LOS ANGELES, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Two of America's most influential and provocative public figures, broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Princeton professor Cornel West have joined forces to co-host a new radio program – Smiley & West – this fall. Building on Tavis' current popular radio show The Tavis Smiley Show, Smiley & West will integrate their professional and personal relationship to explore contemporary, cutting-edge issues. The program was announced during the 23rd annual Public Radio Programming Conference in Denver, Colorado, Sunday, September 26.
"Dr. West is a long-time friend and I am honored that he has agreed to go on this journey with me," says Smiley. "This new venture, Smiley & West, will not only set the pace for tomorrow's news but will be a conduit for the insightful conversation that America is thirsting for. I'm excited that alongside one of America's greatest thinkers, we will encourage, enlighten and empower the listeners together."
Alisa Miller, President and CEO of Public Radio International said, "PRI creates and distributes content that offers different perspectives and new voices to help people live successfully in our complex, interconnected world. That's why we're thrilled that Tavis and Dr. West have created this forum for a robust exploration of ideas among people with different points of view. PRI is proud to bring the broadcast to audiences nationwide and to support Tavis as he encourages conversation about issues of importance."
The weekly hour-long program will air on Public Radio International (PRI) affiliates nationwide. Each week Smiley & West will begin with Tavis and Dr. West discussing the news of the day, including current affairs, politics and culture. The duo will play particular attention to those stories that are not being discussed in the mainstream media, but deserve examination. The second segment of the show called "Take 'Em to Task" will allow listeners to directly engage with Tavis and Dr. West about any issue they may disagree with the hosts on. Visit www.smileyandwest.com for more information and details about how to join Smiley & West.
The final half-hour of the program is a conversation between Tavis, Dr. West and a special guest to the show. New York Times columnist Frank Rich and comedian, actor and writer Garry Shandling will be among the guests to appear on the first episodes of the program. Future guests will include celebrities, politicians, intellectuals and other newsmakers.
"Many of America's most important discussions aren't necessarily happening in the boardroom or between the pundits on cable television," West said. Rather they're happening at BBQs, cocktail parties, barbershops, and salons between real people. With this new endeavor, Smiley & West, Tavis and I hope to really tap into the concerns of everyday people."
In 2011, Tavis will mark his 20th anniversary in broadcasting. To celebrate, Tavis will embark on a five-city tour to sit down with other public broadcasting figures. The tour, "An Evening with Tavis Smiley: Changing the World One Conversation at a Time" takes Tavis from interviewer to interviewee. Each evening Tavis will be answering questions from viewers and listeners in events designed to celebrate Tavis' many years on public television and radio. Scheduled tour stops include Memphis, Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Seattle with additional cities to be announced later. Visit www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/ for details.
SOURCE The Smiley Group, Inc.