Z100 has been “New York’s number one hit music station” for nearly 35 years. Started in 1983 by legendary DJ Scott Shannon, the station aimed to bring the Top 40 format back to New York. Now owned by iHeartRadio, the station continues to be at the forefront of popular music, playing music from established pop, hip-hop, R&B and rock artists, as well as debuting music from new artists. Read on to find out more about Z100 New York.
Number Seven: The First Song They Played as Z100 Was by Survivor
When WHTZ flipped formats from instrumental easy listening and jazz on August 2, 1983, the first voice people heard was Scott Shannon telling New York “it’s time to wake up,” followed by their first song, “Eye of the Tiger.” He followed it up with Neil Diamond’s “America” and The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”
Number Six: The Station Supports Local Artists
From 2010 to 2014, Z100 held a contest with Eventful and State Farm to find a “Hometown Hero.” Artists were chosen by listeners through Eventful’s voting platform and the ones who won got to play at Hammerstein Ballroom during the station’s Coca-Cola All-Access Lounge, the event which proceeds Jingle Ball, as well as the opportunity to walk the Jingle Ball red carpet. Winners included The Crowley Brothers, Ali Brustofski, The All Ways, Matt Hunter and Pros & Icons.
Number Five: Their First Broadcast Was Out of New Jersey
When they first launched, Z100’s studio and offices were located in Secaucus, New Jersey. For the first couple of days, their signal was coming from New Jersey as well. On August 4, 1983, their transmitter and transmitting tower began broadcasting “from the top of the Empire State Building.”
Number Four: At One Point They Went Alternative
Feeling pressure from other stations that were closing in on their format, they decided to follow with the alternative trend in the mid-1990s. When you look at a list of the most played songs on the station by year, you can see the drastic shift. From 1992 through 1996, the most played songs were “One” by U2, “Two Princes” by Spin Doctors, “Hey Jealousy” by Gin Blossoms, “Better Man” by Pearl Jam and “Spiderwebs” by No Doubt, respectively.
Number Three: Their HD2 Station is Nick Radio
Originally, when Z100 launched their HD2 station, it featured artists who had not yet broken through to the mainstream. However, this is no longer the case. Now, their HD2 is the terrestrial broadcast home of Nick Radio, which features Top 40 artists that appeal to Nickelodeon’s children and pre-teen audience.
Number Two: Elvis Duran Has the Station’s Longest Running Show
Elvis Duran has been with Z100 for nearly 20 years. He started with the in the afternoon slot and, in April 1996, he became the host of the “Z Morning Zoo.” Changing the name to “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” in 2008, but his tenure with the station is still going strong.
Number One: They Went from Failing Station to Number One in Less Than Three Months
When the station first started, it was the second station to attempt bringing the format to New York. It initially floundered in the ratings, coming in at number 20. Scott Shannon made a promise on the air that they were “going to unite and put the greatest radio station in America on the air. We are going to go from worst to first.” Through guerilla marketing by the station’s loyal fan base, with people posting homemade signs all over the city and recommending the station to friends in exchange for t-shirts, their rating went up radically in a short amount of time. In 73 days, they went from dead last to number one. Thank you for reading our list of seven interesting facts about Z100. We hope you enjoyed it!