Nearly a month after Clear Channel dropped Tom Joyner's syndicated morning from the Chicago airwaves, the Dallas-based radio host has struck a deal to return to the city where he got his start.
Crawford Broadcasting's Soul 106.3 will begin running the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" Wednesday. Joyner's show has been without a Chicago broadcast outlet since Clear Channel's WGCI 107.5 dropped it on March 23 in favor of Steve Harvey's syndicated show.
"Chicago - and our friends and family from all over the country - you have spoken," Joyner wrote on his blog on blackamericaweb.com. "You have written. You have tweeted -- and once again your activism has made a difference in a big way! We are going back on the air, and if I could hug each and everyone of you individually, I would."
The full release from Black PR Wire:
( BLACK PR WIRE) Dallas, TX - April 20, 2009 - Tom Joyner's, weekday morning radio show, themed, "The Party with the Purpose," will once again be heard in Chicago on SOUL 106.3FM, WSRB/WYRB. REACH Media, parent company of the Tom Joyner Morning Show, has reached an agreement with Crawford Broadcasting that allows a more customized morning program that will be specific to his "radio hometown." The Tom Joyner Morning Show will begin airing on SOUL 106.3FM Wednesday, April 22nd, 5am - 9am weekdays and the weekend program, Right Back At Cha," will be heard on Saturdays from 9am -11am.
Joyner is elated with his new Chicago radio station home stating, "Thank you Chicago , and all our friends and family from all over the country. You have spoken, you have written, you have tweeted--and your activism has made a difference in a big way! We are going back on the air and if I could hug and thank each and every one of you individually, I would. Our new home in Chicago is SOUL 106.3FM."
While the outcry from Chicago listeners about his sudden absence from his previous home station of 13 years has flooded emails, websites, texts and phone messages, Joyner always maintained that he would be back home in "the mothership market" before long. Chicago was the first radio market that signed on to the Tom Joyner Morning Show when the program and its message started, eventually growing to 115 markets it serves today, reaching approximately one in four African-Americans. The Chicago listener following continues to be strong, highlighted by the Arbitron PPM ratings*, released just days after his show was taken off the air March 24th, that showed Joyner ranked #4 mornings in the key demographic of 25-54 year-olds with a 4.6 share for the entire market, and as the top Urban morning show.
In stressing the importance of the message to his listeners," he stated, "Thousands upon thousands of you let the media know that you wanted us back. And it touched my heart to know you cared as much as you did. I felt the love and the sentiment everywhere I went over the last few weeks. But more importantly, what you did reinforced how much power we have and what we can to do when we mobilize behind a cause we care about--the voice of Black Radio!"
Taft Harris, General Manager of Crawford Broadcasting, shared Tom's enthusiasm, "Tom is a cornerstone and a true light for the people in Chicago , which is very much in line with our goals and commitment from WSRB/WYRB. We're confident that Tom will continue to empower, inform and entertain in a way that celebrates Black radio."
Tom's return will also reignite his active involvement with Chicago that in the past has included annual participation in the Taste of Chicago in June, Bud Billiken Parade in August and his "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day," health awareness initiative originally planned for April 7th, but was postponed for the market due to the station change. Also, numerous students have been beneficiaries of The Tom Joyner Foundation, with the mission to keep students in school. In addition, Joyner was most recently credited with initiating voter registration drive drawing response of over 200,000 people with his efforts related to the NAACP Voter Fund/Tom Joyner Morning Show Voter Empowerment Hotline, with the region itself logging tens of thousands of calls.
For listeners wanting to know what they can do to ensure the Tom Joyner Morning Show stays in Chicago, Joyner sends this message, "The best way for you and all of us to claim a victory is for you and everyone you know to make sure all of your radios are tuned in to SOUL 106.3FM weekday morning from 5am-9am. When you do this, we all are helping black radio thrive. Let's show the world, we're not only here but we are strong, we are empowered and we are able to make things happen."
About the Tom Joyner Morning Show
The nation's # 1 syndicated urban morning show, which airs in over 115 markets reaching nearly 8 million listeners, has distinguished itself over the years as continuously giving back to its audience with quality programming, highly popular promotions, special events and philanthropy. Since 2004, Joyner has awarded millions to nearly 2,000 contest winners and his Foundation has raised more than $55 million to help keep students in historically black colleges and universities. The Morning Show with co-hosts Sybil Wilkes and J. Anthony Brown also features news analysis with Roland Martin and special issues reporting from Jacque Reid ; political commentary Stephanie Robinson and Jeff Johnson; and celebrity news with Jawn Murray, as well as comedic observations and lifestyle tips from Sheryl Underwood , D.L. Hughley, and the Celebrity Snitch Huggy Lowdown. Joyner's website, BlackAmericaWeb.com, has more than 1.5 million registered users and delivers news with special reports by award winning journalists and exclusive political coverage as well as interactive elements with on demand audio.