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Tavis Smiley leaves Tom Joyner show — will I replace him?

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June 27th, 2008

By Guest Blogger Faye Anderson

Faye Anderson

After a 12-year run, Tavis Smiley gave his last commentary on the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” In summing up what Tavis meant to the TJMS, Tom Joyner wrote:

Before Tavis came on board, I was happy with almost every element of our show, but something was missing. I had the vision of educating and empowering our listeners, and Tavis helped me make that happen. We started with a national voter registration campaign/party that eventually became The Sky Show. It grew into protesting the sale of slave memorabilia and leading the fight for Rosa Parks to receive the Congressional Medal of Freedom. Tavis called it radio activism. I called it a party with a purpose. It gave our show the balance of music and comedy it needed.

Joyner’s “party with a purpose” is heard by over 8 million listeners in 115 markets. It’s also available live at BlackAmericaWeb.com.

A search is underway for the next voice “to elevate, educate, entertain and inform Black America.” I am honored to be one of eight candidates who will compete to be the next Commentator.

The order of on-air auditions was determined by lot. So my tryout is scheduled for Tuesday, July 15 at 8:10 am ET. The winner will be announced in September.

BTW, it’s not a popularity contest. Instead, finalists will be rated on, among other things, the topicality of their five minutes of commentary.

The TJMS is building a webpage for each finalist where you can go and weigh in on who should be the next Commentator. The site will be up next week. In the meantime, please feel free to send me suggested topics by posting in the comments below, or email me at andersonatlarge[at]gmail[dot]com.

Back in the day, the Temptations sang, “Vote for me and I’ll set you free.” Now, I ain’t promising all that. But as a lifelong activist, I promise thought-provoking commentary that will empower listeners to “get up offa that thing” and get involved.

Guest Blogger Faye M. Anderson is a citizen journalist, and public policy and new media consultant. Faye writes a daily blog at Anderson@Large and AOL Black Voices.

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