The previous thread "Most annoying NPR voice" reached 600 in May 2013. When it began in May 2010, Eleanor Beardsley got the most slams. Then Zoe Chace was hired by Planet Money. There were some really funny posts about the queen of vocal fry.
Eleanor Beardsley sounds like she really doesn't want to be doing the story, thinks it's boring, and is only doing it because it was assigned and she wants to get paid. She never seems to go beyond the basic story and never asks probing questions.
Steve Chiotakis is a news anchor on our local npr station (KCRW in LA) during All things considered, and I can't stand him and his "humor".
Ari Shapiro's voice is like nails on a chalkboard. He also seems 1 second away from launching into a campy cabaret act.
I can, um, no longer stand, um, Terry, um, Gross because of, um, the way she, conducts her sycophantic, um, interviews.
The answer is still...
Ofebia Quist-Arcton, DAKAR!
For me, Eleanor Beardsley and Chana Joffe-Walt still lead the pack, right behind the horrific Zoe Chace.
I just got "Beardsley'd" this morning with some terribly delivered news story for "Pahris". She sounds like she's so freakin' bored to be stationed there.
Sylvia Poggioli sounds like she's pissed whenever a story deadline interrupts her neverending Roman holiday.
Ari Shapiro from This American Urban Upper Middle Class Life.
Oh R5, really? Ofebia Quist-Arcton?
her voice is so lyrical. She always sounds engaged in the report or the two-way she does with a US-based host.
I love Ofebia.
Another Ofebia fan.
It was a joke reference to the previous thread. I just love writing/saying/conjuring her name. I think her voice is nice.
When NPR cancelled "Talk of the Nation," our NPR station replaced it with a different program each day. One of them is "On Being" with Krista Tippett, one of the dullest, most boring interviewers in the nation. As her guest speaks, her reaction to everything they say includes: "Mmmm," "ahhhh," (sigh), "Nnnnn" and "Hmmmmm." She never sounds interested in the topic. It's as if she was handed a list of questions and never thinks of a follow-up question for any reply from a guest. She sounds as if she's just half awake following a long nap.
On "Talk of the Nation," Neal Conan was always on top of the news, was clearly interested in many topics, and knew all the right questions AND follow-ups for all the guests.
R5, good to read... I don't know the reference from the other thread.
Another voice and I miss right now is David Greene. Why did NPR give the Morning Edition host seat back to Steve Inskeep? Inskeep's awful. He thinks he's funny, but just sounds childish. I've seen Steve speak once - the man loves himself.
I also L O A T H E with a passion, Kai Rysdal - oh God, fire him! He sounds bored, hurried, and cynical about everything.
Ari Shapiro usually has interesting news to deliver so I don't really notice his voice.
R7 - ROFL! So true - Sylvia always sounds like we're holding her up for some party she has to get to.
It totally is like her job is ruining her long extended vacation in Italy.
If any says Diane Rehm, I will track you down and beat you to a pulp!!
[quote]If any says Diane Rehm, I will track you down and beat you to a pulp!!
Says WHAT about Diane Rehm?
The thread is for both the "good" and the bad.
Diane Rehm has an illness that causes serious voice problems, but she sure as hell knows how to conduct an interview and won't let anyone get away with deliberate obfuscation. She'll come out with, "You still have not answered the question. Here it is again..." She's beyond fabulous!!!!!
Even though it's American Public Media (APM), "Marketplace's" Kai Ryssdal has classic "big dick voice." Every time I hear him speak I get horny, I just can't help it.
R oh my god I am so sorry!!!! I misread I adore her too!!!
She is the best. I listen to her every day and look forward to Fridays round up. She is the best thing in journalism EVER!
I meant I would kill anyone who said something about her!
[quote]I meant I would kill anyone who said something about her!
I said something about her. I said she's beyond fabulous.
 all right already, I would kill anyone who said anything bad about her.
You however, I would kill just for fun because you are a cunt.
Not NPR but Amy Goodman's vocal fry is awful. I love the content of her shows, and the topics she chooses but it's hard to listen to.
I'm not sure what I think of "Tell Me More's" Michel Martin. Sometimes she sounds cool, but sometimes she sounds annoying. Depends on the night.
I think Steve Chiotakis has a great voice. Smooth and sexy. Besides he's a cute bear cubbish guy...
[quote]Another voice and I miss right now is David Greene. Why did NPR give the Morning Edition host seat back to Steve Inskeep?
David Greene and Steve Inskeep were co-hosts this morning. Greene does an excellent job for sit-down interviews, but he can't deal with breaking news. He stutters and stammers more than Terry Gross.
R14 Is there such a thing as SMALL Dick Face?
I like how Tom Ashbrook says "Fank You".
I can't stand Windsor Johnston's voice. She sounds like a total cunt.
R31 Anyone with such a pretentious name would sort of have to be, no?
Scott Simon's fake guffaw makes me so embarrassed for him. His voice is fine but his theatrics make me cringe and turn the channel.
The over-the-top gravitas and somber tones ("Can you share with our listeners how you processed the death of your hydrangeas?") and the artificial giggles and huge burst of 3-second laughter over some vaguely humorous remark just ruins it for me.
His flared nostril dramatics and awful folksy schtick drive me nuts.
Steve Roberts who sometimes sits in for Diane Rehm has a great voice for radio.
Could not have put it better myself, R33. He is the worst.
[quote]Not NPR but Amy Goodman's vocal fry is awful. I love the content of her shows, and the topics she chooses but it's hard to listen to.
A few years ago her face was droopy from Bell's palsy. She soldiered on, but it was really hard to understand her.
Diane Rehm just returned from having some treatment on her medical problem. It really worked well because there's a vast improvement in her voice.
Didn't know about Amy Goodman's medical condition. I hope she's fully recovered. Still I wish she'd get a vocal coach to keep her out of the creaky register. She's capable of sounding quite professional and her material is good so I don't know why she does the vocal fry.
Teri Gross always sound so nervous and high strung. She gives me stress just listening to her. She needs to take a chill pill.
Love Ofeibea! Reporting from DAKAR! Love how when they introduce her she says GREETINGS! She's FEIBULOUS! I bet before cell phones she dialed with a pencil. They gave her an assignment once where they put her on a barge going up the Congo, stopping and picking up goats and stuff. Somehow I don't think she was too happy about that. Still, every time she reported in it was GREETINGS!
