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Kojo Nnamdi

Kojo Nnamdi

Kojo Nnamdi (born Rex Orville Montague Paul in Guyana, on January 8, 1945) is an American radio host. He is the host of The Kojo Nnamdi Show, which airs on WAMU-FM 88.5, and the Evening Exchange, which is broadcast by WHUT-TV. The Washington Post has called him "maybe the best interviewer in town."

Biography

Born in Guyana, Nnamdi immigrated to the United States in 1967 to attend college and explore the civil rights movement. He began his broadcast career in 1973 at WHUR-FM, as news editor. He has hosted WHUT-TV's public affairs show Evening Exchange since 1985, and he worked as a news editor and director before that.

Nnamdi described his name change to The Washington Examiner in a December 2005 profile: "It was the 1960s and everyone had a radio identity so I picked Kojo Nnamdi. Kojo means born on a Monday. Nnamdi Azikiwe is the father of Nigerian independence." Kojo is an Akan name for the people in Ghana, and Nnamdi is an Igbo name. Nnamdi's legal name remains Rex Paul.

The Kojo Nnamdi Show

The Kojo Nnamdi Show is a continuation of the night-time talk show, The Fred Fiske Show, which was on WAMU from 1977 until 1987. Eventually, after a stint by Mike Cuthbert, this morphed into The Derek McGinty Show in 1991. Shortly thereafter the show was suddenly shifted to a daytime slot in 1992, replacing a popular music program. It was renamed Public Interest when McGinty left the program in January 1998. Nnamdi became host of the show in August 1998 and the name changed to The Kojo Nnamdi Show in September 2002.

On Fridays, Nnamdi hosts "The Politics Hour," which covers topics related to political issues and events in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including surrounding Maryland and Virginia regions. Prior to January 2008, the show was titled The D.C. Politics Hour and focused solely on the D.C.-area political scene. In May 2008, WAMU fired resident political analyst (and Washington Examiner columnist) Jonetta Rose Barras after a salary dispute. Until she is replaced, the show will feature guest analysts.

Barras joined the program after Mark Plotkin left in April 2002 to set up shop at all news-station WTOP, where he hosts The Politics Program. Originally called The Politics Hour, the name of Plotkin's show was changed after WAMU threatened a lawsuit. Nonetheless, Plotkin said in a 2006 online chat that he and Nnamdi remain friendly and regularly have dinner together.

Every Tuesday the first half of the show consists of a segment called Tech Tuesday which attempts to keep listeners current on various computer/computing and technology issues. For a number of years, the first Tuesday of the month featured "The Computer Guys," John Gilroy and Tom Piwowar. Piwowar left the program in early 2006 in a contract dispute, and has been since replaced with a rotation of recurring expert guests, most of whom are employed at either Mid-Atlantic Consulting or the University of Maryland, College Park.

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