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Scott Shannon (born 1935) is a radio disc jockey, current co-host of the "Scott and Todd in the Morning" show on WPLJ, host of The True Oldies Channel, and the official voice of The Sean Hannity Show.
Early Radio Career
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Scott Shannon grew up an Army brat in Indianapolis, Indiana. He began his radio career during his own Army stint at WFBS-1450 AM in Spring Lake, North Carolina (now WFBX). From there he moved to WCLS-1580 AM in Columbus, Georgia. After leaving the army, Shannon worked full-time in radio at WABB in Mobile, Alabama, where he acquired the name Super Shan. After a brief stint at WMPS in Memphis he moved to Nashville, where he was the evening disc jockey at WMAK-1300 AM, later becoming that station's program director. Under Shannon's direction, WMAK became the market's top-rated station.
Record Promotion Career
Shannon left Nashville to take a job as a record promoter with Casablanca Records, and while there in 1977 recorded an album with Jack (Stack-A-Track) Grochmal. Calling themselves "Wildfire," they scored a #49 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 remaking a Jerry Keller song from 1959 called "Here Comes Summer." Scott returned to radio in Washington, D.C. as program director of WPGC-FM, taking that station to the #1 spot in the Arbitron ratings. From there he moved to WQXI in Atlanta. Then, in Tampa, Florida, Scott, along with partner Cleveland Wheeler, developed the morning zoo radio format while at WRBQ, known as Q105. Again, he shone in the ratings, this time making his station one of the most listened to in the United States. He was also primarily responsible for the renaissance of the musical career of vocalist Charlene, whose song "I've Never Been to Me" he revived by his programming of the long-dormant track.
Shannon also hosted a "where are they now?" radio program in 1989, where the subject of the day was the one-hit wonder Benny Mardones, who had the 1980 hit "Into the Night." Scott began putting the record in rotation in 1989, and soon after, many other DJs around the nation added the song to their playlists. The song re-entered the top 20 singles chart, prompting a resurgence in Mardones' career, including a new re-recording of the song, a tour, and a new album.
The Z Morning Zoo
Shannon is perhaps most famous within the radio broadcasting industry for his work on Z100 in New York City in the mid to late 80's. Along with former disc jockey Ross Brittain of WABC's popular "Ross & Wilson Show", he founded the "Z Morning Zoo." He was the driving force in helping Z100 become the top-rated FM station in New York City within a mere 74 days of signing on the air. During this period, Shannon also served as one of the original VJs on VH1.
In the mid to late 1980's, Shannon hosted Westwood One's weekly "Rockin' America Top 30 Countdown" on over 200 radio stations.
Pirate Radio KQLZ
In 1989, Shannon left Z100 in what was an emotional farewell to head to Los Angeles to start up Pirate Radio, KQLZ. Pirate Radio employed a similar Top 40 concept. As the 1990s began, Top 40 radio experienced a decline, and eventually Pirate Radio struggled as well, leading to Shannon's departure. He was sometimes referred to as "El Diablo" in Los Angeles because of a billboard image that made him resemble the Devil.
Back to New York
In 1991 he returned to New York and resurfaced on Z100's biggest rival, WPLJ. This station had also been struggling since its glory days of the mid 1980s, and Shannon became program director and morning drive co-host. At the outset, the station's direct rival was Z100, and used the slogan "Mojo Radio," downplaying the WPLJ call letters, but this approach was eventually changed. Shannon created a Top 40 format that was geared more toward the adult contemporary audience, brought in co-host Todd Pettengill to form "The Big Show," and the WPLJ call letters were re-emphasized. The "new" WPLJ has not generally equalled the ratings of Z100, but it has found a niche in the New York radio market.
True Oldies Channel
Scott is one of several disc jockeys honored in an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 2000, FMBQ, a radio trade magazine, named Shannon "Program Director of the Century."
In September 2010, Scott was named Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year at the 2010 National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Radio Awards.
- Farber, Erica (2003-04-11). "Publisher's Profile: Scott Shannon". Radio & Records.