Marianne Williamson, one of the Oprah Friends who will be chattering on the talk show hostess’ new XM Radio channel, will broadcast her show from Detroit.
The Oprah and Friends channel launches today on XM Radio Channel 156.
Williamson tapes her show, which will include interviews and call-ins by listeners, at the OnStar/XM studio in the RenCen, but eventually, XM will build her a studio at her suburban Detroit home. Thus far, she hasn’t touched on any Detroit-related themes, but she expects that will happen eventually. Her show will air Tuesdays at 1 p.m. and will be rebroadcast at 7 p.m., as well as 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. Wednesdays.
Williamson is the best-selling author of such spiritual tomes as “A Return to Love” and “Everyday Grace.”
One of her first shows will deal with forgiveness.
“I talk to a man whose son was murdered by a gang member, who extended his hand in friendship to the grandfather of the boy who killed his son,” Williamson said last week. “Now, they’re best friends who go around the country talking to fourth- and eighth-graders about forgiveness.”
Like most of the Oprah Friends, Williamson has been honing her radio skills for the past few weeks.
“We’ve been practicing for almost a month now with dry runs, so when we launch, we’ll sound polished,” Harpo Radio general manager John Gehron said last week. “Oprah has wonderful friends. It’s been remarkable working with these people. They’re all bright, fast learners.”
Williamson first came to Detroit in 1998 to pastor what is now the Renaissance Unity Church in Warren. She left her post in 2002 but stayed in the Detroit area.
This isn’t Williamson’s first go-round with radio. She had a brief stint, barely a week, on a Detroit station she prefers not to name.
“I got fired because I wanted to put a Palestinian and an Israeli together to come into the studio to talk about peace,” Williamson said. “Because I didn’t want to take the (political) perspective that my boss wanted, I got fired.”
Some of the other personalities whose shows will air on “Oprah and Friends” include poet Maya Angelou, fitness expert Bob Greene, psychologist Dr. Robin Smith and Oprah’s best friend, Gayle King. For more information on the Oprah and Friends channel, go to www.oprah.com/xm/xm_landing.jhtml.