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Mark Riley (American radio host): Wikis


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Mark Riley (born September 22, 1951) is an American journalist and commentator, known most recently as the host of a four-hour evening news, interview, comment, and culture program, The Air Americans, on the liberal talk radio network Air America Radio. His work at Air America Radio including co-hosting the morning drive show, Morning Sedition with stand-up comic Marc Maron.

Riley was also employed by WLIB 1190AM in New York City, where he worked for 33 years as a broadcast journalist, program director and air personality. He has also worked with Richard Bey co-hosting the morning drive program at WWRL 1600AM New York.

Riley’s first radio opportunity was as host of the public affairs program Urban Notebook, which skyrocketed in popularity throughout the New York tri-state area. In 1986, Riley moved to the prime time morning slot and broadcast live from the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. Since that time, Riley has worked his way up through a spectrum of roles including writer, editor, managing editor, executive editor, and program director.

During his 1992-1996 tenure as program director of New York's WLIB (1190 AM), Riley identified the diversity of the WLIB audience and set out to establish more balance between the African American and Caribbean dimensions of the station's programming. Riley also pioneered the station's efforts to enhance listener awareness in the political arena, airing full coverage of all Democratic and Republican conventions since 1990, as well as coverage of both Democratic Inaugurals in Haiti.

Over his career, Riley has interviewed former President Bill Clinton, South African President Nelson Mandela, former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former New York mayor David Dinkins, current New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Lena Horne, Spike Lee, Max Roach, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, Muhammad Ali, Cornel West, and Don King. Mark also interviewed a young up-and-coming recording artist, Regina Spektor. In 2007, Mark interviewed Sanjaya Malakar from season 6 of American Idol, right before he got eliminated.

In March 2004, Air America began broadcasting from New York, with WLIB as its flagship station. Riley was one of the few holdovers from the WLIB staff, and co-hosted the morning drive program Morning Sedition. In December 2005, he began hosting The Mark Riley Show (also on Air America), a two-hour morning news program. This show ended on May 11, 2007, so that Riley and his producers could prepare for the launch of The Air Americans.[1] After the cancellation of the show, Riley and Richard Bey became the hosts of now-Air America flagship WWRL's morning show, a partnership that lasted until Riley's return to WLIB. Riley remained at WLIB until December 2008.

On October 3, 2009, Riley returned to WWRL as the host of Working New York, a weekly radio program airing Saturdays.[2]

In addition to radio, Riley is a popular TV political analyst with frequent appearances on The Road to City Hall on New York 1 News and The Lou Dobbs Show on CNN.

Riley has also appeared as a commentator on BET, CNN, The Charles Grodin Show, CNN's Reporters Roundtable, the Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, The CBS Early Show, and MSNBC.

International credits include work as a contributor for BBC Radio and a documentary producer for the BBC2 in London.


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