Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)
(Source: Black Enterprise) After using his voice to educate, entertain, and empower the African American community for decades, legendary radio host Tom Joyner is signing off for good. The Tom Joyner Morning Show aired for the very last time Friday morning.
The show first aired in 1994 and went on to become the No. 1 syndicated urban morning show in the country, reaching more than 105 markets and nearly 8 million listeners nationwide. In an interview with CBS This Morning, the 70-year-old radio giant admitted that he decided to retire because the radio industry doesn’t pay as much as it used to. At his peak, Joyner said he was earning an annual salary of $14 million. However, that figure has been slashed several times in recent years.
“It got to a point where they would [say], ‘Alright, we’re gonna cut your salary in half.’ ‘OK.’ ‘And then in half.’ ‘OK.’ And then in half two years ago,” Joyner told CBS News National Correspondent Jericka Duncan. “Because my salary was based on my results, and not only was I losing affiliates but the radio industry as a whole was losing traction.”
“If you had been offered more money, would you have stayed longer?” Duncan asked. “Heck yeah,” he replied. “My goal was to die on the radio. Have my funeral on the radio,” Joyner said with a laugh.
Prior to becoming a radio icon, Joyner had a brief stint with the legendary soul band The Commodores while attending Tuskegee University alongside his lifelong friend, Lionel Richie. However, because the group wasn’t making money at the time, he left to focus on his budding radio career.