The Diane Rehm Show : About

Airs weekdays at 10pm on AM 820

For more than 25 years, The Diane Rehm Show 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 2.2 million listeners across the country tune in to the program, which has grown from a small local morning call-in show on Washington's WAMU 88.5 to one of public broadcasting's most-listened-to programs. In 2007 and 2008, the show placed among the top ten most powerful public radio programs, based on its ability to draw listeners to public radio stations. It is the only live call-in talk show on the list.

Diane's guests include many of the nation's top newsmakers, journalists and authors. Recent guests include former president Bill Clinton, General Tommy Franks, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Julie Andrews, and Toni Morrison. Newsweek magazine calls the program one of the most interesting talk shows in the country. The National Journal says Diane is "the class act of the talk radio world."

Each hour includes dialogue with listeners who call to join Diane's virtual community and take part in a civil exchange of ideas.

The show theme song, "Toot Suite" is written by French pianist and composer Claude Bolling and features trumpeter Maurice André. Compact Discs and Transcriptions are available on

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  • Diane Rehm

    Diane Rehm is a native Washingtonian who began her radio career in 1973 as a volunteer producer for WAMU 88.5, the NPR member-station in Washington, D.C. She was hired as an assistant producer and later became the host and producer of two health-oriented programs. In 1979, she began hosting WAMU’s local morning talk show, Kaleidoscope, which was renamed The Diane Rehm Show in 1984.

Latest Stories from The Diane Rehm Show

Last updated: Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:50 PM

Ron Suskind: "Life, Animated: A Story Of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism"

Tuesday, April 22 2014 04:28 PM

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in 68 children has autism. There are nearly 60 different disorders associated with autism, which complicates the challenge for families, doctors, and therapists hoping to help. Writer Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia, found an usual way to connect with their autistic son, Owen: Disney movies, which fascinated him when he was young. Ron, Cornelia, and Owen’s older brother, Walt, used Owen’s attachment to Disney characters to forge a deep emotional connection with him – something they thought had been lost forever. We discuss the remarkable story of how storytelling rescued an autistic child, and also explore the ongoing efforts to reach other children locked in inner worlds.

Rising Poverty In America: The Causes And Consequences

Tuesday, April 22 2014 03:28 PM

A half-century ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty. Since then, the percentage of poor Americans has declined, but more than 46 million still live below the poverty line today. That's about 15 percent of the population. Whether the war on poverty was a success or failure is the subject of passionate debate and heavily ideological. Many economists say without the social programs implemented to fight poverty, millions more Americans would be poor. Critics argue those programs took away incentives to work and created an underclass dependent on government subsidies. Diane and guests talk about the causes and consequences of poverty in America.

Andres Neuman: "Talking To Ourselves"

Monday, April 21 2014 04:28 PM

The father of a 10-year-old boy named Lito is dying. Wanting to create memories for his son, he takes him on a road trip - just the two of them. Lito's mother stays behind and is forced to confront her grief and unknown future without her husband. The latest novel by one of Latin America's leading young writers shares the journey of three members of a close-knit family as they move toward inevitable loss. Their story is told in three distinct voices - those of a child, a woman and a terminally ill man. It's a story of grief, courage and love.

The Business Of Legalized Marijuana And Ongoing Health Concerns

Monday, April 21 2014 03:28 PM

Across the country, public attitudes towards legalizing marijuana have shifted and state legislatures are responding. No state has gone as far as Washington State or Colorado—where marijuana sales are legal—but many are moving to decriminalize the drug or make it available for medical use. And cash strapped states considering legalization are closely watching Colorado where the governor recently predicted a tax windfall. But while politicians are more eager to get on board, public health officials continue to raise alarm bells about the safety of lighting up. Guest host Susan Page and her guests discuss the business and changing politics of marijuana.

Friday News Roundup - International

Friday, April 18 2014 04:28 PM

A deal is reached to defuse the crisis in eastern Ukraine. The agreement calls for armed pro-Russian separatists to leave government buildings, but they are refusing to surrender. China’s economic growth slows to an eighteen-month low. U.S. officials analyze a new video that appears to show a large al Qaida meeting in Yemen. Negotiations resume in Venezuela between the government and opposition leaders. And more than one hundred people were killed in a series of attacks in Nigeria by suspected Islamic extremists. A panel of journalists joins guest host Susan Page for analysis of the week's top international news stories.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Friday, April 18 2014 03:28 PM

President Obama makes the case that his signature healthcare law is working. He reports eight million people have signed up for insurance through federal and state marketplaces. Thirty-five percent of the enrollees are under age 35. The Justice Department reports new deportation cases brought by the Obama administration have steadily declined since 2009. Campaign spending in the first quarter of this year is running more than double that in the last midterm election in 2010. And the New York Police Department drops a controversial Muslim surveillance program. A panel of journalists joins guest host Susan Page for analysis of the week's top national news stories.

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman: "The Confidence Code"

Thursday, April 17 2014 04:28 PM

When journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman interviewed high-powered women, they noticed something unexpected. These women were leaders in their fields - CEOs and politicians - yet almost all expressed a lack of confidence in their abilities or worth. In a new book, Kay and Shipman try to figure out why. They meet with neuroscientists and psychologists to understand the new research on confidence. While it is partly influenced by genetics, self-assurance can be learned. Kay and Shipman argue that women can become more confident if they make an effort to take more risks and start to care less about pleasing people and perfection.

The Promise And Perils Of A New Project To Share Individual Patient Records.

Thursday, April 17 2014 03:28 PM

Doctors and their patients often don’t have the information they need on the relative effectiveness of different treatments. Clinical trials provide invaluable data but can’t and don’t cover the myriad of individual circumstances in the real world of patients. As part of the Affordable Care Act, a number of hospitals, research centers, clinics, insurers and patient groups are working to create a massive database of medical records – stripped of personally identifiable data. The idea is to allow scientists to study the relative effectiveness of any number of different drugs, devices and treatment plans, but questions about privacy persist. Please join us to talk about big data and medicine.