“Most press club chapters are designed to strengthen local relationships in the media and fundamental tenets of journalism in their respective regions. And then there are the times that cause all chapters to recognize a moment like this one – the disappointing loss of Texas journalism legend, Jim Phillips.
“Locally, Jim Phillips was a TCU graduate and well-known in media circles for his progressive work with Texas State Networks. However, his legacy wasn’t cemented until he moved to El Paso. There, he was an owner of KHEY-AM 1380 (once the last station in the market to keep its country format, now ESPN 1380 AM), KSET-AM 1300, KOFX 92.3 FM.
“Most importantly, when Jim was the Texas Association of Broadcasters president in 1979, he was faced with an interesting problem – how to save the Sun Bowl. With its fledgling attendance and limited visibility, he thought about selling the right to name the stadium to a major sponsor. And that’s when PR, marketing, advertising, and journalism all intersected for the country – he was the reason naming rights became a thing a sports.
“Jim Phillips’ image and personality will always be remembered in media circles, but his impression on the media landscape nationally is one never to be forgotten. On behalf of the members of the Press Club of Dallas and our Board of Directors, we will miss this great pioneer of Texas journalism.”
Frank J. Librio
Press Club of Dallas
(SOURCES | Photo: Texas Association of Broadcasters, Obituary: El Paso Times)