In 1979, Diane Rehm took over as host of WAMU’s midday program, Kaleidoscope, and in 1984, the name was changed to The Diane Rehm Show. For 37 years, Diane has offered listeners thoughtful and lively conversations on an array of topics with many of the most distinguished people of our times.
Each week, more than 2.8 million listeners across the country tuned in to the program, which grew from a small local morning call-in show on Washington’s WAMU 88.5 to one of public broadcasting’s most listened-to programs. Each hour included dialogue with listeners who called, e-mailed, tweeted or posted to Facebook to join Diane’s virtual community and to take part in a civil exchange of ideas.
Diane’s guests were many of the nation’s top newsmakers, journalists and authors. Her guests included former president Bill Clinton, General Tommy Franks, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Julie Andrews and Toni Morrison. Newsweek called the program one of the most interesting talk shows in the country. The National Journal said Diane is “the class act of the talk radio world.”
The Diane Rehm Show placed among the top 9 most powerful programs in public radio for Spring 2014 and Fall 2013. Power is defined as the ability to drive listening to a station by leveraging listening across multiple hours and was the only live call-in talk show on this elite list.
In 2010, Diane won a coveted George Foster Peabody Personal Award. The Peabodys, the oldest awards in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media. Personal Peabody Awards are not given annually; previous winners include Walter Cronkite, Bill Moyers, Oprah Winfrey and Bob Hope, among others. The award honors Diane’s more than 35 years in public broadcasting as host of The Diane Rehm Show, calling the program the “gold standard in civic, civil discourse.”
The Diane Rehm Show was produced at WAMU 88.5 and distributed by NPR to about 200 stations around the country. The program was also distributed by NPR Worldwide, SIRIUS XM satellite radio and the Armed Forces Network.
The show theme song, “Toot Suite,” was written by French pianist and composer Claude Bolling and features trumpeter Maurice André. Compact discs and transcriptions of the music are available on Amazon.com.