Robin Young of "Here and Now" can put you to sleep. She can have a fascinating guest but she's so dull and boring that you just tune out. Jeremy Hobson is the "Here and Now" co-host. He's okay, nothing great.
I miss "Talk of the Nation."
I hated Krista Tippet's book on religion, that she narrated herself. On the other hand, I loved Diane Rehm's memoir.
I turn to another station when Krista uh um ooo Tippet comes on.
I cannot stand listening to Windsor Johnston read the news. Should be Windsssssssor Johnsssssston. Here "s"'s are too sharp. She is close to sounding like one of those old Texas rednecks who whistles the letter S.
[Ari Shapiro from This American Urban Upper Middle Class Life.]
I'm guessing you meant Ira Glass, r8, who hosts and produces This American Life. (PRI Chicago, not NPR, whatever).
And yes, while the show itself can be kind of self-satisfied in a get-yourself-a four-dollar cup of coffee way, Ira Glass was an early gay-voice crush of mine.
I still can't quite accept him as married with child(ren)
[quote]Robin Young of "Here and Now" can put you to sleep.
Sacha Pfeiffer sat in for Robin Young today. What a difference!!! She sounds as if she has a real interest in the discussions, unlike R. Young.
Kai Ryssdal sounds like the world's slickest douchebag. UGH!
Although I like her interviews, I agree with [r39] about Terri Gross' vocal style... I kinda feel like Robin Young is a "Terri Gross" in training.
It's been mentioned before, but it's not just Terry Gross's hemming and hawing, but the stupid nervous machine-gun laugh that makes her so irritating.
His delivery is so fucking stilted, annoying, and affected. I HATE him. He's like, "listen to me, i'm super cool, but know about money, too. hey, let's have some rocker dude come on and talk about money -- not music. cuz i'm super cool like that. well rounded."
Ari Shapiro has departed the White House beat and will be reporting from London. He has a bit of whine in his voice but his content is always so good that you begin to forget the voice. Kai Ryssdal sounds like a slick used car salesman. Zoe Chace's voice causes a fast reach for the mute button.
After more than 30 years of his nasal drone, Frank Tavares retired as NPR's underwriter announcer. Good!
His replacement, Sabrina Farhi, sounds like some high school girl giving a speech at graduation ceremonies. Let's hope that she doesn't have a long-term contract.
Frank Tavares reads lines from Mommy Dearest, Casablanca, Guns n' Roses:
r52 she couldn't sound worse than Lorraine Mattox at WNYC in New York.
Why would anyone want that guy (Carl Castle?) to put his voice on your answering device.
R54, I agree, Lorraine is the worst! I'm a copywriter and often have to write those spots that she reads - I sit at my desk and have to imagine her droning her way through my copy.
[quote]Why would anyone want that guy (Carl Castle?) to put his voice on your answering device.
If I heard his voice on someone's answering machine, I would never be impressed by that voice and probably wouldn't even know I was listening to some radio guy delivering the message.
Lise Doucet used to be on NPR, but migrated to the BBC. Awful.
Terry Gross uses more uptalk? Than ever? Which undermines her authority? As an interviewer?
Zoe Chace sounds like a 14 year-old who is, like, so pissed that her mom won't let her text during dinner.
Maureen Corrigan sounds as if she's reading to pre-school children. When she's not doing book reviews on Terry Gross' Fresh Air, she's a lecturer at Georgetown University. One semester of listening to her would make you quit college.
The funniest uptalk is "I'm Melissa Block?" It sounds like she's not sure if she really is Melissa Block.
You mean you didn't enjoy Carl Kasell's announcing at the KenCen Honors?
"Ladies and gentlemen -- SNOOP DOGG!"
Arun Rath is the new host for the weekend version of "All Things Considered" broadcasting from NPR West. He has a great voice for radio - smooth and soothing. His interviews are excellent. No stutters like Terry Gross and David Greene.
Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR's "Ask Me Another," is really annoying. She acts as if she doesn't need the answers to be printed on her question cards because she's the most intelligent person in the universe and knows all the answers.
Whenever a contestant gets an answer correct, Ophira replies with "Ig-zack-lee."
New Yorkers have received a New Year's present. Lorraine Mattox, WNYC's robotic voice
[quote]Lise Doucet used to be on NPR, but migrated to the BBC. Awful.
Disagree! She's from northern New Brunswick, and her super-strong Canadian accent is fascinating. She sounds almost Irish.
Plus her work as a journalist covering the Middle East and Central Asia is stellar.
Is Diane Rehm the lady that has, like, Parkinson's of the voice?
She is indeed a damn good interviewer.
Yes, Diane Rehm has a vocal problem. After periodic treatment, it gets better for awhile. She's an outstanding interviewer. It's one of the few places you'll hear, "But Senator, you said a lot, however you still haven't answered the question." Then she'll repeat the question.
Annie Bergen (WQXR New York) has hissing s's.
Zoe Chace and Chana Joffe-Walt are the absolute worst.
Eleanor Beardsley sounds like Bart Simpson with a cold.
Kai Ryssdal makes me want to kick myself in my non-existent nuts.
They don't put ugly faces on magazine covers, why do they allow ugly voices and ugly affects on the radio?
I STILL MISS BOB EDWARDS on Morning Edward. Steve Inskeep is too damn chipper -- okay, I will say it : Steve Inskeep is too perky for first thing in the morning. I do like David Greene (and he gets points for being a Steelers fan).
I wish I could sound like Wade Goodwin, NPR's Dallas correspondent.
Is David Malbus still with NPR.? He did a lot of great reporting from the South and has a great voice
I miss Guy Raz on Weekend All Things Considered. Arun is okay, but no Guy
Liane Hanson's departure from Weekend Edition Sunday made me smile
Whatever happened to Alex Chadwick, another great voice? I am glad to hear Daniel Zwertling's voice now and again.
I always liked the voice of Salt Lake City correspondent Howard Berkus.
[quote]Sacha Pfeiffer sat in for Robin Young today. What a difference!!! She sounds as if she has a real interest in the discussions, unlike R. Young.
Megan Chakrabarti is filling in for Young on Here and Now this week. She's right up there with Sacha Pfeiffer in keeping things moving and interesting. Robin Young is one big yawn.
Fred Child has a nice mellow voice for relating stories about classical composers on "Performance Today."
