Published On: Fri, Oct 20th, 2017

Local Radio Station, a Model in Serving the Community

By: C. Ron Allen

When it comes to community service, one local radio station – WHQT FM (Hot-105) radio – gets it.

While we were hunkering down for the arrival of Hurricane Irma recently, my friend and fellow community servant “James T.” Thomas and his team at Hot 105 won the prestigious Marconi Award recently as national Urban Station of the Year. The awards were announced at the annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show in Austin, Texas.

Awards were presented in 21 categories. It was the second time in four years that the team has won this award.

In today’s era of fake news and canned programming, it is obvious the station’s managers take pride in providing quality news and programming to our community each and every day. This award is a testament to the dedicated staff at the station. Fundamentally, this is what journalism – in particular – broadcasting is all about; serving listeners in our communities and having a positive impact.

Iconic Radio Staple Tom Joyner Hangs up Mic After 25 Years

It seems like only a few years ago that I began partying with a purpose in the mornings with the launch of the Tom Joyner morning show, which syndicates daily on WHQT Hot 105 radio.

Except for doing my daily devotions, I cannot think of a better way for me to start my day than listening to Joyner, who has been a fixture on the airwaves for 25 years.

Earlier this week, the “Fly Jock”, as he was once known, announced to his 7.4 million listeners in more than 95 affiliates that he will be hanging up his microphone in two years.

“I’m putting in my two-year notice…. At the end of the contract that I just signed, I’m retiring, and for the next two years, we’re going to reminisce, go down Memory Lane and talk about all the things that we’ve done for the past 25 years,” he said.

The iconic show easily finds a unique balance to inform, empower and entertain. And Joyner uses his platform to transform lives every day.

I get my dose of news in the African American community from the show, which often features exclusive interviews with the likes of the Rev. Al Sharpton, Roland Martin and New York Daily News columnist Shaun King.

I also get a laugh from the list of comedians he adds to his cast every morning.

Joyner earned the nickname “Fly Jock” when he hosted a morning show in Dallas and an afternoon show in Chicago, and flew between both cities five days a week, seven years and collected eight million frequent flyer miles.

He revolutionized radio in 1994 when he became the first morning show with music in syndication by featuring a live performance by R&B legend Luther Vandross.

Over the years, Joyner has not only advanced radio and established new mediums to inspire people, but he has enriched many lives in our communities. There are countless families whose lives are better thanks to Tom Joyner and his foundation. There are also many in the entertainment businesses who made their big break on Joyner’s show.

There was some consolation to the news that although the show will not be on the airwaves, the party will not be over as Joyner promises to continue his activism.

“We’ve never wavered from our original goal to entertain, to empower and inform and for the next two years we’ll continue to fight the good fight for the causes important to our audiences – voter registration, policies that impact our community, and raising more than $65 million and counting for my beloved Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”

C. Ron Allen can be reached at crallen@Delraybeachtribune.com or 561-665-0151.

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