5 Prominent Radio Voices without Masters Degrees
Radio hosts need a few things to be successful, most important are networking abilities, a soothing voice and a lot to say. One notable exception from that list is higher education; some of America’s most popular voices never pursued masters degrees, which is what one might think is reasonable for those telling the world what it needs to know. Many do not have any form of high education whatsoever. Check out the background of five of the most prominent radio voices who can’t claim any letters past their last name.
You probably know him best from the controversy in 2007 over his misogynistic and racist comments about the NCAA Women’s Basketball team from Rutgers University. After his inflammatory comments, it’s probably not a huge surprise that he doesn’t have a degree in women’s studies. But this radio host, unfortunately in the public eye, got his start from a talent contest at a nightclub while working on the Southern Pacific Railroad.
This radio legacy, “the most listened-to radio host on the planet,” he calls himself, has been on the air since dropping out of Southeast Missouri State University in 1970. His mother claims that he “just didn’t seem interested in anything except radio.” Newsmax.com heralds him as the most influential radio host in America.
Al Franken, the left’s answer to radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, decided that stopped at a cum laude A.B. from Harvard was enough education. After cutting his teeth on Saturday Night Live, service in to USO, and the publication of his books. Then Al Franken started “The Al Franken Show”, which lasted for three years, when he ran for and was elected a US Senator.
Howard Stern, likely the most infamous shock job to ever hit the airwaves, actually graduated magna cum laude from Boston University in the seventies. Though he’s committed to education, since he funds a scholarship at the school to this day, he’s never taken the plunge into any further education, instead getting his training on his own show.
Tom Leykis, host of the Thomas Leykis Show and his current podcast, never even graduated from college. In the early seventies, after graduating from Newfield High School, he began a course of study in broadcasting at Fordham University but dropped out before finishing. That didn’t put a damper on his radio career though; since dropping out, he has co-starred on The Graffiti Hour, and hosted his own show on several radio stations.
Based on the above, it looks like if you started broadcasting in the seventies, education didn’t matter. Which isn’t to say the same environment is in place now. You’re still better off with the networking opportunities college can offer its students. But if you’re not the top of your class? You might still end up the number one host in America.