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Public Radio Regionals Honor Starling

Award given to those whose work advances public radio

The Public Radio Regional Organizations honored Mike Starling at the Public Radio Super-Regional meeting in Las Vegas last month.

The November convention was a joint show for four regional groups: Eastern Region Public Media, Public Radio in Mid America, Western States Public Radio and California Public Radio.

The former executive director of NPR Labs was this year’s recipient of the PRRO award, given to those whose work advances public radio.

Starling, who was also named Radio World’s Engineer of the Year in 2005, retired from NPR earlier this year following a 44-year career in radio, 33 of those years were spent in public radio. He’s now the general manager of WHCP(LP), Cambridge, Md., which aims to launch on-air this July.

Starling shared his Nov. 19 PRRO award acceptance comments with RW. After he heard he had won the award, he said: “I kept waking up hearing Carl Kassel’s voice reading me a poem. It went something like this …”

There once was a radio named public,
Whose goal was to lift up the republic,
At the left of the band,
She concocted a plan,
Combining news and music melodic

Just six years ago, she mired in deep woe,
Learning in five her towers would go,
Such dreadful sorrow —
A radio sans a tomorrow,
But the faithful knew it would not be so

Please tell them she cried,
From a loudspeaker inside,
“I’ve no certain death,”
So tell Paul — and tell Seth,
This Radio is local, this radio is relevant,
It’s a network of stations most elegant

Speaking only for me,
I tell you with glee,
I’ve been pleased to have served
And DOUG in the DEL,
But FRANKly I MOHN there’s two never known,
Twin pillars of greatness born, and here to come

Now I start a new plan,
With a slice of the band,
Through the aether with glee,
I’m saluting you, you see

For nothing inspires,
Like the stations I admire,
Your challenges rebound,
Yet you stay around,
With passion,
For service,
Through sound

I bid you adieu,
But never farewell,
Down the log I’ll see you,
Dressed in loudest decibels