SONNY DIXON - 2011 EMMY AWARD WINNER FOR BEST ANCHOR - anchors WTOC's new and innovative broadcast, THE News NOW at 4 PM, in addition to newscasts he has anchored for many years, THE News at Five and THE News at Six.
Sonny is a proud Savannah native, who has readily volunteered to help out in and around his hometown for decades, serving on numerous boards, including various Chamber of Commerce Boards, the United Way of the Coastal Empire, Savannah Technical College, Rape Crisis Center, American Cancer Society, Savannah Speech and Hearing, Boy Scouts of the Coastal Empire and many more. He currently serves on the Board of the Coastal Georgia Area Arthritis Foundation and the Savannah Area Florida Gator Club.
Sonny graduated from Leadership Savannah in the mid-80's and was chosen by the class as most outstanding graduate. He is a 1989 graduate of Leadership Georgia.
The Savannah Jaycees named Sonny Savannah's Man of the Year in 1988. The American Business Women's Association named him Savannah Citizen of the Year in 2004.
Sonny was elected to five terms in the Georgia House of Representatives, where he held key offices and served on prominent committees, before retiring from elected office in 1997. He was twice elected to the Garden City Council before moving on to the legislature.
As a longtime member of Toastmasters International, Sonny Dixon has won numerous awards for public speaking and communication generally - at local and state levels. He won the Southeast USA Regional Toastmasters Speech Competition twice.
Sonny won an Emmy for Best Anchor in the Southeast US (all markets - including Atlanta) in June, 2011. He was chosen Georgia's Best Anchor/Reporter by the Associated Press in 2005.
Sonny Dixon frequently collaborates with WTOC Marketing Manager, Craig Harney, to produce specials and documentaries. The duo was awarded an Edward R. Murrow Award for broadcast excellence, specifically their work on the 2002 documentary, "Return to Ground Zero" shot mostly in New York City. More recently, they journeyed to Ireland and Northern Ireland to produce "Savannah Goes to Ireland", which won AP honors as Georgia's Best TV Documentary.
Readers of Savannah Magazine have voted Sonny Savannah's "favorite media personality" nine years in a row (2002-2009). He's also been chosen Savannah's "Best TV Anchor" by readers of Connect Savannah for many years.
He has been consistently included among "Who's Who in Georgia Media" by Georgia Trend Magazine.
The Veterans Council of Chatham County awarded Sonny their Spirit of America Award -"for Outstanding and Dedicated Service to America".
The Secretary of the U.S. Army, recognizing Sonny's strong and consistent support for U.S. Army Special Forces "Night Stalkers", named him an "Honorary Member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)" ... in brief, an Honorary Night Stalker.
Sonny Dixon is also now an "Honorary U.S. Army Ranger", so named by the First Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment (Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah) at their 2009 Ranger Ball.
He was named a Paul Harris Fellow by and for the VanLandingham Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island.
The Georgia Historical Society presented Sonny Dixon their annual History in the Media Award for the state of Georgia.
Sonny owns a small piece of Savannah's broadcast history, having been the air personality to whom the duty fell to "sign off"' Savannah's first commercial radio station for the last time when the station was sold in the late seventies. (That station was WTOC - 1290 AM and 94.1 FM)
Various issues have attracted national media attention for Sonny. He has appeared on the CBS Evening News, the CBS Early Show, on CNN, in Newsweek magazine and many major market newspapers.
When he's not at work, Sonny enjoys speaking to groups, with a little music in the mix. He sings and picks a fair country/folk guitar, to the apparent satisfaction of many churches, civic clubs and other groups who invite him back again and again.
Look closely at the next pearl white Harley Davidson Road King you pass. It just might be one very familiar "biker".
Sonny also takes lots of trips with his "best buddy", wife Margaret, also a Savannah native to whom he's been married for 30 years. They tour the countryside in their motorhome, taking in festivals, sporting events and more. They also log a great many miles on their bicycles and enjoy hitting the waters of the Georgia-Carolina coast in their kayaks.
An avid, self-described "history nut", Sonny is a sponsoring member of the Georgia Historical Society. He' s a member of numerous historical and genealogical organizations, mostly in southeast Georgia. Devoted to his Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh heritage, Sonny was the sponsor of the Georgia Law designating the Official Georgia State Tartan. He's an active member of Savannah' s St. Patrick' s Day Parade Committee, the Coastal Scottish Heritage Society and the St. Andrews Society of Savannah.
Here's one final note for those who share one of Sonny's addictions -er- hobbies. Prompted by his stories on Georgia history and genealogy, many inquire about his southeast Georgia roots. He is a tenth generation southeast Georgian, descending from some of the Peach State's earliest settlers. Counties most prominent in his ancestral background include: Bulloch, Candler, Charlton, Coffee, Effingham, Emanuel, Liberty, Pierce, Screven and Tattnall. If you'd like to match surnames, Sonny's Georgia forebears include folks named Dixon (or Dickson), Prescott, Holland, Boyett(e), Ammons, Sikes, Moore, Winn, Lankford, Meeks, Riner ... and many more. Contact him! He loves to talk history and genealogy.