Longtime WRBL news anchor Phil Scoggins will be one of five people inducted into the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday. Scoggins, who was selected as a contributor, has been with WRBL-TV3 for 19 years and has broadcasted in Columbus for portions of five decades.
“It’s such an honor and a blessing,” Scoggins said. “I’m thrilled, and I can’t believe it. I’m looking forward to (the banquet). I’ve got some family coming down from north Georgia, and we’re going to have a big time.”
Scoggins, a Lafayette, Ga., native, entered the broadcasting world shortly after graduating from the University of Georgia in 1974 with a B.A. degree in journalism. He got his start as the sports director of WRFC-Radio, the flagship station for the Bulldogs’ football and basketball teams.
Scoggins remembered sitting in his dorm room at Georgia as a freshman, pretending he was on WRFC. Before too long, he was doing just that.
“Right out of school and right off the bat, I got my dream job,” Scoggins said. “I’ve had a lot of experiences in the business down through the years and appreciate all of them, but covering Georgia and being in the booth with Larry Munson was the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Scoggins made his way to Columbus in 1976, taking over as a sports anchor at WRBL-TV. He took a hiatus from broadcasting beginning in 1982, spending six years working for Callaway Gardens in marketing and public relations. He then managed his own video production company, Scoggins Video Production, for 10 years.
In 1998, Scoggins said fate led him to leave his video production company to join WRBL-TV3 as a news anchor.
“I was working on an Aflac video one morning,” Scoggins said. “I was praying and asked, ‘If I need to be doing something else, Lord, just open the door.’ That same morning, I got a phone call from the editor at WRBL. I headed to the station and was sitting in the editing bay, and the news director (Bob Page) was walking down the hall. He stuck his head in the door and said, ‘I’ve been looking for you.’”
Page offered Scoggins the job, which he soon accepted. Since that time, he and co-anchor Teresa Whitaker have spent more time together on the desk than any other anchor duo in Columbus TV history.
“I’ve never felt that I’ve been necessarily all that good, but I’m just been very diligent,” Scoggins said. “This is what I went to school to learn how to do. I enjoy it. It’s different every day. It’s just been an incredible ride.”
Scoggins is no stranger to the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame. Since 1999, he has lent a helping hand to the hall in a number of ways, from producing inductee videos to serving on its selection committee.
Scoggins and his wife, Judy, raised three children in Columbus and now have eight grandchildren living in the Columbus area. Still, Scoggins doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
“I have people asking me from time to time when I’m going to retire,” said Scoggins, who turns 65 in July. “I still have the drive to do this job. The biggest thrill is not in front of the camera for me, but it’s behind the camera. I get the greatest satisfaction in shooting stories. That creative process is so rewarding.”