MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — It was quite a day for Mel Showers at Government Plaza as the mayor and city council honored the longtime News 5 anchorman.
May was declared “Mel Showers Month” in the city, Mel was made “Mayor for the Day,” and the city is renaming two streets in Mel’s honor.
“There’s nobody happier than Sandy about Mel being mayor for a day,” joked Mayor Sandy Stimpson.
On a more serious note, the mayor reflected on what Mel Showers has meant to the city.
“He’s been a solidifying force in our community,” Stimpson said. “If you look back at the history of how his promotions came about and some of the controversy surrounding it but he stayed true to the course, who he was, and how many hearts he won in the course of it.”
The City Council voted to rename the intersection of Broadcast Drive and Television Avenue where the WKRG studio sits. It will now also be known as Honorary Mel Showers Drive.
“We wanted something that would live on in his honor,” explained city council member Gina Gregory, a former co-worker of Mel at WKRG-TV. “Just think about how many times Mel has driven to WKRG on Broadcast Drive and Television Avenue. So honoring him by putting his name on those two streets that line up there by WKRG is a good way to preserve that memory and honor him.
Mel was certainly touched by the gesture.
“This means so much to me,” he said.
Reflecting on the neighborhood where he was raised, Mel added, “To think a boy from ‘The Bottom’ has reached the point where he gets a street named after him… it touches me deeply.”
Council members had nothing but praise for the work Mel has done and the influence he’s had on Mobile.
“Whenever we turned on the station, what he would tell us we could believe in because he was such a professional,” said Bess Rich.
“He’s just really had a tremendous impact on countless lives in this region,” said Levon Manzie.
“If Mel had wanted to go beyond the City of Mobile, I think he could have gone all the way to the top,” added Fred Richardson. “He is an outstanding newscaster. We’re going to miss him.”
Mel’s last regular news broadcast will be at 10pm Wednesday May 22.