Scott Shannon and Evan Matthew don’t know each other.
But they share something in common.
They both started in the US Army before moving on to become famous journalists.
Scott Shannon returned to New York radio weekday mornings on CBS-FM on Monday, March 3. He's the new weekday morning drive host (Monday-Friday 6:00-10:00AM) after 23 years hosting the “Scott and Todd in the Morning” show on WPLJ in New York. He's also the host of The True Oldies Channel, and the official voice of The Sean Hannity Show.
A legend of American radio, Shannon is one of several disc jockeys honored at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Matthew is renowned for being one of Hollywood’s best and most renowned entertainment news and gossip reporters for more than a decade.
Evan has broken worldwide stories for magazines including People, In Touch, Life and Style, Heat, and the National Enquirer and really knows how to become a journalist.
SCOTT SHANNON’S STORY
Shannon left home when we was 17, before he even graduated from high school.
“I was in my senior year and for some reason, I decided I didn’t need a high school diploma nor a college education,” he says.
When 19, he was drafted into the US Army.
“Little did I know it worked to my benefit because it forced me to go to towns that were so small that I could go into their radio stations and hang out. I went from army base to army base. And the minute I got there [wherever the army base was], I went to the radio station.”
Shannon said he was in Fayetteville, North Carolina at Fort Bragg when his life changed.
“I had just finished basic training and I went into this radio station and said, ‘I’m a disc jockey.’
“They said, ‘Do you have a tape, an example of your work?’
“I said, ‘I had to leave home so early when I got drafted I really didn’t get a tape to go.’
“They said, ‘Come on in and we’ll audition you.’
“They gave me the audition and I did my best impersonation of a disc jockey. I got the job.”
Shannon says his energy and enthusiasm covered up for his lack of intelligence and education.
“If you have the confidence and you think you can do it go ahead and do it. I know that runs against common wisdom…that being said, whenever you reach the point where you think you’re armed and dangerous, get out there and get in the world and pursue your dream.”
Years later, with the benefit of hindsight, Shannon says he gave his daughter, Kathleen, some valuable advice.
She was worrying about what college she was going to go to and what degree she was going to complete.
Shannon’s advice was simple.
“I said, ‘Kathleen, it doesn’t make any difference. Get your foot in the door. Once you get in there it doesn’t make any difference where you went to school, what your degree is. All that counts is can you help them?’”
EVAN MATTHEW’S STORY
Matthew had absolutely no journalism skills whatsoever when he entered the journalism world. What did he bring to the table that made these publications hire him? Well, Matthew had been around famous people most of his childhood.
His playdates when he was ten-years-old were with Angelina Jolie and Monica Lewinsky.
He knew famous people. He knew that world. So when the time came to put on a journalism hat, he quickly reconnected with old friends and made hundreds of new contacts.
In 2002, at the age of 25, he became the nightlife reporter for Star magazine and the floodgates of fun were flung open. Since then he has traveled to 54 countries and has had hundreds of stories and photos printed in publications around the world.
Matthew still doesn't have a journalism degree. He doesn't need one.
And neither do you!
Heck, if these two guys can start in the US Army in a career seemingly miles apart from journalism – and make it in the media world – so can you!
Do you want more proof you don’t need a journalism degree to make it as a journalist? Check out my free presentation here to learn tips and secrets to making it in journalism.