There Can Be Only One: Vote For The Best Name In Public Radio

Mjichael Black Hawk. Sounds bad-ass, right? Well, if I were a public-radio personality, that’d be the name I’d adopt, according to the NPR name game some clever youngsters concocted awhile back.

A silly little game, of course, but it’s inspired by an undeniable reality: Public-radio personalities have the greatest names in the history of nomenclature. Names like Lakshmi Singh, Sonari Glinton and Yuki Noguchi, though exceptional at rolling off the tongue and perking up the ears, seem practically pedestrian by public radio’s standards.

There’s even a wonderful parody of a Billy Joel song celebrating the phenomenon of awesome NPR names.

So it’s well established that these names, as a group, are second to none. But whose name reigns supreme as a god among mere mortals? If we were to hold a name-based Celebrity Deathmatch (no violence needed), which would be the last name standing?

Let’s find out. Over the coming weeks, we’ll stage an entirely unscientific bracket-style competition, based on your votes. Based on an equally unscientific method (my preference, with some input from colleagues who listen to as much public radio as I do), here are your sweet sixteen:

  • Audie Cornish
  • Mandalit del Barco
  • Lourdes Garcia-Navarro
  • Sonari Glinton
  • Nell Greenfieldboyce
  • Quil Lawrence
  • Yuki Noguchi
  • Zorba Paster
  • Sylvia Poggioli
  • Ofeibea Quist-Arcton
  • Lynne Rossetto Kasper
  • Kai Ryssdal
  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
  • Lakshmi Singh
  • Neda Ulaby
  • Douali Xaykaothao

Whew. Trying saying that five times fast.

I created a bracket based on random number generation in Microsoft Excel. We have a great set of match-ups. Get voting with the form below! (If you’re having trouble seeing the form as it’s embedded, visit it directly here.)

This is why the Internet was invented.

NOTE: Voting for this first round closed May 9 at 10 a.m. Central. See the results and place your votes for round-two here.

* – This includes on-air staff of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media.


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  • Rosalitadtw

    I always though Sylvia Poggoli should marry Jim Zarroli and hyphenate her name.

    • http://www.sameoldjam.com/ mjkeliher

      That would be the makings of a sure winner!

  • Jo

    Not on the list but should be: Jackson Musker — producer for The Dinner Party (APM)