Terry Gross like says "like" too much...she sounds like a like teenager.
Today, Diane Rehm was like an umpire trying to stop a fight at a baseball game. Her guests were all doctors on different sides in the debate over annual mammogram screenings. The insults were flying all over the place.
Next Wednesday, on the Diane Rehm Show we'll be able to hear Diane's voice prior to her vocal illness. They are going to rebroadcast a 1988 interview she conducted with Shirley Temple.
WINDSOR JOHNSTON has far and away the worst, most self-satisfied voice anywhere. Even beats
S. Stamberg (sp.) and T. Gross. I have to turn off the radio when I hear Ms. Johnston. Seriously, what is Bob Edwards thinking ??
Windsor pronounces her name "Johnstin" and says she's reporting from "Washingtin."
Now that Ari Shapiro is a London correspondent for NPR, which queen takes precedence?
I listen to NPR and BBC news. Now that Ari Shapiro is in London, his reports are much more interesting and harder hitting than BBC people. He doesn't have a great voice but he really knows how to dig up fascinating news.
Diane Rehm is off for the next two weeks to get treatments for her voice.
Yes, Katty Kay is filling in for Diane Rehm tonight and she said she was "off getting treatment for her voice." Which sounded...I don't know...katty.
That's what Diane calls it - "I'll be off getting treatment for my voice." It's how she explained it on Wednesday.
Whatever happened to Daniel Zwertling? I like his delivery a lot.
Giles Snyder also has a great voice. I remember when he was the voice of West Virginia Public Radio.
I miss Corey Flintock (sorry about the spelling) delivering the news on the half hour. I wish he would return from Moscow.
I have always liked Don Gonyea (or however he spells his name) formerly of Detroit, now White House correspondent.
Tom Ashbrook can be a little to breathless, but I wish my local NPR station would carry On Point again
I hate the way Ashbrook says "Hi, I'm Tom Ashbrook and this is On Point?" Like it's a question. Dumbass.
Guy Raz has interesting guests and interviews on NPR's TED Radio Hour, but he goes into a vocal fry voice half the time. Trying to sound butch? When he gets deep into an interview, he forgets to do the vocal fry and talks in a normal voice.
I usually hit the mute when Eleanor Beardsley gives a report from France -- usually an awful pre-recorded reading of her news report.
Today, she's giving live reports from Kiev that have you almost sitting on the edge of your chair. What a difference! Her description of the audience at the opera house joining in a patriotic song (like the audience joining in Edelweiss in Sound of Music) was fantastic. A Broadway/movie moment suddenly happening in real life. She had taped the moment and it was chilling to hear the soaring voices of a thousand people with a symphony orchestra.
Eleanor Beardsley still doing live reports. Amazing difference from her awful reading on taped reports.
On "This American Life" with Ira Glass, is everyone told to sound dull and boring, no matter how exciting the topic may be?
Diane Rehm is due back tomorrow following several weeks of voice treatments.
Boy George will be a guest on Morning Edition tomorrow morning. He's telling how he was picked on in school.
Can anyone tell me who it is who had a combo of vocal fry, a lisp, and Lisa Simpson voice in a lower octave?
Her vocal tone was always smug/ironic and her attitude was casual but an annoying sort of poseur-hip-eccentric-nerd? She sounded about 14 but you knew she was twice that age.
She was a commentator and/ or regular guest on NPR (maybe weekend programming?) Sometimes she read her own essays, sometimes she was commenting on stories. Damn, I started reading this thread and her annoying voice came to mind - and then I got that annoying "WHAT was her name?!?!!" syndrome spinning around my head ad nauseum. Help make it go away! It's worse than Stuck Song Syndrome.
r90: Zoe Chace maybe? She's on Planet Money. She makes me want to tear my hair out.
Every once in awhile Zoe Chace has a report on NPR's Morning Edition or one of the weekend news programs. It's not just the vocal fry in her voice that's bad, but a really bizarro accent. You barely notice the topic she's discussing because her strange vocal gymnastics are so upfront. You wonder what kind of audition tape she submitted to get hired.
Zoe Chace and (I think) Chana Joffe Walt (both on Planet Money) are both Oberlin graduates as is Adam Davidson, who started and produces Planet Money. There are a few others from Oberlin on the NPR news staff as well. I'm guessing her Oberlin connections didn't hurt??
If you type Zoe Chace into Google, you get hits on voice and vocal fry, so people all over obviously can't stand her. Someone on PM's FB page wrote "I'd be willing to double my contributions if you'd promise to hire a voice coach for Zoe Chace."
R 90 here.
R 95 For the WIN. Sarah Vowell is the one.
I owe you a bottle of good (Ina Garten approved) champagne.
R 91 Sarah Vowell makes Zoe Chace sound relatively normal.
Here's Sarah on This Americam Life, episode 329 'Nice Work If You Can Get It.'
Chace did a report on the "inurnet" this morning.
R97, when typing a reply where you want to add a link, note the box that is located directly under the "Message" box.
David Greene had a great interview with Bette Midler last week but I was surprised to see his photo with her on the NPR FB page. He sounds sexy but he's obviously in need of a diet. His shirt buttons are ready to pop.
If two people of equal qualifications apply for a NPR journalist job and one is named John Davis and the other is Gordroshuba Shnorhugilya, which one will get the job?
r101, LoQueesha Sifillis Jones will get the job. NPR's policy is to meet EEO quotas.
Is Eleanor Beardsley from the planet Remulac? What a fucking awful voice!
When they switch over to BBC World Service and that annoying cunt Lucy Kelleway comes on. She thinks she's so witty, and she's not. She's trying too hard.
I agree. Lucy Kellaway is insufferable.
[quote]Is Eleanor Beardsley from the planet Remulac? What a fucking awful voice!
It's almost as if there are two Eleanor Beardsleys. There's the awful EB who reads a typed script in monotone and signs off as if she's glad to be done with it. Then there's the EB who gives a live report, answering questions from a host in DC and sounds interesting and upbeat.
Sara Vowell - NPR's weirdest most annoying voice ever.
Sarah Vowell seems like she's made a careful study of David Sedaris pacing, pitch and delivery, ergo, Ira Glass loves her and she was hired. IMO still no match for the chalk on a blackboard loathesomeness that is the voice of Zoe Chace.
