"Smiley & West" is now heard in eight of the Top 10 U.S. markets
Los Angeles, April 19, 2011 – "Smiley & West," the newest program from Public Radio International (PRI) hosted by noted public broadcaster Tavis Smiley and one of America's most provocative intellectuals Cornel West, celebrates its sixth-month anniversary with the pick-up of new stations in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Memphis. After piloting last October and officially launching this February, the one-hour, weekly program is now heard in more than 80 communities across the country, including eight of the Top 10 markets.
After five years of thought-provoking conversations on "The Tavis Smiley Show," Smiley's original weekly radio program, "Smiley & West" integrates their professional and personal relationship and explores the hot issues of the day.
"The huge response that we've received regarding 'Smiley & West' proves that Americans are thirsty for some real dialogue," says Smiley. "It is our continued hope that 'Smiley & West' provides a forum where folks can freely express themselves and at the same time be encouraged, enlightened and empowered by the insightful conversation and the exploration and expansion of ideas."
A fan-favorite segment of the show called "Take 'Em to Task" allows listeners to directly engage with "Smiley & West" when they disagree with something they've said. It is part of the show's commitment to using social media as an interactive tool for Socratic debate.
In the first six months, "Smiley & West" featured in-depth conversations with icons like Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, Alfre Woodard, Jay-Z, Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, comedian Garry Shandling and the Grandmaster of Funk George Clinton.
This month, KPCC in Los Angeles added "Smiley & West" to its Friday night schedule. Los Angeles' KPFK added "Smiley & West" late last year. The program is now heard across all of southern California, from Indio to Isle Vista and Palmdale to Poway.
Newark's legendary jazz station, WBGO, becomes "Smiley & West's" second New York area affiliate along with WNYC. This is the first New Jersey affiliate for the program, and marks the first time a Tavis Smiley program has ever been heard on a station in New Jersey.
WCLK in Atlanta and WYPL in Memphis, Tennessee also added "Smiley & West" to their schedules in March, crucial additions for a program dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A complete list of stations can be found here.
"Smiley & West" is also available via podcast for those listeners who can't listen to the program in their community, or just prefer the convenience of on-demand.
For additional information about Smiley & West, visit: smileyandwest.com.
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About TAVIS SMILEY
Tavis Smiley is host of the nightly talk show TAVIS SMILEY on PBS, The Tavis Smiley Show from Public Radio International (PRI) and is the co-host of Smiley & West also distributed by PRI. Smiley launched America I AM: The African American Imprint, a world-class exhibition celebrating the extraordinary impact of African American contributions to our nation and the world in early 2009. The exhibit is on a four-year, 10-city tour. Smiley is also the author or editor of 15 books, including The New York Times best-sellers Covenant with Black America and What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, and his forthcoming book, FAIL UP: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure. In 2009, Tavis Smiley was named to TIME’s list of 100 “Most Influential People in the World.” For more information, visit tavistalks.com.
About CORNEL WEST
One of America's most provocative public intellectuals, Cornel West has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. The New York Times has praised his "ferocious moral vision."
Currently the Class of 1943 Professor at Princeton University, Dr. West burst onto the national scene in 1993 with his bestselling book, Race Matters, a searing analysis of racism in American democracy. Race Matters has become a contemporary classic, selling more than half a million copies to date. In West’s long awaited life story, BROTHER WEST: Living and Loving Out Loud, he offers a compelling exploration of his heart behind the human mind. Themes include Faith, Family, Philosophy, Love and Service. Cornel West has published 19 other books and has edited 13 texts. West also offers commentary weekly on The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI (Public Radio International).
Dr. West graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and has a Ph.D. from Princeton.
About Public Radio International®
Celebrated as a driver of innovation in public media, PRI was founded in 1983 to diversify and expand the content available on public platforms, enabling U.S. listeners to "hear a different voice™" and to connect with one another and the larger world. PRI leads by identifying critical but unmet content needs and partnering with producers, stations, digital networks and funders to develop multi-platform resources to meet those needs. By creating an environment in which innovation can thrive, PRI supports the creation and distribution of content that would otherwise be unavailable and that brings new voices, global journalism and cultural perspectives to the American public. PRI content is available on pri.org and via podcasts, and is broadcast on broadcast on 837 public radio stations. More than 13 million people access PRI content each week through these sources.
PRI also produces "The Takeaway," a groundbreaking morning-drive news show co-produced with WNYC Radio. Its best known programming includes "This American Life," produced by Chicago Public Radio; PRI's "The World," a co-production of BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Radio Boston; "Living on Earth," produced by World Media Foundation Inc.; "Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?," produced by Wisconsin Public Radio; "The Tavis Smiley Show," produced by Smiley Radio Properties Inc.; and "Studio 360 from PRI and WNYC®," produced by PRI and WNYC; as well as 24-hour program services — "Classical 24®," produced by American Public Media; and BBC World Service, produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation. For more information, visit pri.org.