There are tens of thousands of podcasts out there. So how do you know what to listen to? On The Big Listen — THE broadcast about podcasts from WAMU and NPR — host Lauren Ober introduces you to podcasts you might not have ever heard of, and gives you the inside scoop on shows you already love. Through interviews, listener recommendations, show snippets and more, The Big Listen helps you curate your perfect playlist.

Contributors

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Lauren Ober

Host

Lauren Ober is the host of The Big Listen. Before taking the helm, she was an award-winning radio producer for WAMU’s weekly newsmagazine, Metro Connection. Her stories have been heard on public radio shows like NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition, Here and Now, PRI’s The World and Latino USA, as well as podcasts like Criminal, 99% InvisibleGravy and KCRW’s Unfictional. Previously, Lauren served as producer of PRX’s Orbital Path about the cosmos and our place in it.

In 2015, Lauren was a recipient of the French American Foundation Immigration Journalism Fellowship and traveled to Russia to report on LGBT immigration. Currently, Lauren is a board member of the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR). She is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, American University and the Transom Story Workshop. A proud Pittsburgh native, Lauren has a deep and abiding love for pierogi. She currently lives in the 51st state with her recalcitrant mutt, Raffie.


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Jacob Fenston

Producer

Jacob Fenston edits stories and special projects at WAMU. He is also responsible for the sound design, editing and production of The Big Listen. He has produced and edited WAMU’s Metro Connection, and reported feature stories for the show. His work has also appeared on national shows, including NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Here & Now, and has been recognized by regional and national awards. But his best story ever did not win any awards, even though it required recording audio while riding a bicycle the wrong way down busy Oakland, Calif. streets.

Before coming to WAMU, Jacob was a reporter at KBIA in Columbia, Mo., covering issues of health, wealth and poverty in the rural Midwest. In a previous life, he was a stage manager for a theater company in Portland, Oregon. While in Oregon, he started producing radio as a volunteer at community radio station KBOO. Jacob is a native of the great state of California, and has a masters in journalism from U.C. Berkeley.

Most Recent Shows

Inauguration Special: Are Presidents Really People, Too?

Saturday, Jan 21 2017On inauguration weekend, we talk to two gals podcasting their way across America to D.C. Then we hit the history books with the hosts of Presidents Are People, Too! and Presidential. Plus, we learn what Ezra Klein thinks POTUS 45 should be listening to (Hint: Ezra Klein.)

Susan Orlean Loves To Cry

Saturday, Jan 14 2017Author Susan Orlean tells us about podcasts that make her cry. Then we have a conversation about Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race (meta!). And we chat with a guy who is literally Making Gay History. Plus, did you know podcasts can save your life?

Warehouse Workers, UNITE! (Encore)

Saturday, Jan 07 2017Warehouses are great places to listen to podcasts. So a former warehouse worker tells us. Also, comedian Phoebe Robinson on the public radio personalities she would date. And the host of the Memory Palace recommends his favorite podcast genre: “two dudes talking about stuff.” Keep reading!

The Future Is Podcasting

Saturday, Dec 31 20162016 brought so many great guests on The Big Listen, and this episode, we revisit our favorite segments of the year. Plus, we take a deep dive into the highest court in the land with More Perfect. And our brand new foreign correspondents give us their podcast recommendations for 2017.