If you were to order up the ideal newscaster here's what he'd look like: he'd have deep roots in the community, he'd be smart, he'd be passionate about people and he'd fight with all that he had to make his community better. That's what WTOC ordered up when we recruited Sonny Dixon to the station 17 years ago.
In those years Sonny's been a multiple Emmy award winner, a Murrow award winner, an Associated Press award winner, an honorary Night Stalker and then the one big negative – a Gator.
It takes brass to be the market's leading newsman and that's what Sonny showed at the G8 summit when he was the only local reporter to ask President Bush a question in front of the world. He also appeared on The CBS Evening News as well as the CBS Early Show, CNN, and the Montel William's show.
He's been featured in Newsweek Magazine as well as major newspapers outside the area. Among the many awards and accolades that Sonny has received throughout his career is his “Best Anchor” award, which distinguished him from among his peers in both large and small television markets!
Everyone from the Governor to our US Senators are on Sonny's speed dial but that means no more to him than the sincere and personal connection that he has built over the years with our viewers throughout our 20 county area. Most of these people feel as if they are kin to Sonny, and in many cases they really are. I recently had the pleasure to join Sonny at an annual bar-b-que in Glennville, hosted by Wayne Dasher. This event celebrates our law enforcement across the area. Sonny has served as the emcee of this event for the past 28 years. He doesn't get paid for his time He does it out of genuine love and respect for the men and women of the law enforcement community, including our military. To see him interact with this special group was a privilege and a feel good evening that I won't forget for years to come.
If you didn't know already then by now you've figured out that Sonny's retiring at the end of May. We wanted to tell you early so you can enjoy these last few weeks of Sonny Dixon on our air, on a daily basis. After May, he and his wife Margret have plans to do some traveling, and enjoy this much needed respite. I have asked Sonny to keep in touch with us and to continue hosting some of the many events that he has over the years. That's ultimately going to be his decision, but don't be surprised to see Sonny with us, in some capacity for years to come.
He will always be a part of the WTOC family. Good luck Sonny and thanks for the memories.
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