Friends of Georgia Radio induct Sandra Parrish, Lois Reitzes as Georgia Radio Legends

Sandra Parrish and Lois Reitzes are being inducted into the 2022 class of Georgia Radio Legends from the Friends of Georgia Radio. The ceremony is next month. WSB/Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

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Sandra Parrish and Lois Reitzes are being inducted into the 2022 class of Georgia Radio Legends from the Friends of Georgia Radio. The ceremony is next month. WSB/Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Others: Bob Houghton, Neil Willliamson and Charles Giddens.

The Friends of Georgia Radio, a new organization, has inaugurated five members to its Georgia Radio Legends group this year including WABE-FM veteran Lois Reitzes and WSB Radio journalist Sandra Parrish.

Reitzes is the longest-running radio host in Atlanta going back to 1979 and has remained at the same radio station as well. She transitioned from years as the classical music guru on WABE to a talk show host in 2015 focused on a broad array of entertainment. Her distinctive voice has become an integral part of the Atlanta landscape.

“It’s really very lovely,” Reitzes said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I feel like this job is a gift itself.”

Parrish has been a reporter at WSB radio going back 27 years. She became the station’s legislative reporter in 1998 and has had that beat ever since, covering 24 legislative sessions and four governors. She has won numerous awards over the years including a dozen regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.

“I’m very honored to be included with such an amazing group of broadcasters,” she said in a text Tuesday. “It’s obvious we love what we do to be in this business long enough to be considered a legend.”

Others inducted are:

  • Bob Houghton, who runs the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. He was a general manager at news/talk 640/WGST, the Braves Radio Network, and the Georgia News Network. He worked with 790/The Zone and taught at the University of Georgia.
  • Neil Williamson, longtime voice of the University of Georgia Bulldogs. He has been with WSB for more than 30 years in different roles including director of sales, marketing and research as well as director of sports marketing. He helped put together WSB’s annual Care-a-Thon to cure childhood cancer for AFLAC Cancer Center and Clark Howard’s Habitat for Humanity builds. He said in a brief interview that he was surprised and humbled. “I always saw myself more on the B list. I’ve just done my work.”
  • Charles Giddens, radio executive. He ran several stations including 960/WRFC-AM, Q-105 and the Fox in Athens and WCGQ in Columbus. He created the Great Oconee Raft Race. He founded a media venture partner firm and eventually moved to Naples, Florida, before dying in 2001.

The five radio veterans will all be officially inducted during a gala hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Metropolitan Club in Alpharetta.

A previous organization, the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, stopped inducting new members after 2020. John Long, who ran the group for 15 years, has given the intellectual property over to Georgia State University where the list of hall of fame members reside.

Dennis Winslow, an organizer of the new group and radio veteran himself, said all previous inductees into Long’s group are automatically part of the new one. (That includes everyone from Ryan Cameron to Mark Arum to Neal Boortz.)

“We wanted to insure that deserving professionals that had not yet been recognized would be celebrated,” Winslow said.

The five were selected by a jury of peers from 30 nominees. Here were the judges:

  • Charles Davis, Ph.D., Dean, The Grady College of Mass Communications & Journalism UGA
  • John Clark, General Manager, Georgia News Network I Chairman, GAB
  • Val Carolin, Regional Vice President, General Manager, Salem Media Group, Atlanta
  • Don Benson, President and CEO, Lincoln Financial Media Company (Retired)
  • Ron Parker, Program Director I Talent, Sirius XM Satellite Radio I TGC Radio
  • Jeff Winter, Voiceover Talent I WKXI-FM/WQXI-FM Program Director (Retired)