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Joshua Johnson Will Host “1A,” the Replacement for Diane Rehm’s Show

Joshua Johnson. Photograph by Stephen Voss.

WAMU’s long-running Diane Rehm Show will be replaced next year by a new, nationally broadcast show called 1A, hosted by Joshua JohnsonDiane Rehm and Johnson, a former anchor at KQED in Northern California, made the announcement on-air Wednesday morning. (Here’s the official announcement.) Johnson was the host of the show Truth Be Told before stepping down in February, and has also guest-hosted Rehm’s show.

Johnson said on the air that the show’s name was inspired by a newspaper’s front page; a press release says it’s “inspired by the 1st Amendment.” It will make its debut on January 2, 2017.  WAMU staff gathered for a special announcement this morning about Johnson, according to a memo to staff from General Manager J.J. Yore.

Late last year, Rehm announced plans to retire after the presidential election. The station has been trying out a variety of guest hosts and names for a replacement show, and also imported Rupert Allman from WNYC to be its executive producer.

Rehm is 80 and has hosted the show since 1979, when it debuted as Kaleidoscope. WAMU renamed the show for her in 1984. Around 200 stations carry the show, which NPR distributes.

Here’s Yore’s memo:

Good morning:

Please join us at 9:50 in the community room for a special announcement about the show that will succeed The Diane Rehm Show. Our underwriting co-workers have an all-day training in the community room but will break for this announcement.

We’ll also have a reception at 4pm today to welcome the new host. Hope to see you there.

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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.