October 4, 2011

Bev Smith Gets the Ax from American Urban Radio Networks


Listeners Will Not Get a Chance to Say Goodbye to Bev, Her Last Shows will be Pre-Recorded "Best Of's"...

Bev Smith, the nationally syndicated black female talk show host and a one time talk show host on BET, will no longer be on the air live effective immediately. Bev Smith told Pittsburgh Urban Media that she was notified by phone and advised that her daily live broadcast will be substituted with previously aired shows presumably until October 28th on American Urban Radio Networks.

Jerry Lopes, president of program operations and affiliations at AURN, said that the decision to stop distribution of "The Bev Smith Show" was one of "several expense reductions made in response to declining ad revenues and a sputtering economy."

According to numbers supplied by Lopes, 88 percent of Ms. Smith's audience on New York's WWRL-AM is over 55, and 53 percent is over 65. At WVON-AM in Chicago, 86 percent of her audience is over 65 and at WAOK-AM in Atlanta, 62 percent are over 65.

"I see it as about being a certain age and gender," Smith said in an interview last Friday. "If you've ever listened to me, you'll know I'm not afraid to tackle the truth. Is this something about black women's voices? Because there are no other black women nationally doing what I'm doing."

Read more of what Bev Smith had to say to Pittsburgh Urban Media

Also recently cut in August was Tene Croom, the former news director at AURN. She had been at the radio network for 17 years. The network's parent company, Sheridan Broadcasting sold their hometown affiliates WAMO AM and FM along with WPGR in 2009, the last remaining urban stations in Pittsburgh at the time for economic reasons. Since then a new WAMO has been resurrected earlier this year, but without a great deal of buzz.

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