From what I heave heard on the air there are two requirements to get a job at NPR:
a speech impediment and/or a fucked up name.
Nedda Oolaby. Sniktoprakosh. Peter Overbee.
Who cares if the names are spelled wrong?
Like it matters?
Have an exotic name. Lisp. Stutter. Be difficult to listen to. Hired!
Peter Overby sounds like Daffy Duck!
So glad Ari Shapiro is a rare threat now that he's been banished to London.
David Greene - clear smooth voice
Kai Ryssdal - makes business report interesting also like him on CNN
All-time favorite - Cathy Wurzer Minnesota Public Radio -Morning Report
host - She is real - diplomatic and pleasant but can tell by her voice she is wondering what is up.
I use to really like Scott Simon on Saturdays Morning Report but agree with earlier post he is really full of himself and don't like the false laughs
She seems a nice lady but Good God, NPR has to fire Diane Reehm. She sounds like a stroke victim.
Diane Rehm's voice problems can be overlooked since she rakes every Rethug over the coals when they attempt to lie or stretch the truth.
Come to L.A. Diane Rehm is not on the air here.
R115 If you WANT to listen to Diane in SoCal, she's on KVCR in San Bernardino. And I get her on SiriusXM.
She's not on KCRW or KPCC.
Ira Glass and Brian Lehrer's voices are unbearably pretentious.
Melissa Block and Windsor Johnston are people pleasers with obnoxious voices. (Especially Block)
I've stopped listening to NPR and listen only to BBC on XM. You don't realize how incomplete NPR news is until you look elsewhere. BBC is so informative without all this personality crap. And they don't go on telling the listener who the reporter is or what station they're from.
[quote]Ira Glass and Brian Lehrer's voices are unbearably pretentious.
Windsir Johnstin reports from Washingtin.
Anybody bedides me here think that Matt Laslo is as a voice as flat as a pancake.
Zoe Chace is all over NPR news today with reports on Alibaba. I keep hitting the mute button when the news comes on. She has the worst voice on NPR.
Schcott Schimon is a given, for all the reasons previous posters have given.
Ira Flatow sounds like a less competent Kermit the Frog.
Does anyone else love learning about word origins but is also disappointed in Way with Words? The way they cut and paste old questions into new shows or vice versa is pretty egregious. Even if the show format any good, which it isn't at all, Martha's too goofy and Grant is too smug. Wanted to like this show but I just hate it.
I love Diane Rheem.
I'm worried about Ofeibea Quist-Arcton in West Africa. I hope she doesn't get the Ebola!
I agree R125. It would be better if she just remained in Dakar and got her info by phone during this epidemic. The problem is that transportation facilities are so lacking in West African nations that you get stuck in situations where you're in very crowded situations on ferry boats and air terminals.
The same goes for NPR reporters in Europe who keep going to the front lines in Ukraine. I'm not a fan of the way Eleanor Beardsley reads her reports, but she was in Ukraine the other day when rockets began to explode all around the NPR crew. They were wearing flak jackets and helmets but we really don't need reporters to be there.
Jason Beaubien, NPR's Global Health Correspondent on the Science Desk is another person who should be recalled from West Africa during the Ebola epidemic.
I'm also tired of hearing public radio personalities say "Wait for it... WAAAIT for it..." I swear, I hear it once a day.
Similarly, I think it was Kai Ryssdal who a few weeks ago told someone talking about vegetable production that he couldn't stand kale and so it should be referred to as "the K-word", and he continued to refer to it as "the k word" throughout the segment. The other person slipped and called it kale, and they made a fucking to do about it. It was so distracting I missed the point of the story.
I generally like the show, but it's unbearable when they try too hard.
Peter Overbee sounds like Linus from the Charlie Brown specials, but grown up.
I like the no-nonsense reporting by Sylvia Poggioli from Italy. She doesn't switch back and forth between Italian pronunciation and U.S. English.
Eleanor Beardsley's wandering into French and Lourdes Garcia-Navarro doing the same with Spanish is annoying.
I always love the longest running one-woman show on radio--Nina Totenburg reading the transcripts from the latest Supreme Court hearings. I imagine Nina sitting at the mike in a judicial robe, putting on and pulling off wigs and fake mustaches with each different voice. Never fails to make me laugh.
Nina Totenburg's reports on the Supremes makes it easy to understand what they're doing and she provides good info on what is to be expected from them. She took a lot of kidding on the fact that the day that Clarence Thomas actually said something in public, she wasn't there and missed the historic moment his voice was heard.
Our NPR station switches to BBC news from midnight to 5 a.m. There are times when I have no idea what some of the U.K. presenters are saying.
John Diliberto is the host of "Echoes" featuring a soundscape of ambient, space, electronica, and new-age music. He's the dullest host in all of radio but it matches the dull, boring music.
Cant stand listening to Dr. Zorba or Click and Clack.
I'm listening to...The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, right now! The best theme tune ever?
Someone up thread astutely suggested that Sarah Vowell had studied David Sedaris for pacing, etc in her own speech. That said, I can listen to a Sedaris and enjoy the mix of his offbeat humor and unique vocal tones but Vowell just sounds relentlessly smug and self-satisfied.
A few days ago All Things Consodered ran a story by some reporter who sounded like Daffy Duck. There's no reason whatsoever he should've been hired by NPR with such an obvious speech impediment.
Claudio Sanchez has done a few reports about New Orleans and each time he pronounces it New Or-lee-ins. Drive me mad.
[quote]Cant stand listening to Dr. Zorba
He sounds like a half-drunk queen trying to attract attention at a sleazy gay bar.
Guy Raz on TED Radio Hour always has good guests but his vocal fry overpowers the converations. He growls the questions you would like to ask, but the growling and grinding is awful.
Is Diane Rehm back from her vocal surgery? Does she sound any better?
David Greene has a nice mellow voice on "Morning Edition." What happened to ME's Renee Montagne? She has been co-host since 2004 but disappeared several months ago.
Another vote for Zoe Chace, who sounds like she was raised in some Midwestern hellhole of vocal fry. Horrible.
Marco Werman on PRI's The World and Arun Rath NPR's host of All Things Considered on the weekend sound alike. Both have smooth, mellow voices and are totally on top of the guest's background and latest projects during interviews.
What's the big secret in Brazil?
