All Things Considered Explores Failure & Resilience in Two New Series

January 2017

Everyone has those pit-in-the-stomach moments. Sometimes, it helps when you can hear from someone who has been there and lived to tell about it. All Things Considered brings those conversations about pivotal, life-changing moments to listeners this spring in two series: NPR’s Been Therereturning for a second installment, and Failure, a new series. This April, listeners can look forward to reflection, thoughtful advice and words of wisdom in both series.

sponsor npr's been there

In the first installment’s final episode, Stephen Agyei (left) and Roy Wood Jr. talk about what it takes to make it in comedy.

NPR’s Been There premiered on All Things Considered in fall 2016 as part of a new initiative from the NPR Story Lab. This April, it returns to the afternoon newsmagazine, which has seen double-digit audience growth in the last year as it introduced new hosts, tackled Election coverage and launched new series such as Been There.

Through organic one-on-one conversations, Been There stories offer insight into a range of challenges familiar to many today: the struggle to find success in the entertainment business, the end of a long marriage, single parenthood by choice, and the balance of school, work and personal life as a first-generation college student. And while trepidation and frustration can often be heard in the voices of NPR’s Been There guests, these conversations have empowered those sitting at the mic and those tuning in, too. 

“We’ve heard from a lot of listeners who appreciate the intimacy and frankness of the Been There conversations,” associate producer Connor Donevan says. “There’s something about talking to someone whose already been in your shoes that allows people to be really honest about their hopes and fears and very particular questions.”


Listen to NPR’s Been There


Failure, also a product of the NPR Story Lab, will explore defeat’s impact on people from different walks of life and lessons learned in moments of very public missteps. With humor, drama and original scoring, each segment in the four-part broadcast series examines headline-producing blunders and the individuals who felt responsible: A manager who felt the onus for the the Columbia space shuttle tragedy, George Foreman ruminating on his loss to Muhammad Ali, and more. Reflection brings these stories full circle, giving listeners insight and guidance when facing their own challenges. 

A Growing Audience for All Things Considered & “Been There”

It’s been a big year of audience growth at All Things Considered, one of the most-listened-to radio programs in the United States.  

In 2016, the program hit an all-time high of 13.3 million weekly listeners, in addition to seeing a 22% increase in A25-54. Overall, All Things Considered listening (AQH) increased by 15% in the past year, eclipsing the 5% average increase for commercial news and talk stations.

Beyond reaching millions on the radio, Been There engages listeners across NPR’s digital platforms, reaching an audio completion rate of 74% on and driving engagement in social media.


I listened to this and I found it to be honest, open, inspiring, and heartwarming amongst the struggles both face. I loved this story.

— Listener Facebook comment on “After Paralysis, a Life of ‘A Different 10,000 Things’ “

“People seem to get the concept right away,” Donevan says. “We even got a tweet from a librarian thinking about spinning it into a library program for teens. And we’ve had hundreds of listeners write in about their own imminent life events that they’d like advice about — we’re using them to produce the next batch of conversations.”



Source: ACT 1 based on Nielsen Audio Nationwide Spring 2016, Persons 12+. © 2016 The Nielsen Company. May not be quoted or reproduced without the prior written. Photo credit: Jeffrey Nicholson/Courtesy of Stephen Agyei; Mindy Tucker/Courtesy of Roy Wood Jr.

Sponsor NPR's Been There & Failure
After just six pieces in the first installment of Been There, the series is already earning the attention of audiences and inspiring listeners. Through series sponsorship, brands have the opportunity to be there when listeners come back for more thought-provoking stories of challenge and inspiration this spring.

Sponsors can align with NPR's Been There and Failure across platforms, with on-air adjacencies around broadcast pieces and ownership of series hubs and story pages on Live Been There and Failure events in collaboration with NPR’s Generation Listen will further captivate audiences.