Tom Ellis: One-of-a-Kind [PHIL-OSOPHY]
His on-air presence was compelling and high-handed. Tom Ellis' eye-catching style was truly one-of-a-kind as a longtime admired television news anchorman, who passed away Monday, April 29 at his East Sandwich home. He leaves behind his wife, Arlene, four children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
I want to share some personal thoughts about this iconic broadcaster, but first a little background: Tom Ellis helped define a new era in Boston's television battle of the anchors. In those days, it was common when a contract was coming to an end for anchors to jump to their competitors. Tom understood the ratings game and did just that, anchoring at all the major television stations in the Boston market. Tom was part of that golden era of Jack Hynes (deceased), Chet Curtis (gone) and weatherman Dick Albert (asleep in the Lord). And now Tom joins that heavenly TV team at 86.
He grew up in Texas, graduating from the University of Texas in 1958 and started his broadcast career in radio and television in Texas before coming to Boston in 1968. I could identify with Tom because I, too, started in radio and television in neighboring Arkansas, then Virginia, before breaking into the Boston market.
When I last spoke with him, we were attending the broadcasters' dinner, inducting Tom and other legendary broadcasters into the New England Broadcasting Hall of Fame. I was telling him about my national radio show from the Shawmut Diner, which he thought was the coolest idea for a morning show!
His beautiful wife, Arlene, and Tom loved living at their Sandwich home, built in 1727, and enjoyed his retirement since 2009.
I'd like the memory of Tom Ellis to be a happy one, like an afterglow of smiles and hugs. Tom's echo will be remembered fondly now that his life is done.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.