It's not hard to fathom what parent Clear Channel Communications was thinking when the broadcasting behemoth made the abrupt decision Monday to dump the syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show" at its urban adult WVAZ-FM (102.7) and replace it with the syndicated "Steve Harvey Morning Show," which had been airing on sister Clear Channel urban contemporary station WGCI-FM (107.5).
The reason for the switch can be summed up in two words: young adult. In a press release announcing the changes, Clear Channel dropped in ample hints that it wanted to pull in a younger morning demographic on WVAZ. The release noted that the Harvey show is the number-one-rated syndicated morning show in the top 50 metro markets among young adults 18 to 34 and adults 18 to 49, as well as women 25 to 54. As has often been stated, advertisers covet the younger demos, and that clearly is what the Harvey show, with its heavily comedic bent, is in business to deliver. And with advertising sharply dropping off at nearly every radio station nationwide, managers at every station are doing what they must to pull in advertising.
Though Joyner has a long history here in the Chicago market, his syndicated show appealed, for the most part, to an older listener base. In a email sent to his fan base on Monday, Joyner wrote that "we got where we are by knowing who you are, what you want and by Super Serving our audience." Joyner also suggested in his email just how important the Chicago market was to his syndicated show. "Chicago is home, it's the Mother Ship, the Flagship, all those words that mean it is the place that launched the TJMS," he wrote.
Meanwhile, Clear Channel is expected to announce by week's end what will repalce Harvey on WGCI. It's likely to be another show popular with young adults.