Home > PUM Catches up with Ms. Bev - the Queen of Late Night Talk-American Urban Radio Talk Show Host is recovering from bilateral surgery and cancer

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PUM Catches up with Ms. Bev - the Queen of Late Night Talk
American Urban Radio Talk Show Host, Bev Smith is recovering from bilateral surgery and cancer but still uses her voice as one of the nation's top Radio Personalities to reach the Diverse Communities.
  
Bev's Bio-Bev Smith began her television and radio career in 1971 when she was named Pittsburgh’s first African-American Consumer Affairs Investigative Reporter for WPXI Television. In 1975, she was named News and Public Affairs Director for Sheridan Broadcasting and hosted a lively talk show on Sheridan's flagship station, WAMO. Since then, Bev Smith has taken her “fire brand” style of talk shows to KDKA and WTAE Radio in Pittsburgh, WNWS in Miami, WKIS in Orlando and WRC in Washington DC. Bev also worked at Black Entertainment Television for over thirteen years, as the host of the popular national television talk show "Our Voices." 

Bev is currently the host of "The Bev Smith Show" heard on the American Urban Radio Networks, where she is fondly known as "The Queen of Late Night Talk." She has hosted the show since 1998, and is the only African American woman radio talk show host who has a nationally syndicated show in the country. Bev captures her audience with the latest news makers. Never afraid to tackle issues, she has lived with the homeless, walked the streets investigating prostitutes, raised money for babies with AIDS and talked with inmates on death row. She has interviewed personalities such as Bill Cosby, Vice President Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton and a host of guests, many of whom she now refers to as her “special 20 friends. ”The Bev Smith Show" offers a "Unique Community Connection," African-Americans know and trust her to deliver critical information and entertainment news.
 
PUM ONE ON ONE WITH PITTBURGH'S BEV SMITH
PUM: MS. BEV, APRIL 29TH, 2010 YOU HAD BILATERAL SURGERY, HAVING BOTH OF YOUR KNEES REPLACED, AND NOW YOU ARE  BACK ON THE AIR- HOW ARE YOU DOING?
MS. BEV: It's much harder than I could imagine. Knowing what I know now, I would of  had the surgery sooner because I was in a lot of pain. I didn't know what a relief it would be to be able to live without pain, now, all the pain I feel means I'm healing. I had one of the most complicated surgeries, having both my knees replaced. Thanks to my team of Doctors, Ed McClain and James Bradley at UPMC's St. Margaret Hospital. They are both some of the most efficient and successful Orthopedic Surgeons in the nation, and I am very blessed to have them as my Doctors. Also, I am especially blessed to have Dr. Frank Costa, one of the nation's leading Urologist mentor me every step of the way through this difficult process. All of my Doctors watched me very closely, around the clock, and now while I'm in recovery they periodically call me to make sure I'm on track. I want to give a shout out to the Physical Therapy Team at St. Margaret's here in Pittsburgh and all of their staff, they all went above the call of duty to make sure this very difficult process was smooth for me.
PUM: AFTER HAVING TWO KNEE REPLACEMENTS WHAT IS THE RECOVERY PROCESS ENTAIL?
MS. BEV: Initially during the recovery process you just can't walk. And then little by little you start to take baby steps. The goal is to have you back walking in 6 to 8 weeks. When they put a new knee in your body,  you have to first find out if the knee will work.  I can finally bend my knee for the first time in 4 years without crying out in pain because of the surgery.
Before the surgery I could barely sit or stand, it's a miracle that  I'm now recovering very well. The Doctors think it's especially a miracle as it relates to the speed of my recovery. It's going quickly, and given my age and damage to my knees, I'm doing extremely well with my recovery process.
Also note, two years ago I was also diagnosed with Breast Cancer and after 27 radiation treatments I am cancer free. I am still on chemo-therapy medication however. But, all of these medical conditions, including having a thyroid condition, have made me stronger, even though I was depressed at times, I thank God for the support of family and friends during these tough times. Indeed, it has been a true test of my faith and very challenging.
 
PUM: YOU WERE BACK ON THE AIR IN MAY BECAUSE  AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS BUILT A STUDIO IN YOUR HOME.  BROADCATING A NATIONALLY SYNDICATED TALK SHOW FROM YOUR DOWNTOWN PITTSBURGH CONDO, THAT IS INTERESTING.
MS. BEV: I am the only African American woman syndicating a talk show in more than 10 radio markets, it's a highly competitive time and that's why the station put a studio in my home to help accommodate my recovery process. While my Doctors didn't want me to go back to work until September, by adding the equipment to my home, it made it a lot easier for me to work. I love it, I love the fact that American Urban Radio Networks cooperated and  they cared enough about me to make it easy. In my 41 years working in the broadcasting industry I can't think of a time when Management cared enough to accommodate me.
 
PUM: YOU ARE SCHEDULED TO RETURN TO WORK THIS SEPTEMBER WITH SOME EXCITING PROJECTS.
MS. BEV: When I return to work about the middle of September, we would like to broadcast a national town hall meeting that will focus on the disappearing black community. Currently, there's no identifiable, united black community. That is why we as African Americans are in trouble on all levels, social, economic and as it relates to health issues. The moment we ran away from our communities we lost our cohesiveness, not only in Pittsburgh but across the nation. We want to examine why did the Black community go away and where did it go?
PUM: AS A WOMAN SO DEDICATED TO YOUR JOB,  WAS IT DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO BE OFF THE AIR FOR A WHILE?
MS. BEV: I am honored to be the voice of the Black Community, it is a lot of hard work and dedication. On the "Bev Smith Show," we are able to talk about everything, from war, to controversy. Main stream media may call me for one or two things, but I'm proud of the fact that on "The Bev Smith," show we talk about the difficult issues plaguing the diverse communities nationwide. For me, it is a privilege to talk about issues relating to our community.
 
PUM: PITTSBURGH IS YOUR HOME, AS IT RELATES TO THE CITY AND IT'S GROWTH WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT WHERE THE CITY IS HEADING?
MS. BEV:  I think Pittsburgh needs a lot of work. On one hand I see prosperity and then there's a hidden city of destitute, crime and all of the negative elements that comes with a city. We need to find out why there's two Pittsburgh's especially when it comes to African Americans. Why is there a wealthy, active and prosperous working class for some, while simultaneously another community has to deal with high unemployment rates, extreme crime, where bullet shots can be heard in their communities every night. I believe this is a combination of city management, and the communities failure to rebuild. City officials need to address unemployment in the Black and Hispanic communities and why these groups don't have jobs in this region.  I attribute this very serious issue to Racism on all levels.  Once we address these issues, where blacks and whites are working better together, we can celebrate prosperity in the city.  In the city that helped to launch my career, I'm hurt by the startling statistics that were outlined in a very extensive report put out by The University of Pittsburgh about the state of the Black Community demonstrating very serious living conditions.
 
PUM: I HEAR YOU HAVE SOME EXCITING PROJECTS UNDERWAY, OUTSIDE YOUR RADIO GIG.
MS. BEV: Yes, I'm excited about the fact that I'm a working on two books, and I'm in discussions about a possible television show. I have a full load of speaking engagements and I'm revamping my schedule to accommodate these speeches after my recovery. The "Bev Smith Show," will also be heard on the Armed Forces Radio Network this fall,  I'm excited about this opportunity to reach our men and women in the services.
 
 
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