Tom Lewis


Tom Lewis was born in Pensacola, Florida. He and his Family moved to Panama City when he was 3 years old, so he considers this his hometown. He attended local public schools, graduating from what was Bay County High School (now Bay High School) in 1976.  He graduated from Gulf Coast Community College with an associate of Arts degree in 1977 and from The Florida State University in Tallahassee in 1979, with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Communications.

Tom became the news director at WMBB-TV in February 2016, calling it the final destination of his long journey in local television news. That journey began on January 20, 1980, when Tom landed a job as a reporter/weekend anchor at WMBB-TV.  After one year, Tom moved to WMBB’s sales staff and sold advertising.  In 1983, Tom left the broadcasting business, moved to the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area and sold medical products for several Fortune 500 companies.  But he never got the news business out of his system.  So, in June 1989, Tom packed up his family and moved back to Panama City, in hopes of getting a job in TV news.  His opportunity came in November 1989, when WMBB rehired Tom as the midday news co-anchor and producer.  From there he added to his responsibilities, to include reporting, weekend anchoring, eventually becoming weeknight anchor/executive producer and assistant news director.

In 2001, Tom left WMBB to help run a start-up satellite channel for the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC) in Chipley.  The staff produced and broadcast programs, designed to improve teaching techniques, 24 hours a day on the Florida Education Channel over the DISH Network’s digital satellite.  Tom left PAEC in October 2002, to go back to TV news full-time, working as a weeknight Anchor, Executive Producer and News Director. 

In October 2014, Tom decided it was time for another change.  He opened his own advertising & marketing business called Tom Lewis Agency.  He operated the agency until February 2016, when WMBB came calling and offered Tom the News Director’s job.  Tom jokes that this is his third and final time at WMBB, but really considers it a long-overdue homecoming.     

Tom has won dozens of awards for his work from the Florida Associated Press including Best Newscast, Best Breaking News Coverage, Best Public Service and Best Overall Coverage. He also received the prestigious Telly Award for a program he wrote, edited, produced and anchored on the 1st anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist’s attacks.  Tom has also been involved in dozens of charitable campaigns and community organizations.

Gov. Rick Scott Appointed Tom to the Gulf Coast State College District Board of Trustees on October 30th, 2015.  His term ends May 31st, 2019. 

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