The NPR guy who used to report from Brazil always sounded as if he was whispering secret info that he didn't want people in the next room to hear. Now Lourdes Garcia-Navarro has changed her delivery. She used to speak in a normal voice giving the news. Now she switched into the hush-hush secret mode from Brazil.
Diane Rehm owns this topic. I'm sorry she has a medical problem, but she shouldn't be on the air. I'm sorry if I pilot goes blind, but he shouldn't be flying either.
If the pilot is blind, he can't fly, R147. If her voice has problems, she still asks her guests all the questions that others are afraid to ask. When guests avoid answering, she calls them on it and asks again. There is nobody who can even begin to compare with her interviewing skills.
R148 - you're delusional - other good journalists on NPR ask followup questions of political interviewee when they don't answer the question, even most of the MSM media doesn't. Waiting interminiably for her to laboriously croak out each of her questions is torture for me. Good of you if you enjoy her show, but she easily wins the prize for me in the "most annoying NPR voice" competition posed by OP.
Sorry. Zoe Chace hands down. She's the only reporter who induces an audible, "Oh God" from me when they announce her stories.
I am very surprised that no one has mentioned the woman who does the sponsor acknowledgements between national and local programming! The sound of her affectations is giving me ear cancer...
"Programming on NPR is sponsored by the Arthur Vining Deevis Foundeetionnnnnnn. And by Ciscohhhhhh, who offer logistics solutionnnnnnnnns. This is NPRRRRR."
[quote]I am very surprised that no one has mentioned the woman who does the sponsor acknowledgements
Googling "Zoe Chase horrible voice" a couple of years ago was how I found DL. I think I was the first person to post my loathing for the most pretentious vocal fryer on the planet (Planet Money natch). I loved the NPR thread so much that I became a DL subscriber eventually. I still laugh at the brilliant poster in that original thread who described the cooking show lady Lynn Rosetto Casper's voice so perfectly as "breathy fatness." I had always disliked her voice but couldn't figure out what it was that bugged me so much. Thanks to the DL NPR posters (and many others) for the pleasure of your company.
[quote]Googling "Zoe Chase horrible voice" a couple of years ago was how I found DL.
Luckily she isn't on our NPR station unless she's doing a news report on Morning Edition about once a month.
I never know her topic because her voice is so distracting. I sit there and wonder what she's doing to make her voice sound like that, what she's doing to the words to give them such strange pronunciations, does she have to do some type of special breathing to make those sounds, and why they didn't listen to her speak before they hired her.
[quote]What happened to ME's Renee Montagne? She has been co-host since 2004 but disappeared several months ago.
She returned today.
Wow, R157, that's exactly the way I speak. Is she from Baltimore by any chance?
Fred Child, host of "Performance Today" has a pleasant voice and tells some wonderful tales of the great classical composers. The music he presents from concert venues around the globe is fantastic.
And by Subaruuuuuu. Loooove. It's what makes a Subaru, a Subaruuuuuuu.
This is NPaaRRRRR.
I miss Bob Edwards. He voice was the soundtrack of many a commute.
Today Diane Rehm had a panel discussion for their book of the month: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Now I have to read it again after they pulled up so many interesting things about it.
Tomorrow will be a historian discussing the War of the Roses.
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelssssssson
Click on "Listen" and skip to 4:22
Sabrina Farhi is the voice of the NP AAARrrrrrr corporate sponsorship credits.
Does NPR hire people, voice unheard?
The announcer before Farhi had an awful nasal, whiney voice. He was a speech teacher in a college. WTF????
I've been having anger issues as a result of certain voices on NPR. I'm so relieved to have found this forum. My anger started the first time I heard Zoe Chace. When I hear Winsor Johnston whistle every letter "s" I cringe and turn off the news. Why does NPR hire so many people with vocal fry, uptalking and other annoying vocal traits? Every job I've had has been competitive and only the best people were hired. Does NPR have low standards or are they hiring these people because of the Americans with Disability Act?
r164, NPR hires affected voices. Their way of feeling superior to the listeners.
I heard JAPpy vocal fry on NPR recently that was almost laugh out loud. It was skit-like. arrrrrrrr
r164: This is the original NPR thread that brought me to DataLounge in 2012. I am the original Zoe Chace hater it appears.
Strangely enough, Zoe Chace was raised in New York City. I think her father was a well known academic or writer IIRC. She went to Oberlin, which is I guess how she keeps her job, since there seems to be an Oberlin "old boys" network at Planet Money (starting with creator Adam Davidson). She says she might have acquired her accent in college. I think she just made it up to show how "adorable" and enthusiastic she is. There was (or is?) an "I hate Zoe Chace" page on Facebook.
Can't stand the lounge music they play in between segments.
[quote]When I hear Winsor Johnston whistle every letter "s" I cringe and turn off the news.
While her name Johnston, she pronounces it "Johnstin" and she reports from "Washingtin."
As a 30 year listener to NPR I'm finally switching off due to 'lame announcer fatigue'. With the exception of the BBC World Service, why does NPR insist on using such excruciating, lily-livered voices to deliver the news? Whether reporting on the latest terrorist atrocity or the dreaded Thanksgiving Turkey stuffing tips, all of the current NPR announcers, women and men, sound like milquetostain, adult babies!
I can't take it anymore !!!!!
Thaport for NPRR
Sabrina Fahri is the new Zoe Chace. Both of them make me want to scream. Both of them make me turn my radio on mute.
Hiring an inexperienced voiceover person for the important job of doing the sponsorship announcements was one of the stupidest things NPR has done. Do they realize how often people who listen to NPR all day have to hear Sabrina Fahri and how irritating her voice is? Does anybody check her work?
I miss Bob Edwards. Sigh.
I figured that NPR forces the likes of ZOO-ie CHEEEse on us because they're looking for younger listeners. What they're doing instead is running off everyone over the age of 40.
[quote]NPR hires affected voices.
LaFontaine Oliver, NPR station manager in Orlando, tries to talk like a Barrymore but when he gets to the number to call for a pledge, it's ###-twennie-twennie! As soon as I hear "This is LaFontaine Oliver," I grab the remote. What kind of parents saddle their kid with a name like that? OTOH, it seems he grew into it.
R174 - the kind of parents who would have a child who actually like the name enough to use it professionally rather than pick a shortened more normal version of the name or a middle name to go by.
