Scott Shannon on His Move to NYC's WCBS-FM: 'It's a Great Situation'

Scott Shannon

(Photo: WCBS-FM)

Legendary NYC radio jock Scott Shannon resurfaces at NYC's WCBS-FM not long after bidding farewell to his longtime home at WPLJ.


Not long after sharing an on-air goodbye with 23-year “Scott & Todd Morning Show” co-host Todd Pettingill on New York’s WPLJ Feb. 7, Scott Shannon said he was only retiring from Cumulus Media’s adult top 40 station and promised he’d be back on the radio in “a couple of weeks.”

Turns out he wasn’t that far off. To use one of his favorite lines dating back to mornings at New York’s WHTZ (Z100), Shannon will be “on the air everywhere” again effective March 3 as host of WCBS-FM New York’s “Scott Shannon in the Morning.”

CBS Radio and CBS-FM PD Jim Ryan made the announcement after a hidden page heralding Shannon’s arrival was uncovered on the classic hits station’s website. "Not often does a legendary morning drive personality become available with the experience of waking up New Yorkers for more than 25 years,” said CBS Radio Senior Vice President and Market Manager Don Bouloukos.

Shannon, a Marconi Award winner and member of the Broadcasting and National Radio Halls of Fame, describes his new situation as “perfect. I’ve been friends with Don for 25 years, and Jim and I have always talked about working together one day.” The move to CBS also reunites him with President and CEO Dan Mason - who hired Shannon as PD at Washington D.C.’s WPGC back in 1979 – and with “Scott & Todd” traffic reporter Joe Nolan, who will be handling the same duties on the CBS-FM show.

Before the announcement there had been reports of Shannon winding up at Clear Channel’s New York talk outlet WOR, taking the place of the syndicated “Elliot In The Morning” – a challenge Shannon says he would have met with the same enthusiasm, even with his roots at top 40. “Having interviewed so many people over 35 years of doing morning shows, I would have made the transition effortlessly. We talked about it, but by the time it came down to negotiation, I had already made a commitment to CBS.”

The move to classic hits is itself a smooth transition given Shannon’s work with the syndicated True Oldies Channel he created for Cumulus, which he’ll continue to program and voice as part of the deal with CBS. Also working in Shannon’s favor: The station’s current format includes much of the music he helped make popular while at Z100 during the 1980s. “We saw the advent of Whitney Houston, Duran Duran and so many [other] great artists who now play on CBS-FM.”

With the jump from PLJ to CBS-FM, Shannon goes from a station that regularly ranks just outside the market’s top ten, according to Nielsen Audio’s PPM ratings for Persons 6+, to one that’s consistently in the top three, whose former morning show delivered higher ratings than “Scott & Todd.” He joins a lineup Ryan calls “one of the strongest in all of radio” with New York radio veterans Broadway Bill Lee, Joe Causi, Dave Stewart and Dan Taylor, who moves to middays from mornings with Shannon’s addition. It’s a station he almost ended up at twice before except for the fact that “I’m not a guy who likes change and I just couldn’t pull the trigger. This time it was easier.”

Entrusted yet again with creating a new morning show – this time going head-to-head with former partner Pettingill – Shannon calls his latest challenge “a great situation on one hand and more difficult on the other. I have complete confidence that Todd’s show will be great, which puts more pressure on me to make sure I have an incredible product on CBS-FM. Dan did a great job in mornings. He loaded the bases and now I’ve just got to get a hit.”