Scott Shannon

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Michael Scott Shannon (born July 25, 1947)[1] is a radio disc jockey presently hosting the morning show for WCBS-FM in New York City. He has also worked for WHTZ, WPLJ, The True Oldies Channel, and The Sean Hannity Show.

Early radio career[edit]

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Scott Shannon grew up an Army brat in Indianapolis, Indiana.[1] He began his radio career during his own Army stint at WFBS-1450 AM in Spring Lake, North Carolina (later 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.[2] 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. While at WMAK, interactions and an interview between Shannon and Neil Young were recorded for Young's film Journey Through the Past.[citation needed]

Record-promotion career[edit]

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[edit]

Shannon is particularly known within the radio broadcasting industry for his work on Z100 in New York City in the mid to late 1980's. Along with former disc jockey Ross Brittain of WABC's "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.

In 1989, Shannon left Z100 for 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.

Back to New York[edit]

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. On February 7, 2014, he announced he was exiting WPLJ effective immediately.[3]

Shannon hosted The True Oldies Channel radio network prior to leaving Cumulus Media; that (currently automated) network is slated to be discontinued in June 2014. He also records intros and bumpers for talk radio's "The Sean Hannity Show."

On February 25, 2014, WCBS FM announced that Scott Shannon will be hosting a brand new Morning Show entitled Scott Shannon in the Morning which started on March 3.[4] At the release of the first run of ratings after Scott took over at WCBS, Scott's new show was rated number 1 in the top market in the USA (New York City). Scott's former partner, Todd Pettengill, who pushed Scott out the door at WPLJ, took over his and Scott's old time slot with his own show. Todd's show was not as well-received as Scott's, and only managed to hit number 22 in the same ratings report. Much of Scott's success at WCBS is credited to the then Opie and Anthony Show (now Opie and Jim Norton Show) on Sirius XM. After years of cracking jokes and making fun of Scott & Todd, Opie and Anthony met with Scott on the air, and buried the hatchet after they realized that Scott was being held back by the format at WPLJ (mainly Todd Pettengill). Following the on-air interview with Scott, Opie and Anthony fans across the country took to social media, using the hashtag #TeamScott, to rally people behind Scott, against Todd. Todd is regarded by many as the single worst radio disc jockey in the history of American radio.

Industry Recognition[edit]

Shannon is one of several disc jockeys honored in an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 2000, FMQB, a radio trade magazine, named Shannon "Program Director of the Century."

In 2003, he was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C., and in 2006 he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago, Illinois.

Shannon was also a radio consultant in the 1990s for WPLY Philadelphia and WKCI-FM New Haven.

In September 2010, Shannon was named Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year at the 2010 National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Radio Awards.


  1. ^ a b "Westwood's Scott Shannon: Zoo keeper, pirate captain, and radio junkie". Broadcasting. July 24, 1989. p. 111. 
  2. ^ Farber, Erica (2003-04-11). "Publisher's Profile: Scott Shannon". Radio & Records. 
  3. ^ Hinckley, David (February 7, 2014). "Scott Shannon, radio legend at NYC’s WPLJ, announces retirement". Daily News (Nw York City). Retrieved 2014-02-10. Shannon, 66, ... 
  4. ^ "Scott Shannon Returns To New York Radio Weekday Mornings On CBS-FM". Retrieved 25 February 2014. 

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