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Rickey Smiley Named to Succeed Retiring Radio Veteran Tom Joyner

Rickey Smiley named to succeed retiring radio veteran Tom Joyner.

Syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner, who will retire at the end of 2019, has announced his successor. Fellow Reach Media radio host Rickey Smiley (The Rickey Smiley Morning Show) will be stepping into Joyner’s morning slot, bringing along on-air cast members Eva Marcille and Gary Wit Da Tea when Smiley’s new urban AC show bows on January 2, 2020.

The announcement comes as Joyner closes in on wrapping his multi-city One More Time Experience concert tour, marking his 25th anniversary in radio syndication. The veteran radio personality initially gained pre-syndication national fame in 1985 when he began hosting a morning and afternoon show in two different cities. His eight-year commute between Dallas and Chicago earned him the nicknames “The Fly Jock” and “The Hardest Working Man in Radio.” Joyner’s multi-faceted career also includes founding Reach Media, the Tom Joyner Foundation and BlackAmericaWeb.com. 


“Twenty-five years ago, there was no template for a syndicated urban radio show,” said Joyner in a statement. “[The Tom Joyner Morning Show] worked hard to prove that we could successfully produce and market a national platform that would entertain, inform and empower African-American listeners. We broke some ground, raised the bar for what audiences expected from black radio—all while partying with a purpose. 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 will broadcast his show from studios in Dallas, noted, “It’s an honor to continue the legacy of my boss and frat brother Tom Joyner. Tom’s mentorship has instilled in me valuable wisdom that I will carry with me through this new morning show.”


Added David Kantor, CEO of Reach Media and Radio One, “Tom changed the entire urban radio marketplace. While there is and will always be only one Tom Joyner, we’re excited that Rickey will be moving to urban AC. Like Tom, Rickey’s talent, community consciousness and commitment to his audience will serve his listeners well.”

Additional details about Smiley’s new show will be announced in the coming months. Reach Media’s other morning urban AC program, The Russ Parr Morning Show, will also continue in syndication into 2020.