As the month of July 2021 came to an end, an important anniversary in the history of rock ‘n’ roll music was observed by at least one terrestrial radio station. It was also observed on the Sirius XM channel that’s home to three of the four personalities that helped make it an institution. Just past midnight on August 1, 1981, MTV officially signed on the air, available to a lucky few in New Jersey.
By February 1983, however, MTV was growing. It was Channel G on Manhattan Cable systems in New York City. And, it was shaping popular music for a new generation of radio listeners. Among those who perhaps looked to MTV to determine what local listeners wanted was the owner of a Mercedes 450 SL convertible getting attention for an unconventional morning “Zoo” at a radio station in Tampa owned by Gary Edens.
Twenty-four months and one day after MTV’s midnight splash, Scott Shannon signed WHTZ on the air from 333 Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus, N.J.
Today, MTV is remembered for what it was. Shannon, and the station he built, are still going strong and very much part of today’s consumer choices.