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.
Spiking COVID-19 cases nationwide are prompting a whole slew of mask mandates to return across the nation, including in Washington, D.C. Dr. Dyan Hes, medical director of Gramercy Pediatrics, joined Jim to break down what is prompting the spikes, and offers her takes on not just masking requirements, but new calls for mandatory vaccinations in some sectors.
As President Biden’s push for an infrastructure compromise this week loses steam, the talks continue between Democrats and Republicans. Democratic strategist Kevin Walling joins Jim to talk about why progressives and moderates should work together, why there’s value in bipartisanship, and how former President Trump is trying to derail the process.
The state of Mississippi has asked the Supreme Court to overturn its landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion.
Dr. Susannah E. Hills, a Pediatric Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck surgeon and Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Columbia University Medical Center, discusses the rise in cases of COVID--especially among young people--as the Delta variant surges across the U.S.
FOX 5 legal expert Katie Barlow joins The Final 5 to discuss what to expect in the Fall and beyond as the Supreme Court hears cases.
Even as COVID-19 cases are on the rise around the world, and in Japan, the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics are a go. Sports analyst Eric Mitchell joins Jim on the Final 5 to explain why, plus they look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers White House visit with President Biden, Tom Brady’s election jokes, and the symbolism it all carries.
As COVID-19 cases rise and the Delta variant takes hold, there is a renewed effort to step up vaccinations, even among the hesitant. With the vast majority of COVID-19 cases and deaths coming from those who have avoided the vaccine, there’s still work to be done. Epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding joined Jim on The Final 5 to share his thoughts on how to stem the tide, and get the U.S. ahead of the virus.
Rachel Chiu with Young Voices joins the Final 5 to discuss the massive protests in Cuba and the debate over socialism and communism that has dominated some political circles in the past week.
As oppressed Cubans continue to call for change in the impoverished Communist nation, there are calls for President Biden to step in. Kelley Vlahos from the Quincy Institute joined Jim on The Final 5 to talk about what the U.S. should do.
Controversy over the moderator in an upcoming debate is injecting a fresh round of back-and-forth in the Virginia gubernatorial race. Republican Glenn Youngkin pulled out of the upcoming Virginia Bar Assocation debate amid his concerns that moderator Judy Woodruff would not be impartial, citing her donation to a Haitian earthquake relief fund administered by the Clinton Foundation. Democratic nominee and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a former member of the foundation, told Jim Lokay on #TheFinal5 that he believes Youngkin is making excuses.