Worst to First: The True Story of Z100 New York Shares a Remarkable Era in Radio History (video)


With the vision of an outlier, Scott Shannon created one of the most successful radio stations and music formats in the history of the business. In just 74 days, he took New York City’s Z100 from Worst to First in 1983 and it has dominated the market for 39 years.

Elvis Duran has hosted the morning show for the past 26 years and is the most listened-to morning show host in America.

The two of them are fierce competitors today with Duran on Z100 and Shannon on WCBS-FM, but they have formed a lasting friendship built on mutual respect and admiration. Together, they created Worst to First: The True Story of Z100 New York, a feature-length documentary that premieres tomorrow, February 11, on VOD platforms including Apple/iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, Vudu, and Microsoft. Additionally, it will be available on such cable platforms as InDemand (Comcast, Spectrum, Charter, Cox, Frontier, etc.) and DirectTV.

“Z100 is the most iconic radio station in history,” comments Duran. “What Scott Shannon did 39 years ago is simply the story of legend.  To think that I’m a part of this story in any way is just surreal to me.  This is one of radio’s greatest tales, and I’m just so proud to have teamed up with Scott to tell it to anyone who will listen.”

Shannon comments, “At first I thought the documentary was a crazy idea and I’m still a little suspicious. I’d like to thank Elvis for participating in this labor of love because I know he thought it was a wacky idea too!” Worst to First portrays the against-all-odds inspirational story of New York City’s Z100.

Shannon’s merry band of misfits began broadcasting from the swamps of New Jersey where no artist would venture and the DJs had to buy their own records just to have music to play on air. Fun, chaotic, and aspirational, the film features Scott Shannon and other Hall of Fame radio personalities as well as industry legends like Clive Davis, Elvis Duran, Don Ienner, Tom Poleman, and Patty Steele.

Iconic artists who exploded on Z100 such as Jon Bon Jovi, Joan Jett, Tony Orlando, Nile Rodgers, and era superstars, Debbie Gibson and Taylor Dayne, all share their personal stories of the importance of the station, their love of radio and their passion for performing music. 

Capturing the times, personalities, and music of the ’80s, Worst to First portrays the ultimate David and Goliath story that built the foundation behind the legacy that endures and continues to grow, reaching eight-digit audiences daily, and continuing to influence the face of media and entertainment. Worst to First was directed, written, and produced by Mitchell Stuart and produced by Trish Hunter Shannon, Elvis Duran, David Katz and John McConnell

The cast includes Scott Shannon, Elvis Duran, Jon Bon Jovi, Nile Rodgers, Clive Davis, Debbie Gibson, Joan Jett, Taylor Dayne, Tony Orlando, Joe Piscopo, “Magic” Matthew Alan, “Professor” Jonathan B. Bell, Frankie Blue, Anita Bonita, Ross Brittain, Pete Cosenza, Michael Ellis, Gavin DeGraw, Cathy Donovan, Gary Fisher, Frank Foti, Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, David Hinckley, Donnie Ienner, Jim Kerr, Steve Kingston, Ken Lane, Kenny Laguna, Jimi LaLumia, Tom Poleman, Geraldo Rivera, Trish Hunter Shannon, Patty Steele, Claire Stevens, Mitchell Stuart, John Sykes and Jim Wood.  “Radio’s Best Friend,” Art Vuolo, contributed video.


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