Threat of Shared Ownership: The Ultimate Betrayal on ‘Empire’, Tom Joyner and Radio One

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The mid-season finale episode of ‘Empire’ has demonstrated the ultimate betrayal underlining the threat that comes with friendships and sharing ownership of a publicly traded company. Is Tom Joyner going to be removed from his own syndicated Radio Talk Show by his best friend and former business associate David Kantor?

In the ‘Empire’ episode, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) is removed as CEO of Empire by his youngest son. The move was brought about by Lucious embracing Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei) as a friend and allowing her a seat on the company’s board of directors.

Mimi Whiteman (Marisa Tomei) and Lucious meet to sign off on final documents to acquire Swift Stream, but little does he know she’s recording him (via a pen camera ) as he goes on a tirade about his disdain for his fellow board members. Mimi plays the recorded video in a board meeting and recommends that Lucious be removed.   In the boardroom, it’s up to Hakeem (his is the last remaining vote) but he — surprise — votes to remove Lucious. [Catch the recap of ‘Empire’]

In the most recent news the Daily Mail reported that the radio legend, Tom Joyner will be forced into early retirement next year so that Radio One – which owns a majority stake in Reach Media’s The Tom Joyner Morning Show – can move its other syndicated host Russ Parr, 56, into Joyner’s chair.  According to EURweb, “Ironically, a source told Daily Mail Online that the plan to dump Joyner was masterminded by his best friend and former business associate David Kantor, “the man who actually launched Tom into syndication originally.”

Watch video below.

In December 2012, Joyner’s friend, Kantor encouraged Joyner to sell more stakes in Reach Media to Radio One, a source tells Daily Mail Online. That year, Radio One increased its stake to 80% and that decision may be something that Joyner will live to regret. In November 2015, Radio One Inc. (ROIAK) reported a loss of $18.1 million in its third quarter.

Ownership is about the ability to have control and to have power.  Tom Joyner is one of the most highly respected radio hosts in the black community.  Joyner’s morning show airs in 105 markets and reaches eight million listeners daily. Taking a company public comes with costs. As seen in the episode of ‘Empire’ and with the rumored forced retirement of Tom Joyner, it’s evident that control of any position in a company to include its most shining celebrity status spokesperson can be taken away if a rebellious investor or group of investors obtains majority control.


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