Meridian, Miss. Thursday was a day of reunions and celebrating at WTOK-TV as past and present staff members, business leaders, and members of the community gathered to reflect on six decades of broadcasting in East Mississippi and West Alabama. Many of your favorites stopped by to get in on the fun.
"It's fun," former WTOK anchor Barbara Kidd said. "We've done this a couple of times. Of course now, our group is considered the old timers. So, that makes it kind of weird here because we're the older ones and we have a group called the 'Old Timers.' We get together once a year and we sit around and talk WTOK and it's great."
"Well, it's a great honor," former WTOK Tom Daniels said. "The WTOK family is amazing and to be celebrating 60 years is just fantastic. And so many faces I haven't seen in a while, so it's really good to see folks again."
Besides getting to fellowship with those in attendance, business leaders and other visitors were able to tour the second floor of the station where the magic happens. After all, things are done very differently now since we are operating in the digital age. But it's all to serve you the viewer, something our former anchors are still recognized for to this day.
"Well, I'm always a little bit shocked to tell you the truth because I don't think about it like that," Daniels explains. "It's always kind of humbling when someone speaks to me or comes up to me and says they used to watch on TV."
"I want them to know this is the cornerstone of East Mississippi and West Alabama and it always will be," Kidd added. "And if nobody else has said it, it was Bob Wright, Billy Battle Crooks. They were the guys who brought us in here. Love them forever."
The hard work of every WTOK employee is certainly to thank for reaching 60 years, but it certainly would not have happened without the support of you, the viewing audience.
"This station has always had a history of interacting very well with the community," Vice President and General Manager Tim Walker said. "We don't talk at the community, we talk to the community, and with the community. And we listen and we've always presented our programming and our news in a way that people felt ease and at home with it."
Walker added that the celebration was by no means an end to the work the station does each and every day.