Princeton professor Cornel West and broadcaster Tavis Smiley are joining forces this fall to co-host a new radio show. Both are provocative and well-known public figures and leveraging the current popularity of the Tavis Smiley Show and integrating their professional and personal relationship, they will “explore contemporary, cutting-edge issues.” The announcement came 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. 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." – Tavis Smiley
The show will be one hour long and air on a weekly basis on Public Radio International (PRI) affiliates nationwide. President and CEO Alisa Miller says that, “PRI is proud to bring the broadcast to audiences nationwide and to support Tavis as he encourages conversation about issues of importance." According to Miller, “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.”
The first half of the show consists of Tavis and West discussing current news topics. They will focus on stories that deserve attention, but are being ignored by mainstream media outlets. They will also give listeners the opportunity to directly engage the co-hosts on issues they may disagree with on a segment called “Take ‘Em to Task.” The final 30 minutes of the show will be a conversation between Tavis, Cornel, and a special guest. The first episodes will feature New York Times columnist Frank Rich and comedian, actor and writer Garry Shandling. Future episodes 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. 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." – Cornel West
Check out www.smileyandwest.com for more details on the show and how to participate.