I'm a radio nut. I love me some radio. I'm a fan of WNYC —or NPR, whatever you wanna call it.
I love the the BBC World Service, I back All Things Considered, Car Talk and Brian Lehrer. I fancy The Infinite Mind, Jonathan Schwartz and Leonard Lopate. I'm down with Soterios Johnson weekday mornings, On The Media and A Prarie Home Companion on the weekends. I usually wrestle with waking up during Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me! and Studio 360. And who could forget This American Life and John Schaefer's Sound Check & New Sounds...
But, as you may know, I simply cannot stand the woman who does the underwriter's announcements.
And to professionally critique and oust this woman, I felt I should, at very least, know her name first. It's only fair; as going on and on about the "woman who does the underwriting announcements on NPR" sounds a bit disingenuous. Journalistically speaking, of course.
So I fired off a harmless, innocently inquisitive email to email@example.com and here's how it went down:
From: Gotham City Insider
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 1:47 PM
To: WNYC Listener Services
Subject: A Simple Query
Who voices all your announcements / commercials?
Can you tell me her name?
Thank you, kindly.
Dear Gotham City Insider,
Thank you for writing to WNYC Radio about our underwriting announcer.
Unfortunately, it's our policy to not share this announcer's name or contact information, in order to more strictly adhere to our guidelines for underwriting announcements as a public radio station. These guidelines include using no superlative, qualitative or comparative language in underwriting announcements, and the announcements can not contain inducements to buy or calls to action or mention price, discounts, or sales. By the same token, we prefer for the announcer to not be known as a "personality".
However, the announcer is a colleague of ours at the station, and we would be more than happy to pass on any feedback about her performance. So, please feel free to forward any correspondence to this email address, or to:
One Centre Street
New York, NY 10007
And thank you for taking the time to be an involved listener!
WNYC Listener Services
Hmmmm... Why is NPR hiding this woman in the shadows, I wondered.
Was it because others before me have inquired about her insane, robotic cadence? Is that why she is shrouded in mystery? Is NPR afraid of making public this overenunciating freak?
In addition to prohibiting the mystery announcer from using any 'superlative, qualitative or comparative language' do they also prohibit her from speaking like a mammal?
Perhaps employing the inflection of an emotive human being could somehow be misconstrued as an inducement to buy or a call to action?
I smell a conspiracy. A big, fat rat.
Why else would the kind WNYC Listener Services person send me 10,000 words on why no one is allowed to know this announcers name?
Perhaps she's actually a robot? That would explain everything, really. An NPR announcer droid where they simply enter the daily underwriter announcements and this cyborg spits it out?
God, it's all making sense now!
Soterios Johnson gets in early to fire up the announcer for another days broadcast