Sam Sanders announced Tuesday that he will step down as host of NPR’s It’s Been a Minute after five years on the podcast and radio show.
March 11 will mark Sanders’ last broadcast. The show will continue with interim hosts while NPR conducts a nationwide search for a full-time replacement, Sanders tweeted.
“I’m taking about a month off, and then I’ll be making something new again,” he said.
During Sanders’ tenure on the show, he struck a playful tone in his interviews that balanced the hard news of the day. In a departing note to colleagues, he wrote about the identity of It’s Been a Minute and how the program vacillated among entertainment, news and a mix of interview styles.
“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,” Sanders said in a note to colleagues posted on NPR’s website. “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.”
Sanders began his career at NPR in 2009 as a Kroc Fellow. He later worked as a field producer and breaking news reporter until 2015, when he joined NPR’s Election unit and helped launch NPR Politics Podcast as a co-host. His time in public radio included stints at NPR member stations WBUR, Oregon Public Broadcasting and WUNC.
NPR began offering It’s Been a Minute for broadcast in 2017 as it phased out Car Talk. The show debuted on 94 stations in fall 2017 and grew to 185 stations by the following spring. It now airs on 441 stations across the country.
“Audiences don’t just listen to Sam, they love him. He has an ability to connect with people regardless of what he is covering,” NPR SVP of Programming Anya Grundmann said in a statement. “Later, with IBAM, he used that talent to build a new kind of show that is both celebratory and informative, inspiring and probing, bringing diverse topics and guests into a space that sounds and feels just like conversation among friends.”