He's got shows on radio and TV. He's unafraid of controversy and would love to be the new King of All Media. Just call Tavis Smiley the thinking man's Howard Stern. This year, the author of six books and host of a National Public Radio show has added PBS news talk-show host to his resume.
TV Guide Online: You've talked about having "conversations of substance." How are your interviews different from other talk shows?Tavis Smiley: I could ask all the regular pop-culture questions. But I try to stay away from that. For example, I interviewed Anthony Minghella, the director of Cold Mountain, and I asked him how he could do a movie set in the Civil War and walk all around the issue of slavery. He was ecstatic. He said, 'You are the first person to ask why I did not do any scenes about that.' So that's what I mean. It's in [my approach]. But more important, [my shows] are the first on NPR and on PBS to come from the West Coast.