Car Talk? Are you f***ing kidding me?! Two assholes with abrasive Boston accents sit there laughing like hyenas at everything the other one says? How anyone listens to that garbage I do not know. Every time it's about to come on I have to dive for the radio and switch it off because I can't even stand the sound of "Suppoht foh cah tawk ..." intro, to say nothing of the fingernails-on-a-blackboard country music that follows.
Click: "You know what?"
Click: "I got up early this mohning! Hwahwahwaaaa!"
Clack: "Hwahwahwa! Really?!"
Click: "Yeah! Hwa hwa hwa!!!"
Click and Clack in unison: "Hwa hwa hwa!"
Makes me want to punt the radio into next week.
RadioLab's okay, but the annoying editing is just...uh oh, here it comes ... annoying, like when you're tuning into what someone's saying and his voice starts fading out yadda yadda yadda ... narrator cuts in across the front of him to comment on who he is or what he's talking about. It'd be much easier to listen to without the gimmicky editing.
This American Life is okay, but I find Ira Glass' creaky voice a little hard to listen to sometimes. Sounds like he's constantly nervous.
As for the local announcers here on KQED, some are better than others. There's one guy who shall remain nameless who I have yet to hear complete a sentence without stumbling over himself, and there's a female announcer who's not much better. People like that wouldn't last long on the BBC. Maybe they're dyslexic or something and have a hard time reading what's in front of them, and I have nothing but sympathy, but they shouldn't be on the air.
But in general I find the quality of NPR's production values a lot higher than PBS. I guess it's a lot easier to do a good job on radio than on TV, so you don't need the BBC's massive budget to nail it.