If you've ever listened to The Sean Hannity Show, you've heard Scott Shannon...you just might not have known who it was. Scott Shannon is a legend in the radio business and it's his voice that you hear at the start of every show saying, "From coast to coast...from sea to shining sea..."
Born in St. Louis, Scott Shannon grew up an Army brat, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Scott started 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, where he acquired the name "Super Shan". After a short time at WMPS in Memphis, Scott moved to Nashville as the evening disc jockey at WMAK 1300 AM. Shannon later became program director of WMAK. Under his direction, the station became the market's top-rated station.
Listen to Scott Shannon start The Sean Hannity Show(windows media audio)
Scott is perhaps most famous within the radio business for his work on Z100 in New York City in the mid to late 80's. Shannon, along with former disc jockey Ross Brittain of WABC's popular "Ross & Wilson Show", founded the "Z" Morning Zoo. He was the driving force in helping Z100 become the top-rated FM station in New York City in just 74 days after signing on the air. Z100 capitalized on using a Top 40 radio format. During this period, Shannon would also serve as one of the original VJs on VH1.
In 1991 he returned to New York and resurfaced on Z100's biggest rival, WPLJ. WPLJ 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 was aimed right at 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.
In 2000, FMBQ, 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. In 2006 he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago at which Sean presented Shannon the award and gave a speech on his behalf.
Scott has also been a successful radio consultant in the 1990s for WPLY Philadelphia and WKCI-FM New Haven.
So the next time you hear that booming voice at the beginning of the show you'll know you're listening to a living legend - Scott Shannon!
You can learn more about Scott Shannon by visiting his website at ScottShannon.com.