The Spy Columnists: Al Sikes


There have been more than a few lucky moments in the Spy’s nine years of existence but none more so than the serendipitous formation of a unique team of volunteer public affairs columnists who now grace its pages every week. These highly respected leaders in their lifetime careers, gifted with intellect, imagination and passion, spanning from the political left to right, has been one of the most significant assets of our hyper-local and education-based news portals.

The commentaries of Howard Freedlander, Craig Fuller, George Merrill, David Montgomery, and Al Sikes have considerably enhanced our community’s civil debates on the most pressing issues of our times. And while the written word is their chosen medium, the Spy, a great believer in multimedia with now over 2,000 video productions, has been grateful that they have agreed to be interviewed as our country enters into one of its most important elections in recent memory.

We continue this series with Al Sikes; lawyer, businessman, former chair of the Federal Communications Commission, and, lest it be forgotten, serious jazz aficionado and founder of the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival,  Al is a proud native of Missouri, and particularly so of being a product of the town of Sikeston, some two hours south of St. Louis, which was founded by his ancestors and remains today a vibrant community with most of the extended Sikes family still in residence.

A graduate of a Westminster College, made famous for the historic Winston Churchill speech on the emerging cold war with the former Soviet Union, Al was brought up in the then prevailing tradition of Midwestern conservatism.  Mentored by Senator John Danforth and Missouri governor Kit Bond in the 1980s, Sikes eventually left the state-wide media company he had created to join the Ronald Reagan administration and then to serve as the Chairman of the FCC under George H.W. Bush at the beginning of the digital age of communications. He finally ended his full-time career with the Hearst Corporation as its leader for new media & technology and settled on the Mid-Shore with his wife, Marty, over ten years ago.

In his Spy interview, Al talks candidly about his concerns about the current Trump-led Republican Party, the consequences of creative destruction, and his conservatively cautious view that there will be brighter days ahead.

This video is approximately seven minutes in length. Al Sikes is the author of Culture Leads Leaders Follow published by Koehler Books. 

About Dave Wheelan

Letters to Editor

  1. Sikes, You ar right-on !

  2. Mary Margaret Revell Goodwin says

    In listing all the individuals who as a result of their respected careers been provided the opportunity to express their viewpoints over all the years, one notes there is not a single woman listed, nor has there been one among this group given the same opportunity as these men. Yet there are women here on the Eastern Shore, indeed at least in Kent County & Queen Anne’s County who also served this nation with respect and dignity and could provide additional words of concern, insight, and indeed HOPE regarding our nation’s ongoing efforts in what is an ever increasingly difficult and dangerous world. Surely we are not left to return to the times when remarks about the ‘affairs of men’ (referring only to those of the nation, not personal) are spoken in written letters by women to their husbands! There are women here in our counties who have served in the White House, who have served in the Pentagon, who have served in various national positions in government departments and have a perspective that for all these years your public has been deprived of reading.

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