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.
As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) exits the presidential sweepstakes, former Vice President Joe Biden becomes the presumptive Democratic nominee. But with many of Sanders’ supporters unenthusiastic about Biden’s candidacy, how can Democrats form a coalition against President Trump? Strategist Dave Brown joined Jim on #TheFinal5 to break it down.
With Passover and Easter upon us, many seniors will find themselves without family as social distancing and quarantine considerations change our ways of life. Mark Merida of the non-profit DOROT joined Jim on The Final 5 to explain how the group is reaching out to younger generations to bridge the digital divide when it’s most needed.
She covered the coronavirus outbreak from the start, but Aria Bendix soon learned she herself became a statistic. The senior innovation reporter at Business Insider, Bendix detailed her fight, the fear, the uncertainty, and what Americans should know about COVID-19, when she joined Jim Lokay on “The Final 5.”
With small businesses across America facing devastating effects of the coronavirus, the recently-passed CARES Act offers some help — but navigating the legislation could be a problem. Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney, who launched several companies prior to his political career, joined Jim to lay out ways to help affected workers.
With the line between policy and politics blurred, President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis will factor heavily into his bid for a second term. Republican pollster and WPA Intelligence CEO Chris Wilson joined Jim Lokay on “The Final 5” to explain what the President’s strategy will be moving forward, and how a Trump/Biden showdown could look, even as the crisis continues.
The number of coronavirus cases is rapidly increasing across the U.S. Health experts say the worst is yet to come and we are still potentially weeks from the peak number of cases with no vaccine or treatment in sight. The only hope to control this virus is that people stay home. Disease specialist and surgeon Dr. Azadeh Shirazi joins Marina Marraco on The Final 5 to talk about what the next few weeks might look like.
Nearly 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment, in the first report since the coronavirus outbreak led to massive closures and work disruptions across the country. What does this spell for the next few months? Michael Farren from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University joined Jim on The Final 5 to break it down.
The decennial count of Americans got underway earlier this year, coinciding with the coronavirus crisis. Still, the Census Bureau maintains its mission is vital, and is taking some steps as it continues its constitutionally-mandated duties. Michael Cook, public information officer for the Census Bureau, joined Jim on The Final 5 to break it all down. (More information: 2020census.gov)
These days when you cough you may think for a second 'coronavirus?' The symptoms are general, for the most part, but what exactly should we be looking for or what should we be doing to protect ourselves? Dr. Ana-Maria Temple answers all of your questions on The Final 5.
With the Senate following the House and passing a coronavirus relief bill, already signed by President Trump, it paves the way for more unity on the massive economic recovery needed to get through the ongoing crisis. Republican strategist Adam Goodman joined Jim on “The Final 5” to detail what he thinks could be next in an otherwise famously gridlocked Washington.