Jim Gregory Headshot

Former WOUB Student Becomes Pennsylvania State Representative

Posted on:

< < Back to

Jim Gregory worked at WOUB from 1980 -1984 

ATHENS, OH – Pennsylvania 80th Legislative District State Representative Jim Gregory’s path to the state capitol of Harrisburg went through Athens at WOUB. The Latrobe, Pennsylvania native came to Ohio University in 1980 to follow his dream of becoming a journalist.

“I did work on my high school newspaper and did the morning announcements,” said Gregory. “I also was a football play-by-play announcer on a local radio station. When I came to Athens, I was trying to figure out if I was more interested in print journalism or broadcast journalism.”

Gregory ended up accepting a work study position in the WOUB newsroom as a freshman. He was amazed at all of the opportunities offered to students.

“You could do sports or news reports,” said Gregory. “We were given opportunity to cover a beat of a sports team. My first beat was the Gallipolis football team. On the news side of things, writing news scripts for the WOUB news director was tough. He wanted quality. It immersed me in what it was like to be in this business.”

It wasn’t long before Gregory knew that a career in broadcast journalism was what he planned to pursue.

“I had two experiences during my time at WOUB that helped me figure that out. The first was that fellow students who were not studying broadcast journalism thought it was awesome. They couldn’t believe you could study broadcasting and were envious I got paid to cover sports,” said Gregory. “The second was when I was working on a sports radio talk show at WOUB, and we somehow landed ESPN’s Chris Berman as a guest. Having fun doing what you are doing is hard to put a value on, and the Berman experience showed me that I would have the opportunity to cover my sports heroes. That thrilled me.”

Gregory graduated in 1984 with a degree in journalism and because of his time at WOUB, he was ready to hit the ground running.

“What we produced in those days really was far and above what many, if not most college students, had the ability to do in 1984,” said Gregory. “WOUB gave me opportunity to put together a good video resumé tape to provide to news directors that not only showed how good the program was but allowed me to show how good I was on the medium I was applying for.”

Gregory got his first job working at WTAE in Pittsburgh as a news assignment desk assistant. Not long after, he was hired to be the weekend sports anchor at the CBS affiliate in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

“I worked Monday through Friday in Pittsburgh and then drove to Altoona for Saturday and Sunday,” said Gregory. “I loved what I was doing so seven days a week didn’t seem like a lot.”

Gregory was eventually hired to work full time in Altoona. He did that for about a year and then was hired full time to work as the weekend sports anchor in Champaign, Illinois. In August of 1986, Gregory got a call from his original station in Altoona, and they asked him to come back as sports director. He accepted the position and was there for 12 years.

“In Altoona, I got the opportunity to cover an AA minor league baseball team that was coming to the area, the Altoona Curve,” said Gregory. “In 1998, I was hired by the Curve to do sales and marketing for the team. I did that for four years. Then, I got the opportunity to work for the Pennsylvania senate president pro tempore. That introduced me to politics and led me to where I am today.”

Gregory took his oath of office on January 1, 2019. In that time, he has worked on a variety of legislative items, including a series of bills centered around eliminating the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for child sexual abuse.

“I’m very proud of that work. I’ve been recognized as one of the five rising stars in the Pennsylvania legislature,” said Gregory. “I’ve had a chance to give three speeches on the floor of the house, and my colleagues compliment me on my delivery, my eye contact, my inflection. Those are all the things you learn that when you are learning communications and how to get your message across as a journalist. They tell me when I speak, they all stop and listen.”