In the News: Tavis Smiley & Cornel West Launch Weekly Radio Show; Verizon’s iPhone Debut Close

A few noteworthy headlines around the Web

Making headlines (Courtesy of Thinkstock)

Internet Repaired in Egypt, While Unrest Continues

  • Nearly a week after Egyptians reported a country-wide Internet outage, service has been restored, according to the Huffington Post. Social media powerhouses Twitter and Facebook, which have been linked to the rise in the nation’s Web-based activism, are now up and running. The Egyptian government, under President Hosni Mubarak’s rule, ordered the cancellation of Web service six days ago.
  • Violence continues a day after Mubarak refused to yield to protesters’ requests to step down immediately, instead, agreeing to hand over power following the fall elections. Pro- and anti-Mubarak protesters clashed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square when the president’s supporters approached the anti-government demonstrators yelling chants, throwing stones and ambushing them on camel and horseback.

Smiley and West Lock Down Weekly Radio Show

  • Broadcast veteran Tavis Smiley, Smiley Radio Properties and Public Radio International announced today that Smiley and West is now an official weekly public radio program. After taping a four-month pilot available in over 60 markets, including major markets such as New York and Los Angeles, Smiley, alongside Princeton professor Cornel West, built a strong enough following to secure a permanent hour-long slot on the airwaves.
  • “Smiley and West underscores PRI’s commitment to offer new places to discover our diverse, interconnected world, and to stimulate important conversations in American society, and we are excited to distribute it to audiences nationwide,” President and CEO of PRI Alisa Miller said, in a press report.
  • Thus far, the duo have featured comedian Garry Shandling, bluesman Buddy Guy, Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, funkmaster George Clinton and playwright Suzan-Lori Parks on their social conscious news format show.

CNN Hires a Black EVP/ Managing Editor

  • Earlier this week, CNN named Michael Whitaker, former senior vice president and Washington Bureau chief at NBC, as executive vice president and managing editor. Whitaker will start this newly created position on Feb. 14.
  • President of CNN Worldwide, Jim Walton, will work closely with Whitaker and is excited to have him come on board. “Mark is a distinguished journalist and news executive who is experienced in leading large enterprises, and I am pleased that he will help direct our long-term editorial approach and strategy,” said Walton.
  • Previously, the Harvard graduate worked for the digital division of The Washington Post Company and Newsweek, during which time the publication received more established editorial awards than at any time in its history.

Verizon Customers Can Pre-order iPhone 4

  • The hype surrounding Verizon’s iPhone debut just got a little crazier with Apple confirming the service provider will accept pre-orders for existing Verizon customers starting at 3 a.m. on Thursday.
  • Pre-orders are available on a first come, first serve basis and accessible through the Apple Store and Verizon Wireless site.

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