Tom Joyner, radio’s “fly jock,” retires at age 70!!! It’s a wrap for the radio host as of Friday, December 13, 2019. Though I can’t remember not having Joyner waking me up each morning, he started his radio show back in 1994.
‘Tom Joyner Morning Show’ Ends After 25 Years
Oh, Oh, Oh, no more Tom Joyner Morning Show! Known as the “hardest working man in radio,” Joyner has called it quits at 70-years-old.
After hosting the #1 syndicated urban radio show for an astounding 25 years, he’s turning off his mic.
As followers, we have listened and watched as Joyner entertained us, made us laugh and made us think. Introducing us to “Nephew Tommy,” he made us laugh out loud with radio pranks. But he also taught us a thing or two about our own black heritage with the little known black history facts and other content.
Over a hundred markets, Joyner reached over 8 million listeners. As told to Jericka Duncan, CBS News correspondent –
“Our thing has always been to empower people. But to empower, we have to first entertain, if I’ve got you laughing, I’ve got you listening.” – Tom Joyner
How did he get the name “Fly Jock?” By the mid 1980s, Joyner earned the nickname “fly jock” because he was offered two jobs and accepted both positions. Because of Greed, Joyner stated, he took both jobs, flying between Dallas for a radio show in the morning and another one in Chicago in the afternoons.
Initially, when he first started on the radio his goal was to do his show for African Americans. Clamoring to be on his show, politicians knew that if they wanted to reach black voters, The ‘Tom Joyner Morning Show‘ was a great place to start. During the election of 1996, Joyner was credited with registering a quarter of a million black voters.
Tom Joyner Says Money Definitely Played A Part In His Exit From The Radio
Earning upwards of 14 million a year at his peak, Tom Joyner made a success out of something he loved to do. Apparently, money became an issue later in his career, as he explains –
“But it got to a point where they would – ‘All right, we’re gonna cut your salary in half.’ ‘Okay.’ ‘And then in half.’ ‘Okay.’ And then in half two years ago.”
“Because my salary was based on my results, and not only was I losing affiliates but radio industry as a whole was losing traction.”
After being asked by CBS News’ Jericka Duncan, “If you had been offered more money, would you have stayed longer?” Joyner, laughing, answered –
“Heck yeah. Shoot, I – my goal was to die on the radio. Have my funeral on the radio.”
Rickey Smiley Will Take Over As The Radio Morning Show Anchor
Announcing his replacement, Joyner is passing the baton over to his personal friend and fellow radio show host, Rickey Smiley. Smiley who will take over Joyner’s hosting duties as the morning radio anchor, says he is honored to ‘continue the legacy of his boss and frat brother.’
“I’m happy to see the landscape of Urban AC morning radio continue to expand with Rickey, and I’m proud of the doors the Tom Joyner Morning Show opened. Twenty-five years ago, there was no template for a syndicated Urban radio show and we worked hard to prove that we could successfully produce and market a national platform that would entertain, inform and empower African-American listeners. We broke some ground, raised the bar for what audiences expected from Black radio all while partying with a purpose. Yeah, we’ve done a lot but there’s still a lot left to be done. I’m confident that Rickey’s activism along with his love for radio, the community, and HBCUs, will pick up where we left off.”
The Rickey Smiley Morning Show will air on HOT 99.5 starting January 2, 2020
During his final show, Tom Joyner received surprise messages from Mary J. Blige, Tyler Perry and Ice Cube, as reported by the Source. Oprah Winfrey and other celebrities also congratulated Tom on his retirement.
What’s Next For The “Fly Jock?”
Already raising over $60 million to support historically black colleges, Joyner says he will continue in that direction and concentrate on –
“putting [money] in the hands of college students to help their tuition at historically black colleges. That’s my goal. All after 12 noon.”
Happy retirement to you, Mr. Tom Joyner. Keep making us proud!
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