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WAMU Is Testing Names For the Diane Rehm Show’s Replacement

Rehm. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Any Questions. Talk Republic. The Follow. Any of these may be the name of the WAMU show that replaces The Diane Rehm Show when Rehm retires sometime after the presidential election. The station is sending around a survey to listeners to gauge their feelings about show names like those above, plus Better Said, The Union, and The Public. (Isn’t that last one the name of a locally brewed beer? Why, yes it is.)

The survey includes audio samples of what the name might sound like in context, like this one for Talk Republic:

WAMU has not yet named Rehm’s replacement. It imported Rupert Allman from WNYC to be the executive producer of whatever follows her long-running talk show (it’s also hiring other positions).

The survey says the new program will “be a convening spot where the country’s most dynamic thinkers share ideas and find solutions to the problems facing us all. It will examine all that is broken locally, nationally, and globally in public radio’s lens of civil discourse.”

That’s a lot to do two hours! But The Follow, or Better Said, or The Public will also, according to the survey:

1. Provide coverage and context around the most interesting ideas and issues of the moment in politics, culture, policy, and social movements;

2. Bring depth, energy, curiosity, and intelligence to the most compelling issues of our day;

3. Create an experience that is rewarding on air, in earbuds and as a spiky conversation starter;

4. Include videos, images, and social media as part of its DNA.

The survey closes October 24.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.