Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 25 Radio History

➦In 1908...radio star Harold (Hal) Peary was born in San Leandro Calif.

Hal Peary
The character for which he is remembered, Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, was born in Chicago on the Fibber McGee and Molly show.  He was enough of a hit as a supporting player that in the summer of 1941 he was given his own starring vehicle, NBC’s The Great Gildersleeve, the first known spinoff in American broadcasting history. Peary left the role in 1950, but never found anything as successful with the listening or viewing public.

He died March 30 1985 at age 76.

➦In 1922...AT&T began broadcasting on radio station WBAY New York City, the predecessor of WEAF, WNBC, WRCA and the current WFAN.  AT&T broadcast assets within a few years were early NBC properties.

➦In 1925...2XAG in Schenectady, NY became the first radio station in the U.S. to broadcast with a 50,000-watt transmitter.  The station, soon to be known as WGY Radio, could broadcast with 50,000 watts, since it was owned by the General Electric Company.  Today, WGY still broadcasts with its original call letters and is still using 50,000 watts of power.

➦In 1947...Michael Scott Shannon was born.  Presently hosting the morning show for WCBS 101.1 FM in New York City.and host America's Greatest Hits syndicated nationally with United Starions and CBS . He has also worked for WHTZ, WPLJ, The True Oldies Channel, and he is the voice for the syndicated Sean Hannity Show.

He began his radio career during an Army stint at WFBS 1450 AM in Spring Lake, North Carolina (later WFBX). From there he moved to WCLS 1580 AM in Columbus, Georgia. After leaving the army, Shannon worked full-time in radio at WABB in Mobile, Alabama, where he acquired the name Super Shan.  After a brief stint at WMPS in Memphis he moved to Nashville, where he was the evening disc jockey at WMAK 1300 AM, later becoming that station's program director.

Shannon left Nashville to take a job as a record promoter with Casablanca Records.  Scott returned to radio in Washington, D.C. as program director of WPGC 95.5 FMFM, taking that station to the #1 spot in the Arbitron ratings. From there he moved to WQXI 790 AM in Atlanta. Then, in Tampa, Florida, Scott, along with partner Cleveland Wheeler, developed the morning zoo radio format while at WRBQ 104.7 FM Q105. Again making his station one of the most listened to in the United States.

Shannon is particularly known within the radio broadcasting industry for his work on WHTZ 100.3 FM Z100 in New York City in the mid to late 1980's. Along with former disc jockey Ross Brittain of WABC's "Ross & Wilson Show", he founded the "Z Morning Zoo." He was the driving force in helping Z100 become the top-rated FM station in New York City within a mere 74 days of signing on the air.

In 1989, Shannon left Z100 for Los Angeles to start up Pirate Radio, KQLZ. Pirate Radio employed a similar Top 40 concept. As the 1990s began, Top 40 radio experienced a decline, and eventually Pirate Radio struggled as well, leading to Shannon's departure.

In 1991 he returned to New York and resurfaced on Z100's biggest rival, WPLJ 95.5 FM. This station had also been struggling since its glory days of the mid 1980s, and Shannon became program director and morning drive co-host. Shannon created a Top 40 format that was geared more toward the adult contemporary audience, brought in co-host Todd Pettengill to form "The Big Show," and the WPLJ call letters were re-emphasized. On February 7, 2014, he announced he was exiting WPLJ effective immediately.

On February 25, 2014, WCBS FM announced that Scott Shannon would be hosting a brand new Morning Show entitled Scott Shannon in the Morning in New York starting on March 3.

Shannon is one of several disc jockeys honored in an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 2003, he was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C., and in 2006 he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago, Illinois.

In September 2010, Shannon was named Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year at the 2010 National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Radio Awards.

➦In 1999....veteran broadcast journalist Martin Agronsky, who joined NBC Radio as a foreign correspondent in 1940, and went on to a distinguished career with all three US TV networks, died of congestive heart failure at age 84.

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