Friday, February 3, 2017

Report: Steve Harvey Image Needs Mending

Embattled radio/tv host Steve Harvey is working to mend his image following on-air joke demeaning Asian men and a meeting with the highly divisive President.

A source tells Confidential at the NY Daily News that handlers for Harvey have been in contact with crisis control expert Judy Smith, the real-life fixer upon whom the TV show “Scandal” is based.

Smith, one of the best in the business, has been linked to scandals involving infamous White House intern Monica Lewinsky, disgraced TV host Paula Deen, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former NFL star Michael Vick and tax cheat Wesley Snipes.

Judy Smith
Harvey apologized Jan. 17 for implying that neither black nor white women find Asian men attractive on his eponymous show, which will end its five-season run in May. He plans to return to television with a new chat program in the fall, under the guidance of a different production company.

The 60-year-old broadcaster’s radio show will soon leave Chicago for L.A. — a move that came at Harvey’s request, we’re told. The transition will happen amidst an active campaign from competitor Tom Joyner, who has urged listeners who are “angry with Steve, come on back home to me!”

While being associated with President Trump has proven unpopular for some black performers, including singers Chrisette Michele and Kanye West, one prominent radio insider says that Harvey’s radio career won’t necessarily be damaged by his ties to The Donald.

“It’s a mistake to assume that all African-Americans have the same political point of view,” says industry vet Michael Harrison, of Talkers magazine. “Some of the most successful African-Americans on talk radio have done so by appealing to the conservative audience,” he said.

Harrison says it’s too early to measure post-inauguration radio ratings, but when all is said and done, Harvey will be fine unless the networks become convinced that he can no longer sell advertising.

Reps for Premiere Networks, which syndicates Harvey’s radio program, declined to comment, as did reps for Harvey’s TV show.

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