Tom Joyner, the successful syndicated radio morning host, announced this morning he’s going to retire in two years.
Joyner, who works out of Dallas and is heard in more than 100 cities, has been hosting the show since 1994. If he retires in 2019, that would make a clean 25 years with the show.
The announcement came out of the blue.
“What a surprise,” said Tony Kidd, vice president of programming for Cox Media Group Atlanta, which oversees Kiss 104.1, the Atlanta station on which Joyner’s show is broadcast. “I don’t know what we’ll do yet.”
Joyner’s note on his blog did not clearly explain why he chose this time to leave the airwaves, but he will be 69 in 2019. Since he started his show, he’s faced off against numerous rivals, including Steve Harvey, Russ Parr and Rickey Smiley.
Joyner kept the note upbeat: “We will continue to be reachable, relevant and ready to super serve our audience in true ‘Tom Joyner Morning Show’ fashion. The celebration will be epic as we remember the guests, the laughs, the tears, the bits, the unforgettable moments we’ve shared together ... and, of course we’ll be making new memories along the way.”
And he added: “When we go off the air each morning, I never say goodbye ... and I’m not saying it now! Here’s to much more good radio!”
Fellow Alabama native, “Daily Show” correspondent and radio host Roy Wood Jr. said, “To call him only a radio DJ is a disservice. Radio has only amplified his mouthpiece and mission to encourage and uplift the black race. He doesn’t spin records and chase a paycheck. He figured out a way to use his platform to help people and save lives.”
Joyner, for instance, has raised more than $65 million for historically black colleges and has promoted voter registration for years.
Wood recalls after tornadoes tore through Tuscaloosa and Birmingham in 2011, Joyner showed up.
“Being at point blank range from the man, I couldn’t even get the gumption to tell him thank you for coming to town to raise money,” he said.
Since then, he has talked to Joyner and has nothing but the deepest respect for the man.
“In this world of fake news, I hope it’s a lie,” Wood added. “Jay-Z said he was going to quit three albums ago!”
Former television reporter and radio personality Monica Pearson praised Jonyer, saying, “He’s done an impressive job raising money for hurricane victims.” she said.
Read more at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.