The Face Behind the Voice: NPR Radio Host Ari Shapiro

July 2016

If someone told you to imagine the typical NPR radio host in your mind’s eye—what would you see? Seriously, take a second. Picture someone.

More than likely, you didn’t picture Ari Shapiro.

NPR Radio Host Ari Shapiro. Photo by Stephen Voss.

Between reporting in Washington, DC, and around the world,  Ari still finds time to pursue his passions outside of work. He sings with the sparkling “little orchestra” Pink Martini and leads audio workshops in his community. For all intents and purposes, Ari Shapiro is… really cool and fascinating. And as those of us behind the scenes will confirm, that’s the perfect embodiment of an NPR Radio host regardless of their bio details. Shapiro – along with our many other journalists heard on air – is curious, passionate and brimming with humanity – and he’s getting a lot of media buzz because of it.


“…it’s like my microphone and my headsets give me… It’s almost like a snorkel and a mask, to immerse myself in a world that I wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.”

-Ari Shapiro, Conde Nast Traveler

Becoming an NPR Radio Host

Shapiro got his start at NPR in 2001 as Nina Totenberg’s Legal Affairs correspondent intern. Since then, he’s served as the NPR White House correspondent, International Correspondent in London and currently, host of the afternoon newsmagazine All Things Considered. 

Now — just 15 years after his internship — Ari Shapiro is a household name.  His fans care what he has to say, and his genuine interest in delivering great journalism to them is audible in all of his reports. Since beginning his role at All Things Considered last year, Shapiro has covered the Syrian refugee crisisequal pay and the 2016 election. He recently premiered The New Middle, a series which provides a special look into America’s middle class.

Aligning with NPR On Air

Listenership is growing for NPR on air programming, and this would not have been possible without a host of dedicated journalists like Ari Shapiro. Their voices resonate to a wide audience, drawing fresh sets of ears into the world of radio. NPR has built an incredible lineup of radio show hosts – Kelly McEvers, Audie Cornish, and Robert Siegel to name a few – who bring a diversity of interests and perspectives to the airwaves every day. And that broad set of perspectives is attracting new audiences right alongside those who’ve been listening for ages.

NPR’s Spark Initiative – which aims to increase news listenership through member station promotion- has been another critical component of drawing audiences into NPR newsmagazines like All Things Considered.  

  • All Things Considered is up more than 31% for 25-54 year olds on participating Spark stations, 12% on non-participating stations
  • 2% year over year growth in NPR newsmagazine cume audience (2014-15)
  • 1% year over year growth in NPR programming and newscast cume audience (2014-15)
  • 6/10 largest Member stations grew weekly audience (2014-15)

There is something for everyone in NPR on air programs, and the proof is in the numbers. Click here to learn more about on air sponsorship opportunities.