Joshua Johnson Leaving WAMU


Joshua Johnson is headed to an anchor chair at MSNBC. The host of 1A on WAMU 88.5 — NPR’s Washington, DC, station, owned by American University — announced his departure on his daily show.

“In 2017, we proved that 1A could create a national conversation,” Johnson said. “1A proves that public media is well equipped to meet the nation’s need for news and information, including adapting to our changing times. We built something amazing, with a uniquely diverse and creative team, providing a space where anyone, anywhere can speak freely. I’m proud to have helped build that, and I look forward to seeing what 1A will become.”

“Joshua told us he has dreamed of hosting a national show since he was a young child,” said JJ Yore, GM of WAMU. “We are pleased that Joshua was able to achieve that dream at WAMU and NPR.”

As reported in Radio Ink, Johnson started the show in 2017. A WAMU press release says the Executive Producer of 1A and staff will remain with the show. Johnson’s last day on the air will be December 20.


  1. Good for him. I’ve always missed Diane Rehm because she was articulate and possessed a well modulated speaking voice. She asked a questions and allowed the guest to answer. I’m sick of hosts asking several questions and then finally allowing the guest to answer.

    Good luck to Mr. Johnson. There certainly seems a market for his fast-paced, multiple questions, interviewing style.

  2. Josh brought a variety of subjects and voices to public radio which had not been addressed in this medium and he is to be commended for it. For this aging ‘OK Boomer,’ however, I could never get past his condescending, high rising Valspeech. It was chalk on the blackboard to my ears and after a while, I simply stopped tuning into a show I had listened to for years (not that Diane Rheem’s word-per-minute delivery was any less exasperating to endure. She did, however, typically cover subjects with broad interest.)

    Todd, the current host of 1A, is a breath of fresh air and I fervently hope he becomes the permanent replacement host for this show.

  3. Not an improvement on Diane – the national host who always asked the questions I would have asked – but a truly innovative and knowledgeable interviewer anticipated what I needed to know. Best wishes and I hope NPR can do an equally good job in finding a replacement.

  4. It is December 31 and he is still here. I hope the replacement does not engage in the silly up-talking Johnson did. When asking a question, he would start the upward inflection in the middle of the sentence and by the time he got to the end his voice was in the stratosphere. Sometimes even he didn’t know where to go with it. Too many of his topics were aimed at the lowest common denominator of listeners, prompting me to say “Raise the bar, Joshua.” Any of the stand-in hosts you’ve used during his time on the show will be better than he was.

  5. He had some big shoes to fill and he was never able to do it.
    I am glad he is leaving the show and I do hope you can find a better replacement.

  6. I thought I wouldn’t like him because he replaced Diane, but I was dead wrong, I think he’s fantastic, and I will miss him big time! Good luck Joshua, I’ll look for you at your new station on tv!


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