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"I don't listen to the radio. I listen to NPR."

For as long as I've worked in the non-college radio world, whenever I tell people that I work in radio, I hear some variation of, "I don't listen to the radio. I listen to NPR."

Before I turn this into another rant about semantics, I'll just say that makes about as much sense as saying, "I don't listen to rock music. I listen to indie rock."

I can understand the implication that "radio" only equates high-powered FM and AM signals, but for as long as National Public Radio can be found on radio, it's radio to me. Sure, NPR might not have the quick and fast bumpers and jingles found on a Hot AC station, but it's still an option on the radio dial.

What's interesting is that I myself don't actively listen to the radio at all outside of work, except when I'm riding in Matt's truck. And that includes NPR. I still prefer to listen to CDs when I'm driving in my car. I never have the urge to turn the radio on. I prefer to listen to exactly what I want to listen to, be it the Dillinger Escape Plan or Meat Loaf.

Adding to the rather peculiar nature of my listening habits, I love working during rush hour with adult contemporary pop on. Yup, that Lady Antebellum song, those John Mayer songs, and that Rupert Holmes song. I credit my time working at Best Buy for that being the case. I work better when it's stuff I can tolerate instead of me focusing on which CD to put on next.

For as long as I've listened to NPR, I've heard Garrison Keillor take over a million breaths, the Car Talk guys play wonderfully off of each other, and plenty of hosts calmly mention the music you just heard. I understand that's kind of stuff that fits better to the ears of those who don't like certain formats, but to me, it's still radio.


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