When Tom Joyner retires at the end of the year, he’ll be replaced by a new morning team led by radio personality, comedian and Dish Nation co-host, Rickey Smiley.
Joyner and Smiley are both part of Dallas-based Reach Media, an Urban One company. Joyner reflected on his accomplishments and the history of The Tom Joyner Morning Show on Friday, June 28.
“Twenty-five years ago, there was no template for a syndicated Urban radio show and we worked hard to prove that we could successfully produce and market a national platform that would entertain, inform and empower African-American listeners,” he said in a Reach Media press release.
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Joyner, who is known to fans as “The Fly Jock,” announced in 2017 that he planned to retire. A graduate of the Tuskegee Institute in his hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama, Joyner launched his nationally syndicated radio show in 1994, and became a household name.
“We broke some ground, raised the bar for what audiences expected from Black radio all while partying with a purpose. Yeah, we’ve done a lot but there’s still a lot left to be done,” the 69 year old said. “I’m confident that Rickey’s activism along with his love for radio, the community, and HBCUs, will pick up where we left off.”
Atlanta-based Smiley will broadcast out of Dallas when he launches his new Urban AC program on Jan. 2.
“It’s an honor to continue the legacy of my boss and frat brother Tom Joyner,” Smiley added. “Not only has he been a friend to my family and me over the years, but we consider him family. Tom’s mentorship has instilled in me valuable wisdom that I will carry with me through this new morning show.”
Smiley will be joined by model/reality star, Eva Marcille, and Gary With Da Tea, a current member of The Rickey Smiley Morning Show team.
Marcille got her start in entertainment after winning the third cycle of America’s Next Top Model. Most recently she’s been on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. It’s unclear if she’ll continue on the Bravo series.