A pair of legendary air personalities won’t be saying goodbye to their listeners anytime soon — although one of them infamously “retired” from his previous role before joining his current home and playing The O’Jays “Backstabbers” on his debut broadcast to commemorate the move.
Scott Shannon has inked a contract extension with Entercom Communications that keeps him in morning drive at WCBS-FM 101.1 in New York alongside co-host Patty Steele.
The new deal also ensures Shannon will stay at the helm of the syndicated weekend program America’s Greatest Hits.
“When New Yorkers think of morning radio, they hear Scott Shannon in their minds,” Entercom/New York SVP/Market Manager Chris Oliviero, who succeeded Susan Larkin following her rise to COO, said. “Generations of listeners have woken up with Scott as the first voice they hear each day. As relevant and compelling as ever, it is fitting that he holds court on WCBS-FM 101.1, right in the middle of that radio dial that he has influenced like no other talent in history.”
Shannon added, “I’m still having fun after all these years and I look forward to many more years at New York’s only greatest hits station.”
On Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, Shannon attracted headlines far and wide with an announcement on that morning’s Scott and Todd in the Morning program that he’d be entering retirement.
He had been with WPLJ-FM 95.5 in New York since 1991, when he infamously returned to the market from KQLZ-FM “Pirate Radio” in Los Angeles by “signing W-I-M-P off the air forever,” referencing Steve Kingston‘s legal name, and debuting “Mojo Radio” before a 1992 transition to Hot Adult Contemporary Programming.
That was under ABC Radio. With ownership transitions to Citadel and, ultimately, Cumulus, it seemed as if Shannon was indeed saying farewell and ready to relax in Tampa Bay, where he developed the “Morning Zoo” format in the early 1980s, at WRBQ-FM “Q105.”
“Of course I’ll miss being a part of the morning show here on PLJ and I might even pop back in from time to time and try to get Todd to play a Rascals song or two,” Shannon said at the time.
It was all a fib: On March 3, Shannon took the mic at WCBS-FM for the first time. Among the first songs heard: “Backstabbers,” a subtle jab at his former employers at WPLJ.
With the March 2014 move, Shannon officially took a wake-up slot on his third New York radio station. From August 2, 1983 through early January 1989, Shannon was the lead host of WHTZ-FM’s “Z-Morning-Zoo” — a station he’d created for Milton Maltz and first owner Malrite Communications. And, much like his reign at Z100, Shannon’s program is No. 1 overall in morning drive, based on just-released August 2020 Nielsen Audio data.
A ‘MGK VET SET FOR MORE
Meanwhile, some 90 minutes to the south in the City of Brotherly Love, Andre Gardner has signed a contract extension with Beasley Media Group‘s Classic Rock WMGK-FM.
He’s been in the slot since April 2002, and his new contract will see Gardner also continue at the helm of the Breakfast With the Beatles Sunday morning program.
Taking to Facebook to make the news public, Gardner thanked the management team at Beasley’s Philadelphia station group and the listening audience for its continued support.