Jim Philips  Biography

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.

Jim Philips Announces Retirement     6-20-17
Jim Philips longtime CFLRadio News Reporter/News Director and Talk Host announced his retirement today on his show, "The Philips Phile" on WTKS-FM 104.1. Fortunately, for his listeners it won't happen until January of 2018. 

    Here's Jim's Announcement on 6-20-17

Jim Philips To Stay           10-5-17
WTKS-FM 104.1 afternoon host, Jim Philips announced in June that he would retire in January of 2018. On yesterday's show he announced he has signed a new contract that will allow him to work 4 days a week through next year. 
Here's Jim's Announcement   10-5-17

Jim Philips Retirement Announced       11-14-18
iHeartMedia Orlando announced the retirement of veteran talk host Jim Philips. The final live “The Philips Phile” will air from 3-7pm on November 20 on WTKS-FM (Real Radio 104.1). The station will also celebrate Philips retirement with a special “Phinal Philips Phile” tribute show on Wednesday, November 21 from 3-7pm. Philips has hosted “The Philips Phile” on WTKS for more than 30 years. 
During his tenure with WTKS, Philips has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Central Florida charities including The Mustard Seed and A Gift For Teaching and has dedicated countless hours to causes including first-amendment issues, adult literacy, mentoring at-risk youth and championing LGBTQ rights. The University of Florida graduate has also received numerous awards and honors including the Debbie Simmons Community Excellence Award lifetime achievement honor and has been recognized as the “Best Radio Personality” more than a dozen times by readers of the Orlando Sentinel, the Watermark and the Orlando Weekly.
“It has been a great 50-year career and now it is time to move on with the next phase of my life,” said Philips. “I can’t thank the Orlando community enough for letting me into their homes, their cars and their offices for all this time.”
“As a broadcaster, Jim Philips is unmatched not only in Orlando, but nationwide,” added iHeartMedia Division President Linda Byrd. “He will be missed by his listeners and by his iHeart family. We are grateful that Jim chose to call iHeartMedia Orlando his radio home all these years and we wish him all the best in retirement. Now Jim, go do what you’ve always told your listeners – eat dessert first, grin like a dog, wander aimlessly, pound your conch as often as you can, buy your books with cash and eat some ants.” 

Jim Updates his history         
"I “worked” at WRUF-AM and FM from about 1967 to 1970. I started as a dj on the FM side when it programmed easy listening and jazz. I followed Otis Boggs (the voice of the Gators at the time) when I moved to the AM side. Needless to say I was terrible at the job, but….for some reason I made my way to the position of student program director…won the Red Barber Award for student broadcasting…then got fired by general manager Bob Leach when I told him to go to “f” himself when he  tired to make me work on New Year’s eve. For a time (before being let go) I shared an “apartment” with FM dj Curtis Jones. This room was reserved for the student program director. The one room/one bathroom was actually located in the radio station when the station occupied the third floor of the Florida football stadium. Curtis and I had the run of the place…especially after the football team transferred to better living arrangements. We ran our motorcycles up and down the stadium corridors and smoked some weed and drank Wild Turkey in the “open air” press box at the stadium. Needless to say security in those days was a lot different than today. It was Curtis Jones and another guy by the name of Dan Vining who suggested that WRUF-FM switch to album rock. This must have been about 1969 or so.  Jones lives in Jacksonville and Vining is a writer/professor somewhere in California. I think Jones worked for Warner Brothers Records after a stint in Vietnam. The late Bob Mervine of WESH/Ch 2 fame was a dj at WRUF-FM for a bit. It was Bob Mervine who turned me on to a job at WKIS in 1971/72 while I was unemployed in San Francisco. Gene Burns hired me as a reporter despite the fact that I had no journalism experience. Bill Bauman (a legend in metro Orlando radio and TV) kind of took me under his wing. He was a great reporter. Those were the days when at least 3 Orlando radio stations (WKIS, WDBO, WLOF) had news departments with maybe 4 or 5 reporters in the field and on-air. The competition could be brutal, but many of us cut our teeth in the business that way. Those of us at WKIS learned our craft from Gene Burns who we worshipped as a broadcaster. Bob Poe (later operated WMMO and became Florida Democratic Party chairman) was Gene’s producer in the early 70’s. Poe saved my career in radio when at about the age of 40 he urged me (he was GM) to move from reporting to hosting a talk program…the rest is history.
Just some thoughts…."
Jim Philips

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