About Jim Zippo
Long before Robin Williams yelled “Goood Morrrnning, Vietnam!!!” in the movies, Jim Zippo found himself in the United States Air Force Radio division in the early 1970s. After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Military, he earned his 1st Class FCC Radio license and started right at the top with morning drive-time gigs at major radio stations in San Bernardino, CA (1975-76), Washington, D.C. (1976-78), Detroit, MI (1978-79), El Paso, TX (1979-80), Nashville, TN (1980-81), Las Vegas, NV (1981-82), and Dallas, TX (1982-85).
But Zippo’s career exploded into international stardom between 1987-1999, where he was heard daily on nearly 300 stations throughout the United States and beyond as the morning personality for the Pure Gold format on ABC's Satellite Music Network. He was also the Program Director of the radio franchise, which helped scores of local station affiliates across the country increase their ratings—many of which became number 1 in their markets thanks to Zippo's popular radio show.
When listeners tuned into Zippo in the Morning, they were entertained with five hours of live radio with celebrity guests, funny parodies, hourly “call-in” contests, and the 'Rude Awaking Call.' It was balanced with just the right mix of '50s, '60s and '70s music, which targeted a demographic that had the most disposable income (making advertisers extremely happy). His brand became so popular that callers would try to win Jim Zippo Trading Cards, which were among his many novelty items. He also interviewed superstars, such as Adam Sandler, Chuck Norris, Whitney Houston, Fleetwood Mac, ABBA, The Carpenters, Elton John, Hall & Oates, and many others.
The key to the SMN's success was Jim Zippo's extra efforts in trying to make each of the stations sound local, rather than just another syndicated satellite or automation service. The concept even prompted NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw to do a feature on radio syndication in 1991, which included an extensive interview with Zippo himself.
In addition, Zippo spent most of his weekends traveling to many of those local markets to make live appearances for station promotional events. He also did live network shows at major theme parks, a Beatles trek to London & Liverpool, and even a wild show in Transylvania, Romania, from Dracula’s Castle.
When the ABC satellite program disbanded, Jim immediately went to work and created the H.E.R.O. (High Energy Rockin' Oldies) Radio Network, which also served listeners nationwide, as well as Armed Forces Radio.
Jim later replaced Scott Shannon when he left the “True Oldies” syndicated show, working for Westwood One, and KLUV Radio (CBS/Audacy) in Dallas.
He is one of very few radio personalities who has spent more than 50 years on the air... and is still not ready for retirement!