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Joshua Johnson stepping down as 1A host

Joshua Johnson
Stephen Voss

After nearly three years with NPR’s 1A, Joshua Johnson will be stepping down as the show’s host, effective December 20, to join MSNBC as an anchor.  Joshua served as the inaugural host of 1A and has been instrumental in its success as a national talk show, following in the footsteps of The Diane Rehm Show.

“In 2017, we proved that 1A could create a national conversation,” Joshua 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.” 

1A was created almost three years ago to replace the long-running Diane Rehm Show, following her retirement. Named after the first amendment, 1A has pioneered a public radio talk-show format that successfully engages a range of diverse listeners and guests in a new national conversation.  

“Joshua told us he has dreamed of hosting a national show since he was a young child,” said JJ Yore, general manager of WAMU, the producing station for 1A. “We are pleased that Joshua was able to achieve that dream at WAMU and NPR. The vision for 1A, the staff and the growing audience all came together to create the success we see today, and that magical mix creates a strong foundation for a new host to take 1A to even greater heights.”

WAMU has said that they have begun a nationwide search for a new host and hope to have that person selected by early 2020. Todd Zwillich, a longtime Washington correspondent and periodic fill-in on the show, has agreed to serve as interim host starting in January. 

Executive Producer Rupert Allman and the staff who produce 1A will remain with the show and continue the creative and compelling work that has been heard by listeners for nearly three years.

In 2018, 1A was awarded a two-year, $750,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to fund 1A Across America. This two-year collaborative effort with six public media stations across the country, including Michigan Radio, brings more local viewpoints to 1A’s national audience, including underreported local issues and points of view through on-air discussions, interviews, field reporting and live events.

Steve is Michigan Public's Marketing Director. His job involves coordinating the station’s marketing, communication and public relations efforts, special events, car donation program and community & media partnerships.