According to Daily Mail
Legendary syndicated radio host Tom Joyner will soon be signing off the air – but not by choice.
Daily Mail Online can reveal the 65-year-old entertainment veteran is being forced into an early retirement to not only make room for younger talent but also to coincide with the departure of President Barack Obama from the White House.
The plan is being put into place by radio conglomerate Radio One along with his best friend and former business associate David Kantor, sources claim.
‘They think going with a younger, fresher show is the way to go and the entire plan has been orchestrated by the man who actually launched Tom into syndication originally,’ a source tells Daily Mail Online exclusively.
Joyner started his syndicated radio show The Tom Joyner Morning Show in 1994 with ABC Radio Networks after hosting a morning program in Dallas and an afternoon radio show in Chicago for eight years.
During that time he earned more than seven million frequent-flier miles commuting daily between the two cities. The vigorous travel schedule earned Joyner the nicknames The Fly Jock and The Hardest-Working Man In Radio.
Kantor, then an executive at ABC Radio Networks, came up with the idea to launch Joyner into national syndication.
As the first African-American host in national syndication, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, which featured co-hosts Sybil Wilkes and comedian J. Anthony Brown, became an instant success.
At its peak it aired in upwards of 120 markets and reaching more than 15 million listeners daily.
‘He was like the Muhammad Ali of radio, the greatest of all time. He was a superstar in the Black community and had crossover appeal that made him respected by the mainstream as well,’ says the source.
In 2003, he launched Reach Media with Kantor who left ABC Radio Networks to run Joyner’s Texas-based media company.
Joyner – whose current radio contract with Radio One ends in December 2016 – actually learned of his friend Kantor’s plan to end his show next year from some radio insiders who tipped him off.
Those who work in his offices in Dallas say that he’s been distraught about it ever since.
‘He’s always moping around and looking like his world is coming to an end. It’s like someone turned the light off in his eyes,’ the source says.
‘Behind the scenes he is always sad and will tell anyone who’ll listen: ‘You know they’re getting rid of me right? I should have never listened to David and sold that stake to Radio One.’
On October 19 Radio One announced that Kantor had been named the new CEO of its radio division.
Insiders speculate that it was Kantor’s exit plan for Joyner that helped secure his new top spot.
‘Tom feels it’s the ultimate betrayal. It’s a slap in the face. The man he took on family vacations, the man he gifted with a Bentley, the man he trusted with everything, and the man he called friend was selling him out to advance himself.
‘It’s heartbreaking for him,’ the source reveals.
Radio One plans to move another syndicated host Russ Parr, 56, into Joyner’s time slots in Washington, DC and Baltimore as a replacement test starting in January.
Then throughout the rest of next year, Radio One will start transitioning The Russ Parr Morning Show gradually into other major markets, ultimately by the year’s end phasing Joyner out altogether.
Neither Radio One or Reach Media has responded to Daily Mail Online’s request for comment.
‘Tom isn’t ready to go and hasn’t even made plans for life after radio. Radio is his passion and it’s all he knows.
‘There’s always a chance of him going to SiriusXM like Howard Stern did, but for now he’s still trying to process his show of 22 years ending,’ says the source.