Tavis Smiley Renounces National Public Radio

Talk show host Tavis Smiley bids farewell to National Public Radio. Smiley, 40, reportedly said NPR has tried hard but fallen short of reaching “a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio.” The Tavis Smiley Show was launched January 2002 as a daily, one-hour program that was a collaboration between NPR and the African American Public Radio Consortium. The show drew 900,000 listeners weekly, of which 29% were African American. NPR will continue the program with a new host. Smiley has not disclosed his future plans.

Black relationship guru Michael Baisden has struck a syndication deal with ABC Radio Networks. His popular radio show, Love, Lust and Lies, is among the highest-rated afternoon drive programs in the New York metro area, heard daily on 98.7 Kiss FM/WRKS-FM, which will be the flagship station for the new syndication agreement. Company officials say the five-year deal will significantly expand ABC Radio Networks’ multicultural broadcasting presence in communities throughout the U.S. Baisden joins Tom Joyner and Doug Banks as leading black radio personalities represented by ABC Radio Networks.

Retailer Abercrombie & Fitch settles landmark race and sex discrimination class action lawsuits, agreeing to pay $40 million to several thousand plaintiffs. The settlement calls for Abercrombie to increase diversity not just in hiring and promotions but also in its advertisements and catalogs. The firm’s marketing materials have long featured largely all-white images.

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