The Washington Journalism and Media Conference


Host and Producer, Spectacular Failures Podcast

Lauren Ober is currently the host/producer of the hit podcast, Spectacular Failures from American Public Media.  TIME magazine named the show one of the top 10 podcasts of 2019 and in two seasons the show garnered more than 5.5 million downloads. Prior to that, Lauren hosted WAMU & NPR’s The Big Listen where she interviewed everyone from Katie Couric and Malcolm Gladwell to LeVar Burton and Tegan & Sara. She is also a noted speaker, host/voice coach and podcast consultant.

Before becoming a radio host, Lauren was an award-winning 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, as well as podcasts like Criminal and 99% Invisible. You can hear more of her reporting here. Lauren has served as a board member for AIR: the Association of Independents in Radio and was on the Advisory Board for Werk It: A Women’s Podcast Festival. In 2015 she traveled to Russia as a French American Foundation Immigration Journalism Fellow. She is a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop, Syracuse University and American University.

A proud Pittsburgh native, Lauren currently lives in the 51st state.