January 17, 2021

Radio Host Kojo Nnamdi Talks to NBC4's Shawn Yancy About Retiring After 23 Years at 88.5 WAMU

After 23 years delivering vital, regional news programming to the D.C. region, The Kojo Nnamdi Show will end production this spring. WAMU announced today that the final live show will air on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Host Kojo Nnamdi approached WAMU over a year ago with his desire to step back from his daily duties on the mic but still stay engaged with the community. With his four-decades-long commitment to journalism, he will continue to host the popular The Politics Hour on Fridays.

Check out a full interview with Kojo Nnamdi at WAMU

The Politics Hour, featuring resident analyst Tom Sherwood, provides a valuable community service by creating a forum for the public to engage with and hold accountable their elected public officials. As 2021 presents statewide and legislative elections in Virginia, continuing to hold these conversations is vital to WAMU’s mission as a public media organization and to serving the needs of the Washington, D.C., metro region.

Additionally, Kojo will continue to serve as an ambassador for the station through his revamped “Kojo In Our Community” event series. These events — about six per year — will stay true to the original format, allowing Kojo to convene conversations in communities across the region on topics that are urgent and top-of-mind for those residents. Each event will be recorded and offered to our on-air listeners as “WAMU Presents” special programming.

“My relationship with WAMU started with me as a listener, was strengthened through my friendship with Diane Rehm, and was bonded when Mark Plotkin, Steve Martin and Diane convinced me that I could play a significant role at WAMU,” says Kojo Nnamdi. “That role owed a great deal to WAMU’s commitments to understanding the Washington region across racial lines — the lines which too often divide us. That commitment continues, and I will continue to be a part of it as host of The Politics Hour and as a frequent broadcast presence in our community through the Kojo In Our Community events. I’m grateful to all of the amazing producers and support staff who contributed to my impact over the years — and hopeful they never reveal that they do most of the work — and I am very much looking forward to this next chapter in my relationship with WAMU.”

Beginning April 5, the noon to 1 p.m. hour Monday through Thursday will be filled by The Takeaway from WNYC Studios. WAMU has made the decision to delay the launch of a new regionally-focused show in an effort to spend time reflecting and assessing the changing needs of our community — including changes to lifestyles, media consumption and community priorities due to the pandemic.

“We’re so grateful to Kojo for all of his contributions to WAMU and the legacy of outstanding local journalism that he and his team have created with The Kojo Nnamdi Show,” said Monna Kashfi, WAMU’s chief content officer. “He has been an essential and powerful voice for our local communities for the past 23 years, and I’m delighted that he’ll stay connected to the station and the community both on-air and through the upcoming event series. I’m also confident that WAMU will continue our mission of bringing vital news to our region through our regional newsroom’s thorough and impactful coverage as well as our local podcasts while WAMU reflects on the best ways to meet our members’ and listeners’ on-air needs.”

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