DALLAS — After 25 years on the air, the “Fly Jock” Tom Joyner has decided to pass the mic to someone else, and enter the glory days of retirement.
“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,” the 70-year-old radio legend said in a statement.
Joyner famously hosted the nationally-syndicated “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” and is also founder of Reach Media Inc., the Tom Joyner Foundation, and BlackAmericaWeb.com.
Joyner was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, and graduated Tuskegee Institute with a degree in sociology. In college, he joined the fraternity Omega Psi Phi. At first, his goal was to be a musician, and he joined a band, the Commodores, that included his college friend Lionel Richie, but the band did not make any money and his family encouraged him to seek another way to make a living.
After that, Joyner got into broadcasting, beginning his career in Montgomery, Alabama, and continued on to work at a number of radio stations across the country.
In 1985, Joyner was simultaneously offered two positions: one for a morning show in Dallas and one for an afternoon show in Chicago. Instead of choosing between the two, Joyner chose to take both jobs, and for eight years, he commuted daily by plane between the two cities, earning the nicknames “The Fly Jock” and “The Hardest Working Man in Radio”.
In 1994, Joyner was signed by ABC Radio Networks to host TJMS, which he retired from on December 13, 2019.