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For immediate release
August 29, 2002
NPR: Jenny Lawhorn,

Tavis Smiley Brings A Bold, New Voice To Alabama Public Radio

TUSCALOOSA, AL - Beginning September 2, 2002, The Tavis Smiley Show from NPR will air Monday-Thursday from 7-8pm on Alabama Public Radio stations WUAL 91.5 FM Tuscaloosa/Birmingham; WQPR 88.7 FM Muscle Shoals/Florence and WAPR 88.3 FM Selma/Montgomery. The Tavis Smiley Show will air after Fresh Air and before Evening Jazz.

The Tavis Smiley Show, a one-hour magazine, offers intelligent talk, news and ideas presented by one of America's most exciting, young personalities. Accomplished author and broadcaster Tavis Smiley has gained national attention as a smart, lively interviewer. His trademark passion and energy fuel his NPR show, which features substantive and provocative discussions, commentary, exclusive interviews (Bill Clinton and Bill Gates have been recent guests) and reports on everything from politics to pop culture.

"I'm pleased and proud to be heard on Alabama Public Radio. Alabama has a high profile in black history, and I think listeners are going to find the variety of issues and perspectives on my radio show interesting and relevant," said Smiley, who visits the Alabama frequently and counts friends and family among its residents. "We cover everything-politics, money, relationships, race, class, culture and more. If it's being discussed-or better yet, if it's not-we'll be talking about it, and we'll be breaking news."

The Tavis Smiley Show, launched on a few public radio stations in January 2002, is now heard on almost 40 stations, reaching both mainstream and African-American audiences. In his first seven months on the air, Smiley interviewed newsmakers and personalities from Bill Cosby to Bill Clinton to Senator John McCain and Halle Berry. His show includes regular guests, including professor Cornel West, who in recent months announced his departure from Harvard for Princeton on Smiley's program; Omar Wasow, technology guru and executive director of; Michael Eric Dyson, author and University of Pennsylvania professor; and Johnnetta Cole, president of Bennett College.

Time magazine selected Smiley as one of America's 50 most promising young leaders while Newsweek profiled him as one of the "20 people changing how Americans get their news" and dubbed him one of the nation's "captains of the airwaves." The New York Post screamed "Look out Larry King - here comes Tavis Smiley!"

As the former host of BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley on Black Entertainment Television, Smiley became known as Black America's favorite talk show host, honored with the NAACP Image Award for Best "News, Talk or Information Series" for three consecutive years. He is also the recipient of the Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award from the National Association of Minorities in Communications.

Smiley is the author of five books. His new book, Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing and Hope from Black America is due out in September 2002. Smiley offers political commentary on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and is a contributing editor for USA Weekend magazine. He is also a correspondent for CNN and an ABC-TV special correspondent for Good Morning America and Primetime Thursday.

The Tavis Smiley Show is the result of an ongoing collaboration between NPR and a consortium of African American public radio stations, including WCLK-FM in Atlanta, GA.; WNCU-FM in Durham, NC; WJSU in Jackson, MS; and WEAA in Baltimore, MD.

The show's Web presence at allows users anywhere in the world to find information on show topics and guests, listen to the latest broadcast, hear archived versions of previous shows and find stations that broadcast the program.

The Tavis Smiley Show is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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.