Talk show host and political commentator Tavis Smiley is set to join forces with Princeton professor Cornel West to co-host a new radio program entitled “Smiley & West.” The show premiers Oct. 1.over Public Radio International’s network.

Expanding on Smiley’s current program “The Tavis Smiley Show,” this new venture will fuse the personal and professional relationship between the two men to address contemporary issues.

“Dr. West is a long-time friend and I am honored that he has agreed to go on with his journey with me,” Smiley said in a statement. “This new venture, Smiley & West, will not only set the pace for tomorrow’s news but will be a conduit for the insightful conversation that America is thirsting for. I’m excited that alongside one of America’s greatest thinkers, we will encourage, enlighten and empower our listeners together.”

The hour-long program, which will air on Public Radio International affiliates nationwide, will begin with the duo discussing current affairs in politics and culture. They plan to focus on subjects that are not currently being covered by the media, but still deserved to be addressed.

Listeners can interact with the pair during the “Take ‘Em to Task” segment of the show in which they can discuss or challenge any subject spoken on. The show’s final segment will feature a conversation between Smiley and West and a special guest. Planned guests include politicians, celebrities and intellectuals, among other newsmakers.

Smiley plans to celebrate his 20th year in broadcasting by hosting a five-city tour to sit down with other broadcasting figures. “An Evening with Tavis Smiley: Changing the World One Conversation at a Time” will stop in Memphis, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Seattle, with other cities to be announced later.

West, who also serves as a philosopher, author and critic, is widely known for his political insight on race and civil rights. He achieved national recognition in 1993 with his best-selling book, “Race Matters,” an intense analysis of racism in American democracy.

For more information on the “Smiley & West Show,” visit