Roberta Lee, WNET.ORG
212-560-3134, or LeeR@wnet.org
For Immediate Release:
WNETANNOUNCES CO-PRODUCTION PARTNERSHIP WITH BROADCASTER TAVIS SMILEY
Nightly Talk Show Continues To Air on PBS, Anticipating Smiley’s
20th Anniversary in Broadcasting
NEWYORK, (December 21, 2010) -- Noted broadcaster Tavis Smiley will continue production of his award-winning nightly, national program Tavis Smiley through a new co-production partnership with WNET.ORG, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. The collaboration was announced in a joint appearance by WNET President & CEO Neal Shapiro and Tavis Smiley at the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York. The show will continue to air nightly on THIRTEEN in New York and on PBS stations across the country.
“WNET has incubated most of the programs that have made PBS the “most trusted” news and current affairs broadcaster in U.S. Media. We launched the NewsHour in 1975, Charlie Rose in 1991, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly in 1998, and Need To Know just this year. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Tavis Smiley now, on the eve of his 20th anniversary in broadcasting,” said Neal Shapiro. “Like all great interviewers, his intelligence and curiosity sparks conversation and brings out the most interesting aspects of his guests. He’s an important part of the PBS lineup today and into the future - and we’re delighted to have him join us.”
Since the debut of Tavis Smiley in 2004, the nightly 30-minute national talk program has offered the viewer a unique hybrid of news, issues and entertainment, featuring interviews with politicians, entertainers, athletes, authors and other newsmakers. Tavis Smiley was named to TIME’s list of 100 “Most Influential People in the World” in 2009. While remaining based in Los Angeles, with this new relationship Tavis Smiley will record his show in New York occasionally at the new Tisch WNET Studios, WNET’s flagship facility on the Lincoln Center campus, at Broadway and 66th Street.
“it’s hard to believe that we’re about to commence our eighth season on PBS. When we began our program, the station that I wanted most to be on was WNET in New York,” said Smiley. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would have the honor of being partnered with this iconic broadcast outlet. Our team in Los Angeles is euphoric about this new relationship and we look forward to a long and mutually rewarding partnership with the most regarded station in the entire PBS family.”
In addition to the nightly broadcast, Smiley will work with WNET to explore new media ventures including primetime specials, educational content based on his show, an evolving web presence, and collaborations with other WNET programs.
Smiley continues to host “The Tavis Smiley Show” and to co-host “Smiley & West” with Cornel West, both distributed by Public Radio International (PRI). Smiley is the presenter and creative force behind AmericaI AM: TheAfrican American Imprint, a world-class exhibition celebrating the extraordinary impact of African American contributions to our nation and the world. The exhibit is on a four-year, 10-city tour and will make its next stop in February 2011 at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC. Smiley is also the author/editor of 14 books, including The New York Times best-sellers Covenant with Black America and What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America. His next book, FAIL UP: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure is scheduled to release May 2011. Smiley’s 20 years in broadcasting will be celebrated November 2011 with a star-studded event for PBS. For more information, visit www.tavistalks.com.
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New Yorkpublic media company WNET.ORG is a pioneering provider of television and web content. The parent of THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and Creative News Group, WNET.ORG brings such acclaimed broadcast series and websites as Need To Know, Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Secrets of the Dead, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Visions, Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, Miffy and Friends, Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps and Cyberchase to national and international audiences. Through its wide range of channels and platforms, WNET.ORG serves the entire New York City metro area with unique local productions, broadcasts and innovative educational and cultural projects. In all that it does, WNET.ORG pursues a single, overarching goal – to create media experiences of lasting significance for New York, America and the world. For more information, visit www.wnet.org.
About TAVIS SMILEY on PBS
TAVIS SMILEY is a unique hybrid of news, issues and entertainment, featuring interviews with politicians, entertainers, athletes, authors and other newsmakers. Tavis Smiley was recently named to TIME’s list of 100 “Most Influential People in the World.”
TAVIS SMILEY is produced by The Smiley Group, Inc. / TS Media, Inc. in association with WNET/ New York. Major funding is provided by Wal-Mart and Nationwide Insurance. Additional support comes from PBS. The 30-minute program airs weeknights on PBS. To get local listings and to watch past episodes, please visit www.pbs.org/tavis.