Jenn White Named New Host For '1A'

May 7, 2020

Chicago public radio host Jenn White – who also produced the Chicago station's Making Oprah and Making Obama podcasts – takes over National Public Radio's weekday 1A talk show starting July 6.

White's hiring ends a six-month search by NPR and WAMU-FM in Washington D.C. to replace Joshua Johnson, who left in December to work full-time for MSNBC. The 10 a.m. national broadcast began in 1984 as the Diane Rehm Show. When she left in 2016, it was renamed 1A – for the First Amendment – by Johnson.

White, a Detroit native and University of Michigan graduate, has worked in public radio since 1999. She has worked since 2016 at Chicago's WBEZ-FM, where she hosted a two-hour midday show called Reset with Jenn White.

She also has managed the University of Michigan TV station (2008-2010), and hosted All Things Considered on the university's three Michigan Radio (2010-2016) signals. She has hosted and executive produced the Out of the Blue television show on the Big Ten Network and Detroit Public Television.

White also hosted the nationally distributed public radio documentary Finding Our Bootstraps: Americans Deal With Recession, and public TV programs Out of the Box and Edible Legacies, according to her WBEZ-FM bio.

Here's the release:

WAMU AND NPR ANNOUNCE JENN WHITE AS NEW HOST OF 1A 

Host of WBEZ Chicago’s Making Oprah and Making Obama Podcasts Joins 1A as the Nationally Syndicated Talk NPR Show Continues to Gain Audience

May 7, 2019 - WAMU 88.5 announced today that Chicago radio and podcast talent Jenn White has been selected as the new host of the nationally syndicated NPR show "1A." No stranger to public media, White comes to 1A from WBEZ Chicago, where she hosts the station's midday talk program Reset with Jenn White. She also hosted WBEZ’s critically acclaimed podcasts Making Oprah and Making Obama. Her first day on "1A" is July 6.

With a name that nods to the First Amendment, "1A" is a daily, live show that encourages listeners to “speak freely” and stay connected – in an increasingly disconnected world. "1A" provides a platform for Americans of all stripes to come to the table, talk, and – most importantly – be listened to, not just heard. Since launching in 2017, "1A" has become a trusted source for public dialogue by more than 4 million listeners across over 375 NPR member stations nationally. 91.7 WVXU/88.5 WMUB listeners can tune in every day from 10 a.m. – noon.

“I am excited to build on my love of the news by joining '1A' as host, to moderate conversations around the most important issues of our time,” said Jenn White.   “ '1A' is a show by, and for our listeners, and I can’t wait to talk to them about the most salient topics facing our country, to find solutions and hold those in power accountable.”

As the show’s new national host, White will moderate the daily dialogue and champion Americans’ right to speak freely. She joins "1A" as the show continues to attract new listeners, especially as the country grapples with issues including COVID-19, the upcoming presidential election, a teetering economy and the rise in unemployment. White takes over from Joshua Johnson, who stepped down in December of 2019 to join MSNBC as a television anchor.

"1A" was created by WAMU 88.5 in 2017 to build on the legacy of deep, civil discourse reflected by the “The Diane Rehm Show.” The show delivers context and insight to stories unfolding across the country by focusing on its audience, and having a strong host moderate the conversation. Featuring listeners as guests, the show incorporates live calls and voicemails, and regularly devotes hours to ideas suggested by the public. This gives "1A" a signature sound, that stands out from traditional “talk shows.” "1A" belongs to its audience; instead of telling them the news, the program engages them in an ever-changing dialogue.

“We are thrilled Jenn White will be joining the network as a defining voice of NPR,” said Anya Grundmann, NPR's senior vice president for programming and audience development.  “White comes to '1A' at an important moment for civic dialogue in our nation, when our public service mission has never been more essential.”

White has worked in public radio since 1999. She joins WAMU 88.5’s 1A from Chicago’s WBEZ where, since 2016 she has held several on-air positions as host of the station’s local two-hour midday show, Reset with Jenn White; and before that as host of The Morning Shift. She is also a familiar voice on several WBEZ podcasts, including Making Oprah, Making Obama and 16 Shots, which chronicled the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald and the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. Before WBEZ, White was local host of All Things Considered at NPR member station Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. White is also skilled as a public speaker and has moderated numerous on-air gubernatorial and mayoral debates. She is a Detroit native and graduate of the University of Michigan.

Listeners can talk to "1A" on Twitter, Facebook, by downloading the 1A Vox Pop app, by texting 1A to 1-844-777-7050 or by emailing 1A@wamu.org. They can leave voicemails at 855-236-1212. Jenn White can be followed on Twitter.