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Tag Archives: Kim Thomas

Deep Background for December 2012

Will Christmas-time be the “most wonderful time of the year” for Erie media?

I must say things seem to be looking that way. All indications show strength in advertising sales in all media, old and new. I am really enthusiastic at how the market has taken a huge leap forward with Lilly Broadcasting’s addition of news and first-run syndicated shows in HD, and it shows real commitment to the community with their November-long series of fundraisers for area charities.

You can even be positive that, although a headache for our friend Lou Baxter, the move of Nexstar’s Kim Thomas and Jill Perkins into politics makes more room for new talent and fresh ideas and enthusiasm.

Perhaps right now my greatest optimism is for what is coming out of the Erie Times-News newsroom. It seems that almost everyday were are getting a front page feature on the status of community assets that are critical for our region’s future. I couldn’t wait to read the pieces on the Warner Theater renovation and the Erie City Mission’s construction project, which were well written and comprehensive in their graphics and approach.

Solid, compelling content if promoted properly draws eyes and ears and translates to sales…always has, always will.

To the Grinches who think I sound like a naive cheerleader who shrills for the establishment; humbug. My heart aches every time a local cut-in is missed, or you go 10 hours listening to a station without hearing a jock, or the latest shipment from Butler is a few tons lighter than previously out of 12th Street. However, in a “its as good as it gets” reality, we celebrate when hard work, risk, and excellence are displayed.

Agree or disagree with me in this open forum with civility and cheer. Leave a comment below, send a tweet to @pressandtower, or email.

And be nice…it’s Christmas!

Thomas to leave Nexstar

Kim Thomas

Kim Thomas

WJET/WFXP News Director Lou Baxter tells P&T that he’s on the lookout for a new primary anchor to partner with Sean Lafferty. Kim Thomas will leave at the end of the month to join the office of State Senator-elect Sean Wiley.

Lou continues:

Kim has done a great job for us the past 6 years ago, having spent the last two of them on the anchor desk with Sean Lafferty. We wish her the best of luck. We have launched a nationwide search for her replacement. In the interim, Sean will solo.

Tapes and resumes to lbaxter@wjettv.com.

Three years of Press and Tower

Press and Tower Screen Shot

First Press and Tower Post - Sept. 1, 2008

Three years ago today Press and Tower was born.

Since our humble beginnings on Sept. 1, 2008, we’ve generated 488 posts, received 3,362 approved comments, and almost 160,000 visits to the site, including almost 18,000 different visitors in the past year. Our Facebook page for Erie radio old-timers called “We Rocked Erie in the 20th Century” has over 220 group members from across the country engaged in lively conversation about their days in the Flagship City.

This was a year of celebration and sadness; great improvements and unfortunate setbacks.

We mourned the passing of Frank, Chris, Al, and Bob. Rupolo went to Florida, Nat The Hat to Texas, Cassie to NYC, and Joey to OneCarribeanWeather.com. Even the Jennings rejoined the South.

Sadly, GlobalErie fell off the face of the earth, and we lost 40 skilled workers and about 12 column inches per page when the newspaper outsourced the actual newspaper part of their business south of the border; the Venango County border that is.

But we also gained, especially in the area of a rebounding advertising climate, the embracing of social media and new technology, and some strong investment in the product that the Erie media consumer can benefit from. We now have a fun old-time TV Low Power TV digtial trio, and are getting at least one new FM station, while a couple AM’s simulcast on FM translators now. And the GoErie iPad app is coming.

Don’t forget, as Sean and Kim remind us consistently, we can “Like” them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter!

Let me just say that I “Like!” and appreciate each of you for reading, commenting, encouraging and supporting this effort. I am always open to ideas for improving this special community of consumers and producers and would love your feedback. Thank you for being gracious when my editing gets heavy handed, and for understanding that in the end we all want excellent, responsive, interactive media that improves our community and quality of life. We are all “for Erie.”

That makes this little “two cans and a string” of a media voice worth all of the effort. Thank you…and on to year four!

Kim Thomas to join Lafferty at JET anchor desk

The management team at Nexstar/Erie turned their sights within their Peach Street newsroom in seeking replacements for Selena Wiles at news anchor and Luke Simons on the weekday sports desk for WJET/WFXP. From their release tonight:

JET-TV VP/General Manager Tim Dunst and JET-TV/FOX 66 News Director Lou Baxter jointly announced Friday September 10,  the appointment of Kim Thomas as the new co-anchor of Action News 24.  Thomas will join veteran news anchor Sean Lafferty at the news desk at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11pm on JET-TV’s Action News 24.

