NPR & National Public Media's Year in Review: 2022

January 2023

2022 was another momentous year for NPR & National Public Media. As the world continues to change, NPR remains a consistent source of top-notch journalism and award-winning content for 48 million people each week. Check out a few highlights from NPR & National Public Media.

Fresh voices, fresh takes

Top L to R: Lori Lizarraga, Marielle Segarra, Anamaria Sayre, Ayesha Rascoe; Bottom L to R: Jeff Guo, B.A. Parker, Leila Fadel, Emma Choi, Aaron Scott.

In 2022, NPR introduced 16 new voices to listeners across broadcast and podcast programs. The new hosts come from both within and outside of NPR, all as a part its strategic goal to reach a younger, more diverse audience.

Tiny Desk makes headlines

NPR Music closed out Black Music Appreciation Month with the instantly viral Usher Tiny Desk concert. “Watch this” memes swarmed the internet following the video’s premiere, bringing in 1.4M+ views in the first 24 hours. 

In 2022, NPR Music celebrated two major milestones for the Tiny Desk franchise: the 1,000th Tiny Desk Concert and a nomination as one of the Best Hip-Hop Platforms at the 2022 BET Awards. The NPR Music YouTube page now has more than seven million subscribers and 16 million monthly viewers.

The return of live events

After two years of virtual events, NPR Presents opened its doors to live audiences across the country. NPR’s hit comedy program Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! resumed weekly live tapings in its new Chicago home, the historic Studebaker Theater. Code Switch also took the stage in Chicago for a live podcast taping, introducing fans to new co-hosts B.A. Parker and Lori Lizarraga, alongside founding host Gene Demby.

What’s more, NPR Music celebrated its 15 year anniversary and the crowning of the 2022 Tiny Desk Contest winner Alisa Amador. The Tiny Desk Contest On The Road Tour returned with a five-stop, cross-country tour, celebrating with fans in D.C., Brooklyn, Atlanta, L.A. and Seattle.

On-the-ground reporting & award-winning journalism

Mary Louise Kelly and team in Kyiv.

2022 was a tough year covering the news. NPR journalists traveled across the country and the globe to cover a closely-contested set of midterm elections, the fallout of the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the continuing effects of the COVID pandemic, an economy teetering on the edge of recession and a war in Europe.

The newsroom also launched the NPR Climate Desk in October 2022. The desk will harness the strengths of existing local, national and international reporting to cover the most pressing issue of our time.

Award-winning journalism comes from across NPR, with Throughline winning a Peabody Award for its three-part series, Afghanistan: The Center of the World.

Most popular stories & episodes of the year

Audiences rely on NPR for top-notch journalism, but they also tune in for award-winning content on topics that pique their interests including arts & culture, lifestyle, business, science, history, comedy and more. Here are a few of the most popular stories & episodes audiences couldn’t stop consuming:

With 15 million weekly users, features the latest stories from across the NPR Network. Some of the top stories include:

Podcast programming

Reaching an audience of 18 million+ a month, NPR has five of top 20 podcasts in the U.S.– more than any other podcast publisher. A few fan-favorite episodes include:

NPR also launched three new podcasts: The Limits with Jay Williams, State of Ukraine and La última copa/The Last Cup

New research from NPR Sponsorship

This year, we partnered with Neuro-Insight on a study to explore the power of trust and the impact of memory in advertising. “Transference of Trust: Driving Purchase Intent & Brand Equity” used memory encoding technology to reveal the role of trust in consumer decision making and the power of placement.

The study confirmed that the platform through which brands communicate with their consumers is almost as important as the message. Key findings include:

  • NPR owns key attributes that drive trust: ethics, reliability, relevance, and accuracy.
  • NPR proved a highly effective platform for CSR messaging, with memorability for branding moments higher on average for NPR sponsor messages vs. TV news platforms. 
  • NPR gives brands a 13% lift in memorability at branding vs. TV news. 

With only 34% of consumers thinking companies are transparent about their commitments, the new study offers insights to marketers and advertisers seeking to push past skepticism and into long-term memorability. Learn more about the report and methodology here

Sponsorship highlights for brands

In 2022, the NPM Creative team returned to in-person recordings with immersive audio captured on-site and a debuted new design for landing pages that promote Soundscapes on In total, the team produced custom audio for 17 brands, including Fortune 500 companies Ameriprise Financial, Bank of America, Deloitte, General Motors, SAP and State Farm:

The team also made significant improvements to the performance of our native placements for – increasing interaction rates on units promoting Brand Soundscapes in the NPR Player by 23%.

Interested in what NPR sponsorship can do for your brand in 2023?

Let’s Talk.

More from National Public Media

December 2022

Code Switch Live: Event Sponsorship with Russell’s Reserve Bourbon

In November, sponsor Russell’s Reserve Bourbon activated at a live taping of Code Switch at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago. The show featured an amazing line-up of artists, performers, and journalists.

October 2022

Heard & Remembered: How NPR Audio Made Kroger’s Message Stick

Research conducted with Neuro-Insight, which features grocer brand Korger, reveals that NPR sponsorship audio generates strong “memory encoding.”

December 2021

NPR's Year in Review: 2021

While many things changed in 2021, NPR continued to bring fact-based, trustworthy journalism and high quality content to millions of people across the country and around the globe.