MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Walking the halls of WKRG and going through station archive footage is like taking a trip back in time for Stu Kellogg. Kellogg came from Syracuse, New York to Mobile, Alabama in October of 1977 to report for WKRG. He recalls being greeted by Showers, a Mobile Native.
“Here’s this new kid..and Mel, I can still remember how he embraced me..and not just being friendly but helping me..giving me perspective. He was the institutional memory of the station then. ..history and perspective and he was always so supportive as well,” said Kellogg.
Kellogg said Showers was a source of encouragement for his colleagues during a time Showers faced his own challenges, being one of the first African Americans on television in the Mobile-Pensacola-Fort Walton market.
“You think about it..the late 70s. Integration in many ways still going on. There were not a lot of African Americans on air. He was one of the very first and so…there was additional pressure let’s face it..and he handled it with such class.”
He recalls critical viewers calling Showers to complain, though he remained calm. Kellogg also credits Showers’ disarming personality and other attributes for building a stronger community.
“One is brains. He’s just smart. Two, he knows what’s important and in a local community. He wanted to be part of this TV community for his career..and not like me and so many others running around to different markets. He also had those connections..there was that respect so he was able to bring that on air and also to help the other employees…and he’s good. Let’s not forget that…what a wonderful reporter, a wonderful anchor, and he makes those around him better.”