Radio personality Tom Joyner will receive the Samaritan Award from the NAB's Education Foundation at its annual Service to America Summit on June 14 in Washington. The Samaritan Award is one of NABEF's highest honors given to a broadcaster or organization exemplifying the industry's commitment to use the airwaves effectively in promoting the public interest.
More than 30 years ago, Joyner started out as a news announcer for WRMA(AM) Montgomery, Ala. and soon developed his on-air talent at stations WLOK(AM) Memphis, KWK(AM), St. Louis and KKDA(FM), Dallas. Joyner's career took off in the mid 1980s when he accepted both the morning position at KKDA and the afternoon spot at WGCI(FM), Chicago - a commute for which he became known as "The Fly Jock."
In 1994, The Tom Joyner Morning Show entered national syndication with the ABC Radio networks at 29 stations, and today the show claims more than eight million listeners a week in more than 115 markets - making it the #1 rated urban radio show, according to ABC.
Joyner's role as a voice for the African American community has grown over the years. In 1998, he set up the Tom Joyner Foundation to raise money for student scholarships to attend historically black colleges and universities. The foundation has contributed more than $20 million to thousands of students.
Joyner launched BlackAmericaWeb.com in June 2001 as a news and information source for and about African Americans. In January 2003, Joyner formed REACH Media Inc., a company that develops, acquires and partners in media and marketing opportunities targeting the African American population. It is the parent company for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, BlackAmericaWeb.com, Tom Joyner Family Reunion and SkyShow TV.
Joyner was the 2000 radio inductee into the NAB Hall of Fame and has received many other accolades.
The Celebration of Service to America Awards dinner gala, sponsored by Bonneville International Corporation and the NAB and hosted by the NABEF, recognizes broadcasters and other citizens who have made significant contributions to their communities over the year. NAB formed NABEF in 1994 to generate public understanding of the many issues related to over-the-air-broadcasting.