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NPR Labs Grows Into Tech Research Center

Labs now under PRSS, expands scope

NPR Labs is part of a new technology research center now operating under the auspices of the NPR Public Radio Satellite System. The Labs is currently crunching numbers related to several studies recently conducted on HD Radio elevated power testing.

The new TRC, located at NPR’s Washington headquarters, will build upon the work of NPR Labs, which has conducted several studies — including multicasting and accessible features — for the advancement of broadcast radio technology since its inception in 2005.

With the move comes a broader scope for NPR Labs.

“NPR Labs has focused its efforts on NPR and NPR member stations. Now, the new Technology Research Center will be able to expand that effort to serve the entire Public Radio Satellite System,” according to Pete Loewenstein, vice president of NPR Distribution.

Like PRSS, the TRC also plans to market its consulting services to commercial customers. Revenues from those efforts will be used to support distribution of content to public radio stations.

Mike Starling, who serves as the vice president, chief technology officer and executive director of NPR Labs, will head the new TRC. The entire NPR Labs team of engineers and technologists will join the new group.

Starling said the new research center would enable his team to expand the type and number of projects and services it can offer and provide additional research and development bandwidth to the broadcasting industry.

NPR Labs will become a self-sustaining unit that will continue to provide system representation and technical expertise on regulatory and legislative issues important to the station and public radio system. It will also focus on grant-funded work and expand its scope to include fee-based consulting services to public radio stations, industry partners, and commercial clients.

The TRC will serve clients by offering fee-based consulting services, including projects that address advanced broadcast coverage, listener assessment and developmental broadcast technology.