Radio Man: Lanny "Hoss' Huggins to be recognized by alma mater

Published on Thursday, 7 November 2013 23:26 - Written by From Staff Reports

A longtime East Texas radioman and Texas Radio Hall of Fame member will be recognized this weekend by his alma mater.

Lanny “Hoss” Huggins is among three people to be inducted into the Paris Junior College Academic Hall of Honor on Saturday. A 1963 graduate, he will be inducted in the Fine Arts division.

Former Naval Commander and computer program developer Kelsey B. Goodman, of Maryland, and construction contractor Robert K. Hall, of Paris, are the other honorees, according to a college news release.

A portrait of each Hall of Honor member is featured in the McLemore Student Center hallway.

Huggins joked that he shouldn’t be the recipient of anything related to academics, but is honored by this recognition.

“It means a lot to me because I think some of the happiest years in my life were there,” he said.

Born and raised in Paris, Huggins has had a long and successful career in the broadcasting business.

It started when he was teenager with an after-school teen show at Radio KFTV in Paris.

In addition to that show, he and his brothers, Gary and Mickey, known as the Huggins Brothers, also had a Saturday show on KFTV in the 1950s, according to the news release.

A 1961 Paris High School graduate, Huggins attended Paris Junior College on a music scholarship and graduated in 1963.

While earning a bachelor’s degree in radio/television communications and psychology, he worked for Jeff Methven at radio station KPLT-AM in Paris.

He eventually graduated from East Texas State University, which now is Texas A&M University-Commerce.

At Paris Junior College, Huggins was active in student life, participating as a member of the stage band, dance combo, Dragon marching band and Dixieland band, according to the news release.

In these various groups, he played guitar, bass, bass drum and banjo. Apart from his musical interests, he also served as president of Circle K, sponsored by the Paris Kiwanis Club, and Pensee Club Beau, a social club.

After graduation, Huggins and his wife, Gail Witmer, of Clarksville, who also is a Paris Junior College graduate, moved to Tyler where he worked as a staff announcer at a local television station.

However, he soon returned to his first love, the radio, getting a job as program director and air personality at what was then KZAK, Tyler’s first country music radio station, according to the news release.

It was there that Huggins first became known as “Hoss” on his afternoon radio show, and was later promoted to station manager, according to the news release.

In 1977, Huggins moved to what was then KROZ (K-Rose) 92.1 FM radio as program director and partnered with Joel Hardy for the top-rated morning show, “Hoss and Hardy.”

In 1987, he returned to television as senior account executive for a local station and later moved to KYTX CBS 19. He is semi-retired as a sales consultant for CBS 19.

In 2011, he was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in recognition of more than 30 years of humor and charisma in the East Texas market, according to the news release.