Kim Thomas

Kim Thomas

Kim Thomas was selected from a field of prospective anchor candidates from around the country.   She will begin her new anchoring duties in the next few weeks.

Kim Thomas joined JET-TV as a reporter in November 2006 after working for a short time at the local CBS affiliate.  She is a graduate of Edinboro University.  In naming her to this critically important position, Dunst said, “It’s always great when you can promote from within, and in this case because of her proven news talent and experience in our community, Kim was clearly the right person for the anchor desk.”

Kim Thomas has been JET-TV and FOX 66’s Erie City Hall and Erie Police Department reporter, and has covered every major local story involving crime, government, and politics.  Twice, she has co-hosted the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for the MDA, and has served the community as an Erie Ambassador.

“In Kim Thomas, we have found someone who was educated in the area, has worked in the area, and has made a conscious decision to make Erie her home.  She’s a working mom who knows the region and brings a very real life sensibility and passion to her coverage of the stories that matter most,” said Baxter.  “We are very excited about her new role and her decision to continue to be a long term member of our news team.”

Craig Smylie

Craig Smylie

Also joining the weeknight anchor team at JET-TV and FOX 66 will be newly named Sports Director, Craig Smylie.

Smylie has anchored weekend sports on both JET-TV and FOX 66 for the past three years, after beginning his career in Lima, Ohio.  Craig “Let’s Talk Sports” Smylie is a graduate of Ohio University and has proven to be a favorite among area sports fans, players and coaches.  Smylie will be the very capable captain of Erie’s most aggressive television sports team, the home of the very popular and long running Friday Night Lights.

Sean Lafferty

Sean Lafferty

Also announced today was the appointment of news anchor Sean Lafferty as Managing Editor of Action News 24 and FOX 66.  In his additional new role, Lafferty will assist in responsibility for editorial content and direction of the evening newscasts and long range planning and implementation of strategic news initiatives.  Lafferty has been with Action News 24 for more than 20 years, and recently renewed a long term commitment to continue as the anchor of Erie’s TV news leader.

I think this is an excellent move for Nexstar, stopping the “revolving door” effect that the stations have experienced lately by elevating personnel that want to be in Erie, and excel at reporting about our town.

Did Bush attack Obama at Manufacturer’s event?

1600 people couldn’t be wrong, right?

John Guerriero didn’t think so. While covering former President George W. Bush’s speech and question and answer session at the Manufacturer’s Association annual event, the veteran Erie Times-News reporter described “a relaxed and engaging citizen-in-chief.” Portions of Guerriero’s reporting went into the The Associated Press wire piece about the occasion was equally even-keeled.

However Washington Times reporter Joseph Curl saw it differently. In an article headlined, “Bush takes swipes at Obama policies,” Curl equated Bush’s reaffirmation of his capitalist and anti-terrorism ideologies, hardly breaking news, as attacks on the Obama administration.

Even though Curl admitted that President Bush repeatedly said that he would not directly criticize President Obama, the Times reporter took Bush’s defense of his eight years of policies as an attack on Obama.

In my review of the reporting, all it took was one reporter; even better, one headline writer of an influential newspaper to send the political class all chattering.

The Drudge Report had the screaming headline: “It’s On: W Slams O!” at 4:45 AM Thursday. That was enough to send FoxNews, The Huffington Post, MSNBC, USAToday.com, and even the NBC Nightly News into a feeding frenzy over the “fact” that President Bush took the gloves off.

That was news to the $180 a plate glitterati at the Bayfront Convention Center!

JET-TV’s Kim Thomas interviewed political leaders that were at the event, including Manufacturer’s and Business Association President Ralph Pontillo:

I’m at a loss as to why the national media is trying to spin this in a negative way when in fact the President never once spoke out against the current administration under any of the questions he was asked or in his presentation whatsoever.

We were not able to confirm any existence of the transcript of President Bush’s remarks before post time. But isn’t it curious and troubling to have everyone actually at an event relate first-person content that is totally at odds at what is now considered reported “fact” by a national media who did not even attend?

Or is this evidence of a national press corps that is so sensitive to any public comments that are contrary to the current administration’s policy, that just a restating of pre-January 20th philosophy is considered a slam.