Joshua Johnson Will Host Diane Rehm Show Successor 1A

1A debuts Jan. 2 on WAMU

WAMU’s The Diane Rehm Show will have its final show right before Christmas, and in the new year, Joshua Johnson will debut the show taking its place. Called 1A, a very timely reference to the First Amendment, as well as the front page of a newspaper, its first episode will go live Jan. 2, 2017 at 10 a.m. ET.

“At this moment, our country needs a fresh voice that addresses the wonderful diversity of our nation,” said Diane Rehm in a statement. “Joshua Johnson represents America’s future and is the right host at the right time.” Those comments echo what Rehm said in an interview in March, when the host that would be replacing her was still hypothetical.

Johnson, chosen out of a pool of about 30 potential candidates, was recently the host of KQED’s Truth Be Told, a series that explored race in America as a means to move forward, with the following as its exploratory question: “What if we could get better at handling racially charged situations by breaking down our past encounters?” Before that, he was a morning newscaster for KQED News. He also teaches podcasting at the University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism.

1A will be produced in Washington, and takes an expansive, solutions-oriented look at a changing but connected America by exploring politics, policy and tech issues, as well as sports and pop culture. “My professional passions have always centered on creativity, exploration and service,” said Johnson in a statement. “This moment in history demands these attributes of us. It’s a chance to tell stories more creatively, to explore ideas beyond our own, and to refocus on serving others.”

NPR president and CEO Jarl Mohn also empahsized the show’s historical urgency, saying, in a statement, “There has never been a time in our history where non-ideological and civil conversation is as important as it is right now. I am so very hopeful that Joshua Johnson and his new show 1A will continue this tradition and help create the next generation of public radio for America.”