Tag Archives: Howard Stern

Frank Cipolla Relives Best Moments for Autobiography

CIPOLLA 8x10 HEADSHOT 1-15Whether you know his work from name, voice, or face, chances are if you’ve been paying attention to New York news coverage in the last three decades you know Frank Cipolla.

His longevity and versatile reporting skills for radio and TV are the framework for his 2011 autobiography, It Shocked Even Us and More Crazy Stories Covering Local News. (Available directly through Cipolla’s website, itshockedevenus.com)

No need to be a war correspondent for anecdotes. Cipolla has tons, probably enough for another installment from his beat in the five boroughs and New Jersey. His time at WNBC is a favorite chapter worth the price of the book on its own. As a newscaster, Cipolla was on the front line for some of biggest egos in the business: Howard Stern, Don Imus and Soupy Sales.

Cipolla tells Tuned In it was equally stressful and hilarious.

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Fond Memories of Veteran Radio Programmer, Kevin Metheny, But Not for Howard Stern

methenyTo millions of Howard Stern fans, Kevin Metheny will forever be “Pig Vomit,” his character
in the 1997 autobiographical film Private Parts, played by Paul Giamatti. (Stern called him “Pig Virus” in real life.)

While Metheny never worked in New York City after being fired from WNBC, he did build a deep resume as a go-to radio programmer in numerous markets.

Metheny died Friday night of a heart attack while on the job as operations manager at Cumulus’ KGO and KSFO in San Francisco.

Stern this week referred to his former boss as a “Nazi vampire.” Although he was sad to learn of Metheny’s death and that he leaves behind two daughters, Stern is not sure he “ever fully recovered” from the way Metheny ran WNBC.

Stern was hired as afternoon personality in 1982. Private Parts documents Stern’s journey to becoming New York’s top rated DJ.

In 2012, marking the 30th anniversary of Stern’s arrival, Metheny told me that the movie and book were not gospel.

“I think [there’s] a fair and appropriate amount of artists’ liberties taken with factual elasticity in order to make a more interesting project,” Metheny said.

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Scott Shannon Relives Z100’s Debut 30 Years Later

shannonBill Cosby helped rejuvenate the sitcom genre in the 1980s. It was in the same era that Scott Shannon gave a much-needed boost to Top 40 radio in New York. Shannon was charged with turning an inconsequential signal at 100.3 FM into a flamethrower frequency. WVNJ was playing a mix of beautiful music by day and jazz by night, when Cleveland-based Malrite Communications purchased the station. Studios were in Secaucus, New Jersey, and licensed to Newark, but to make it attractive to listeners across the Lincoln Tunnel, a transmitter was built atop the Empire State Building.

Related: “Never Say Never” for WPLJ’s Shannon Staying with Morning Show

Thirty years ago today, Z100/WHTZ was born. But Shannon knows any birth needs a gestation period.

Tuned In sat down with Shannon recently at his office high above Madison Square Garden. The Hall of Fame broadcaster was initially reticent to discuss the early days of Z100.

“You still have to be respected for what you’re doing today, not what you did yesterday,” Shannon says. “I really don’t spend a lot of time looking in the rear view mirror. If I have a sucky show today, then I feel sucky. I don’t care if I had a great show at Z100 28 years ago. It’s not going to help me.”

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‘Never Say Never’ for WPLJ’s Scott Shannon Staying with Morning Show

ScottBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

Scott Shannon has been lauded with several Hall of Fame honors. Half of WPLJ’s Scott and Todd (Pettengill) morning show since 1991, Shannon is also responsible for putting Z100/WHTZ on the map 30 years ago.

Last week, CNN named Shannon as one the country’s all-time great air personalities. The list includes Cousin Brucie, Casey Kasem, Wolfman Jack, and Howard Stern.

“I’m not in that league,” a humbled Shannon tells Tuned In. “I was more of a program director/personality. Now I’m just a personality.”

Last June, Cumulus hired John Foxx as WPLJ afternoon jock and program director. It marked Shannon’s first time in New York without the dual role of management and the morning man.

“I’ve been through four different ownerships [at ‘PLJ]. When the new people came in they wanted a fresh approach,” Shannon says.

Shannon, 65, admitted that he initially wasn’t comfortable with the reduction of duties.

“In about 90 days, it was obvious to me that I didn’t mind assuming this role,” Shannon admits.

Called by many a programming genius, Shannon praises the job Foxx has done.

“I work in conjunction with him,” Shannon says. “If he needs any input from me, I’ll give it to him.”

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