television to public radio?

Cardiel:There are no challenges, only opportunities. From my functional perspective, I�m not sure there�s really any difference between corporate and public. NPR is a very professional environment, no different than other corporate entity that I�ve been associated with.

The employees here at NPR Distribution are very passionate and proud of their association with the company and with the PRSS community. My emphasis is to focus on three key items: the customers (stations/producers), the PRSS staff and the overall business.

Radio:How has the industry/role of the broadcast engineer changed since you started?

Cardiel:There are many facets of change. New technology solutions are available every year. Depending on the organization, the scale and demands from customers, clients and consumers will dictate the need to provide innovative solutions.�

An example of this is the HUB @ NPRSS service that we launched last year. Our customers were facing serious challenges with aging and obsolete satellite uplink equipment. In response, we created the Hub to allow them to avoid all of these issues and essentially outsource their satellite uplink needs to us. The result for them is lower costs, increased flexibility, and a better product due to our state-of-the-art technology. It is a solution that is highly scalable, meets the needs of our customers, and leverages our human and technology assets.

An exciting part of this job is the opportunity to work with collaborative teams across disciplines that provide innovative solutions that add value to the business and the customers. Helping to develop and improve initiatives such as the Hub fits in with this very well.

Radio:How do you plan to maintain the current culture at NPR Distribution?

Cardiel:Culture is a key component in the organization, and it encompasses mission, vision, values, and ethics. It will be important to maintain and preserve these components. I believe that culture is best accomplished by engaged leadership, communication, execution and most important, developing trustful relationships. It is my intent to leverage all of these with my staff and colleagues as we work on behalf of public radio.

Radio:Are there any technology initiatives in particular on your radar for 2016, or do you have any other goals for the division?

Cardiel:We will be working on the next generation distribution platform that will provide alternate delivery solutions to customer/clients/affiliates. We will also be working toward improving our distribution channels with initiatives such as the recent removal of the 6 decibel audio boost. Continued development of the HUB @ NPRSS will also be a major priority.

Radio:Anything else that you think Radio readers would be interested to know?

Cardiel:Every organization I�ve been affiliated with has unique learning opportunities. The most important thing that I�ve learned is to develop and maintain trustful relationships.���