Born in St. Louis, Michael Scott Shannon bounced in and out of 18 different elementary and junior high schools before finally ending up in Indianapolis for his high school years. Although he loved playing sports, his real passion was music and radio – so much so that he set up a make-believe radio station in the family basement.
Halfway through his senior year, at the age of 17, the army-brat son of a career sergeant decided to quit school and pursue his dream of being a disc jockey. However, things didn’t go as expected so to support himself, he did odd jobs here and there while looking for radio work. Before long his search was interrupted by a call from Uncle Sam and he found himself drafted into the Army.
While serving at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, Shannon got his first job in radio – working weekends at WFBS-AM 1490. When he was transferred to Ft. Benning, Georgia, he hooked up with WCLS-AM 1580 in Columbus. His first full time job, doing 7 to midnight at WABB in Mobile, came after being discharged from the service, followed by stops in Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. where he was PD for WPGC-FM. The scenario was the same at each station – his ratings skyrocketed.
In 1980 he headed for Florida and settled in as PD for market leader WRBQ Q105 and co-host of its morning show with Cleveland Wheeler. Over a period of time, that show evolved into the legendary “Q Morning Zoo” which, within a year, developed the largest share of adult listeners of any station in the country.
After blowing away the best the morning drive competition had to offer, Scott left Tampa Bay – on top – in 1984 and headed for New York’s Z100 WHTZ. There, he co-founded the “Z Morning Zoo,” the driving force that helped turn the station into a top-rated Top 40 FM. From there he headed for Los Angeles in 1989 to start up Pirate Radio and then back to New York in 1991 as PD and morning drive co-host at Z100’s rival, WPLJ-FM. In the 90’s he also became a successful radio consultant for Philadelphia’s WPLY and WKCI in New Haven.
Once one of the original on-camera VJ’s for cable’s VH1 music channel, he picked up many awards during his career, including Billboard magazine’s “Air Personality of the Year” in 1988 and 1993-97 and “Program Director of the Year” in 1989 and 1994-97. In a survey of his peers conducted for Radio & Records, his accomplishments were rewarded when he was named the “Most Influential Programmer of the Past 20 Years.” He was also inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. in 2003 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago in 2006.
On February 12, 2014, Shannon announced his retirement from WPLJ effective immediately. However, he wasn’t out of work long. The legendary morning man landed wake-up duty at New York’s WCBS-FM.
1980 - 1984 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)