This rumour (sic) is coming out of a strange place…the U.K. The Daily Mail Online is reporting that syndicated radio legend Tom Joyner being forced into early retirement. The plan is apparently to phase him out of radio to coincide with President Barack Obama leaving the White House.
“They think going with a younger, doctor fresher show is the way to go and the entire plan has been orchestrated by the man who actually launched Tom into syndication originally, link ” said a source to Daily Mail Online.
Joyner became an instant success when he started The Tom Joyner Morning Show in 1994, making him the first African-American host to be in national syndication. Soon, he was the number one urban morning show and was riding high as one of the most successful shows in radio history.
“He was like the Muhammad Ali of radio, the greatest of all time. He was a superstar in the Black community and had crossover appeal that made him respected by the mainstream as well,” the source recalled.
However, 65-year-old Joyner has lost power as Radio One has acquired more and more of his show, and finally, Joyner’s number was up. A plan was set in motion to put Joyner out of radio, and Obama’s White House departure was the logical choice as a time marker. “Tom’s show has always been about community activism, education and social justice and he played a major part in helping President Obama get elected,” the source said. “They felt that the end of Obama’s term would be the ideal time for him to also leave.”
Radio One allegedly plans to move syndicated host Russ Parr, 56, into Joyner’s time slots in Washington, DC and Baltimore starting in January.
The news has not been confirmed by either Joyner Radio One or Reach Media.
Late Tuesday (12/1) Reach Media circulated this note to affiliates on the Tom Joyner rumors– “Any stories that suggest major changes to the Tom Joyner Morning Show are inaccurate. Tom is under contract with Reach Media through the end of 2017.” (The Daily Mail report said his deal expires in December 2016 and that powers inside the syndicator “felt the end of Obama’s term would be the ideal time for Tom to also leave.”) “We expect Reach will continue to syndicate Tom’s show beyond that date [end of ’17], and for as long as he would like to be on the air. There have always been refinements and updates to the show, as well as market changes due to local conditions, and there may be some in the future.”
In the memo to affiliates Reach also tells stations it’s “committed to Tom Joyner for the long-term” and that Joyner “remains committed to radio, his audience and the future.”