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Georgia Radio Hall of Fame: 2009

This guide documents the inductees and award winners of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

Legacy Inductees

Marcus Bartlett

Marcus Bartlett was born in Richland, Georgia August 19, 1910. At 18 he was a member of an Atlanta dance band which performed on the late night WSB Radio. When WSB began to broadcast college football, Bartlett did play by play for both UGA and Georgia Tech. He graduated from Emory University with an AB in journalism in 1939. Following WWII, he returned to WSB Radio and moved into management hiring familiars Elmo Ellis, Lee Jordan, Mike McDougald, George Crumbley, and Bob Watson. Marcus Bartlett was the recipient of Di Gamma Kappa’s Georgia Pioneer Broadcaster Award and recognized by the GA House of Reps. for his contribution to the music & the arts.

Bob Carr

Bob Carr was born on February 28, 1942 in Sampson, Alabama.  Following school, he served in the US Air Force. While attending College he began at WGBA Radio. Carr then moved to Atlanta for WSB, WGST and later WQXI where he met Gary McKee and began doing morning show characters. Carr was Willis “The Guard” Caswell, a redneck with an attitude. Bob Carr was part of the morning show for a decade and a half. He received a lifetime achievement award and was President of the Atlanta Chapter of the Grammy parent organization, The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The State of Georgia honored Carr with its Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award in 1984.

Al Ciraldo

Al Ciraldo was born September 2, 1921 in Akron, Ohio.  At 15 he became a play by play announcer for the Akron Yankees on WJW. After graduating from high school, Ciraldo served during World War II. In 1949, he moved to Atlanta to do play by play of the UGA basketball games on WGBE.  In 1954, he joined the staff of WGST as the voice of Georgia Tech football and basketball. Over 38 seasons, Ciraldo called 416 Tech football games and 1,030 basketball games. In 1984, he moved with Georgia Tech to WCNN to do Tech Games until 1993. In 1986, he was inducted into the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame and retired.

Don Heald

Don Heald was born in Concord, Massachusetts July 7, 1922 and graduate public school in Lakeland, Florida.  Later attending the University of Florida where he worked at the college radio station. He accepted a position at WRUF in Gainesville after graduation and stayed there until moving to Atlanta with WCON as on-air personality and news director, then WSB AM. Then he was known as Don Elliott. He eventually moved to WSB Television where he became Vice President and General Manager for many years. Mr. Heald was also the host of "The Protestant Hour" a syndicated radio program of denominations for 50 years. Among many contributions he was also chairman of the American Cancer Society.

Bill Hoger

Bill Hoger was born in Atlanta and began his radio career as a caller to Ludlow Porch’s show.  He became one of Ludlow’s favorite callers.  He then joined WKLS where he became a semi-regular caller and in-studio guest. In 1985 he teamed up with Jerry Buckner to work on the Stonewall Jackson afternoon drive show at Y-106.  By 1989 the two signed on as regulars with Randy & Spiff at Fox 97 and began a 16-year run featuring a host of characters. Hoger and Buckner syndicated their comedy service to other radio stations in Georgia. He won the AIR award for Best Bit in 1999, Best Commercial Parody and Best Character in 2001 and 2004.

Howard Randolph Holder, Sr.

Howard Randolph Holder, Sr., was born November 14, 1916 in Moline, Illinois. After attending public school, he graduated with an AB degree from Augustana College and went to work for WHBF. In 1941 he married Clementi Baker and entered the Army. On February 19, 1942 Holder was captured by the Germans and was a POW for two years. Holder was awarded the Bronze Star. After the war he returned to radio in 1948 to become part owner of WRFC in Athens. In 1956, he became president of Clarke Broadcasting and licensee of WGAU, WLAQ in Rome, and WGRI in Griffin. He was a champion of civic causes, giving much of his time to community organizations.

Mike Kavanagh

Mike Kavanagh was born December 6, 1951 in New York City. At the age of 16 he was a high school sports reporter for WSBS in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.   Mike graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1972. He later moved to Richmond and WLEE. In 1978, Mike moved to Atlanta and joined WSB.  Kavanagh then left Atlanta to join RKO Radio.  In 1986 he returned to Atlanta for CNN.  In 1992, Mike returned to WSB. He was the recipient of numerous journalism awards including The Edward R. Murrow Award.  He also authored two books on financial planning.  Mike was a founding member of the board of directors of The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

Chuck McClure

Chuck McClure was born in 1923 and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he retired as a lieutenant colonel with the Air Force Reserves. McClure earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at UGA and in 1953 purchased WGBA-AM. Over the next four decades McClure owned stations in Columbus, Canton, Ellijay, and Athens.  McClure was a “hands on” owner operator and was well known in Columbus for his conservative commentaries on WRCG. He also insisted that the station carry the Metropolitan Opera live on Saturday. Mr. McClure and his wife Dorothy were instrumental in the campaign to save the historic Springer Opera House in Columbus.

Career Achievement Inductees

Don Benson Don Benson

Don Benson came to Atlanta’s WQXI AM/FM as a programming assistant in November of 1974. He became assistant program director and in 1977, program director of WQXI FM. In 1979, Benson left, however, came back to WQXI in 1992 as operations manager. In1988 when he joined Atlanta-based Burkhart/Douglas as Executive Vice President of Operation. In 1994, Jefferson Pilot hired Don as Corporate Vice President of Programming & Operations; later he became Senior Vice President. Don became President of the Jefferson Pilot Radio Division, now Lincoln Financial Media. In 2008, Benson was promoted to his present position, President and Chief Executive Officer. Benson was named one of Radio Ink’s “Most Powerful People in Radio.”

