Dixon Hayes has covered Anniston, Gadsden, Talladega and surrounding areas of East Alabama since 1988, and has done so exclusively for WBRC FOX6 News since June 1999. Staying in that one area so long basically keeps him near his hometown, his lifelong friends, and his family.
Born in Talladega, Dixon grew up Glencoe, where he loved to read and ride his bicycle. Even in childhood he was a loyal Channel 6 viewer, watching "The Bozo Show" and ABC's "The Brady Bunch" on the station.
Dixon went to Gadsden State Community College, where he was often heard on the campus radio station, WEXP-FM, as a DJ and news anchor. During that time he even got his first tour inside the WBRC studios, where he first met legendary anchors Bill Bolen and Tom York in 1983. By the time he graduated from the University of Alabama in the late 1980s, he'd also worked for a year at WAAX-AM in Gadsden, first as a country music DJ and later as a reporter and news anchor alongside legendary radio newsman Dave Fitz.
For eight years Dixon worked at WJSU-TV, Channel 40, the longtime CBS affiliate in Anniston, where he anchored the morning news and even did movie reviews, in addition to his field reporting. (He also worked alongside future FOX6 personality Mickey Ferguson.) It was here where Dixon gained experience working both sides of the camera. Among the stories he covered: the Blizzard of 1993 and Judge Roy Moore's first battles over his Ten Commandments plaque in his courtroom. Dixon later worked for three years at WBMA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Birmingham, again covering East Alabama.
"There are few things I've done in my life that are more intimidating than showing up at the white columns with a resume and a tape," recalls Dixon, about showing up for a job interview at the colonial building that has been home to WBRC since 1954. (Dixon had grown up seeing that building in station ID slides and the opening credits to "Tom York's Morning Show.") Since being hired for the WBRC Anniston Newsroom in 1999, Dixon has covered (and shot) the PCBs pollution lawsuit and cleanup in Anniston, a number of criminal trials, the deadly April 2011 tornadoes in Calhoun County, even the fire that destroyed his own office in Anniston's Amsouth Building in 2003.
Dixon's never far from a camera even when he's off the clock. One of his passions is photography, and he loves taking pictures of Rock City barns, drive-in theaters, neon signs and other roadside attractions. It's not unusual for him to jump into his personal car, nicknamed "Maggie," on the spur of the moment to find more subjects for his photos. Dixon also loves walking, classic movies, history, and spending time with family.
If you've ever gotten a familiar name or number on your caller I.D., only for the caller to be a totally different person trying to sell you a car warranty, a bill in the Alabama legislature would make that a felony.