Is Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey the BEST we can do in Urban Radio?


Radio Facts: As I watch Tom Joyner try to get his show back on in Chicago, I ask myself one question… have we truly forgotten how to groom NEW talent?
Why is there such a great need on the urban side (and CHR to an extent as in Rick Dees) to keep recycling old(er) talent??? Tom Joyner is 60 and Steve Harvey is 56, Keith Sweat is 48. Are you telling me there is no 24 year old out there who shows great promise as the next big thing in urban radio or are we still playing by the dated rules of “pay your dues and someday you will be great” that’s the biggest crock of sh… I have ever heard of and I wish I wouldn’t have fallen for it for the few years that I did. That’s the WORST advice anyone can give or get in this youth driven industry. Out of all 3 of the above mentioned, Tom is the only TRUE radio vet.. but I personally can’t listen to either of them. Tom’s show, the last time I heard it was just a myriad of forced laughter, dead air and 70’s humor. The show is terribly dated and needs and giant youthful swift boot in the ass. Why isn’t there a 23 year old on the show being groomed? I will give Tom credit however as an EXCELLENT community activist and aggressive component for community issues but we have a black president now, we need a bit more than that when it comes to radio.
Steve Harvey… Once again, the show is also dated, I have laughed a couple of times but I have never set my alarm to a station running the show or listened to it in the car. Most of the people on that show have been around for 15 or 20 years too (except Steve who still has limited radio experience).
Keith Sweat, I have never heard the show but EVERY programmer I have talked to said it’s horrific and that Keith is horrid as a host. In addition, they have all also said the show is TOTALLY marketed for women and that men would have little or no interest in it and most of the programmers I talked to about the show…. were men. So that may or may not be fair to Keith.
Today’s hosts or “opportunists” have jumped on the syndication band wagon and they are obviously enjoying the financial ride. I can’t blame them for that. They have done it because comedy or music is no longer working, they say ‘HEY, I’ll be a syndicated radio host and put 100 black professional announcers out of work!’ (laugh). You would be AMAZED (and sickend) at how much these syndicated urban radio people make for appearances and the deals they are offered.   I truly feel for the REAL vets who have paid dues for 20 years just to sit on the sidelines now and watch Hollywood’s rejected urban comics and singers take over our helm.
I am a hardcore advocate for professional announcers QUICKLY rising through the ranks and for the past 15 years, that seems to have become a thing of the past. I have heard horror stories in the early days of urban syndication about promising talent being relegated to board oping for Tom and Steve’s shows instead of building their own careers. While those shows are now automated in many markets, what was the final price to the announcer who once dreamed of rising through the market ranks who is no longer even in radio. I also remember the syndicated hosts using the pu..y excuse “if you do your job you will still get promoted at radio” (laugh).   That was a pile of boiling hot and smelly mule sh….   While urban radio scrambles to survive and prevent layoffs, dwindling staffs and budget cuts, how about promoting and grooming some new talent? Just about everybody who is in pocket in the industry today is around my age and while I am very connected to my peers, it’s like there’s a freeze on developing new talent. I applaud WGCI for taking a chance with 3 (national) unknowns and to develop them to be the NEXT Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey. I also applaud stations like KJLH and Stevie Wonder who no matter how many times he has been approached to run Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey or how much they keep sweeteing the deal, he flat out refuses because he believes in live on-air talent.   Stop bitching like babies when your shows are dropped in certain markets and think about how many announcers you put out of work by taking that show on the station in the first place. With all due respect to Tom, I thought Reach Media was supposed to be a company that would develop new talent… too? Did I miss something? There JUST comes a time when it’s time to move on and groom the next generation. GENERALLY SPEAKING, It’s hard to be 176 years old and convince the audience that you are still connected to today’s music industry especially when you keep talking about music and the good old days from the 70s… Who gives a sh…?   I don’t like all the music from today either but there was a lot of crappy sh… produced in the 70s too. Stop looking back and plan ahead but I guess when you are stuck in the past, what else can you do? We’ve got some AMAZING talent making strides, or at least trying to, in today’s industry who are basically being ignored. As long as old hosts are at the helm of urban radio what else do we have to focus on but the “good ol’ days” and the 70s? Am I wrong for this (comment anonymously if you wish) or are you dying to hear something or someone new too?