Macon sports media outlets have been a springboard for some of the America's top print and broadcast journalists. Most were not native to the city but rather came through here on their way to big-time fame and celebrity.
Tom Johnson, who was born in Macon and educated at Alexander II and Lanier, got his start as a sports stringer for The Telegraph under the tutelage of sports editor Sam Glassman. Johnson covered local high school sports and also was the official scorer for little league and Macon Peaches baseball. After he completed high school, he went to Georgia, graduating from the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism. That prepared him for a career in the media, and he served for 18 years with the Los Angeles Times and for 22 years as head of Ted Turner's Cable News Network.
Reg Murphy, who is a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in the contributor category, also got his start writing sports for The Telegraph while a student at Mercer. He went on to become editor of the Atlanta Constitution, editor and publisher of the San Francisco Examiner and publisher and CEO of the Baltimore Sun. He also was president and CEO of the National Geographic Society from 1995-98. The Gainesville native has kept an association with sports his entire life with his most prominent role serving as President of the USGA in 1995 and 1996.
Ernie Johnson Jr., who serves as the host of TNT'S NBA coverage, which features the irascible Charles Barkley, came to Macon right out of Georgia and was anchor for WMAZ's Eyewitness News. After two years, he went to WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for a year before moving back to Georgia and a job with WSB-TV. In 1989, he joined Turner Sports. He is currently the lead television voice for Turner Sports for Major Beague Baseball on TBS and the host of the Inside the NBA for TNT and contributes to the joint coverage of the NCAA Tournament for Turner and CBS Sports.
ESPN anchor Sara Walsh, who grew up in New Port Richey, Florida, got her first media job in Macon at WPGA-TV back in 2001 as the sports anchor, a position she held for two years. Then it was on to WKRN in Nashville, Tennessee, where she was a weekend anchor and did programs with Titans head coach Jeff Fisher and player Albert Haynesworth. She won four regional Emmys while in Nashville. Following a three-year stay in "Music City," she took a job in Washington, D.C., at WUSA-TV as a weekend anchor and the Washington Redskins beat reporter. She moved on to ESPN in 2010 and has been a morning show anchor, and during the NFL season she is the host of Fantasy Football Now.
Atlanta native Coley Harvey, who served as The Telegraph's beat reporter for Georgia Tech from 2008 until 2011 is also with ESPN, along with David Hale, who was The Telegraph's Georgia beat writer. Harvey joined ESPN as a reporter with the inaugural NFL Nation team covering the Cincinnati Bengals. He often contributes to other multimedia platforms including ESPN Radio and Television, while Hale covers the ACC.
Floridian Glenn Walker worked as the sports anchor for WGXA-TV back in the 1980s, and even though we don't see him on national broadcasts, he has worked as an Emmy-winning news anchors in both New York City at WNBC and in Los Angeles at several stations and is currently with KTLA. On the West Coast, he has worked with the Prime Ticket Network and hosted the Los Angeles Raiders TV show, as well as "College Football Today." He also served as a sideline reporter in the Pac-10 days.
Contact Bobby Pope at email@example.com