Jim Thomas received film and football awards — within the same week.
Thomas, a resident of Columbia, Ill., was inducted into the first Geneseo Hall of Fame as a member of the 1982 4A state champion football team at ceremonies on Oct. 12 and 13. The 1982 team was included with the 1976, 1977 and 1978 Geneseo teams which won state championships, all of which were inducted into Geneseo's Hall of Fame.
The recognition came on the heels of another prestigious award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, which Thomas earned for his film work with reporter Craig Cheatham on a video news segment they did for the television station where they work, KMOV TV in St. Louis, Mo.
The Edward R. Murrow Award has been presented annually for excellence in electronic journalism since 1971 by Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), and which was presented to Thomas and Cheatham by Lester Holt, NBC news anchor, at Oct. 8 ceremonies held in the Hyatt Hotel at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, N.Y. They captured first place honors for their news series piece in the television large market category.
Thomas and Cheatham worked together on, "Selling St. Louis," which aired on KMOV TV in September 2011. Their video news series was in competition with segments from stations across the United States.
"Our series was an effort to market St. Louis to the world," Thomas said, explaining that he and Cheatham explored and filmed various efforts of different organizations in the St. Louis area that were trying to attract new businesses and new jobs to would also encourage people to move to the area.
"We looked at both the negative and positive sides of the organizations," he said. "The segment included the development of the St. Louis International Airport, which is primarily a passenger airport. The idea is to make the airport both a passenger and a cargo airport in hopes of attracting the Chinese manufacturers to use the facility."
The two journalists also talked to a representative of the Regional Commerce and Growth Association concerning the effort being made to bring more businesses and jobs into the area.
RTDNA is a United States-based membership organization of radio, television, and online news directors, producers, executives and educators. Among its functions is the maintenance of journalism ethics, and to preserve the free speech rights of broadcast journalists.
After graduating from GHS, Thomas attended Black Hawk College, Moline, and then transferred to Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where he earned a degree in radio and television. He worked at numerous television stations after college and has been at KMOV in St. Louis for about nine years.
Thomas' Geneseo family includes his father, Russ Thomas, a brother, Bob Thomas, and a sister, Tracy Yager. He has a life partner, Gary Gill.