I know this isn't technically NPR, but any thoughts on Roman Mars voice on 99% Invisible Podcast? At first I thought it was sexy, and then I realized HE thought it was sexy and was playing it up, and now it greats on me more with each passing week - so much so that I might have to unsubscribe.
[quote]Do they realize how often people who listen to NPR all day have to hear Sabrina Fahri and how irritating her voice is?
It appears that the people who run NPR in WashingTIN, don't listen to NPR.
Several of the NPR people have voices that are so distracting that you want to boycott the underwriters.
There's a Jaguar dealer that undewrites some programing and the local NPR announcer would slam every sylable with a sledge hammer: JAG-U-AAARRRGGHHH
The dealer must have called and tried to explain how to prounounce the car name but she still doesn't get it. Now she says: JAG-wi-yurrr
The staff of people who do interviews should remind guests that they're not there to "rate" the questions. Today, a guest on an NPR show must have said "That's a good question," at least a dozen times before I shut it off.
R179 - I hear what you're saying and don't disagree. But remember the context - these people on media tours are getting pounded with the same dumb 3 questions by hundreds of awful local news anchors, even worse entertainment shows, and the lowest rung of the food change web vlogs (Huffington Post live!), etc.
They must feel like crying with relief by the time they finally arrive for their 30 minute interview with an NPR host with not a single "Is XXXX" a good kisser question in sight.
Then there are the people who call in to NPR discussion shows.
"Thank you for taking my call. You're my favorite show. I listen to you every day."
Just listened to the highly annoying Eleanor Beardsley as she reported from Paris on the Charlie Hebedo massacre. I can only assume whoever decided she would be good on the radio must be deaf! Not only is her voice awful, she has some stupid, hill billy accent going on. She really sucks.
EB was truly awful throughout the crisis. Vague, incoherent, yet humble-bragging about her 8 year-old and her school. Her interactions with Inskeep were the opposite of "information."
Taxpayers and foolish, smug totebaggers deserve better.
Sabrina Farhi is driving me away from my beloved NPR. She's gotten slightly better, but the way she draws out the ends of her words, especially "tion" endings, unfortunately in "station."
It comes out "statUuuunnn"
Please wish Ms. Sabrina and wish her well in her future endeavors.
184, couldn't agree with you more. Been hearing another woman voice underwriters every once in a while - her voice is nice. Ms. Farhi has gotten better, but I still have to hit mute when she's on.
I hope Windsor Johnston, or someone who knows her, reads this constructive criticism of her melodious and soothing delivery.
Ms Johnston, when you read something like "the Ebola virus has killed over 8,000 people in the following countries(...), PLEASE work on sounding sad.
It makes me cringe to hear you announce horrific news in the same singing voice I otherwise love listening to. Thank you.
[quote]Sabrina Farhi is driving me away from my beloved NPR.
stay-SHINNN, corpora-SHINNN, conversa-SHINNN, founda-SHINNN, hundrid, childrin, finan-SHILLL, universi-DEEE, innernet, pa-JAAAM-a-gram
[quote]I hope Windsor Johnston, or someone who knows her, reads this constructive criticism
She goes by JohnsTIN and she, very carefully, says she's in Wa-sheeen-tin, slamming every syllable of Wa-sheeen-tin.
Zoe Chace no longer makes many appearances on Morning Edition or All Things Considered. They must be paying attention to all the complaints about her vocal gymnastic.
Nice to see this thread keeps making reappearances. Only on DL could a thread bitching about NPR voices have so many smart, funny, informed replies.
I've been kicking around an idea lately: could it be that one of the reasons I, and maybe some of you, enjoy the network and keep listening is the wide spectrum of weird voices? Imagine how dull, and annoying in a different way, NPR would be if all of their hosts and reporters had generic, mellifluous "FM" voices.
Also we enjoy the personalities' weird names. I think that's a separate thread.
r190: One of the best descriptions of NPR voices in the previous 600-post thread was the geniuus who said "the breathy fatness of Lynn Rosetto Casper." I always disliked her sound but never knew why until I read that. Actually, the last time I happened on Lynn's voice a couple of months ago, she sounded like she might have lost a little weight LOL.
Is Lynn Rosetto Casper back on NPR? Hasn't she been off the air for a couple of years or did they just switch her program time?
I for one LOVED her voice! Always imagined her with chubby dimpled cheeks and a wicked smile.
We'd always listen to her in the car driving back to NY from a weekend in the country.
When is she on now?
I'm Lakshmi Singh.
Peter Sagal is far hotter than one would imagine.
Still have trouble distinguishing between the voices of Leonard Lopate (who I imagine to look like a kindlier version of John Simon) and Brian Lehrer (who I think of as bald with BDF) though Brian is a bit nasal.
And what of Suterius Johnson? Or Suderius?
I'm Lakshmi Singh in Wawsheentin.
Some wag once dubbed Lakshmi Singh "The Voice of God at Noon"
I can't handle the vocal fry of the young female reporters. It hurts my soul.
Here are a few comments about Zoe Chace from the previous NPR voice thread:
Is vocal fry what Zoe Chace does with her strange voice? She's awful.
Chace virtually defines 'vocal fry'
Dear. God. The most abrasive and ANNOYING NPR voice is without a doubt Zoe Chases's. Is it a Minnesota or N. Dakota accent? I can't stand it when she says, "really, really..." when describing something. Dear God, make it stop
Ooops. I'm sorry, I meant to type "Zoe Chase's." I was trying to type while squeezing my head and ears at the thought of Zoe ... talking.
Im not sure just when it was that I decided I could take it no more (Zoe Chase)--probably driving to work one morning--but after much grimacing and a few "dear gods!" I decided if her voice affected me this much, surely there are others out there who must feel the same way. I vowed to look it up online--to find others who, like me, felt assaulted by Ms. Chase's jarring and scratchy man voice.
Zoe Chase doesn't just have the worst voice on NPR, she has the worst voice of any newscaster on radio.
Zoe reads the copy in a monotone appropiate for a funeral home spot.
I was in "Eleanor Beardsley Hell" this morning. Her story was interesting, but that godawful voice always kills it for me. If they had followed her with Zoe Chace it would have been all over for me
Hands down, Zoe Chace! It's a cross between vocal fry and uptalk. For me, like nails on a chalkboard. Get the girl some elocution lessons!!!
where the hell is zoe chace from?? I have a deep dark fear she is from Chicago (as am I). It mortifies me to think we sound like that. I only found this thread b/c I googled her name with "accent" to face my fears... But no luck. The internet would not divulge.
