COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Columbus native and Hardaway High School alumni, Sanders Hickey, is going to be inducted into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame on Oct. 22, 2021. Hickey has been in the radio industry for 48 years and has owned about 20 different radio stations during that time.
“Humbled, overwhelmed, it’s hard to imagine being part of the same company that compromised the list of people in the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. There are network presidents, network news anchors, network news directors, there are radio pioneers that got their starts in Georgia but went on to do amazing things across the country. To have my name listed with those people is one of the most incredible, as I said, humbling experiences in my life. I’m still having a really hard time coming to grips with that,” said Hickey.
Hickey worked at a variety of radio stations in the early stages of his career including WCLS and WCGQ in Columbus. He then transferred to Athens where he continued his radio career while he attended the University of Georgia. After graduating from UGA, Hickey continued his career in Atlanta at a variety of stations before moving to north-central Texas.
He and his family spent about five years in Texas before moving back to the southeast where he commuted between North Carolina and South Carolina and eventually moved back to Georgia. Once back in Georgia, Hickey worked for Nielsen Audio and managed six southeastern states and over 350 radio stations.
Hickey currently owns four FM stations on the coastal side of Georgia and three more stations just north of Houston, Texas.
“For most of my career it’s been involved in trying to make Georgia broadcasting a better business, a better industry and serving the communities of Columbus, Rome, Gainesville, Athens, Brunswick, St. Simon’s, Sea Island, Macon. It’s always felt like home no matter where in the state I’ve ever been or where we’ve ever lived,” said Hickey.
He described technology as the biggest challenge he has faced in the industry and staying up-to-date with the way people consume media nowadays. He said he had to find ways to incorporate social media and videos to keep radio relative with the ever-changing media cycle.
Hickey expressed his gratitude for the Fountain City and its culture. He said he is proud to see how far the city has grown and that he tries to visit as much as he can. He credits a lot of his success to the relationships he built with many people throughout the years.
“People and relationships are the most important things in my life,” said Hickey.