LAGRANGE, Ga. — Moultrie native Kenneth (Ken) Stanford was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Saturday, Oct. 26, at the annual induction banquet for the Georgia Radio Museum and Hall of Fame. It was held at the Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange.
Stanford, a 1963 graduate of Moultrie High School, was one of nine Georgia radio veterans who were inducted for their career achievements.
Stanford began his radio career at WMTM in Moultrie in 1960 at the age of 15. He told The Observer earlier this year after he had been nominated that he knew by the time he was five- or six-years-old that he wanted to be a radio announcer.
After graduating from high school, he attended the Atlanta School of Radio and TV Broadcasting for six months, while working part-time at WAKE in Atlanta.
After finishing school, he landed a full-time job with WDUN in Gainesville, Ga., eventually becoming the station's music director and production director. He left WDUN in December 1967 for a job with WBIE in Maietta, Ga., but returned to WDUN in 1971 as assistant news director. Three years later he was named news director, a job he held for 40 years before retiring in 2011.
At the time of his retirement, Stanford was in charge of the day-to-day news operations for Jacobs Media Corp., parent company of WDUN, overseeing a news department that included a staff of eight full- and part-time reporters, three radio stations and a news-oriented website, AccessWDUN. In retirement, he continues on a part-time basis with the company serving as contributing editor, primarily responsible for non-breaking weekend news content for the website.
Stanford is also a veteran of the Air Force Reserves.
"I feel so lucky to have been in the right place at the right time throughout my career," Stanford said following his induction. "I have worked with and for some of the, in my opinion, best and brightest people in Georgia radio. And, to have my name enshrined as a hall of fame member with some of the people who were right there when the industry was just getting off the ground in the 1930s and 1940s is truly an honor — not to mention so many of my contemporaries who are inductees."
In that earlier Observer story, Stanford said he wanted to especially pay tribute to some the then-WMTM employees who played a significant role in helping him realize his boyhood dream in getting a job in radio and help launch his career, specifically, PeeWee Mills, Donnie Turner, and Doug Turner.
In addition to Stanford, career achievement honorees included Bob Coxe, former co-anchor of “Atlanta’s Morning News” on WSB Radio; Dwight Douglas, former president of Burkhart-Abrams radio consultants; Sabrina Gibbons Cupit, WSB Atlanta midday news anchor; Mary Therese Griffin, former news director of Fox Classic Hits in Macon; Sanders Hickey, operating partner at Golden Isles Broadcasting in Brunswick; Tim Johnson, former marketing and promotions manager for WFOX FM in Atlanta; “Bear” O’Brian, mornings at WCGQ FM in Columbus; and Ron Parker, former air personality at WQXI AM in Atlanta.
An additional 10 legacy awards went to outstanding people in the radio field who have passed away. These honorees were Ray Relihan, the former chief engineer and morning personality for WTRP in LaGrange; Mike Ventura, a former account representative with at WQXI FM in Atlanta; Fred “Doc” Suttles, former general manager at WJIZ in Albany; Ben Parsons, former program director and personality at WRBL in Columbus; Bert Parks, former personality at WGST in Atlanta; Burke Johnson, former program director at WAOK in Atlanta; Gary Guntor, former personality at WSB in Atlanta; Steve Ferguson, program director and morning host at WTHO in Thomson; Bill Duncan, former personality at B985 in Atlanta; and Sean Demery, former co-host at 99X in Atlanta. Family members and friends accepted the awards for legacy award inductees.