Tavis Smiley is making a comeback on talk radio in Los Angeles.
The radio and TV veteran will host a new self-titled show on reformatted radio station KBLA Talk 1580 — which launches on Juneteenth. The new venture comes three and a half years after Smiley was fired from PBS.
The radio station is described as “unapologetically progressive” on the KBLA’s website.
The Tavis Smiley show offers “conversations with thought leaders, opinion makers, celebrities, authors and artists. Plus, socially conscious commentary that challenges listeners to re-examine the assumptions they hold, and expand their inventory of ideas.”
Smiley isn’t just a host, he’s also an owner. He bought former radio station KDAY and decided to revamp it into talk radio for the African American audience.
“The problem with talk radio in L.A., frankly, is that for too many years and too many decades, it’s been all day, all night, all white,” Smiley told NBC Los Angeles reporter Beverly White this week.
[Watch the video below]
The new radio station goes live at the stroke of midnight on June 19.
PBS parted ways with Smiley in December 2017, amid “multiple, credible allegations” of sexual misconduct, as previously reported. He admitted having romantic relationships with colleagues, but said the interactions were consensual.
Smiley sued PBS in D.C. Superior Court claiming racial bias contributed to his firing. The network counter-sued and demanded Smiley return his pay for a season that didn’t air. A jury sided with PBS and ordered Smiley to pay $1.5 million for violating the network’s morals clause. A judge later increased the amount to $2.6 million, per The Washington Post. Smiley is appealing.
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The media veteran continues to deny claims of unwanted sexual advances. “My reputation means everything to me, and the people who know me, — and have known me for years — have agreed to work with me,” he told NBC Los Angeles.
Following the weekend launch of his new radio station, Smiley’s show debuts on Monday, June 21 at 9 a.m.
Other high profile hosts on the station include stand-up comedian Alonzo Bodden; actor, comedian and social commentator D.L. Hughley; as well as Dominique DiPrima and Don Amiche who both jumped from Stevie Wonder’s KJLH.