The Rickey Smiley Phenomenon

Syndication One’s “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show” is picking up some steam. It was just announced that the show was added to Perry Broadcasting’s KVSP Oklahoma City and URBan Radio urban outlets WJZE Toledo, WMSU Columbus, Miss. as well as WOWE/Flint, Mich., WJJN Dothan, Ala., WRSV Rocky Mount, N.C., KRVV Monroe, La., WJXM Meridian Miss., and KBCE Vicksburg Ms. That’s a pretty impressive line-up for a show that has done well in Dallas but has had all sorts of internal strife going on that pegged Smiley, (a standup comic) as a difficult talent to work with. However, at one recent industry confab Rickey was touted as a golden child on par with Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey and Michael Baisden. I have to admit that I haven’t heard the show in months, (will do that this week) so I don’t know how improved it is from the rocky start it had in the beginning, but if nothing else, Rickey is passionate about his audience. That, along with his name recognition as a comedian, is resonating with small to mid market stations particularly in the south. It’s an interesting battle on the Urban 18-34 morning show front with Rickey and Big Boy. There is enough difference in the targets and appeal of the two shows to carve out separate niches, but it’s good to see some fresh choices in the marketplace.

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