Zoe Chace grew up in Manhattan. This is easily found on Google. Her speech IMO is some strange midwestern sounding affectation, since people from Manhattan never sound like this. She did go to college in Ohio, as I recall, so maybe she picked it up there?? I find her voice unbearable, so I no longer listen to Planet Money. I even sent them an email a while back telling them how her voice drives me crazy, but since people keep coming to this thread to complain about her (I found it last April), obviously Planet Money has no regard for my personal feelings. :0) Apparently she has a young hipster fan base out there, judging by some comments I've seen in other threads. Those of us with sensitive ears will just have to dig up some old Noah Adams reruns I guess...
I agree about Zoe Chace's voice. Horrible. It's too bad because I really love Planet Money.
I still say Zoe Chace has the most gawd-awful voice on NPR
Ditto Zoe Chace. Have they canned her yet? I'm too scared to listen to Planet Money to find out.
Zoe Chace and Kelly McEvers. I might néed to poke my eyes out if I had to hear them back to back.
I just watched a video of Zoe Chace because I had to see how she talks in person. She is only half as annoying when not on the radio. I have to turn off NPR when she comes on.
So I found this thread by googling Zoe Chace, hands down the most annoying voice on NPR, and certainly was not disappointed. I've read all of the nearly 600 replies and everyone has picked out the NPR folks' mannerisms spot on.
Zoe Chace recently had an extensive report on Weekend Edition. I have no idea of the topic because you just sit there overwhelmed by her vocal maneuvers.
It's as if someone has taken a magnificent structure (English language) and blown it to smithereens with bloody body parts all over the place. You barely remember what was ruined because the horror of the explosion was so awful.
As she roars on, murdering the entire broadcast, you wonder if all the NPR bosses are totally deaf and can't hear this abomination.
If you google Zoe Chace and Facebook, you will see that as far book as 2011, somebody started an anti-Zoe Chace page on FB, saying he would double his contributions to NPR if they would take her of the air. Somebody else in that thread said they would TRIPLE their contributions. Apparently she appeals to some weirdo younger people who probably have had their hearing ruined from too much loud music on their cellphones or something. I guess for NPR any publicity is better than none? Maybe it's the Oberlin "mafia" (i.e. lots of Oberlin journalism grads) at Planet Money and NPR in general that might keep Zoe on the air.
But my loathing for Zoe's voice brought me to DL way back in spring 2012, so I guess I should be grateful??
My favorite voice [heard on] NPR is Jad Abumrad from Radiolab. He sounds genuine and interested in what he is presenting. It's not formal news and he can basically tell whatever story he wants, but I absolutely love his style.
Diane Rehm sounds like she is about to keel over any minute, and is forcing out her last deathbed wish. Even so, I can usually stay tuned if her content is meaty. If the show is just bantering or projecting what news will happen, I can't listen.
I feel the negative feedback about Eleanor Beardsley is due to the slight southern accent and talking at a slower pace, as South Carolinians do. Unfortunate that a southern accent will still cause people to write you off.
[quote]I feel the negative feedback about Eleanor Beardsley is due to the slight southern accent and talking at a slower pace
There's no problem with her accent or pace. The problem is with her reading. She can do an outstanding live interview. When she reads text that she has written, she sounds totally bored. It's as if she's thinking, "I've already reported this, why am I stuck doing the same thing again!" She conveys total disinterest in the topic when she reads her reports. She needs a vocal coach.
I feel bad for saying it but I can't listen to Diane Rehm.
R200 that was a pretty great post
Diane Rehm recently had a voice treatment so her voice has improved for awhile. I will keep on listening because she won't allow a Rethug to twist away from replying to a question. She'll come right out and say, "But Congressman, you still haven't replied to the question, so I'll ask it again."
We've been heard by NPR! On the 1/23/15 "This American Life" show, Ira Glass did a segment called "595 If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say." At about 26:35 minutes there's a report called "Freedom Fries," where he reads a lot of complaints received by NPR about reporters with vocal fry. I found it quite funny, especially because he read a comment I'd sent in recently. The bottom line of his report was "It's what's happening. Get used to it." My current strategy is to send NPR an email every time there's a reporter with an annoying vocal trait. They're in the profession of communicating and they don't require their employees to have training in voice and diction? Those of us studying education in college were required to take that course. It's astonishing to me that radio professionals would be allowed to work with distracting vocal characteristics like vocal fry and up-talking. And lately I've discovered another affectation that's on my last nerve. I don't know if I can describe it, but if someone is mentioning a list of different things, they make their voice sound like they're tired of talking. Example: "I took out the GAR-bage, washed the CAR, mowed the LAWN. Oh, it's difficult to describe, but you'll hear it if you listen for it. The new NPR show, Invisibilia, has two of the worst vocal fryers. They'll grate your ears to death. I told Ira "I'm never listening to that show again."
It's good to know, R206, that I'm not the only one sending comments to NPR. You have to wonder why the people in charge don't pay attention to what's going out to the public. You mention Ira Glass of "Thiz zamerica lie" - he slurs and slides his way through the commentary.
a everyday listener of NPR for a couple of years now,, i admit i felt bad when i first heard diane rehm and thought "why is this old lady on the air?" without knowing her condition..
now of course i love her and her voice, the slow deliberate delivery actually is comforting and makes her sound more intelligent and even with more gravitas i think!..
as far as the bad voice? never liked the guy who did the "and this is NPR" station break promos... very nasally and nerdy sounding..but hey that's just me....
[quote]never liked the guy who did the "and this is NPR" station break promos... very nasally and nerdy sounding
He was awful. That was Frank Tavares who voiced NPR's underwriting credits for 31 years. NPR bosses didn't even audition him. He was working behind the scenes at NPR in Washington. When Bob Edwards (then the NPR morning host) didn't want to announce the underwriters, someone just pulled him from the hallway into the studio and said, "Read this." For three decades that horrendous nasal voice continued reading the credits.
He eventually moved to Connecticut and worked from there, where he's been a Communications professor at Southern Connecticut State University.
Sabrina Farhi does the job now. She moved from Brooklyn to DC to take the job at the headquarters "sta-shinn" to tell about the "founda-shinns" that underwrite the programs.
