Tom Joyner is an American retired radio host, musician, novelist, producer, and actor who is the first African American to host a nationally syndicated radio show. His radio show, “The Tom Joyner Show” is heard on over 104 radio stations in the United States.
His radio career began in Montgomery immediately after college, and his radio hosting career was at its peak by 1978. Joyner was signed by ABC Radio in 1994 to anchor a national program called “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.”
Following the radio show’s great success, it was turned into a national television show called “The Tom Joyner Show” in 2005. Aside from his hosting career, Joyner co-wrote a book with Mary Flower Boyce called “I’m Just a DJ… But It Makes Sense to Me” with Warner Books and most recently, “Tom Joyner Presents How to Prepare for College.”
Joyner is given the titles of “The Fly Jock” and “The Hardest Working Man in Radio” as he worked long hours and traveled between his morning (in Dallas, Texas) and afternoon (in Chicago, Illinois) jobs every weekday for eight years, accumulating over 7 million frequent flyer miles.
Joyner is also known as a philanthropist, providing financial aid to students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as well as participating in various community projects. Joyner also founded REACH Media Inc., BlackAmericaWeb.com, and the Tom Joyner Foundation.
What is Tom Joyner’s Net Worth?
|Net Worth||$40 Million|
|Age||72 Years Old|
|Salary & Income||$5 Million|
- Joyner reportedly made $10,000,000 per episode from his own talk show, The Tom Joyner Show.
- Joyner earned an estimated $20,000 per year as a morning program host for WVON, which equates to $87,000 after inflation in 2022 dollars.
- By the mid-1980s, Joyner was earning an estimated $150,000 a year as a radio host.
Joyner reportedly made $50 million from the sale of his business to Radio One.
Thomas Joyner was born in Tuskegee, Alabama on November 23rd, 1949 to Frances and Hercules L. Joyner. Joyner comes from a well-educated family as his grandfather, Oscar, was one of only 3,000 black physicians in the United States when he graduated from medical school in 1909.
Both of his parents graduated from historically black colleges, and Joyner and his brother Albert attended Tuskegee Institute, which is now Tuskegee University. Joyner earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Joyner joined the fraternity Omega Psi Phi while at Tuskegee.
He initially wanted to be a musician, and he joined a band called The Commodores, which included his college friend Lionel Richie. But the band failed to earn any money, and his family pushed him to pursue other interests.
Joyner began his radio career soon after graduation. His first radio job was with WLOK in Memphis, Tennessee. He went on to work for KWK in St. Louis, Missouri, and KKDA in Dallas, Texas. Beginning in 1978, he worked at a number of radio stations in Chicago, Illinois, including WJPC, WGCI, WVON, and WBMX.
Joyner made his name as the “Fly Jock,” the hardest-working man in radio, in the mid-1980s. He promoted “morning” shows on KKDA in Dallas and “afternoon” shows on WGCI in Chicago, and traveled between Dallas and Chicago every day.
Joyner was signed by ABC Radio Networks in 1994 to host The Tom Joyner Morning Show, a nationally syndicated program. The show featured Joyner and a team of comedians and commentators reporting and discussing the day’s news and sports, as well as playing popular R&B songs from the 1970s to the 1990s, as well as contemporary R&B hits.
There are also celebrity guests, on-site remotes (dubbed “Sky Shows”), and an on-air soap opera, It’s Your World, which is presently not airing due to Southwest Airlines’ major sponsor. In 2005, Joyner was then given his own talk show, The Tom Joyner Show, a nationally syndicated television show. The show received high ratings for weekly syndicated programs targeted toward African American audiences.
Joyner opted not to continue in 2006 due to the high production costs associated with the music variety show concept. Today, his TJMS radio station can be heard in over 100 cities, both on-air and online streaming audio.
Joyner sold his oceanfront Golden Beach, Florida home for $19 million, which spans 7,340-sq-ft and features three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and plenty of indoor and outdoor living space. Joyner spent two and a half years entirely remodeling the home to perfection, spending $7.5 million in 2020.
- Personal Expenses: $6 – $7 million
- Business Ventures: $2 – $3 million
- Investments: $10 – $11 million
Television and Film Appearances
Throughout his career, Joyner has been in a number of television films, series, and reality shows, including Living Single, Passions, Ebony/Jet Showcase, and African American Lives. He has made cameo appearances in films such as The Gospel in 2005 and Madea Goes to Jail in 2009.
Joyner has been married twice. Joyner and his first wife, Dora, had two kids, Thomas Jr. and Oscar, whom he nicknamed “Killer” and “Thriller.” After divorcing his first wife, he married celebrity aerobics instructor and fitness expert Donna Richardson in 2000, and the couple divorced in 2012. Donna most certainly received between $15 and $20 million in a divorce settlement.
Philanthropy and Activism
In 1998, Tom Joyner established the “Tom Joyner Foundation” to provide financial aid to HBCU students. Since its establishment, the organization has raised more than $60 million. Currently, his radio show encourages voter registration and healthy living by hosting “Take a Loved One to the Doctor” events in April and September.
Once a week, Joyner honors the wishes of a deserving father and mother once a week to honor fathers and mothers. Joyner took part in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’sTM in 2011 in order to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, care, and support.
Joyner launched blackamericaweb.com, a website that provides an African American perspective on news, travel, entertainment, business, technology, and sports. The site also features “Little Known Black History Facts,” which profile African Americans, organizations, and events related to African American history.
Awards and Achievements
- Joyner was the first African American to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago, Illinois, in 1998.
- Joyner won the NAB Marconi Radio Award in 2004.
- Joyner was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in 2008.
- Joyner was honored into The Official R&B Music Hall of Fame at Cleveland State University in 2013.
- Joyner was honored with the Humanitarian Award at the 2015 BET Awards.
Tom Joyner Net Worth
As of 2022, Tom Joyner’s net worth is around $40 million. His career in the entertainment industry began in the 1970s, shortly after graduating from Tuskegee University. He has since appeared in other television projects and made millions of dollars.
Joyner is now reportedly paid $9 million per year. After taxes, his career earnings are estimated to be roughly $56.05 million, having paid $38.95 million in taxes. Aside from the millions, Joyner earned through his radio and television shows, the actor and producer also made a fortune from public appearances and book royalties.