WAMU Announces Diane Rehm’s Successor

Stephen Voss

D.C.'s public radio station has named longtime broadcaster Diane Rehm's replacement. 

Rehm, who is retiring, will be replaced in her weekday morning time slot by radio host Joshua Johnson, WAMU announced Wednesday

Johnson will host a live national program called "1A," a title that evokes the First Amendment. It will take over the 10 a.m. to noon time slot currently held by "The Diane Rehm Show."

Johnson is a co-creator and host of the radio series "Truth Be Told," which covers race in America. He spent more than five years as the morning news host for NPR member station KQED in San Francisco, and teaches podcasting at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Journalism, NPR said.

"1A" will debut Jan. 2 on the radio and as a podcast. It will seek to build on Rehm's "legacy of civil dialogue and analysis," according to WAMU, exploring issues such as policy, politics, technology and what connects Americans despite the divisions in the country.

"1A" also plans to touch on lighter subjects such as pop culture, sports and humor. 

Rehm, 80, announced her plan to retire nearly a year ago.

"I have held this microphone for 37 years, and it seems to me that it was time to turn it over to someone else, to a younger person with fresh ideas, with a fresh outlook as to what this program might become," she told the public media podcast The Pub earlier this year, before her replacement was chosen. "This 10-to-noon real estate in public radio is extraordinarily valuable, and whatever might come next will be fresh and new, and will draw new listeners, perhaps younger listeners."

Rehm said on her website Wednesday that Johnson represents America's future, calling him "the right host at the right time."

"At this moment, our country needs a fresh voice that addresses the wonderful diversity of our nation," Rehm said.

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