The Joyner-Harvey Battle: A Great Moment For Radio - Eric Rhoads

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Media in New York is buzzing about radio. Yes, you heard me right. Radio.

The on-air barbs from Steve Harvey about Tom Joyner and the responses from Joyner's PR machine before his return to the New York airwaves have the whole city talking.

While some say the trash talk has gone too far or that it makes radio and these two gentlemen look petty, I disagree. The war of words is bringing attention to radio, and the press is eating it up.

Joyner debuts Monday on WRKS, and everyone in New York who cares about these two radio icons will be listening in stereo that morning, one ear on Joyner and the other listening to Harvey on WBLS, because they can't wait to see what they say about each other.

And this is bad for radio how?

Years ago, when Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump, supposed friends, were throwing barbs at one another in the media, I envisioned a secret phone call before it all happened. "OK, Rosie, I'll keep trashing you if you keep trashing me. Let's see how long the media will keep talking about us. It will be good for both of us."

Joyner and Harvey are known to be great friends. Did such a call take place between them? I hope so.

This battle of the barbs is a dream come true for these two radio stations, and for these two talents, each of whom is nationally syndicated. In fact, the first move in the battle was made in a Radio Ink story, when Editor Ed Ryan interviewed Harvey. "I'm going to mop him pretty good," Harvey said about Joyner. "Welcome to the Big Apple, baby, but I've been biting on this apple for five years by myself, and I don't need the company."

If I were writing a manual on Radio Promotion 101, this stunt would be at the top of my list. I love stunts, and that's what radio has always done best. The fact that the local and national media are eating it up is icing on the cake. If I were a radio advertiser in New York, I'd be buying the first two months of both of those shows because the barbs will continue and listeners will be tuning in to both in anticipation.

Congratulations, gentlemen. This is a great moment in radio promotion.

B. Eric Rhoads is CEO of Streamline Publishing, Inc. Rhoads writes regular columns for his publications and is an active blogger in the radio and art industries, including Radio Ink Tank, Artist Marketing, and Blue Chip Gallery Marketing. He is an active speaker, consultant, and advocate in the radio, art, and technology industries, and he sits on a number of advisory boards. Eric can be reached at

Read all Eric’s MediaBizBloggers commentaries at Ink Tank with B. Eric Rhoads.

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