TUCSON, AZ—Hearing Health & Technology Matters (HHTM) has named Wayne Staab, PhD, a founding partner of the popular blog, as Editor-in-Chief effective today (June 1), succeeding David H. Kirkwood. Kirkwood, who was also a founding partner of HHTM, has retired after 42 years as an editor, including 25 years covering hearing health care. He will publish a final post on this blog later this week.
Staab, who will remain as editor of the Wayne’s World section of HHTM, has earned international renown in audiology as an educator, researcher, developer of hearing technology, editor, author, and professional leader.
HHTM has also named Brian Taylor, AuD, a frequent guest contributor, to take over from Kirkwood as editor of the Hearing News Watch section of the blog. Taylor, who recent joined Turtle Beach/Hypersound as senior director for clinical affairs, has held positions with several hearing aid manufacturers, practiced as a clinical audiologist, authored four books for dispensing audiologists, and is editor of Audiology Practices, the quarterly publication of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology.
A BRIGHT FUTURE AT HHTM
Launched in April 2011 with no readers and a minimal budget, HHTM quickly established itself as essential reading for anyone who shares the belief that “hearing health matters.” To date, the blog’s panel of editors and its dozens of guest contributors have published more than 2500 original posts providing information and insights to be found nowhere else. The weekly publication has drawn nearly 1.5 million page views from people in more than 200 countries, and the readership continues to grow rapidly.
Holly Hosford-Dunn, PhD, Chief Financial Officer of HHTM and its first Editor-in-Chief, praised Kirkwood for his “outstanding work in establishing HHTM as an influential and respected publication.” She expressed confidence that the blog’s remarkable success would continue under Staab’s editorial leadership.
Staab has played a crucial role in building HHTM into a thriving enterprise, both as a founding editor and as advertising manager. Hosford-Dunn said, “Without question, this pioneering project would not have succeeded without Wayne’s extraordinary contributions.”
Staab’s record of achievement dates back to the 1970s, when he was one of the first PhD audiologists to take a position in the hearing aid industry. At Telex, he helped develop the first wireless CROS hearing aid, and at Audiotone he helped introduce the first truly digital wearable hearing aid.
After founding Dr. Wayne J. Staab and Associates, an independent consulting firm, Staab played a leading role in developing the first deep-canal fittings, the forerunner of the CIC instrument, for Philips. As a consultant to Songbird Medical, he helped create the first disposable ITE hearing aid, and his work at Sebotek was fundamental to the emergence of today’s market-leading receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) instruments.
Staab’s contributions as an audiologist extend far beyond hearing aids. After being president of the American Auditory Society (AAS) in 1987, he became its executive director and for more than 20 years successfully guided the highly respected multidisciplinary association. In 2010, he received the first Wayne J. Staab Award, given annually for extraordinary service to AAS.
His career has included teaching at several universities, clinical practice, lecturing around the world, and publishing more than 100 print articles, 13 book chapters and 6 books, including Hearing Aids: A User’s Guide, Basic Masking: An explanation and procedure , and A Study Guide to Hearing and Hearing Aids. The incoming Editor-in-Chief of HHTM has written more than 200 weekly posts on a wide variety of topics on Wayne’s World.
Staab said that following Kirkwood would be a difficult task. But, he said, “I look forward to the challenge, and knowing that HHTM has an outstanding coterie of writers/contributors makes for stimulating future possibilities. David and Holly, our two previous Editor-in-Chiefs, established a strong foundation for HHTM. I look forward to expanding the topics we cover and the contributors to this site. And, if we are not already there, we will re-double our efforts to make HHTM the world’s most read and most influential Internet site on hearing.
Staab continued, “Having Brian Taylor join us as Editor of Hearing News Watch provides us with an exciting new perspective. Brian will be reporting on and analyzing news items through the eyes of someone who at a young age has already had a plethora of different experiences in the hearing field.”
The new Editor-in-Chief concluded, “We have already exceeded our original expectations for HHTM. But being the perfectionists that we are, we advise readers to expect even more in the future. So, stay tuned, and make sure you have signed up for the latest weekly edition.”
AN EXCITING OPPORTUNITY, SAYS TAYLOR
Brian Taylor, the new editor of HHTM’s Hearing News Watch section, said, “Today, more than ever, the ground that the hearing industry stands on is shifting beneath our feet. That means new challenges and changes for audiology and hearing instrument dispensing as they grow into increasingly dynamic, patient-centric professions that are inextricably linked with healthy aging, cognitive science, and consumer electronics.”
TayIor added, “I am excited and humbled by this exciting opportunity to be part of the HHTM team that is bringing the critical issues of the day to the forefront.”
KIRKWOOD: NO MORE DEADLINES
In advising his blog colleagues of his decision to retire, Kirkwood said, “After producing more than 1200 issues of various weekly and monthly publications during 42 years as an editor, I look forward to putting deadlines behind me and devoting more time to enjoying life in New York and traveling the world with my wife, Annie.”
Kirkwood added, “I reached this decision with some reluctance because my work at HHTM has been one of the highlights of my career. I have found it enormously rewarding to help start an entirely different type of publication and see it reach such a large and responsive audience. Better yet, after being an employee for all my previous career, it has been a joy to be an owner and to work alongside such talented partners and colleagues.”
He concluded, “The crowning satisfaction for me is that I can step away from HHTM knowing that it is in good hands and will continue to grow and improve in the years ahead. I look forward to watching that happen and cheering HHTM on from the sidelines.”