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Radio Icon, Tom Joyner Retires After 25 Years

Oh oh oh (oh oh oh oh) it’s the Tom Joyner Morning Showwwww!

After 25 years, today was Tom Joyner’s last day on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. The Tom Joyner Morning Show has been a staple in the black community for years. It has gotten black families through their early morning routines.

Tom Joyner was born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama. His father Hercules L. Joyner was a former Tuskegee Airman and a member of the first group of African American pilots during World War II. While his mother was a secretary for the military. He also had a sibling Albert Joyner.

In 1970 Joyner graduated from Tuskegee Institute in his hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama, where he earned a Bachelors degree in Sociology. Some ask, if his major was sociology then how did he begin his career in radio. Well it was through a civil-rights movement protest against a radio station. The radio station refused to play “black” music, so the station manager decided to make a change and Tom volunteered himself for the position. He then later started at WRMA, a morning station in Montgomery Alabama.

Between the 1970’s and the early 1990’s tom Joyner had positions at multiple radio stations.

When the mid 1980’s came around his contract was about to expire at WRMA. He was then offered the Morning Drive time position at KKDA in Dallas, Texas. That wasn’t his only offer, he was also offered a position as Afternoon Disc Jockey with WGCI in Chicago, Illinois. Little behold, Tom took them both. His plan was to fly back and forth between Dallas and Chicago everyday. He eventually earned the name “ The Fly Jock” since he spent so much time flying.

By 1994 he convinced ABC Radio Networks that his show the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” could work in syndication. ABC Radio accepted his proposal and his show onto the air. In 2004 he transferred his syndication rights to Radio One.

In 2005, the "Tom Joyner Television Show" was launched with Tom as the emcee of a comedy show. The show went on to have some of the biggest celebrity guest, achieve top ratings for a weekly syndicated program themed to African American viewers and so much more. After a year, Joyner decided to stick to radio and cut the television show due to production cost for a certain part of the show.

Though a radio pioneer, Joyner, has always been one to give back. He created the Tom Joyner Foundation and has raised more than $65 million dollars to help keep students in historically black colleges and university (HBCU’s). Tom graduated from Tuskegee Institute and encourages every black student to attend an HBCU. His foundation is there to serve the African American Community.

Today is a sad day for the black radio community but is also a day to honor Tom Joyner. He has accomplished so much during his career. Just to name a few , The National Association of Black Journalists Lifetime Achievement Award; the NAACP President’s Award; Best Urban Contemporary Air Personality from Billboard magazine (four times); Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC); and Best DJ of the Year Award which is re-named the Tom Joyner Award because he won so many time. He has established that he is passing the torch to Rickey Smiley, owner of the #1 Hip-Hop morning show, The Rickey Smiley Morning Show Show.

Congrats on your career Mr. Joyner. Thank you for giving the black community a radio station that we need!

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