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A conversation with veteran media personality Tavis Smiley

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On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Tavis Smiley, veteran media personality, author, philanthropist and radio station owner.

Tavis Smiley posing
Courtesy of Tavis Smiley

Recently, Smiley returned to the airwaves as an owner of a talk radio station KBLA - the only African American owned talk station west of the Mississippi. Smiley began his radio broadcast career in Los Angeles at KGFJ 1230 AM. After making a name for himself in the city of the Angles, he became a familiar voice to African American listeners on the nationally syndicated radio show, “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.”

Smiley talks about attending Indiana University, moving to Los Angeles, his start in broadcasting, working at BET, having a signature daily talk show at NPR, his segue into television and becoming a broadcast owner.

John L. Hanson is the producer and host of the nationally syndicated radio series In Black America. It’s heard on home station KUT Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m., as well as weekly on close to 20 stations across the country. The weekly podcast of IBA, the only nationally broadcast black-oriented public affairs radio program, is one of KUT’s most popular podcasts.
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