Chicago Sun-Times
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The "Tom Joyner Morning Show" is expanding its reach in the Chicago market. Effective Wednesday (June 2), the Joyner Show now heard on WSRB-FM (106.3) will be simulcast on WPWX-FM (92.3) from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The simulcast is expected to allow the Joyner program to be heard in more households than it could reach just on WSRB, where the popular show moved after it was dropped from the line-up at urban adult contemporary WVAZ-FM (102.7) more than a year ago. The "Steve Harvey Show" replaced Joyner on WVAZ, where Joyner had been a fixture for 13 years. The move by Clear Channel Radio Chicago outraged many of Joyner's loyal listeners.

Joyner is optimistic the simulcast will make it easier for fans of his show to access the program. "Finally listeners don't have to drive with their computers to hear us when they leave the south side," said Joyner. "Tom Joyner is Chicago radio," added WPWX program director Jay Alan. "He is a huge voice for our community . . .and that is why the 'Tom Joyner Morning Show' is being expanded to Power 92," added Alan.

Chicago was the first market in which the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" was broadcast. The program is now heard in more than 100 markets nationwide, reaching one in four African-Americans.

The addition of the Joyner show to the WPWX line-up means the station's current morning drive host Trey Da Choklit Jok will move to the 9 a.m. to noon slot. Shawn Knight will host noon to 3 p.m., and Sam Sylk 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

PX187_3D18_7.JPGIt'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.



About the blogger

Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Tom Joyner category.

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