Tom Joyner, 65, is reportedly being pushed out of his own syndicated radio show to make room for younger talent.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the radio legend will be forced into early retirement next year so that Radio One – which owns a majority stake in Reach Media’s The Tom Joyner Morning Show – can move its other syndicated host Russ Parr, 56, into Joyner’s chair.
Also, Joyner’s forced departure is reportedly timed to coincide with the end of Barack Obama’s presidency in 2016. According to the Daily Mail, a “quiet plan” to phase Joyner out took root in 2014 “to lineup with the culmination of the Presidential election and President Obama’s departure from the White House.”
A source explained: “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. They felt that the end of Obama’s term would be the ideal time for him to also leave.”
Reach Media has responded to Daily Mail Online’s story, saying: “Any stories that suggest major changes to the Tom Joyner Morning Show are inaccurate. Tom Joyner is under contract with Reach Media until the end of 2017. We expect that Reach will continue to syndicate Tom’s show beyond that date and for as long as he would like to be on the air. There has 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; but Tom Joyner and the Tom Joyner Morning show continues to be strong and is a daily Party with a Purpose. Reach is committed to Tom Joyner for the long term who remains committed to radio, his audience and the future.”
Ironically, a source told Daily Mail Online that the plan to dump Joyner was masterminded by his best friend and former business associate David Kantor, “the man who actually launched Tom into syndication originally.”
Quick backstory on Kantor:
Joyner launched “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” in 1994 with ABC Radio Networks, where Kantor was an executive. It was Kantor’s idea to launch Joyner into national syndication – and the program quickly became the number one syndicated urban morning show, with more than 15 million listeners daily in over 120 markets at its peak. In 2003, Joyner launched Reach Media with Kantor, who left ABC Radio Networks to run Joyner’s Texas-based media company. In November 2004, Radio One acquired a 53% stake in Reach Media for $56.1 million in cash and stock, which gave the company ownership rights of The Tom Joyner Morning Show and Joyner’s website BlackAmericaWeb.com. In 2012, Kantor encouraged Joyner to sell more stakes in Reach Media to Radio One, a source tells the Daily Mail. In December of that year, Radio One increased its stake to 80% and that decision, according to Daily Mail, “was something that Joyner would live to regret.”