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Friends of Georgia Radio to Honor 2023 Georgia Radio Legends

Engineer Charles Kinney of Cox Media Group is among the six honorees

Friends of Georgia Radio will soon honor its 2023 Class of Georgia Radio Legends. The non-profit will celebrate six industry professionals on Aug. 26 at the Olde Towne Athletic Club in Marietta, Ga.

Charles Kinney

Each year, “Radio Legends” in the state are nominated by Friends of Georgia Radio members for making a positive difference in radio and audio arts, for serving as leaders of their communities and organizations and for helping to define radio’s future.

Charles Kinney, the director of engineering at COX Media Group in Atlanta is among those to receive the distinction. After getting his start in radio at age 14, at age 27 Kinney was hired by Radio One as its chief engineer in Atlanta. Within three months, Radio One expanded its radio portfolio and Kinney was promoted to Radio One Corporate Director of Engineering, where he shepherded Radio One acquisitions in Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, Richmond and Boston, according to a Friends of Georgia Radio press release.

“In September 1999, WSB suffered the tragic loss of its chief engineer, and one of the most prestigious broadcast engineers in America, John Talbert. Aware of the respect that Mr. Talbert had for Charles, COX Radio/WSB quickly offered him the position of chief engineer.” read the release.

Nine years later, Kinney became responsible for the newly-acquired COX Radio stations in Athens, Ga. He was also a 2022 recipient of The Ditty-McLemore Award for Broadcast Engineering Excellence by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.

Other recipients of the Radio Legend distinction include: host of the Georgia Lottery and Black Radio Hall of Famer, Carol Blackmon; former vice president and general manager at WQXI(AM) and WSTR(FM), Mark Kanov; 50-year veteran radio broadcaster and former Georgia station owner, Ken Woodfin; former program director of WKLS(FM) and ABC radio, Allen Sneed; and SVP and market manager at Audacy Atlanta, Rick Caffey.

Read the full bios of the six honorees. 

In addition, Friends of Georgia Radio will recognize the late Gene Harden, owner of WTWA/WTHO in Thomson, Ga., as its first Georgia Radio Pioneer.

“This is such a terrific group of professionals,” said Friends of Georgia Radio President Richard Warner in the press release. “Our panel of volunteer judges, who built their own solid careers in the industry, were impressed with the caliber of all 20 nominated and excited about the impact each honoree has made on our industry and our state.”

Tickets to the Friends of Georgia Radio Banquet and Celebration, hosted by TNT’s Ernie Johnson, Jr., are available here.

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