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Tavis Smiley

March 1, 2009 | Larry Gordon
With an African American president in the White House during a tough recession, the 10th annual State of the Black Union convention organized by talk show host Tavis Smiley in Los Angeles on Saturday offered forums for both enthusiasm and worry about the future. About 6,000 people attended the meeting at the Los Angeles Convention Center and heard prominent black political and cultural figures discuss African American issues in the era of Barack Obama.
October 7, 2006 | Bernadette Murphy, Special to The Times
PULL up a chair. Whet your appetite with a glass of ice-cold lemonade, and settle back as Tavis Smiley tells you about his growing-up years. The popular TV and radio talk-show host and social activist has become a media personality, thanks to his many on-the-air interviews, including his recent exclusive talk with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. He's also the author of several books, including "Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing, and Hope From Black America."
October 1, 2006 | Patrick Goldstein, Times Staff Writer
BARRELING through a staff meeting one morning in his Crenshaw Boulevard offices, Tavis Smiley suddenly stops and stares at a copy of Jet magazine. It has a story about Smiley's "The Covenant With Black America," which was a surprise hit earlier this year. What stops Smiley in his tracks is his photo. "Where'd they get that picture?" he asks his staff.
June 28, 2005 | Matea Gold, Times Staff Writer
A consultant hired by the Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to monitor the political leanings of guests on PBS' "NOW with Bill Moyers" last year also tracked the content of programs hosted by NPR's Diane Rehm and public broadcaster Tavis Smiley, according to a Democratic senator who obtained a copy of the analysis. The consultant, Fred Mann, provided Kenneth Y.
March 12, 2005 | From Associated Press
Tavis Smiley has found a new public radio home and will begin hosting a weekend discussion show next month. Smiley, who left National Public Radio in December after a contract dispute, on Thursday announced a deal with Public Radio International to host "The Tavis Smiley Show" and produce other programs. He will continue to serve as host of his late-night PBS talk show "Tavis Smiley" and is creating a series of prime-time specials for PBS.
March 8, 2005 | Susan Carpenter, Times Staff Writer
When Tavis Smiley walked away from his National Public Radio show in December, it highlighted the problem of personality-driven programming: When the personality disappears, so does the program. Only in Smiley's case, the problem wasn't merely the celebrity vacuum his departure created for the 86 stations that carried it, but the glaring hole it made in minority-oriented coverage on public radio.
November 30, 2004 | Lynn Smith
Talk-show host Tavis Smiley said Monday that he was not renewing his contract with National Public Radio, criticizing NPR for not reaching out to a wider audience. "After all that we've accomplished towards our goal of seeking a broader, more diverse and younger audience for public radio, NPR has simply failed to meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans," Smiley wrote in an e-mail to station managers.
December 23, 2003 | David Folkenflik, Baltimore Sun
When Tavis Smiley does things, he does them big. The talk show host's March 2001 dismissal from cable network BET prompted national headlines. Smiley regrouped the next year by launching a new program on, of all places, National Public Radio. Although his overtly political sensibility is not to every taste, "The Tavis Smiley Show" has enjoyed stirring success in drawing new listeners to more than 60 stations in major cities, including KPCC-FM (89.3) in Pasadena, where it airs weekdays at 8 p.m.
August 18, 2003 | Greg Braxton, Times Staff Writer
Almost three years after being fired from his nightly talk show at Black Entertainment Television in a controversy with his then-boss, commentator and author Tavis Smiley will launch a national late-night talk show on PBS. "Tavis Smiley," billed as the first West Coast talk show for PBS, will originate from KCET Studios in Hollywood starting in January, and will be paired weeknights with the network's long-running "The Charlie Rose Show."
The way Tavis Smiley sees it, one challenge of being an African American broadcasting pioneer is striking a balance between reaching a broad audience and remaining, as he calls it, "authentically black." Another challenge is getting up for work at 2:30 a.m. Starting Monday, Southland listeners will get two chances a day to hear how he does it, when his 5-month-old, hourlong show debuts on KPCC-FM (89.3) and KCRW-FM (89.9).
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