Remembering Georgia broadcasting legend Mike McDougald
Georgia broadcasting legend, Mike McDougald, has died. His career included part-ownership of radio stations such as WCHK, Canton and WRGA/WGTU in Rome, as well as others. He was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame and the Alabama Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
McDougald started his journalism career in high school at Radio Station WWNS in his hometown of Statesboro. He went on to graduate from Emory University School of Journalism in 1952. During his time there, he worked at WSB Radio in Atlanta.
McDougald joined the United States Army during the Korean War and served as a ‘Counter-Intelligence Special Agent’ with top-secret clearance. After his service, McDougald turned back to his studies at the University of Georgia, joining the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication as a graduate student.
While at Grady, McDougald was influential in the implementation of the college’s Peabody Awards program and worked with Athens’ WRFC, but he returned to WSB before finishing his degree. There, he worked as the “morning wake-up” personality for several years.
McDougald’s stations, among those in Canton and Rome, won multiple awards, including two Marconi awards from the National Association of Broadcasters and GAB “Station of the Year” awards.
He was a past president and board member of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters and chairman of the Foundation of Public Broadcasting of Georgia. In 2008, McDougald was inducted as a Grady College fellow by UGA. His professional career spanned nine television stations, 17 radio stations and several years of contributing to educational programming and featured freelance work.
McDougald died Friday, December 17, from an extended illness. A memorial service for family and friends was held last week in Rome.