The biggest news story in the industry today is Tom Joyner. There is a scathing but well-written story posted in the Daily Mail which is a UK news source, stating that Tom Joyner is being booted out of the radio industry at the same time as President Obama will be leaving the white house causing an early retirement for Tom. “I feel that Radio One is giving Tom the boot at the same time as President Obama leaving the white house because it’s the end of an era. Tom and his listeners were very instrumental in Obama’s campaigns.” stated an industry source. The Tom Joyner morning show has over 8 Million listeners. The story states that Radio One, the now majority owner of Reach Media (80%) wants to replace Tom with younger talent and that the black-owned radio corporation is deeply concerned with the success of Steve Harvey as a competitor. We talked to Reach Media and they deny the story is true and they state the reporter Ryan Perry, the US west coast correspondent for the UK news outlet, never contacted them or returned calls for any of the information posted.
The story goes into detail about how Tom sold a majority of his company based on the advice of his business partner, Reach Media’s president/CEO David Kantor, who later, the story suggests, “betrayed” Joyner in order to secure a better relationship with Radio One where Kantor was recently promoted to CEO allowing him direct oversight of 54 local stations in 16 markets as well as running the company’s syndication business.
One industry source told All Radio News, “There is a Radio One conference in DC today and they will be discussing the future of the company. I think the story was done strategically. It makes Tom look like the victim here and the outcry from fans is already running amuck. A lot of the story is definitely true, based on my own knowledge but I think it’s still going to work to Tom’s advantage.”
After reading the story myself I can verify that Mr. Perry certainly has keen sources within the industry as well as either Reach Media or Radio One. I don’t agree that all of the information is accurate. What I know is the show is scheduled to go through 2017 when Tom’s contract ends and a renewal is in order instead of 2016 which the story states. At the same time, we have been informed that everyone else’s contract is up for renewal at the end of 2016 which is odd. In addition, I have never heard Russ Parr would replace Tom IF he left his show but he certainly could be a likely candidate. Reach Media’s quote below…
“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.”