I became a regular listener of an NPR station around the year 2000. At the time, I had a roommate who regularly listened to two hour-long Sunday shows, hosted by Joe Frank and Harry Shearer. But we weren't listening to a local station, we were tuned in via RealAudio, as the station was hundreds of miles away.
In San Francisco, where I live, there's a local NPR station, KQED 88.5 mHz. But I have ignored it for all these years. For some reason, my local radio listening typically involved KCBS 740 kHz for news, traffic, sports, weather, etc. Then I started to grow tired of the fast-paced, bite-sized news appetizers they serve up. The fixed schedule of their broadcasts may be nice in the mornings when I have to get ready for work, but it's just not the right format for me after about 10AM or so each day.
Although FM radio around here is just plain crap, I started exploring the band out of curiosity. And I don't remember what KQED was airing at the time, but I stuck with it and enjoyed it. Now, KQED is where I tune when I just want to relax without being bombarded by KCBS.