Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Smith, Paul W.

For over a quarter of a century, Paul W. Smith has been “the king of morning talk radio in Detroit” as dubbed by the Wall Street Journal. As host of the Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-760 AM, he has kept listeners abreast of the latest news and events through his lively interviews with business leaders, politicians, and celebrities. Inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2013, the University of Michigan graduate began his broadcasting career at 15 years old in 1968 at WVMO in Monroe, Michigan and later at WSPD in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio.  

In 1984, Smith moved to the morning drive slot at CKLW in Windsor, Ontario for a year before moving to Detroit’s WJR as a weekend host. Within a year, Smith had added a weekday show at WABC in New York City to his duties, later moving (and commuting) to New York’s WMCA while still hosting weekends at WJR. 

In 1990, Smith was hosting a noon interview show at WJR while also working mornings (via satellite) at WWDB-FM in Philadelphia. With the 1996 passing of legendary WJR morning host J.P. McCarthy, Smith took over the popular early morning slot. He has also filled in on national radio broadcasts for Paul Harvey, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, and since 2006 has written a weekly column for the Detroit News.  

Through his annual Paul W. Smith Golf Classic, he has raised millions of dollars for Detroit area children’s charities and has served as the master of ceremonies at fundraising events for a countless number of other charities.