At times I am asked to speak to different groups. At times I am a guest on other people’s radio stations. They usually ask me to write my own introduction. To save me time and effort, here it is. You can cut as you will.
Rich’ love affair with radio began as a kid when the Dodgers left Brooklyn. He rebuilt his grandfather’s Silvertone radio, strung a long wire from the roof of his parents’ New Jersey home and started searching the dial for National League baseball broadcasts. From “catches” of stations like KDKA, Pittsburgh; WGN, Chicago; KMOX, St. Louis; and KFI, Los Angeles he developed an excitement for radio. He starting hanging out at stations and got a summer job at WOR in New York. He choose St. Olaf college in Northfield Minnesota largely because it had a 5,000 watt AM radio station. (It was also a long way from New Jersey, which Rich thought was important at the time.) Rich was hooked on radio. He has been a broadcaster for more than 40 years.
Rich became a radio “utility infielder” working as an engineer, producer, DJ, news reporter, trainer, program director and manager. He was on the team that founded community radio stations KAXE in Northern Minnesota and Raven Radio in Sitka, Alaska and was one of the founders of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.
Rich got an MA from the University of Minnesota in “Broadcasting and National Development” in the 1970’s. When he got his degree one of his advisors asked him what this degree had to do with the work of building rural community radio stations.
It took a while for Rich to answer that one, but in the ‘90s he took a decade off to work for an American NGO, IREX, to develop independent media, especially radio stations, in Eastern Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Twenty years after he got his degree he found a practical use for it. Among the stations he worked with were B-92 in Belgrade, Serbia; the legendary station that helped overthrow Slobodan Milosevic, and Radio 21 in Prishtina, Kosovo.
Rich took some time out from international work to manage KUDO in Anchorage, a “Progressive Talk” station in the mid 00s. He currently runs the Serbian Media Assistance Program in Belgrade for IREX. His interests are, predictably, radio, foreign affairs and baseball. You can add to that photography, folk music and most importantly his family, wife Suzi, sons Brian and Kevin and daughters-in-law Liz and Shannon.
Updated, January, 2009