Sam Sanders 220

Sam Sanders, host of the NPR podcast and radio show It’s Been A Minute with Sam Sanders, is leaving the public radio network. The announcement comes as It’s Been A Minute crossed the 500 episode mark. 

“I have spent about a third of my life employed by NPR. And I am so grateful to all my colleagues at the mothership and every single member station for all they've taught me. And now it's time to go,” Sanders wrote in an email to NPR coworkers. “I'm taking about a month off, and then I'll be making something new again,” he said.

The twice-a-week It’s Been A Minute launched in June 2017. The show is a mix of a weekly news rap with Sanders speaking with other journalists as well as his feature interviews with people from a wide range of backgrounds.

“A thing I have always loved about It’s Been A Minute is that it's kind of hard to define,” said Sanders. “But what I have landed on is this: IBAM at its core is a show about the world we live in in which everyone you hear — the guests, the hosts, the listeners — gets to be their fullest self. It embraces *identity* — the identities we all bring to our news consumption. The lived experiences we bring to the entertainment we consume, the art we create, and all of the work we do. IBAM has always been, and will remain, a decidedly joyful rejection of the idea that news and current events must be discussed in a way that divorces who we are from what's going on in the world.”

NPR says the show will continue as a podcast and radio show with guest hosts while it conducts a search for a replacement. It’s Been A Minute airs on 441 public radio stations.

Sanders joined NPR in 2009 first working as a field producer and breaking news reporter. He was also one of the original co-hosts of NPR's Politics Podcast, which launched in 2015. Earlier, Sanders worked at public radio outlets WUNC Raleigh-Durham, NC (91.5) and WBUR, Boston (90.9) where he was an interviewer on the public radio show “On Point.” 

Earlier this year, Sanders won this year's iHeartRadio Podcast Award for Best Overall Host (male) and the Los Angeles Press Club National A&E Journalism award for best anchor/host radio. He is currently nominated for this year's Best Podcast Host by the Podcast Academy (The Ambies).

Sanders becomes the latest in a string of departures by staffers of color from NPR. The most recent was Audie Cornish, who stepped down as host of “All Things Considered” in January to join CNN where she will host a new post and streaming TV series. Prior to that, “Morning Edition” co-host Noel King left the public radio network to join Vox Media as co-host of the Today, Explained podcast. And in October, “Weekend Edition-Sunday” host Lulu Garcia-Navarro exited NPR to join the New York Times where she will host a new opinion podcast for the Times Opinion section.