Ismaila Alfa named new host of Fresh Air

The veteran broadcaster brings his extensive knowledge of arts, music and community to Ontario's leading weekend morning radio program.

The veteran broadcaster brings a breadth of experience to the Ontario weekend morning show

Ismaila Alfa hosting Sounds of the Season in 2022.
(Richard Agecoutay/CBC)

Ismaila Alfa has been announced as the new host of CBC Radio One's Fresh Air, Ontario's leading weekend morning radio program.

Known to Toronto audiences as the host of Metro Morning, Alfa guided Toronto listeners through the pandemic and three elections with care and compassion.

"These past few years have given a lot of us time to rethink how we want to live our lives, and for me, it had me rethink the order of priorities in my life," Alfa said Friday, speaking on Metro Morning.

"I love what I do for a living, I love connecting with people and asking questions. And I also love my family. I am a single dad, and that's my top job. Moving to Fresh Air will improve my work-life balance and give me more quality time with my kids."

His first day in the new role will be March 25.

Ismaila Alfa interviewing Kirk Johnson
Ismaila Alfa speaks with sustainability professor Kirk Johnson about his love of exploring the city on his bike. (CBC)

A CBC Radio broadcaster and journalist since 2008, Alfa previously served as the host of CBC Radio One's Up to Speed, Winnipeg's afternoon news and current affairs program. 

"I'm excited that people across the entire province will have the chance to get to know Ismaila when he steps into the role of host of Fresh Air," said Ruth Zowdu, Senior Managing Director of CBC Ontario.

"He's warm and curious, and he's had a wide range of life experiences, including writing plays, and writing and performing music, among other things, that inform his interviews."

Ismaila Alfa
(Donna Carreiro/ CBC)

Alfa was born in Zaria, Nigeria, to a Nigerian father and a Canadian mother. He was raised in Nigeria and Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he studied civil engineering at the University of Manitoba. 

A playwright and musical artist, he toured Canada and the United States as a hip-hop musician for nearly a decade. To Alfa, music has always been his way to connect with various communities and hear their concerns.

"It's been an honour to serve Toronto audiences in the role of Metro Morning host, and I am grateful to the Metro Morning team for everything we have achieved together," he said. 

The search for a new Metro Morning host will begin immediately. 

Fresh Air airs every Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 9 a.m. on CBC Radio One, and CBC Listen.

Tune in for a showcase of voices, stories, events and ideas that make Ontario lively and interesting. For more information on Fresh Air, visit

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