5 Reasons Why NPR Should Launch a Dating Site

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You're single, and it's Valentine's Day. All Things Considered, you're feeling a little blue. You want to have a driveway moment with someone. Not just Car Talk, but an evening that ends with you sharing tomorrow's Morning Edition over breakfast.

So you turn on the radio for solace. You hear this, and it makes things seem just a little bit better...

Maybe you could use an NPR dating site.

It's an idea that's been discussed by public media folks on occasion. What if there was a site where you could meet others interested in foreign affairs, the genius of Kepler and Ira Glass's dog? A few stations - including St. Louis Public Radio and WNYC - have organized dating events for listeners. Perhaps it's time to try matching public radio fans online.


For Valentine's Day KQED asked its Facebook and Twitter followers if they thought NPR should start a dating site. KQED's Aarti Shahani also interviewed public media executives and online dating experts about the idea for a story you can find here.

Combined, the story and the comments received via social media make a pretty compelling case for a site that would allow This American Life listeners to find love with Terry Gross groupies. Here are five reasons why NPR should start a dating site.

1. There are a lot of people who share an interest in public radio. About 26.8 million Americans listened to NPR newscasts every week in 2011, according to the Pew Research Center. And they're not all run-of-the-mill librarians. Some of them are sexy librarians. Some of them are sexy pop stars and actors.

George Clooney hearts NPR.
George Clooney hearts NPR.
Justin Timberlake, photo via NPR.org
Justin Timberlake, photo via NPR.org

OK, so J.T. is off the market. Still, there are other sexy men and women who like NPR.

"It's a pretty big group and there's got to be several million who are single," NPR President and CEO Gary Knell told Shahani. "They're hungry for a connection and a community of people who, like them, want to engage in and are curious about the world, which is really complicated, and can be really lonely."

2. Lonely listeners have something in common they can talk about: NPR. This NPR fan noted that public radio can be a great conversation starter on dates.

Not convinced? The next time you're out with a fellow public radio fan, try beginning the conversation with the questions posed by real NPR headlines like "is the Internet making us stupid?" and "did North Korea test a 'miniature' nuclear bomb?"

If you're not sure that the person you're dating is a bona fide public radio aficionado, you can just ask them to identify the name of the NPR  staffers who have been name-checked on Parks and Recreation.

3. As the conversation continues, NPR listeners might find they have a lot in common. Listener Katherine Lee says she thinks many NPR listeners might share the same worldview.

Audience studies seem to back her up. In general, NPR listeners are described as middle-aged college graduates whose households earn nearly twice the income of average American households. According to stats reported by On the Media in 2006, NPR listeners are likely to...

  • Be liberal
  • Be curious
  • Drink soy milk
  • Drink French wine
  • Own a Volvo

4. If you hook up at the end of the date, you might help create a race of super-beings. That's what NPR's Chicago station WBEZ hopes will happen. They launched an ad campaign recently that made waves by asking listeners to "go make babies" with other "interesting people." Those "interesting people" would hypothetically be future NPR listeners.


Listener Alex Soros called these "interesting" babies an "uber race."

5. And even if you don't get lucky, your date is still bound to be interesting. Because it will probably be with somebody like this guy: