The format of comedy bits and music was widely duplicated, and various "morning zoos" and "zookeepers" popped up at other radio stations throughout the country.
WHTZ, also known as Z-100, is a radio station that serves the [[New York City[[ area. WHTZ is licensed in Newark, New Jersey to Clear Channel Communications, and broadcasts at a frequency of 100.3 MHz.
The call letters are supposed to represent the word "hits"; indeed, an early advertising campaign for the station claimed that HTZ was "The New Way to Spell 'Hits' in New York."
The station, which now had the callsign WHTZ, went on the air at 6:08 AM on August 2, 1983 with then program director Scott Shannon and the first song ever played on the station was "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. They signed on from their new and still incomplete studio in Seacaucus, as their signal wouldn't transmit from the top of the Empire State Building until later that August. They did not begin calling themselves "Z-100" until a few days later.
The Z Morning Zoo
While it was not created at WHTZ, the popular morning zoo format became a widely-employed morning show concept based on its success at Z-100. The current Z Morning Zoo include Elvis Duran, Danielle Monaro, John Bell, Carolina Bermudez, Skeery Jones, David Brody and Greg T The Frat Boy.
The Z Morning Zoo features Stupid News with John Bell, Daily Sleaze Report, Phone Tap, a stunt performed by Greg T, various contests, and news and weather reports.
The Z-Morning Zoo has had several lead "zookeepers".
Michael Scott Shannon is a legendary radio disk jockey and the official voice of the Sean Hannity Show.
Scott started his radio career, while in the army, at WFBS AM 1490 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. From there he moved to WCLS AM 1580 in Columbus, Georgia. After leaving the army, Shannon worked full-time in radio at WABB and then WQXI. In Washington, D.C. he became program director of WPGC, taking that station to the #1 spot in the Arbitron ratings. Then, in Tampa, Florida, Scott helped develop the Morning Zoo radio format while at WRBQ, known as Q105. Again, he shined in the ratings, this time making his station one of the most listened to in the United States. He was also primarily responsible for the rennaisance of the musical career of vocalist Charlene, whose song "I've Never Been to Me" he revived by his programming of the then dormant track.
Scott is perhaps most famous within the radio business for his work on Z100 in New York City in the 1980s. Shannon, along with former disc jockey Ross Brittain of WABC's popular "Ross & Wilson Show", founded the "Z Morning Zoo". He was the driving force in helping turn Z100 into a top-rated FM station in New York. Z100 capitalized on using a Top 40 radio format. In 1989, Shannon left Z100 in what was an emotional farewell to head to Los Angeles to startup Pirate Radio. Interestingly, Brian Wilson was brought in to replace Shannon as "Ross & Wilson" was re-united to head up the Zoo for the next 2 years. Pirate Radio employed a similar Top 40 concept. As the 1990s started, Top 40 radio began to struggle and eventually Pirate Radio would struggle leading to Shannon's departure.
13 April 1984, Washington Post, pg. W36:
There'll be some powerful voices on the air at midnight Friday on WTOP (1500 AM) when Larry King talks with one of the Big Apple's top deejays, Scott Shannon, and Washington's Greaseman. King will spend the first hour interviewing the two rock jocks; two hours of call-ins will follow. (The phone number is 685-2177.) Shannon, the program director and morning-drive personality at Z-100 (The Zoo), who left a similar job at Washington's WPGC three years ago, took the station from the No. 20 rank in ratings to No. 1 in just three months.
24 October 1984, Los Angeles Times, pg. SD-D1:
SAN DIEGO -- Early one recent Wednesday, the new "Morning Zoo" show on radio station KFMB-FM (B-100) was hitting its stride.
The original "Morning Zoo" was created by program director Scott Shannon at WHTZ-FM (Z-100) in New York City more than a year ago, and through a wacky mix of music, conversation and comedy that brings back memories of the zany Top 40 men of the 1960s, the Top 40 station has made it all the way to No. 1 in the nation's largest radio market.
Since then, morning zoos have been instituted at Top 40 stations from Los Angeles to Boston, using the format's traditional reliance on strong, dominant personalities who give their listeners not just music, but entertainment.