For immediate release
January 3, 2003
NPR: Jenny Lawhorn

Smiley Celebrates First Year With NPR

January 6-10 Series to Feature Best of 2002 Plus Comedy, Motivational Speakers, Thoughts on Race in America and a Personal Interview

LOS ANGELES, CA-Celebrating a successful and historic first year with NPRŽ, Tavis Smiley will mark his one-year anniversary as host of The Tavis Smiley Show from NPR with a week-long series January 6-10 designed to enlighten, encourage and empower his listeners. The Tavis Smiley Show anniversary week offers something for everyone: 25 of Smiley's best interviews from 2002, advice from notable motivators, a thought-provoking panel on race in America, and humor from renowned comedians. On January 7, the show's first anniversary, Smiley switches to the guest chair to be interviewed by a celebrity television news personality on his first year with NPR.

Tavis Smiley made radio history and headlines on January 7, 2002, the day his show debuted, when he became the first African American to host his own signature talk magazine for NPR. That same day, Smiley broke news of Cornel West's disagreement with Harvard president Lawrence Summers in an exclusive interview. During the show's first year, Smiley presented dozens of exclusive interviews, many of which will be re-broadcast during Smiley's anniversary week, January 6-10, 2003.

Smiley's review of his best interviews from 2002 will include guests Maya Angelou, Will Smith, Bill Gates, Ray Charles, Cheech Marin, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, Kofi Annan, Condoleezza Rice, Al Jarreau, Jill Scott, Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Halle Berry and Oprah Winfrey.

In keeping with the program's unique presentation of news, events and ideas from a black perspective, anniversary week on The Tavis Smiley Show will present a frank, 5-day discussion on race in America with panelists Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, Kimberle Williams Crenshaw and Connie Rice. Commentators including Ward Connerly, Joseph C. Phillips and Donna Brazile will follow each day's panel discussion with another take on the issues discussed by the panelists.

Well-known motivational speakers will appear on the program throughout the week, with Les Brown on how to live your best life in the New Year, Donna Richardson on heath and fitness and Dennis Kimbro on money matters. The Friday, January 10 program offers a humorous end to the week with encore appearances from comedians Chris Tucker, Adele Givens, Monique, Dick Gregory and more.

Anniversary Week on The Tavis Smiley Show

Monday, January 6: Race and the GOP; Les Brown on living your best life in '03.
Tuesday, January 7: Race and the Democratic Party; a celebrity TV personality interviews Smiley about his historic first year with NPR.
Wednesday, January 8: Race and whites.
Thursday, January 9: Race and blacks.
Friday, January 10: The future of race; a comedy encore.

The Tavis Smiley Show, created by NPR and a consortium of African-American public radio stations, debuted with 16 pilot stations in January 2002. It now airs on 50 stations, including nine of the top 10 major markets in the U.S. The programs are archived daily on the Web at

NPR, renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, serves a growing audience of nearly 20 million Americans each week via more than 680 public radio stations. NPR Online at brings hourly newscasts, news features, commentaries and live events to Internet users through original online reports, audio streaming and other multimedia elements. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwide, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.