January 25, 2020

Rick Party Calls Out Rickey Smiley for Lashing Out at a Fan of Tom Joyner

It all started when Rickey Smiley launched an attack against a listener who is a much bigger fan of Tom Joyner than himself. The listener went to Facebook to talk about her displeasure towards the Rickey Smiley Morning Show. The listener said, "Tom Joyner PLEASE COME BACK, I'm tired of Rickey yelling and telling stale jokes." Apparently someone sent the Facebook comment to Rickey. He in turn posted an "older people" rant on YouTube. He talked about the listener's church hat, her gold tooth, and her husband's suit. He implied throughout the rant that he is a comedian. Therefore he treated her like a heckler at a comedy show.

Well it turns out the listener Anne Huffman is a councilperson and Vice Mayor in Haines City, Florida located outside of Orlando. Mrs. Huffman even made history in 2017 by becoming the first black woman to win a seat on the Haines City Commission. She is also a two time breast cancer survivor. At the end of this story are the full screen captures of Anne Huffman's response to Rickey Smiley. This past week Huffman changed her Facebook profile picture to a photo of Tom Joyner.

Rickey Smiley's YouTube video got the attention of 30+ year veteran radio personality Rick Party who hosts The Rick and Sasha Morning Show, and is a nationally known voice over artist. You'll hear Rick's voice everywhere and every night doing the intros for SportsCenter on ESPN at 6 P.M. EST.

Here's Rick Party's response to Rickey Smiley:

As we follow the post from Rick Party, many asked Rick to contact Rickey Smiley with their concerns about the attack against Anne Huffman. Rick's response was "his people know." Rick Party's post has received many comments in support of Huffman.

However on the other hand, Rickey Smiley's YouTube rant has gotten over 23,000 views and over 300 comments that mostly support his views. But overall it appears he is overly sensitive to one listener saying he wasn't funny. Rickey Smiley had to know his transition from Urban Hip Hop radio to Urban Adult Contemporary listeners wasn't going to be completely smooth.

Rickey Smiley's appeal is to a mostly Southern United States audience. Replacing Tom Joyner are big shoes to fill because Tom was a top radio performer for 25 years before he even started his syndicated show nationwide. There are going to be many adults listeners that are just not going to connect to Rickey Smiley and others that will. In Atlanta he remains on the same station (Hot 107.9) as he was on before. However Rickey is not on in New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, or in Washington, D.C., the corporate location of Radio One/Urban One, Inc., the company that owns the show. All in all Rickey is first and foremost a comedian with a radio show.

He is unlike his syndicated morning radio cohorts, the comedic-minded Russ Parr and radio veteran Rick Party. These two are radio pros who ran their own board. They played music from carts (maybe even records), ran reel-to-reel tape machines, and produced their own radio shows. Therefore someone like Rickey Smiley's mindset is a bit different when that lever that controls the main microphone is flipped on and that "On-Air" sign lights up. In Smiley's case when the board-op points to him, his mindset must be that he is on stage in front of an audience, not necessarily communicating and connecting to one listener at a time. He is emulating the path taken by Steve Harvey. Both Smiley and Harvey began as radio host in only one market. Smiley in Birmingham, then Dallas. Harvey in Chicago, then New York.

It appeared on his first day that Rickey had taken the transition in stride with the following bit. This one is pretty good. But his rant above suggest otherwise. He needs to get beyond this.

Here's more from the Facebook posts.

UPDATE: It appears that Anne Huffman has changed the settings on her Facebook page after the fallout surrounding this controversy and after our original post on January 25, 2020. The photos are no longer available for public view.

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