Memories of Jim Phillips: “The consummate newsman”


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Jim Phillips made an impression upon everyone who ever met or worked with him. Here are a few memories and observations of the man and his legacy.

“Jim Phillips was the consummate newsman. 

“My experiences with him involved his days at the radio station. Even though we sometimes crossed into his neck of the woods, which was all of Carter County, he never saw The Independent as competition. 

“He helped us countless times with story sources, leads, etc. Jim understood the value of getting the news out in as many ways as possible. He wasn’t worried about being first or being the most thorough or any of that. News was important to his community so it was important to him. 

“We were almost always coming behind him on stories though and he never failed to help us. People in Carter County liked and respected Jim so much they would always go to him with the news first. 

“There were times when he would call us, just to make sure we knew about something that was happening in the community. So it was hard to ever call him a competitor. We were more partners in news. 

“The late great George Wolfford, a longtime newshound for the ADI, loved Jim Phillips too and told me many stories about him. So when I first met Jim, it was with much respect. 

“What I found in him was what everybody found in him: A true gentleman and friend, a man with strong religious convictions and a reporter who knew how to get the story every single time. I also learned that he’d been reading my stories for years and was honored to meet me! 

“But that was Jim and how he made everyone around him feel honored, loved and comfortable. He didn’t have to be an aggressive, overbearing reporter to get the news. He got it out of people nicely. Carter County has certainly lost a voice for the ages. Jim will be missed but we are all much better people for having him pass our way. You live for as long as you are remembered. For Jim Phillips, that will be a long, long time in the future. – Mark Maynard 

“I have only gotten to know and work with Jim for the last three years. During my first week at the station he came up to me and told me that “He was glad I was here” and that “the station needed someone like me here”. 

“That was one major compliment coming from a legend like him. That Christmas I received a card and a tub of candy from him and Deanna.”

“I understand the importance of his work and have made a pledge to work hard to adopt his work ethic in everything I do.” – Mike Nelson “Jim Phillips was a Godly man, family man, honest, and longtime community supporter.

“You could always depend on him for reporting local accurate news.”

“Jim could see what the potential of Grayson and Carter County long term 25, 50, and 100 years down the road. Plus he loved Miss Kitty too!” – Maggie Duncan“I first met Jim Phillips when assigned to cover the Grayson City Council for the Daily Independent of Ashland. 

“He sat at the council table, behind a personalized plaque, eagerly attentive as he scribbled notes and shared equally in discussions or questions, never taking sides. 

“I learned later that Jim wasn’t, as I had assumed, a council member but a reporter. 

“It was a lesson in what a true journalist is — involved, and caring, and with a balance that drew respect. 

“I’ll never forget that. And I’ll never forget the following 20 years of conversations and wisdom, and the ever-positive attitude of the finest journalist I’ve ever met.” – Allen Blair 

Funeral services for Jim Phillips, 85, of Grayson will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, January 3, 2020 at First Church of Christ in Grayson.

Carter County Post will publish additional thoughts and memories of Jim Phillips. 


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