Culture

Iconic Radio Host Tom Joyner Signs Off After 25 Years On The Air

Iconic Radio Host Tom Joyner Signs Off After 25 Years On The Air

Oh oh oh..It’s the Tom Joyner Morning Show!

On the evening of December 13, 2019, “The Fly Jock,” Tom Joyner said farewell, hosting his final show on nationally syndicated radio after 25 years on the air, NewsOne reports. 

The legendary radio host did one final show for his 8 million listeners before signing off. Joyner has the No. 1 syndicated urban morning show and airs in more than 100 markets across the nation. His voice has been the soundtrack to our mornings, ushering us to work and school for generations and we can’t believe we have to say goodbye.  

The 70-year-old icon is a native of Tuskegee, Alabama. It was there that he got his start in radio, attending civil rights marches in his hometown. “I’m out there protesting the fact that our radio station in this all Black town didn’t play any Black music. And this guy who owned a radio station, which was inside a Ford dealership, came out and said ‘I don’t need this, I’m trying to sell some cars. Tell you what, it’s a sun-up sun-down station. Every Saturday, I’ll let one of you play all the Aretha and Temptations that you want.’ That’s how it started,” Joyner recalled. 

The rest is history! Joyner made a name for himself very quickly, starting on the radio in the 70s until The Tom Joyner Morning Show became nationally syndicated in 1994. Making him the first African American radio host to have a show in syndication. In 1996, during a “60 minutes” interview, he proudly proclaimed that his show was for Black people. “We do a show for African-Americans. That’s what we do,” Joyner told the media. He said catering to Black people specifically is the secret to his success. “Don’t worry about crossover. Just super serve, super serve, super serve. Anything that affects African Americans, that’s what you do. Just worry about connecting to people and their needs,” Joyner said. 

He earned his name “The Fly Jock” early on in his career, flying between a morning show he hosted in Dallas and an afternoon radio show he hosted in Chicago. When asked how he juggled that for eight years, Joyner jokingly replied, “greed.” At one point, Joyner was garnering around $14 million a year. 

But with more power, comes more responsibility. The radio mogul has made it his mission for over two decades to uplift communities through entertainment. “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,” he told CBS News. In 1996, Joyner was credited with registering some 250,000 Black voters. When politicians come to market to Black audiences, most often, they go to the Tom Joyner Morning Show. 

With his influence, Joyner has managed to raise more than $60 million to support historically Black colleges and universities across the country. He spoke to media about how he plans to continue that now that he’s retired. “Putting [money] in the hands of college students to help their tuition at historically Black colleges. That’s my goal. All after 12 noon.”

You will be deeply missed in the mornings Mr. Joyner! Onward and upward!