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The Tom Joyner Morning Show introduced listener favorite Rickey Smiley as the successor to the morning anchor position established by Tom over the course of 25 years. Joyner, who is retiring at the end of the year, acknowledged that Smiley has established himself as a trusted leader on-air and in the community with his current show, captivating audiences with his authentic humor but also his unique perspective on topics important to his audience. Smiley also announced that Eva Marcille and Gary Wit Da Tea would be among the on-air cast members joining him to broadcast out of the Dallas studios beginning January 2020.

Joyner reflected on his accomplishments and the futureI’m happy to see the landscape of Urban AC morning radio continue to expand with Rickey, and I’m proud of the doors the Tom Joyner Morning Show opened. 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. We broke some ground, raised the bar for what audiences expected from Black radio all while partying with a purpose. Yeah, we’ve done a lot but there’s still a lot left to be done. I’m confident that Rickey’s activism along with his love for radio, the community, and HBCUs, will pick up where we left off.” 

Making the announcement public, Rickey Smiley shared his excitementIt’s an honor to continue the legacy of my boss and frat brother Tom Joyner. Not only has he been a friend to my family and me over the years, but we consider him family. Tom’s mentorship has instilled in me valuable wisdom that I will carry with me through this new morning show.” 

David Kantor, Reach Media and Radio One CEO, acknowledged the collaboration, “Tom changed the entire urban radio marketplace. He entertained and educated multiple generations of listeners over the last 25 years. While there is and will always be only one Tom Joyner, we are excited that Rickey will be moving to Urban AC in January. Like Tom, Rickey’s talent, community consciousness and commitment to his audience will serve his listeners well.” 

Reach Media’s other current morning Urban AC program, The Russ Parr Morning Show, will also continue in syndication into 2020.

BACKGROUND: Rickey Smiley Morning Show Brand and Trajectory

The Rickey Smiley Morning Show has been recognized for its excellence in connecting with its listeners, and continues to grow with the belief that “Radio is community”. The industry took notice in 2017 awarding Rickey with the NAB Radio Marconi Award as the top national/syndicated talent. Rickey uses personality, humor, conviction and relevant information to deliver a high-energy morning show engaging his listening community in unexpected ways. His show has distinguished itself with its innovative mix of entertainment and an unfiltered view on contemporary black life and parenthood, focusing on family, community and mentorship.

Smiley uses his radio platform to express his belief that “we are responsible for each other”, including purchasing a car for a young man profiled on social media who persisted through a daily 3-hour bus commute to his high school for well over a year in order to graduate. Similarly, the discovery of a co-host’s history with domestic violence prompted Rickey to put a spotlight on the urgency of the issue along with the resources available to provide support to victims.

Having attended Alabama State University and participated in numerous HBCU tours, Smiley is an ardent supporter of education – especially Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Rickey reinforces his radio brand 24/7 interacting online, socially with 5 million followers, through his stand-up comedy, reality-based TV shows, and publishing – all amplifying his voice!

Gary Wit Da Tea, well established as everyone’s favorite diva, dishes the hottest gossip on the world of entertainment and his colorful opinions on all topics. With over 22 years on radio, along with numerous TV and charitable initiatives, he’s someone whose thoughts listeners look forward to hearing.

Eva Marcille, while originally known as a high fashion model and television celebrity, contributes a relatable women’s point of view with her sharp wit and sometimes challenging position, bringing balance to the show. She shares her life with listeners from entrepreneurial pursuits to marriage and motherhood.



20 thoughts on “Rickey Smiley, Tom Joyner Announce He Will Debut a New Urban AC Morning Show Beginning January 2nd

  1. KENYA on said:

    i diont care for Tom joyner ok he is a coon ng like oprah ,gayle,and when he removed rkelly music that was it but i like Ricky.

  2. Ted Gravely on said:

    I’ll give Ricky a chance, but I’m not with the Tom Foolery. Tom has comedians, but it’s a party with a purpose. I don’t want gay nonsense pushed down my throat. It’s not natural to listen for hours to a man pretending to be a woman. Absolutely disgusting. Wish them all the best.

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      I agree Ted, Ricky Smiley could be a good fit he has a good show when he gets serious and deals with community, health and political issues. However, he can leave sweet Gary on the curb. I don’t like Gary or his messy, sissy commentary. It’s such a waste of air space having him on the show gossiping about celebrity bulls**t. But I figured they would keep Gary just for the show factor. If I listen to Ricky I literally change the station when he comes on… This will be interesting.

  3. Sonja on said:

    I’m so excited I could pea my pants — I hate to see Tom leave but, I’m excited to see him have the opportunity to go and enjoy life without the commitment of day to day work challenges. While I’m sure this isn’t real retirement for him it’s just the freedom to not be confined. Ricky is a stand up gentleman with such great morals and true manhood he’ll just fall right in Tom’s seat and things will continue to be outstanding as they have always been with Mr. Joyner. I have only one wish as a listener of Mr. Joyner’s show since he was in Chicago; I wish I could have been blessed to meet him in person. I wish you nothing but the very best of success you are one kind and amazing gentleman. God Bless you continue to be bless and continue to be a blessing.

  4. Leslie on said:

    We’re going to miss you Tom! 😢 I’ve never really listened to the Rickey Smiley Show, because they didn’t play the kind of music that I like, but I truly hope that Rickey continues the traditions of community activism and involvement, to include healthcare issues, and voting initiatives. I’m not in the market for a bunch of foolishness and buffoonery, so Rickey, you’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill!

  5. Alex Counc on said:

    I like Ricky and I think we have to understand his name is Ricky not Tom . I am going to miss Tom greatly but Ricky will come in his own way . As long as Tom don’t stop the Cruise and The Family Reunion we good lol

  6. I’m happy to hear! I enjoy listening to both radio shows and now I will no longer have to choose! Lol
    Please also bring the Brat, HeadKrack and Rock T along on the new journey!!! All together they make the Rickey Smiley show enjoyable!!!

  7. Kaylisa on said:

    I know things sometimes must change but we must have Shaun King, Roland Martin and Sybil. They keep us so informed. We need more than comedy and music. I love and adore Ricky but can we please keep them? Oh Lord what am I going to do without TeTe and TaTa and Huggy

  8. Deborah on said:

    Perfect selection! Rickey has the same drive, commitment & passion as Tom. Thank you Tom for all you’ve given us; including passing the torch to Ricky!❤

  9. Connie on said:

    I’ve listened to Tom since he was on WJPC in Chicago before the 25 yrs about 1980 or so. I’m going to miss Tom, Sybil and crew but I know everyone has to retire at some point, I did. I’m going to give Rickey Smiley a chance. These are some humongous shoes to fill!

  10. I am willing to check it out and Ricky is a good guy,but his TV show is not good quality and kiddie like. My favorite and most sensible is Gary on the show. Good luck!

  11. Katrina Gaines on said:

    I respect Rickey’s views on topics…when he is being serious. I hope Rickey doesn’t bring along the jokey joke format he has with the current Rickey Smiley Show. It’s overwhelming. I can’t listen to an entire show. There is a time and a place for jokes, and I hope he patterns the new show after TJMS. I look forward to listening in 2020.

  12. This is where Black radio is going to? Rickey Smiley? Say good-bye to informative Black radio. Going to miss you, Tom. Going to miss the great news segments. Rickey does not do that. His format is nonsense. Sorry to hear that Tom is passing the mantle to Rickey.

    • Msyellarose on said:

      Might want to read the article again. You missed the part that says that Rickey will be switching to an Urban A C format (which is what Tom Joyner’s show is).

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