2022 Fellowship Profile: Bob Houghton
2022 Fellowship Profile: Bob Houghton
The Grady Fellowship is a recognition honoring friends of the college whose accomplishments, friendship and service to the industries they serve have made a positive impact on the college and its students.
“It is a personal honor and career highlight to be named a Grady Fellow at my adopted college, the University of Georgia,” Houghton said.
Houghton has served as president of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters since 2012 and is a part-time instructor of the Sports Broadcast and Production course through the Carmical Sports Media Institute.
During his career, Houghton has served as a play-by-play announcer for college football, basketball and baseball; worked in national radio sales for CBS; and served in a variety of management positions for radio stations throughout the country and in Georgia.
In 1992, Houghton moved to Georgia to serve as general manager WGST Radio, the Georgia News Network and the Atlanta Braves Radio Network, before being moving to Georgia Public Broadcasting as general manager.
For the past several years, Houghton has served on the Grady College Board of Trust.
Houghton earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Illinois Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in communications from Northwestern University. A retired Navy captain and Vietnam veteran, he was awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit upon his retirement.
Houghton and his wife, Vivien, have a daughter, Kimberly Wilson.
Following are excerpts from an interview with Houghton:
Grady College: What skills should graduates and young alumni focus on for early success?
Bob Houghton: Be flexible, be curious and be forward thinking. Always do what you were hired to do as your first priority, then find time to do more.
GC: What appeals to you most about broadcasting?
BH: I wanted to be involved in sports and with limited athletic skills, announcing sports was a way to do that. I believe I was a pioneer in sports talk, co-hosting a Saturday morning program in 1975. I soon learned that broadcasting was a business and the importance of sales. While I loved being on the air, I was better at sales and sales was the fast track to leadership in the broadcast industry in the 1970s and 80s.
I also believe that broadcasters continue to serve the communities they live and work in. We continue to be a reliable, trusted resource that a majority of the country depends on. This is especially true in smaller markets. Local broadcasting is more important than ever. We need Grady students and graduates to bring their perspective and their skills to our ensure the future of our most valuable industry.
GC: What does this recognition mean to you?
BH: As a non-Grady alum, it is hard to put into words how honored I am to be joining the Grady Fellowship. I was at the first induction ceremony in 2008 and never thought I would someday be included in this group of outstanding journalists, educators, leaders and broadcasters. I was introduced to Grady almost immediately upon my arrival in Georgia in 1992. I joined the GAB Board and began attending Career Day and the glory days of the Winter Institute. On 2012, Dean Davis gave us a home and put the prestigious name of Grady College on what I still believe is my most important accomplishment: the seven year run of the GAB Radio Talent Institute.
There are so many professors and staff members I need to thank but I will leave too many out. My one exception is to thank Vicki Michaelis for allowing me to work with the students in the Carmical Sports Media Institute certificate program. To see the development of the program and the students has been a personal honor and accomplishment. Vicki has lots of help from the team, but she is a powerful force who has built one of the crown achievements of the great Grady College.
GC: What are best strategies for keeping up with day to day advancements in broadcasting ?
BH: Self serving plug: be a member of the GAB or take advantage of the member services we provide. We keep you abreast of industry opportunities and challenges.
This is one in a series of profiles about our 2022 Alumni Award honorees and Fellowship inductees.