Leslie Fram Leslie Fram

Leslie Fram joined Power 99 in Atlanta in 1990 as part of the morning team, then, she became Program Director when the station changed to WNNX and remained part of the morning show until the station changed ownership and formats in 2008. She is the recipient of many local and national awards including being the first woman to receive the T.J. Martell Foundation award in 2000. She moved to New York to program WRXP and co-host the morning show. She held that position until 2011 when WRXP switched formats. Fram is currently the Senior Vice President of Music Strategy at CMT One Country in Nashville.

Larry James Larry James

Larry James was born and grew up in Columbus. In 1961, he got his first radio job at WDAK in Columbus hosting the 6:15 to midnight show. He left WDAK to become PD/Morning man at WCLS in Columbus. In 1967 he moved to WPNX and country music, staying until 1970 when he went to WQIK in Jacksonville. In he moved to WBT in Charlotte. While there was named the Country Music Association’s Medium Market Air Personality of the Year in 1978. After working in Dallas, Birmingham, and Knoxville, he retired to his hometown. Larry was a founding member of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Board of Directors. Larry died on December 26, 2010.

Don King Don King

Don King, a native of Savannah, graduated from Mercer University in Macon. He launched his radio career at WBML in 1955 as one of Macon’s first rock ‘n roll disc jockeys. He was the station's first program director Buddy Knox came to Macon for a concert; they became friends and Knox asked him to be the best at his wedding. Don entered the record books with a 125-hour live remote broadcast. He became the voice of the minor league baseball team, the Macon Peaches. When the station was sold in 1974, King left and joined WNEX until 1986 when he moved to WMAZ. Don King died in 2013 following complications from heart surgery.

Michael McDougald Michael McDougald

Michael McDougald was born in Statesboro. During his sophomore year in high school, he got a part-time job at WWNS. While attending Emory, he was offered a job at WSB. When he returned from serving in the Army during the Korean conflict, he enrolled at UGA to get his master’s in journalism, worked at WRFC, and helped develop the Peabody Award program. WSB hired him as morning man; McDougald was the first person to broadcast for their new White Columns on Peachtree. From WSB he got involved in station ownership in Canton and Rome. He has won many industry awards and is currently chairperson of the board at Georgia Public Broadcasting. 

Jerry Rogers

Jerry Rogers

Originally from New York City, Jerry Rogers came to Savannah in 1969 as MD and PM drive at WSGA. Jerry became PD of WSGA 1n 1971 and then also PD of sister FM Z102. WSGA was regarded as one of America’s best Top 40 stations. In 1976 Jerry became one of the first programmers to go directly from programming into the General Manager’s position at WSGA. In 1991 Rogers signed on WRHQ FM where he remains as Owner, General Manager, and PM drive jock. Jerry has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Savannah Chamber of Commerce and received the prestigious Silver Medal Award from the Savannah Advertising Federation for lifetime contributions to advertising. 

Rick Shaw Rick Shaw

Rick Shaw began his radio career at WSB-FM in 1965 while a college student. He joined WSB full-time as an engineer in 1969, moving into programming in 1979 as Assistant Program Director. In 1985 he became Operation Manager, a position he held until 1991. He spent many seasons as a Producer/Engineer for the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons & Georgia Bulldogs. Rick moved to WGST with the Atlanta Braves in 1991, followed by three years with the WZGC Atlanta Falcons broadcast team. He became VP of Broadcast Operations for Atlanta-based PGA TOUR Radio in 1999. Rick went back to WZGC in 2003 as Director of Affiliate Relations/broadcast producer for the Falcons, where he remained until 2011.

Dennis Winslow Dennis Winslow

Dennis Winslow was born in Orlando, Florida. He attended the University of Florida where he received a BS in Advertising. Winslow continued graduate studies at Florida State. His first job in radio was at WSLC in Clermont, Florida. He joined WQXI FM in 1975 when it became 94Q and remained there until 1981. He left Georgia, however, returned to program WFOX FM when it was purchased by Shamrock Broadcasting and moved from Gainesville to Atlanta. Dennis orchestrated the successful format change of the station to oldies, FOX 97. After 10 years at Fox 97, he moved over to program classic rock, WZGC for a year before leaving for greener pastures and bigger markets.

Steve McCoy and Vikki Locke Steve McCoy and Vikki Locke

Steve McCoy is from Alabama; Vikki Locke is from Canton, Ohio. He attended Alfred College; she attended Ohio State University. Steve’s first job was at WJJL in Niagara Falls, New York; Vikki was a newsperson at WJW in Cleveland. In 1981, Steve came to Atlanta to do mornings on Z-93; in the early ’80s, Vikki came to Atlanta around the same time to work at WARM. When the station changed formats, Steve was paired with Vikki as morning hosts on the new Power 99. Power 99 changed formats, however, in 1991, they were reunited at Star 94 where they stayed for the next 17 years. They did mornings on WSB FM from 2008 until 2010.

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