NPR executive Ross Pearlstein has issued an apology on behalf of the non-profit radio organization, saying that it was only last week when producers realized the mic volumes had been on low for the last 43 years.
“When National Public Radio first went on air in 1971, some guy named Carl was hired to set up the equipment, including fixing the mic input levels, and it would appear he sucked at his job,” Pearlstein said. “It’s funny to think that all this time, listeners just assumed all the hosts were required to deliver the news in a six-inch whisper.”
Pearlstein says that actually, radio personalities are hired primarily for their ability to speak loudly. Longtime NPR analyst Cokie Roberts always shouts on air, leading many to believe she has a hearing problem. And in person, “Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep has a booming voice that sometimes makes studio windows shatter.