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Tavis Smiley leaving NPR in December

Host denounces network's inability to reach minority listeners
/ Source: Hollywood Reporter

After nearly three years on the air, Tavis Smiley has opted not to renew his contract with National Public Radio to host his daily one-hour talk show.

Smiley said Monday that his last day on the air will be Dec. 16. In announcing his decision, Smiley criticized NPR for what he characterized as its failure to “meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply don’t know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future.”

The launch of “The Tavis Smiley Show” was designed in part for NPR and its member stations to reach out to minority listeners. An NPR spokesman said the company will launch a nationwide search for a replacement host.