Two elderly ladies on NPR right now and it's an absolute delight. Diane Rehm's guest (via Skype) is Angela Lansbury.
Lucy Kellaway. She does BBC World Service on NPR. She sounds like a stern school mistress and her attempts to be profound and humorous about office work fall flat. The are lots of UK journalists with a good sense of humor but she ain't one of em.
It's official. Sabrina Farhi is no longer doing sponsor credits. She's been replaced by Jessica Hansen who was with WAMU in Washington. And thank God. I was really worried that I would have to stop listening to NPR if i had to hear "foundashinnnn" "stationnnnn" much longer. I guess NPR actually does listen to their listeners!
Thank God! I thought maybe Sabrina was just on "vacashinnnn"!
Zoe Chace hasn't been on NPR lately, at least not on WUNC, but now there is someone else with a very bad vocal fry, Juana Summers. She reports from Washington. She's using a vocal fry at the end of every sentence. Although she doesn't have the strange accent of Zoe Chace, the end of her sentences sound more like quacking than actual speech. She was discussing this on Twitter and her assessment of criticism is that it is anti-female. I don't care who's doing it, man or woman, vocal fry is an annoying sound. If you're a true professional, work on your voice, diction and elocution. Then we might be able to listen to you instead of turning off the radio when you're on.
Sabrina Farhi is gone, but the new girl is just as bad -- very odd and neurotic-sounding delivery. What is going on @NPR?!!!?
Seriously, I think NPR is going after the young female listener demographic. Who else would tolerate voices like these?
[quote]I was really worried that I would have to stop listening to NPR if i had to hear "foundashinnnn" "stationnnnn" much longer. I guess NPR actually does listen to their listeners!
That's great news. I posted on their site about her conversashinn, organizashinn, payshints and hundrid. I heard the new voice and thought Farhi was just snowed in somewhere.
Don't they take the time to listen to people who want a job? Now, it's time to teach all the NPR news readers that they're not in WashingTIN.
Farhi became the voice of NPR’s sponsorship messages in October 2013, taking over for Frank Tavares, who had whined the credits with a nasal twang for 31 years.
According to the "New Yorker," Farhi beat out 429 applicants for the job. How?????? She mispronounced more than half the words every time she read the underwriting announcements.
She has been replaced by Jessica Hansen.
It's official: Since I had to stop listening to Planet Money because of Zoe Chace, I didn't know that she left in January. Google reveals that Zoe has left the PM building and moved on to This American Life (according to her twitter feed). So if you want to hate listen to Ira Glass AND Zoe Chace, you'll get a twofer. I got bored with TAL a long time ago. Anyway, Planet Money had other vocal fryers, but none of them repelled me like Zoe--I guess it was the smugness in her voice that drove me batty.
Ira and Zoe should record a song maybe.
I didn't know she left Planet Money. I don't listen to Thizmericalie with the slurry IraGlaa.
Krista Tippett would be easier to handle without her vocal fry. Her guests are amazing.
[quote]Krista Tippett would be easier to handle without her vocal fry. Her guests are amazing.
I don't notice her voice as much as the uh, uh, uh, when she's talking. Then there are all the uh noises she uh makes when a guest is uh talking: hmmm, aaah, oooo, mmmmm, oh, nnnnn
Krista Tippett is oh so...spiritual. What a phony. Can't stand her.
Diane Roehm and Michael Silverblatt. The former has a show from somewhere in the east that Ilisten to on XM in L.A. She sounds like Katherine Hepburn in her last years. She may be smart, but should not be fronting a radio show. Her voice is weak and quavery, sounds like she has palsy. Produce, don't announce.
Silverblatt has a show out of KCRW in L.A. called "Bookworm." His combination of breathiness and nasality makes him sound like someone doing a bad impression of New England WASP Brahmin. Plus, he dominates his interview guests, but that's another matter.
Finally, not on NPR, but has no business making her living with her voice is Terri Seymour. She obviously has vocal cord damage that makes me empatheticly trying to clear my throat whenever I hear her. The Britisk accent just makes the whole thing more bizarre.
[quote]Her voice is weak and quavery, sounds like she has palsy.
Diane Rehm developed a speech disorder called Spasmodic Dysphonia. Luckily, she can still speak because she's the best damn interviewer in the U.S. No politician gets away with side-stepping a question when she's the one who is asking.
Arun Rath, weekend host of NPR's All Things Considered, has a smooth voice and excellent rapport with guests. He's equally adept and talking to someone about hip-hop as well as an opera star.
Ofeibea Quist-Arcton - wonderful voice. Reports mostly from West African nations, sometimes South Africa.
Jeez, ease up on Eleanor Beardsley - I think you've beat that dead horse enough (no offense, Eleanor). And Diane Rehm, she has a m-e-d-i-c-a-l condition that causes partial paralysis of her vocal cords. Do you shove annoying disabled people out of your way on the sidewalk too? Diane is not only an outstanding journalist but she shares deeply from her own personal experiences - her story of the recent death of her husband has been heartbreaking to listen to.
I'm annoyed by the overly pretentious voice of Linda Wertheimer, and those other cloying voices that sound as if they went to the "Delilah" school of broadcasting. You know, sort of that "I'm your slightly superior best friend" tone. And that "you can't see me, so imagine I'm prettier than you" attitude.
I haven't read the entire thread, only the last hundred or so posts, but I can't believe no one has zeroed in on Jonathan Schwartz, who always sounds like he has ill-fitting dentures.
Though maybe it's not his voice that bothers me so much but his wayward delivery. He has great taste in Broadway music.....just wish he would talk less.
I don't see any complaints against Terry Gross. I imagine her as a petite little salt and pepper brunette in her 60s with a pixie hair cut.
Terry Gross has an annoying giggle. When she's getting ready to ask a tough question, she giggles. It would be okay if she was reacting to something funny, but it's her nerves that she can't control.
I miss Noah Adams and Bob Edwards
Bob Edwards is still on NPR.
even though rotary phones are long gone. i always picture Ofeibia dialing with a pencil.
I picture Ofeibia looking very commanding, possibly wearing capes.
Peter Fucking Overby. Jesus Christ I just heard a piece by him. He sounds like he's talking through a mouthful of dentures. I wanted to punch the fucking radio.