Montgomery city councilman looks to replace Tavis Smiley

Montgomery city councilman Tracy Larkin is in the running to replace radio host Tavis Smiley on the radio.
Montgomery city councilman Tracy Larkin is in the running to replace radio host Tavis Smiley on the radio.

by Eileen Jones - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - This Thursday is a big day for one of Montgomery's City Council members. He is up for a job that will bring him national recognition.

It was 1995 when syndicated radio host Tom Joyner did his first live radio show from back home here in Alabama. "It was a good day. Probably the best show we've done so far," said Joyner.

But, how did Joyner get from Tuskegee to Dallas then Chicago with a nationally syndicated radio program? City Council member Tracy Larkin knows. "He was hired to work at WRMA for his first full time radio job and I was the program director who hired him."

Larkin worked in radio and television and he knew Tom Joyner from back in the sixties when they worked together. "I do count myself as among those very fortunate people who have a home phone number. I have his e-mail address," says Larkin.

And now, Joyner is in a position to hire Larkin.  Joyner's radio program is holding auditions to replace commentator Tavis Smiley who quit recently and Larkin says he knows he's facing some tough competition.

"This is high cotton because most of the people you see displayed in that web site are people who......have some kind of national presence. They have authored books......done other kinds of things, and....I'm just a small town boy from Alabama."

However, Larkin has no trouble giving his opinion. In fact, he was fired from a Montgomery radio station for speaking his mind. "If Tom Joyner had been working at that same radio station he would have been fired too."

Larkin also doesn't know what he plans to talk about on Thursday morning. All he knows is he's facing a big opportunity. "It's the best opportunity available today to an African American to have an impact on how African American people live in this country."

You will be able to hear Larkin's audition Thursday morning. They don't have an exact time but they think he will be live around 7:15 on 97.1 FM.

People throughout the country are being asked to vote on the commentator they like the best.  In order to vote, there's a link in the "write it down" section on our web page.