Posted by Bossip Staff
Steve Harvey is saying that the Tom Joyner dumping was out of his hands and lane…:
Like any other comedian capable of packing a venue, Steve Harvey is usually able to turn his aggravation into something funny. On the phone from Atlanta this week, however, he just sounded frustrated. “I’m the fall guy,” he said. “I’m not the reason you don’t have your beloved Tom. I just want people to know.”
Tom is Tom Joyner, whose Chicago radio roots reach all the way back to 1972 and whose syndicated morning program was for 13 years heard on Clear Channel‘s WVAZ-FM 102.7 until last month. Without warning, Clear Channel moved Harvey’s syndicated show to V103 from Chicago’s WGCI-FM 107.5, bumping Joyner. A big reason for the move was so Clear Channel could launch “The Morning Riot,” a local program more in sync with WGCI’s hip-hop playlist the rest of the day, so it can better compete against Power 92, Crawford Broadcasting’s WPWX-FM 92.3.
But Harvey, whose show is syndicated by a Clear Channel subsidiary, enjoyed an in-house edge on Joyner, who chose to go into business with Radio One in 2004. Radio One subsequently yanked Joyner’s show off Clear Channel stations in markets where it also owned outlets.
Joyner last month told the Tribune that if he were in Clear Channel’s position, he would “probably do exactly the same thing because … strategically, it’s what they should have done. But the people who had been waking up to Joyner on their clock radio for years and years were none too pleased to abruptly have someone else rousting them from bed. Calls for a boycott were fueled by a sound bite making the rounds in which detractors claimed Harvey kissed off disgruntled Joyner fans in Chicago.
Harvey insists the clip—something about how people who don’t like what has happened can go home—came from his cousin and was in regard to something else in a different market. But these things take a life of their own, and the controversy over Clear Channel’s move in Chicago is one he clearly wants to snuff out.
“It doesn’t make any sense for me to say something like that,” Harvey said. “I’m trying to win and endear myself to people and not aggravate people and drive a wedge between me and the audience. I do respect and love Tom Joyner. He and I have been friends a long time. And we’ve talked since he’s been off the air [in Chicago]. But the move to V103, Steve Harvey has absolutely no control over. That’s what’s alarming to me.
“I’m just a hired gun. It’s unfair when people think the radio guys have a say-so. We don’t own the stations. … Somebody should explain to the people that while you’re boycotting, Tom Joyner is going to resurface in Chicago radio. If somebody would tell that to people, it would be better for people. But nobody’s telling them.”
Steve, we believe you. Looks like Tom is distraught. Sometimes business works out that way.