Tom Lewis is the News Director and co-anchors the evening newscasts with Amy Hoyt. He is an award-winning television news journalist who has spent his entire career in the Panama City market. Tom got interested in journalism at an early age. He worked on the school newspaper at Mowat Junior High, yearbook at Bay High School, and was the editor of the “Gull’s Cry” newspaper while attending Gulf Coast Community College. It was during this time he had his first paying journalism gig, writing sports part-time for the News Herald.
Tom graduated from Florida State University’s Tallahassee campus in December 1979 with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations. He returned home to Panama City and landed a Weekend Anchor/Reporter job at WMBB on January 20th, 1980. He was also an Advertising Account Executive during what he calls his first tour-of-duty at WMBB.
In May 1983, Tom took a break from broadcasting, moving to the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area to sell medical products for several Fortune 500 companies. But he never got broadcasting out of his system.
So, in 1989, Tom moved back to Panama City and returned to WMBB. He calls this his second tour-of-duty. Tom started at the bottom and worked his way up to the Weeknight Anchor/Executive Producer/Assistant News Director position. He and Amy co-anchored the evening newscasts for 7 years, from 1994 to 2001, when Tom left for the opportunity to help build a start-up satellite channel for the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC) in Chipley. While at The Florida Education Channel he produced a show about the 9/11 terrorist attacks that won a national Telly Award. He also worked at another local television station from 2001 to 2014 as Weeknight Anchor/Executive Producer, and as News Director from 2005 -2010. He left in October 2014 to open his own business, an advertising & marketing firm.
In February 2016, WMBB came calling one more time. Tom jokes that this is his third and final tour-of-duty. But he really considers it a long-overdue homecoming.
Tom was born in Pensacola, Florida. His family moved to Panama City when he was 3 years old, so Panama City is his home. He attended Bay County public schools, graduating from Bay High School, earned an Associate of Arts degree from Gulf Coast Community College, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University’s College of Communications in Tallahassee. He’s been involved in a lot of local charities over the years, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. Tom currently serves as the Chairman of the Gulf Coast State College Board of Trustees and on the College Foundation’s executive committee.
Tom is married to Susan and they have a grown daughter, Lauren, who lives in Hamilton County, Florida.