When I was a kid, I had this knack for talking to just about anyone and an obsession with being near a microphone. I worked the rooms at family parties, I recited current events for total strangers, and I used any excuse to make announcements over the loudspeaker at the bowling alley my dad ran for years.
If that didn’t foreshadow where I’d end up thirty years later, then I don’t know what would have given it away! I know there are some junior high yearbooks inscribed with “Jim Lokay, the 45th President of the United States,” but I opted for radio and television the day I arrived on the campus of California University of Pennsylvania, and I never looked back.
Someone once said I looked like a sports guy (even though my athleticism extended to bowling and mini-golf), so I went right into covering the dozens of high school football teams throughout Western Pennsylvania. I lugged the camera around, shot the games, and turned around the highlights for a local cable channel. I did play-by-play for California University athletics (go Vulcans!), but during the 2000 elections, my passion became news.
For two years, I ran the overnight operations for a radio news operation in Pittsburgh. I worked each night from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., writing, editing, and anchoring newscasts for several stations. I covered some Pittsburgh Pirates games for a sports radio station, too.
From there, I moved to the snowy abyss of upstate New York to work for Time Warner’s 24-hour news operation in Syracuse. I did everything from reporting and anchoring to (once again) covering high school football. Don’t get me wrong – I loved my time there, but during my first winter there, I dug out through 181 inches of snow.
I fulfilled my dream of working in television news in my hometown a few years later, spending more than six years at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. I was hired as a traffic reporter, but soon found myself on the anchor desk, in the field, co-hosting a Pittsburgh Steelers pre-game show with Hines Ward, Ryan Clark, and Antwaan Randle-El, and doing intermission reports for Pittsburgh Penguins preseason games. I covered two Super Bowl parades, one Stanley Cup parade, the 2011 Winter Classic between the Pens and Caps, and the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star game.
Leaving Pittsburgh was the hardest decision I ever made, but in 2011, WCVB in Boston hired me as a news and sports anchor/reporter – and I immediately had a front-row seat to some of the biggest news stories of our generation. I was one of the first anchors on the air when the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon finish line – and covered the city’s comeback. I spent days reporting from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. A record-setting winter. Superstorm Sandy. The Patriots lost a Super Bowl. The Red Sox won a World Series. The Patriots won a Super Bowl. Deflategate. I did just about everything there. I even had my own series where I profiled exceptional high school seniors battling back from life challenges.
If there’s anything I’ve learned to expect in the news business, it’s this: don’t expect anything. And while we often find ourselves covering stories that we’d rather not cover, we also get a chance to shine a light on our community and share the good news as well. This is where you come in. Interact with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Tell me what matters to you. I can’t wait to get to know you better, DMV.
The record Democratic 2020 field has winnowed down, but two female contenders are getting major attention after the New York Times’ joint endorsement. Amanda Hunter from the Barbara Lee Family Foundation joined Jim Lokay to weigh in, and offered new insight into who the most plugged-in constituencies are ahead of the 2020 election.
As President Trump’s trial picks up on Tuesday, Republicans are laying out the rules, and Democrats are raising objections. Alex Vogel, who served as chief counsel to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, joined Jim Lokay on “The Final 5” to share what he expects as the trial resumes.
When President Trump’s impeachment trial gets underway next month, the likelihood of winning a majority, let alone the required 67 votes for removal, is slim to none in the Republican-led chamber. So why are Democrats pushing ahead? Democratic analyst Ameshia Cross joined Jim on “The Final 5” to break down the strategy, and how new revelations about Ukraine could change the path ahead.
The latest Democratic debate pitted only six of the 12 candidates against each other in the faceoff before February‘s Iowa caucuses. Breaking down the winners and losers with Jim Lokay are Democratic strategists Kevin Walling and Troy Prestwood.
As Sen. Cory Booker ending his race for the White House, Republicans are sensing an opportunity for President Trump. Political scientist Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever joins Jim on “The Final 5” to explain.
“Experiment, don’t resolve” is the mantra of author Joseph Deitch. The author of “Elevate: An Essential Guide to Life” says too many New Years’ resolutions die off early, so he joined Jim Lokay on “The Final 5” with a list of ways to encourage personal exploration to prepare for a better 2020.
Iraq delivered on its vow to avenge the murder of a top general. While the rogue nation says it plans no further action against the U.S., the ball is in President Trump’s court. Jamil Jaffer, Founder and Executive Director of the National Security Institute at George Mason, joined Jim Lokay on “The Final 5” to talk about what could be next between the two nations.
While Iran vows revenge for the U.S.-led killing of its top general, some believe that could come in the form of a cyberattack. Cyber security expert Dr. Eric Cole joined Jim on The Final 5 to explain what that means, and how everyday Americans could find themselves as America’s best first line of defense.
Before the U.S.-ordered drone strike that killed General Soleimani, Defense Secretary Mark Esper had vowed "the game has changed" when it comes to relations with Iran. What led to the Baghdad embassy attack, and where does Congress stand on the use of military force? Kelley Vlahos from The American Conservative joined Jim on "The Final 5" to explain.
A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management claims America’s workforce should check their politics at the door. Johnny Taylor, SHRM CEO, joined Jim Lokay on the Final 5 to reveal what a new study details, and the toll that divisive political talk is taking on companies across the country.