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You Have a Face For Radio! The Faces Behind Your Favorite National Public Radio (NPR) Personalities

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | April 13, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | April 13, 2011 |

As a white, liberal thirty-something stereotype, I obviously listen to a lot of National Public Radio (and American Public Media). Besides the Internet, it’s where I get most of my news. It’s also the best way to educate yourself for daily games of @QRANK. I spend a lot of time with these people, and over the years, I’ve developed certain relationships (Note: I am not about to ask you to donate). For instance, I don’t give a damn about business and finance news, but Kai Rysdall is my favorite public radio personality. If I spend any time in the car over the weekend, I look forward to listening to “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,” and for reasons that escape me, I usually end up listening to “Car Talk,” too, even though I have no interest at all. If Terry Gross is not interviewing a jazz musician or a novelist writing a romance about the migrating habits of insects, I often seek that show out. I also hate Garisson Keillor with the fire of a thousand suns, and yet somehow, his voice ends up booming into the background of my life at least once a weekend.

Yet, despite all the time I spend with these people, I’ve never seen pictures of most of them. Most people know what “This American Life’s” Ira Glass looks like, and if you watch any or the Sunday morning news shows, you’re probably familiar with Michele Norris. Otherwise, like many of you, I only have images in my head of them.

Today, I’m going to shatter those images. But don’t worry — the shock will pass, and in a couple of days or weeks, you will forget what they look like again, and the image you previously had in your mind will return. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked up Terry Gross, and I’m surprised every single time by what she looks like. Yet, no matter how many times I see photos of her, when I’m listening to her, I still imagine that she looks like Lisa Kudrow. Moreover, many of you might be surprised to learn that Diane Rehm doesn’t look like a 95-year-old chain smoker. In fact, the only person on this list besides Ira Glass that actually looks like I imagine he looks is Peter Sagal, only the guy I have in my mind has much softer features.

All Things Considered

Robert Siegel


Michele Norris


Melissa Block


Morning Edition

Steve Inskeep and Renée Montagne


Weekend Edition Saturday

Scott Simon


Weekend Edition Sunday

Liane Hansen


Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me

Peter Sagal


Carl Kasell


The Diane Rehm Show

Diane Rehm


Fresh Air

Terry Gross


Car Talk

Tom Magliozzi and Ray Magliozzi


This American Life

Ira Glass


Marketplace from American Public Media

Kai Ryssdal


Prairie Home Companion

Garrison Keillor


Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.