April 5, 2011

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer to Interview Tavis Smiley - Celebrating 20 Years in Broadcasting


On Wednesday, April 27 at 7pm, two of the public broadcasting’s most lauded interviewers will take the stage at The Cooper Union for “An Evening with Tavis Smiley: Changing the World One Conversation at a Time.” For more info visit wnyc.org/events

WNYC’s Peabody Award-winning host Brian Lehrer will welcome noted broadcaster and New York Times best-selling author Tavis Smiley to New York City as part of Smiley’s six-city tour celebrating Smiley’s 20 years in broadcasting. This time, the tables are turned as Smiley becomes the interviewee, answering questions from Brian Lehrer and audience members. The two will discuss Smiley’s latest book, Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure and Smiley’s dynamic career as a broadcaster, author, publisher, advocate and philanthropist.

“To acknowledge my twentieth year in broadcasting, I wanted to travel the country and do what I enjoy doing most: engage in dialogue with Americans of every race, culture, preference and ideology,” said Smiley. “It is my hope that these conversations will enlighten, encourage, empower and inspire us all as we continue on our quest to make America as good as its promise.”

In 2010, Smiley left his studio chair in Los Angeles to go on the road with his Tavis Smiley Reports primetime specials on PBS, which examined some of the country’s most defining moments. In addition to his radio and television work, Smiley has authored 15 books. His memoir, What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, became a New York Times best-seller, and the book he edited, Covenant with Black America, became the first nonfiction book by a Black-owned publisher to reach #1 on The New York Times’ best-sellers list. Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure will be released on May 1, 2011. In Fail Up, Smiley steps from behind the curtain of success to recount 20 instances of perceived “failures” that were, in fact, “lessons” that shaped the principles and practices he employs today. Readers will find a kinship in Smiley’s humanness that inspires, informs, and reminds us of our inherent ability to achieve and grow in spite of life’s inevitable setbacks.

Lehrer is host of The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC Radio's daily call-in program, covering politics and life, locally and globally. The show airs weekdays from 10am-noon on WNYC 93.9 FM, AM 820 and wnyc.org. The Brian Lehrer Show was recognized with a 2007 George Foster Peabody Award for "Radio That Builds Community Rather Than Divides." TIME Magazine has called Lehrer's show “New York City's most thoughtful and informative talk show.” The Daily News calls it “cutting edge” for its extreme interactivity and creative use of the internet.

The Tavis Smiley Show from Public Radio International airs on WNYC AM 820 on Saturdays at 4 p.m. Smiley and West, the intellectually energetic radio program Smiley co-hosts with Dr. Cornel West, airs on WNYC AM 820 on Sundays at 4 p.m. Smiley is also host of the late-night television talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS.

New York Public Radio is New York's premier public radio franchise, comprising WNYC, WQXR, and The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, as well as www.wnyc.org, www.wqxr.org and www.thegreenespace.org. As America's most listened-to AM/FM news and talk public radio stations, reaching 1.1 million listeners every week, WNYC extends New York City's cultural riches to the entire country on-air and online, and presents the best national offerings from networks National Public Radio, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the British Broadcasting Company. WNYC 93.9 FM broadcasts a wide range of daily news, talk, cultural and music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a stronger focus on breaking news and international news reporting. Classical 105.9 WQXR is New York City’s sole 24-hour classical music station, presenting new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, among other New York City venues, immersing listeners in the city's rich musical life. In addition to its audio content, WNYC and WQXR produce content for live, radio and web audiences from The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station's street-level multipurpose, multiplatform broadcast studio and performance space. For more information about New York Public Radio, visit www.nypublicradio.org.

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