Alexis Madrigal Joins KQED’s Forum as Co-host

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Alexis Madrigal. (Kirsten Voss/KQED)


KQED announced today that acclaimed journalist Alexis Madrigal has been named co-host of KQED’s long-running public affairs radio program Forum. Madrigal arrives at KQED from The Atlantic, where he was a staff writer. Madrigal has also reported for Fusion, Wired and Fresh Air, producing thousands of stories about everything from solar energy to children’s television. Madrigal will take over the 9am hour of Forum while Mina Kim continues to host the 10am hour, which is shared with stations statewide and explores current affairs through the lens of race, justice and equality.

Madrigal was selected after a national search to fill the 9am slot of Forum vacated by Michael Krasny, who retired in February after a distinguished 28-year career at KQED.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Alexis to the Forum team,” says co-host Kim. “Alexis cares deeply about the people here in the Bay Area and the struggles we face. I admire his journalistic rigor and thoughtful interviews and can’t wait to work with him to serve our listeners.”

Madrigal was born in Mexico City and moved to Los Angeles at the age of three. At an early age, he developed an enduring curiosity about culture, history, geography and politics, which led him to pursue a journalism career. The proud Oakland resident and father of two has a great appreciation for Forum’s legacy and its role in bringing Bay Area communities together.


“I love this place, from Point Reyes to Pittsburg. I’m endlessly fascinated by the people of the Bay Area and deeply curious about their ideas and experiences,” says Madrigal. “Forum is a show built out of and dedicated to this community. It’s an incredible honor to be able to join with Mina and our listeners to make sense of the world together.”

Since 2017, Madrigal served as a staff writer for The Atlantic, where he has covered everything from the increasing intrusion of social media on civic life to the rise of mobile phones and its impact on crime rates. He will continue to serve as a contributing writer for The Atlantic. For the past year, Madrigal has been focused almost exclusively on The Atlantic’s pandemic coverage, which led him to co-found and lead the COVID Tracking Project, a 400-person, volunteer-driven initiative to compile and publish data about the outbreak. The Project has been cited in work by dozens of major newsrooms and used by both the Trump and Biden administrations.

Prior to working at The Atlantic, Madrigal served as editor-in-chief for Univision’s Fusion from 2014­­‑17, where he launched their Bay Area bureau, made the television show Real Future, and the podcast Containers. He was a contributor to Fresh Air between 2014-15, where he produced essays about technology and culture, and, in his first stint at The Atlantic, served as a senior editor from 2010 to 2014. He also covered science and energy for from 2007-10.

Madrigal regularly appears as a commentator on NPR, Radiolab, and 99 Percent Invisible. Since 2015, he has served as a moderator for the City Arts and Lectures series, where he has interviewed Ta-Nehisi Coates, Steve Kerr, Stacey Abrams, Jennifer Egan, Brian Greene, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Van Jones, Colson Whitehead and others.

He is the author of two books: Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology (2011); and a forthcoming book about the Bay Area’s unique mix of radical politics, technological innovation and racial identity. A graduate of Harvard University, Madrigal has been a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Information School and UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Technology, Science, and Medicine as well as an affiliate with Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. He serves on the board of Chapter 510, the Oakland youth writing and bookmaking center, as well as LeadersUp, a national organization connecting young people of color with jobs as a way to build an inclusive, antiracist economy.

Forum listeners can look forward to hearing Madrigal beginning June 21, 2021.

Forum is made possible by support from the Germanacos Foundation, the Jenerosity Foundation, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, the Bernard Osher Foundation and the members of KQED.

About Forum
Forum is an award-winning daily call-in radio program that addresses local and national news, politics, culture, health, public affairs, art and culture and technology. Listener calls and comments are a key part of Forum, which ranks consistently at the top of the Bay Area’s drive-time radio rankings and is one of the top-ranked regional programs in public media. Forum has a weekly average of 246,000 radio listeners and another 70,000 who listen online or download the podcast. It airs live on KQED Public Radio weekdays from 9am-11am and is rebroadcast at 10pm. The 10am hour is broadcast live on several public media stations throughout California. Forum is also available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, NPR One, Spotify and other platforms.

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS member station based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.