Jim Philips  Biography
WKIS    WWNZ     WTKS

Jim was born in 1947 in the town of Pleasantville, New York. His father worked for the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in New  York City. The family moved to Miami in 1963 when Jim's dad took a job at  WCKT-TV. Jim's cousin was a West Point graduate and Jim was captivated by that fact, so he enrolled in the Miami Military Academy when he was 15. Jim's experience there was less than enjoyable.  Jim graduated from high school in 1966.  At his parents urging he enrolled at the University of Florida.  Jim's roommate had a job at the college radio station, which  was a student-run 5,000-watt commercial radio station.  Jim graduated with a mass communications degree in 1971. While in college Jim married.  Jim's wife got a job in the Virgin Islands, then in San Francisco. While there, Jim received a call from a friend in Orlando, telling him there was a job for a news reporter at WKIS-AM 740 in 1972. By 1974 Jim had become the news director/anchor at WKIS. In 1978 Jim also became the news director of the Florida Radio Network. In 1985 Jim won the Greater Orlando Press Club's award for best news event reporting. In 1986,  he took over the afternoon talk program when Dick Norman was fired by Kay Barone, "...because he wouldn’t pitch to Jim Philips with his “man on the street” opinions on the news of the day". Jim has led a very interesting life.  He was a ringmaster for a traveling circus out of Alabama.  He lasted about two weeks on that job and then returned to Orlando. In 1995, Jim went to Ireland to marry fiancé Catherine Dillard in the land of his ancestors. Catherine, is a former producer of Philips's show.  Jim can now be heard on the very successful "Philips Phile" on WTKS-FM 104.1 from 3 until 7p.m.. Jim was named one of the nation's "Top 100 Talk Show Hosts" by Talkers Magazine in 1998. Jim has also been nominated for a Marconi Award for large market personality of the year by the National Association of Broadcasters. You can catch commentaries from Jim, Thursday evenings at 5:55PM. on WESH-Channel 2.  
 Jim's commentaries on WESH-TV ended in March of 2008. 



June 21, 2016
Talk-show host Jim Philips: Shooting an AR-15 was fun, but I'm done with guns

Jim Philips
My Word columnist

I am getting rid of my AR-15. Some background:
I have been associated with "firearms sports" since I was 12 years old. Gun safety was instilled in me, not by my parents, but by a gentleman who was a safety instructor for the National Rifle Association. You name the type of firearm, and there's a pretty good chance that I have pulled the trigger: shotguns, pistols (revolvers and semi-automatic), black powder, etc. I pretty much shot for sport and competition. I still do, but to a lesser degree. Hunting was never an interest. I do not have a concealed-weapons permit, and I refuse to place a pistol in my car. I am more nervous around power tools than firearms. I bought an AR-15 because I thought it would be interesting to shoot. My intention was never about home protection or joining a militia. Orlando has been "my town" since 1972. And like so many of us, "my town" means the metro area and all of Central Florida. I lived in a house next to good old boys on the shores of Lake Apopka. For 10 years I lived in downtown Orlando and saw Thornton Park grow into a thriving and vibrant neighborhood. I now call Winter Park my home. As a member of the media for all these years, I can bear witness to the progress made in the LGBT community. One of the biggest accomplishments in my radio career has been to lend my voice to the cause of acceptance as best I could. When interviewed by reporters from out of town who are covering the Pulse nightclub tragedy, I point out that there was a time when Gay Pride parades drew more protesters than parade participants. My, my, my how times have changed. I have spent the past week talking, interviewing and listening to a multitude of people who have been thrust into a world of pain that none of us can imagine. I've been so busy with my "job" that I've had little time to reflect on my place in all of this. I will not lie. Shooting an AR-15 is fun. It's a powerful firearm that can be exhilarating when the trigger is pulled. This is not some type of screed designed to change the minds of my many friends or neighbors. It is nothing more than my own personal decision. I no longer want to be associated with a type of firearm that has been used on far too many occasions to mow down and chop up human beings. I do not know how I will get rid of my AR-15. But I guarantee that this one will never, ever be used by a madman to erase the lives of people who have made my home — my Orlando — so wonderful.
Jim Philips has been an Orlando radio host for 27 years.


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