Frank Tavares is the voice of NPR's News underwriters. Dozens of times a day, he's heard reading the names of the organizations, corporations, and individuals who contribute to the funding of NPR's news programs. This includes newscasts, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, The Diane Rehm Show, and Talk of the Nation.
Tavares became "the voice" when NPR began using funding credits at the end of programs to separate sources of program support from the programs themselves. At the time, he was executive producer and director of the Department of Specialized Audience Programming. Although he was an on-air host, Tavares wasn't a part of the "news" service, an important prerequisite for the voice of NPR's funding credits. To listeners, Tavares became the "neutral" voice identified with the funding and not with the content of the news programming.
Tavares faces unique on-the-job challenges, including the sheer physical demands of recording hundreds of fundraising credits back-to-back in three to four hour sessions, developing a particular rhythm and cadence for each individual credit, and always hitting the time to within a half second.
Besides being NPR's "Support for..." guy, Tavares teaches communication at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, and consults and writes about public broadcasting issues. He is a founding editor and active member of the editorial board of The Journal of Radio and Audio Media published by the Broadcast Education Association. Tavares lives in Connecticut where he's also working on a collection of his published short stories. He is married to an NPR alumna, and has three children, the oldest of whom has also been part of the family tradition of working in public broadcasting.