witf is taking the civic issues focus of witf TV’s Smart Talk program, adding seasoned reporter Matt Paul as host, and combining them with its popular Radio Smart Talk program to introduce Smart Talk Friday. The result? Great radio for the region!
Smart Talk Friday, a special weekly edition of Radio Smart Talk, will debut October 25 and will include engaging interviews and two-way conversations about politics, policy, and the people shaping Pennsylvania’s future. Listeners will also interact in a direct and responsive way via call-in, Twitter, Facebook and recorded comments. The weekly program will feature observations and conversations with political observers including former NPR political junkie, Ken Rudin, as well as Terry Madonna, and more. witf FM reporter, Matt Paul will serve as host of Smart Talk Friday and Mary Wilson, witf’s state Capitol bureau chief, will also appear regularly on the program.
Matt Paul is a member of the witf news team as a multimedia reporter/producer; he spent six years with witf’s RadioPA Network. Matt’s work has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. Mary Wilson’s reports are heard statewide on Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WHYY in Philadelphia and WESA in Pittsburgh.
Smart Talk Friday will air each Friday on 89.5 and 93.3 FM, from 9-10 A.M., and repeat at 7 P.M. Radio Smart Talk will continue to be hosted by Scott LaMar Monday through Thursday, featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.
The launch of Smart Talk Friday also marks the end of the Smart Talk TV series, which will conclude with five episodes this fall. The final episode will air on October 17 and will feature a special commemorative look-back at notable guests and stimulating topics over the course of the show’s lifespan. Smart Talk, which has been distributed statewide since 2010, has earned multiple Emmy nominations and Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters' Association awards over the last decade. The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored the program’s host, Nell McCormack Abom with a 2011 Emmy as Outstanding On-Camera Talent/Program Host/Moderator.
“Creating Smart Talk Friday was an obvious decision. It reinforces our mission to deliver the civic news and information audiences seek through the platform that they most prefer,” said Cara Williams Fry, witf Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer.
Other original productions on witf TV will continue including HealthSmart, witf’s Emmy Award winning, locally produced program that offers inspiration for better health. The program airs quarterly and is currently in its eighth season. witf will also continue to produce its popular documentary productions such as The Life of Maurice Goddard, Girl Scouts: Shaping a Century , UncommonWealth, PA Parks, The War Stories, as well as special community forums. witf regularly produces content for Transforming Health, which carries a strong TV component within the broad-based multimedia project.
As witf President and CEO Kathleen Pavelko explained, “All broadcast programs have a life cycle. I am enormously proud of the success of Smart Talk TV and its many significant awards, as well as resounding audience appreciation.”
The program’s host, Nell McCormack Abom added, "It has been an honor to host Smart Talk for the last 12 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Thursday night conversations with viewers and newsmakers across the state. It is rewarding to know that we helped inform and engage Pennsylvanians on critical issues facing the Commonwealth, and that our peers distinguished our program with awards for broadcast journalism excellence.”
Radio Smart Talk has more than 40,000 listeners each week, according to data from Arbitron Inc. The program airs live every weekday at 9 a.m. on witf 89.5 and 93.3 and repeats at 7 p.m each evening.
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