Tom Joyner Morning Show

Last updated
The Tom Joyner Morning Show
GenreTalk, Urban Adult Contemporary, R&B/Soul
Running time240 minutes (approximately)
Country of origin United States
Home stationVarious Urban AC/R&B station affiliates (based in Dallas, Texas)
Syndicates Reach Media
Starring Tom Joyner
Sybil Wilkes
Created by Tom Joyner
Original releaseJanuary 3, 1994 – December 13, 2019
Opening themeOh, oh, oh, it's The Tom Joyner Morning Show

The Tom Joyner Morning Show is an American nationally syndicated radio program, hosted by veteran broadcaster Tom Joyner. The program, which aired on Urban contemporary- and Urban adult contemporary-formatted stations across the United States, ran from January 3, 1994 until December 13, 2019.



The program aired live Monday through Friday for four hours, beginning at 6:00 AM Eastern time and was based in Dallas, Texas, where Joyner was previously the local morning host at KKDA-FM. The program remained in Dallas until the mid-2010s, when Joyner began hosting remotely from South Florida after relocating to that area. The show's format featured Joyner and various contributors reporting and discussing the latest news and sports of the day alongside popular R&B songs from the 1970s through the present-day. The weekly best-of compilation was offered to affiliated stations on weekends under the title Tom Joyner's Right Back at 'Cha.

Southwest Airlines was a prominent sponsor of the radio show, especially Joyner's on-site remotes (called "Sky Shows"), and offered free round-trip airfare to any destination that Southwest flew as a recurring giveaway on the show.

Joyner attributed the national show's success to his complete refusal to serve non-black audiences. He stated in 2000: "We do a show for African Americans. That's what we do." In 2019 he stated: "Don't worry about crossover. Just super serve, super serve, super serve. Anything that affects African Americans, that's what you do." [1]


Joyner, who was perhaps best known for commuting daily by plane between Dallas and Chicago while simultaneously hosting local radio programs in both cities (conferring upon him the nickname "Fly Jock"), [2] and as the first host of the syndicated television series Ebony/Jet Showcase, [3] was signed by ABC Radio Networks in 1993 for a new national show to be distributed to Urban contemporary stations. The Tom Joyner Morning Show premiered on January 3, 1994. [4] Joyner gained ownership of the program in 2003 when he co-founded his own company, Reach Media. [5] The Black-owned media company Radio One (now Urban One) acquired majority ownership in Reach Media in November 2004, and took over syndication rights to the program in a joint venture.

In 2017 Joyner announced that he would retire and that the show would end in 2019, its 25th anniversary in syndication. [6] In the summer of 2019 Joyner announced that Rickey Smiley, who was hosting a competing syndicated morning program on Urban contemporary- and Rhythmic adult contemporary-formatted stations, would succeed him on Joyner's Urban AC affiliates. [7] The final live episode of the Tom Joyner Morning Show aired on December 13, 2019. Joyner stated on his last program that his decision was made because of repeated salary cuts (claiming that successive cuts had reduced his salary nearly 90 percent); acknowledged that cultural changes and radicalization among black audiences ("I think we were more woke then than now") had reduced his influence and thus his listenership and affiliate count; and further stated that his own financial greed—about which he was unrepentant—drove much of his radio career. [1]

Following Joyner's sign-off, Reach Media and Urban One offered "best of" compilation programs until December 31, 2019. On January 2, 2020, many of Joyner's former affiliates began airing the reformatted Rickey Smiley Morning Show.

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