After reigning over Black radio with his eponymous show for the past quarter-century, legendary morning radio show host Tom Joyner has announced that he will retire at the end of the year, according to NewsOne and Radio One.
Joyner, the Hall of Fame pioneer who was nicknamed the “Fly Jock” early in his career, is handing over the reins to his fellow frat brother Rickey Smiley who also already has a vast national syndicated audience on lock. As the host of “Rickey Smiley Morning Show,” the “Rickey Smiley For Real” reality show, author of Stand By Your Truth, and star of Friday After Next film, Smiley is sufficiently equipped to fill the massive void that will be created by the iconic Joyner’s retirement.
“We broke some ground, raised the bar for what audiences expected from Black radio all while partying with a purpose,” Joyner told NewsOne. “Yeah, we’ve done a lot but there’s still a lot left to be done. I’m confident that Rickey’s activism along with his love for radio, the community, and HBCUs, will pick up where we left off.”
Smiley, who is also very community-oriented, philanthropic, and a fierce defender of HBCUs, is honored to follow in his mentor’s footsteps. Like Joyner, Smiley is an Alabama native and a member of the Black Greek fraternity Omega Psi Phi.
“It’s an honor to continue the legacy of my boss and frat brother Tom Joyner,” Smiley said referencing their Omega Psi Phi bond. “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.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution predicts the transition will be seamless.
“This is a clear generational shift without a lot of strategic risk,” the AJC stated. “Smiley is already a known national figure and the hope is his older fans will move with him.”