Rickey Smiley
Rickey Smiley

Charlotte’s morning radio scene is about to get some new competition.

Radio One announced Wednesday that the syndicated “Rickey Smiley Morning Show” will debut Jan. 19 on 92.7 The Block. Smiley will join other big-name morning hosts such as veteran Tom Joyner (Old School 105.3) and comedian and television host Steve Harvey (101.9 WBAV).

Doug James, vice president and general manager for Radio One Charlotte, said in a statement that he believes Smiley will help the station attract more of the valued “millennials” – young adults generally in their 20s and 30s – and the advertisers that covet them. He called Smiley “the perfect fit” for the station.

James said 92.7 has seen “dramatic growth in the Charlotte market” since it was launched in August 2015.

Radio One, based in Silver Spring, Md., launched The Block as a hip-hop alternative to WPEG-FM (“Power 98” 97.9), a longtime leader in Charlotte radio. Radio One had previously used the 92/7 frequency to broadcast a simulcast of its inspirational gospel station WPZS-FM (“Praise” 100.9).

Smiley, one of the nation’s top comedians, has an entertainment career that reaches back more than 25 years. He got his start as an opening act for industry giants such as Harvey, George Wallace and Carl Strong. He is currently touring with comedian Mike Epps.

Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer.