PMFM’s Gary Shannon: ‘We’d be in jail’ if radio was done the same today
Perth radio veteran Gary Shannon has said he and his radio contemporaries would likely go to jail “in these politically correct times” if they were to attempt the shenanigans, skits and sketches they got away with back in the day.
Shannon was referring specifically to PMFM’s ‘Anything Goes’ parties which included large crowds, women attempting to win money (but risking “dropping their top”), alcohol skulling competitions, and, basically, anything goes.
As a result, Shannon said he can’t follow fellow broadcaster Basil Zempilas – now Lord Mayor of Perth – into politics as the city’s listeners have “too much dirt” on him.
He did, however, throw his support behind Zempilas in his Mayoral pursuits.
Shannon was talking to Lee ‘Bevo’ Bevington on The Radio Fanboy podcast, covering off his time at 6KY and 6PM.
It was his time at 6PM – then on the 92.9 frequency, which has subsequently been known as Hit 92.9 and most recently Triple M Perth – that he said felt like he’d reached the “Mecca” of radio at the time.
He was part of the PMFM Breakfast Morning Crew, which grabbed headlines and ratings for many years.
“We thought ‘Let’s get a bit of a party happening in the studio,’” he said of his brainstorming with program manager Duncan Campbell – now ARN’s chief content officer. “And I believe we were the first people to get the ‘crew’ thing happening… We invented ‘The Morning Crew’ name…
“We certainly started a trend, because now every bugger’s doing it,” he said of this approach to Breakfast radio.
Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), owner of 92.9, has recently revitalised ‘The Morning Crew’ name for its new Sydney Breakfast show The Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed & Erin.
Shannon said his ‘dangerous’ show was also the first to do ‘Crazy Calls’ – now known as ‘Gotcha Calls’.
“Now they’re banned because of that unfortunate situation that came out of Sydney and affected London so badly,” he said of today’s climate. “I don’t think anyone’s done one since. But ours were very famous.”