Rick Smarr Retires from TV after 34 Years

Published 10:53 am Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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Rick Smarr recently celebrated his last day on television. Rick began his career at the local radio stations WMJM/WFAV in 1979. At the time local radio was still got and playing records on the radio was cool. Not mention working along side Ron Rivers, Lee Wright and Nancy Taylor. “What’s not to love?!”

Broadcasting got into Rick’s blood very quickly. He mentions that, “When Bill Goodson, and Phil Streetman brought television to Cordele I was given the opportunity to do some part time work with them while still in radio at WWWN in Vienna.” In 1989 we saw the debut of full service television in Cordele with WSST Channel 55 and they invited Rick to come on full time. In total Ricky worked in television for 34 years, 1989 to 2023. In his 34 years of television Rick saw many changes occur, he mentions one of the most exciting things was the, “transition from analog to digital. WSST has one of, if not the first digital signals on the air. When the FCC began ordering station to transition, Bill and Phil took them at their word and began moving in that direction almost immediately.” Rick is very well known in the Cordele and surrounding communities, as you would see him at every event, city meeting, ribbon cutting, covering breaking news and more. Rick recalls some of the most memorable moments working in television, “Local community driven programming is what it’s always been and frankly, should be about. In the 34 years we’ve covered so much. There’ve been so many fun and positive things from local government meetings to high school football, graduations, fairs and festivals” There was also three major structure fires that at one point they thought would claim the business. The biggest thing was the local relationships that they were able to build with community leaders primarily in Cordele but also throughout the coverage area that they serve.


We asked Rick what his plans were moving forward into retirement, “I’ve said this is not necessarily retirement but the turning of the page to a new chapter of my story. I haven’t read past the cover page so I’m excited to see what God has written in those pages.” He mentions that someone a lot wiser than him once said, “If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know he didn’t get there by himself.” Rick says he has been blessed to have many people in his life help him, guide him, correct him and allow him to grow in this community. He wasn’t to thank everyone for all that they have done. There are a few things that he will miss, “The young people that I watched come through and who currently serve this community at CBS44/MY55 with Marquee Broadcasting.” He says that they are super stars and kept him going. “Watching them learn, grow and excel has been so rewarding.” We will greatly miss Rick on TV but you will still see him in and around the community as he continues to Pastor at Grace Baptist Church.