Monday Jan. 6 marked the beginning of a new era at Reach Media. The day brought the official start of “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show,” which succeeds Tom Joyner, who retired in December after 25 years of syndicated morning drive radio.
Smiley assumes many of Joyner’s urban AC affiliates in markets that include Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Miami and Orlando, the company said in a release.
But it’s not an automatic that stations which once carried Joyner are now adding Smiley. In Atlanta, Radio One urban oldies “Classix 102.9” replaced Joyner with Reach Media’s Russ Parr, while Smiley stays on urban contemporary “Hot 107.9” WHTA. And Radio One’s “NewsTalk 1450” WOL Washington has opted for a local program hosted by Madelyne Woods to succeed Joyner.
The Smiley crew is made up of Eva Marcille, described as a mom, model and entrepreneur who will provide the woman’s point of view for the show; Gary Wit Da Tea, who will report on entertainment news and gossip; longtime show member and hip-hop star Da Brat; Rock T, who talks sports with a hip-hop flair; and Special K, who serves up news with humor.
Concurrent with the official Smiley debut comes the Reach Media replacement for urban contemporary stations that carried his show. As earlier reported by Inside Radio, former Smiley show member Headkrack will lead “The Morning Hustle,” which is cleared in markets including Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, Detroit, Cleveland and St. Louis.
The new show promises to provide a “humorous and informative take on urban pop culture from the Millennial and Generation Z point of view.”
“The Morning Hustle” first debuted as a local morning show on Radio One urban contemporary “93.9 Kiss FM” WKYS Washington, featuring Angie Ange, “On Air” Jordan and Lore’l, all of who segue to the new syndicated program. Billy Sorrells rounds out the cast of “The Morning Hustle.”