Life After Tom Joyner , What’s Next for J Anthony Brown?


What’s next for J Anthony Brown?

J Anthony Brown, Radio FactsJ Anthony Brown left the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS) , after 20 years so what’s next for the legendary comedian when it comes to the possibility of being on the air again?First let me say I have seen J Anthony Brown do his routine OFF the air on the Tom Joyner Cruise and the man is certainly a great comedian but now that The Breakfast Club Radio Show, Big Boy, Yolanda Adams, Rudy Rush, Ebony Steele and a few others are looking for any extra spots on Black radio morning slots around the country, especially in major markets, is there even ROOM for another show? Yes, there are two formats at Black, there is Urban radio and Urban Adult (the Boom format is more Rhythmic) but many of the hosts are well over 40 or approaching it.

Radio is Not Easy

Being on the air in Black radio for 20 years is quite rare. The audience is certainly accustomed to a host at that point so J Anthony certainly has leverage. Last year at this time, he walked off the Show on a recorded segment.  We got the exclusive on that for Radio Facts as well. But just as soon as he made the announcement, things changed and it was announced that he would be back on the air again. Since he is leaving almost a year later it is beyond evident it’s a contract dispute as it was a year ago but this time there was no baker to sweeten the deal.The exclusive that we got at Radio Facts announcing J’s departure stated that he had been speaking to Gary Bernstein about possible future radio endeavors. We contacted Bernstein, who stated he was not in an agreement, per say, with J Anthony Brown but he did have a conversation with him before he left the show. No details were given about that conversation. Bernstein is one of the most sought after Radio syndicators in the radio game and he is currently working on a deal for Wendy Williams to return to radio for a syndicated show. Bernstein ironically once worked for Tom Joyner and Reach Media but he now runs his own company.Currently, there are a plethora of Black comedians who want to follow in Steve Harvey’s footsteps and get into radio syndication, Joyner is radio industry legend and pro, the ones who want to follow in Harvey’s steps don’t understand how radio works but are more attracted to the lure of success (and payday) like Harvey’s but truth be told, there’s only one Steve Harvey.  Gospel singers and older R&B singers also want a piece of the radio pie but the airwaves are very tight right now when you also consider the many black DJs occupying the air space in many markets trying to progress in their career too, the options are limited. So the question becomes, is there room for J Anthony Brown? From our perspective, the answer is it depends on what he is willing to do.

J Anthony Brown has Leverage

The greatest benefit is the audience already knows him but the morning show slot for a new show at Black or syndication is WAY too tight now that so many other shows are looking for extra stations too. So at this point, you have Joyner, Steve Harvey, Rickey Smiley, Erica Cbell (Yolanda Adam’s replacement)  and Yolanda Adams who is back trying to rebuild her platform as well as Rudy Rush (Doug Bank’s first replacement) who is now in Houston AND you also have Ebony Steele (Rudy’s replacement) and a few other local big morning shows that will be making a foray into the syndication scene next year.We were recently interviewed on who would replace J Anthony on the Tom Joyner show and I stated, while the lure and the money to do radio syndication is attractive to comedians, it’s not easy and it requires a lot of discipline. Many comedians are used to doing shows at night in clubs and traveling but in order to do quality radio with compelling content and interviews you better be at up 4AM and ready to work each morning. The hectic schedule, while helping them maintain and rebuild their careers, can be very demanding if not exhausting. Many people don’t know that Steve Harvey rarely does his radio show in Atlanta, where the staff is based, but he does it on the road, in addition he has two true Radio Pros on board (Shirley Strawberry and Carla Ferrell) who can carry the weight when he’s not there.

No Time to Waste

Brown would have to move quickly if he wants to be back on the air because Black listeners have very short-term memories. In addition, now that Michael Baisden is back on the radio scene, competition is about to get very tough for air time, even though Baisden will be doing afternoons some programmers may opt to have Baisden on in the afternoon and move their afternoon talent to mornings which would be a great break for local talent.  Baisden has been off the air for three years, but he brilliantly kept his audience captivated by leveraging his social media and staying very active, writing books and making rare appearances.At the end of the day, it would behoove J Anthony Brown to do the same until he lands somewhere. If he REALLY wants to make a point, he could be a fill-in host for Steve Harvey but that may not sit too well with Joyner. Yet, it would definitely indicate that the competition between Joyner and Harvey would graduate to relentless. Many people are also asking how long can Harvey can keep doing radio with his ever-growing schedule? We predict that J Anthony Brown will be back but it’s going to be a minute and in a whole different capacity. SEE OUR REPLACEMENT SUGGESTIONS FOR J. ANTHONY BROWN


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