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My Top 10 Radio Disc Jockeys Of All Time

By Ken Foote, Director of Programming for CBS 11
(credit: Joel Thomas)

(credit: Joel Thomas)

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Since my blog is copyrighted CBS Local Media which is a division of CBS Radio, I feel I have to be fair and balanced between writing about radio versus TV. So this one is about my personal vote for 10 of the best radio disc jockeys over a 40-50 year period. Certainly it is not all inclusive and doesn’t list all of my favorites but here we go (and not in any order):

1. Scott Shannon (WCBS-FM/WPLJ-FM/WHTZ-FM New York): One of the top radio DJ’s in America today. Recently moved to WCBS-FM to do mornings. I used to listen to him at Q105 in Tampa in the early 1980’s before he headed to NYC. Good on air talent and programming director. Created a 24 hour radio service called The True Oldies Channel.

2. Don Imus (WABC/WFAN/WNBC New York):  Began his career in Stockton CA, then moved to Cleveland, then hired by WNBC for mornings (fired later and then rehired). Known for his character voices (Crazy Bob and The Right Revered Billy Saul Hargus). Stunt in Stockton created new FCC rules when he posed as a military man calling a fast food restaurant and ordering “1200 hamburgers to go”.  Raises millions of dollars for the Don Imus Pediatric Center at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey to find a cure for cancer for kids. Operates a ranch in New Mexico for kids with cancer to come out and work on the ranch to help them in their  battle against cancer. Former VH1 VJ in the 1980’s.  Became talk show host when WNBC was sold and became WFAN with an all sports format.

3. Howard Stern (Sirius XM/WXRK/WNBC New York  WWDC Washington): Brilliant guy who knew more what was on the minds of men between 18-49 and spoke to that audience successfully, although some of his comments and content resulted in fines from the FCC until such time that management no longer wanted that exposure. Discovered by the late MSNBC newsman Jerry Nachman.  Had a couple of syndicated TV shows in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

4. Ron Chapman (KLUV/KVIL/KLIF Dallas): Probably the most creative and one of the most successful DJ who not only knew his audience but knew how to create winning on air promotions that drove ratings and revenue, especially for KVIL. I heard Ron speak recently in Dallas at a private dinner. Just fabulous. Former wife was the spokeswoman for Scott’s Liquid Gold in the 1970’s.

5. Robert W. Morgan (KRTH/KHJ Los Angeles): Top rated morning man in Los Angeles during the Drake Chenault era for years. Could talk to anyone about anything.

6. Shotgun Tom Kelley (KRTH Los Angeles/KCBQ San Diego): Smooth afternoon drive DJ that knew the Southern California lifestyle as well as any one. Fun to listen too with lots of energy.

7. Charlie Tuna (KBIG/KRTH/KHJ Los Angeles): High energy personality and funny. Was probably the top midday man in the entire country in the 1970’s. Was heard in the DFW area on KLUV a few years ago with his syndicated show.

8. Larry Lujack (WLS/WCFL Chicago): #1 rated DJ in Chicago and along with his longtime friend Tommy Edwards created “Animal Stories”. Was one of early million dollar DJs. Stunning voice.

9. John Landecker (WLS Chicago): One of the best evening personalities ever. Known for creating the “Boogie Check”.  Because of WLS’s huge nighttime signal, he was heard all over the Midwest and Canada. His middle name is Records!

10. Casey Kasem (American Top 40/KRLA Los Angeles): Just brilliant. I shall miss him. Prayers for his family at this difficult time. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

There are so many others that should be listed like Kidd Kraddick, Harry Harrison, Cousin Bruce Morrow, Murray The K, Charlie Van Dyke, Scott Muni, Dick Purtan…the list is endless.

See you next time.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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