Wednesday 26 Oct 2016

Shannon Speculation
Matt Seinberg

On 7 February 7 2014, Scott Shannon did his last show on WPLJ-FM, in New York City, where he worked since 1991, as the program director and morning show host. Some say h Cumulus, which owns WPLJ-FM, forced Shannon out. Some say he his contract was up and wasn't renewed. Shannon himself has simply said that he left WPLJ-FM and isn't retiring from radio.

Let's face facts. Shannon is 66 years old and can't relate to the Top 40 audience as he once did, 1980s, say, when he was the wizard programmer behind the "worst to first" rise of WHTZ-FM/Z100. The world of radio is much different, today, than it was thirty something years ago.

My belief is that men over 40, much less 66, can't relate to the 12-to-30 year old audience like someone younger. I'm 56 and I certainly can't relate to teenagers as I used to, say, when I was a teenager.

The WPLJ-FM audience is suburban soccer moms. Shannon built the station around that demographic. Their highest ratings come from suburban New Jersey and Long Island, not New York City, which the station calls homes. These soccer mom's probably have teenagers. Shannon's audience is Mom, not their teenage kids.

That's not to take away anything away from Scott Shannon. He is a radio genius that has accomplished more in his career than most people can only dream. He built three great morning shows at WRBQ-FM/Q105 in Tampa, FL, Z100 with the Morning Zoo, and The Big Show at WPLJ.

When he announced on 7 February that he was leaving WPLJ-FM, it pretty much took everyone by surprise. The speculation began on where he would end up next.

The following Tuesday, WOR-AM canned its new morning show, "Elliot in the Morning." That show came from sister station, WWDC-FM, in Washington, DC. The show lasted about two weeks before it management pulled took it off air, due to creative differences.

The speculation started immediately that Scott Shannon was going to do the morning show at WOR-AM, within the next month. He brings name recognition, a built in audience and the extra-large personality that can start a new morning show on AM radio.

Will another Morning Zoo work on AM radio? I don't believe so, because the WOR-AM audience is too old to understand it. The WOR-am audience is older than any station Shannon has worked. In fact, he is their demographic. An older audience would appreciate him if he targeted his "act" towards them and not the New Jersey or Long Island soccer mom.

I've said it repeatedly, a good radio host must make his show compelling to build an audience and keep it. Don't' be a cookie cutter, a robot or just a voice telling the time and temperature. Tell your audience what's going on in their world, and do it in a way that is interesting.

I believe that Clear Channel, owner of WOR-OAM, will throw a boatload of money at Shannon to build a new show at WOR-AM. John Gambling, the just retired, long-time morning host at WORO-AM is a hard act to follow. So, too, is Shannon.

So stay tuned and get ready to welcome a new morning show to WOR-AM, very soon.


Speculation about the new radio home for Scott Shannon is over. Jim Ryan, Programme Director of WCBS-FM, in New York City, confirmed Shannon takes over its morning show from Dan Taylor on Monay 24 February 2104. Taylor moves to mid-days, replacing Ron Parker. There's no word on what Parker will do or where he'll go. MS

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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