Ex-BET Host Smiley Nabs PBS Talker

Former Black Entertainment Television talk-show host Tavis Smiley will host a
nationally distributed PBS weeknight talk show beginning next January.

The half-hour series, which will feature a unique mix of news and pop
culture, will premiere Monday, Jan. 5, PBS representatives said.

Smiley currently hosts an issues-oriented show on NPR.

BET fired Smiley as host of BET Tonight in April 2001 after he failed
to offer the network an exclusive interview with a former Symbionese Liberation
Army fugitive. The interview was eventually sold to ABC.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.