Diane Rehm Show: NPR host retiring after 2016 election | EW.com


NPR host Diane Rehm announces retirement after nearly 40 years on air

(Matt McClain/ The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Venerable NPR host Diane Rehm’s run on the air is coming to an end.

NPR and WAMU, the Washington D.C. station that serves as home to her Diane Rehm Show from, announced Tuesday that the show is ending. The program is played on more than 200 stations and reaches around 2.4 million weekly listeners.

“Diane, WAMU and NPR are working together closely on what comes next, and we are in active conversations about WAMU’s plans for a successor program for the public radio morning audience,” WAMU general manager J.J. Yore said in a statement.

No end date accompanied the announcement, but the statement adds Rehm, 79, will likely stay through the 2016 presidential election. “We are committed to finding a successor who will honor Diane’s legacy and the qualities listeners treasure about her show — civil discourse and deep conversations about the issues of the day with listeners as part of the conversation — while also reflecting changing audience needs and habits,” Yore added.

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Rehm began at WAMU in 1973 as a volunteer. Six years later, she was tapped to host midday talk show Kaleidoscope, eventually renamed after her in 1984. Throughout her tenure, she took time off periodically to be treated for spasmodic dysphonia, a voice disorder that causes muscle spasms in the throat during speech.

Rehm was also a recipient of the National Humanities Medal last year. “In probing interviews with everyone from pundits to poets to presidents, Ms. Rehm’s keen insights and boundless curiosity have deepened our understanding of our culture and ourselves,” said President Obama, who presented the award.

Yore added that Rehm is considering a bevy of options after her show’s red light goes dark, including possibly creating a new show or podcast. She will be touring next year to promote her memoir, On My Own.