KOAM general manager inducted into KAB Hall of Fame

Read about the Hall of Fame and other awards from KAB, MBA below

JOPLIN, Mo. / PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Kansas Broadcasting Hall of Fame adds a member: KOAM’s General Manager, Danny Thomas. Congratulations Danny and thank you for your years of dedication to the field.

“Danny’s commitment to the Four States Region is unmatched,” said Morgan Murphy Media CEO Elizabeth Burns. “His community service, passion for local news and relentless support of local businesses has made a mark that will live on for many years to come.” Morgan Murphy Media is the owner of the KOAM group of stations.

The Kansas Association of Broadcasters hosted a ceremony Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Wichita. Several KOAM and FOX14 employees joined Danny Thomas at the event, where he accepted his award.

The KAB Hall of Fame Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. Recipients of the KAB Hall of Fame Award are individuals who have attained positions of national prominence in the industry or its allied fields, have been major contributors to the growth and welfare of radio and television in Kansas or nationally, and have been exemplary stewards of broadcasting.

The KAB also inducted two others into the 2021 Hall of Fame along with Thomas. Dan Israel (Executive Producer and Co-Host at Chiefs Radio Network, Kansas City, MO) and Dr. J. Steven Smethers (Director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS).

Thomas’s History in Broadcasting

Thomas began his broadcast career at KFSB Radio in Joplin and was later recruited to KOAM-TV in 1988.

In his 34 years at KOAM-TV Thomas has celebrated many accomplishments. In 2003 he oversaw the launch of KFJX-TV, the fourth full-power television station in the market. FOX-14 offered the first 9:00 pm local newscast in 2005.

Over the years Thomas pioneered many other projects including:

  • a telethon which helped launch the construction of Ronald McDonald House of the Four States;
  • a three-day Route 66 Music Festival that welcomed an estimated 70,000 people into a farm field near Diamond, MO;
  • a syndicated live telethon from Branson, MO, following the Joplin tornado, which raised funds for the Joplin High School music department and Mercy Hospital pediatrics;
  • the creation of “4-State Heroes” that has recognized thousands of local veterans during station newscasts;
  • the creation of the “KOAM-TV Toy Box,” now in its 33rd year, that has donated over $1 million in toys and gifts throughout the Four States.

Thomas has served on the boards and has been chair of The Kansas Association of Broadcasters and the Missouri Broadcasters Association. He served on the Nielsen Client Advisory Board for 14 years and the CBS Television Network Marketing Advisory Board.

Danny Thomas is in the Midwest Media Hall of Fame and also became Tri-State Regional Business Journal’s Man of Distinction in 215.

In 2018, the Missouri Broadcasters Association recognized him with the Distinguished Broadcaster of the Year award.

Thomas and the 4-States

Locally, Thomas served five years as Board Chair of Mercy Hospital Joplin. He then served on special assignment with the Mercy St. Louis Ministry Board. Currently, he serves on the Central Region Board of Directors for Sisters of Mercy.

Following the Joplin tornado, Thomas led the gifting of the 66 acres of the former Mercy Hospital site for the betterment of the community. The gifting has included Irving Elementary School, which replaced two schools lost to the storm, a new Early Childhood Development Center, an autism center, a new city park, and the Kansas City University campus.

Thomas lives in Joplin with his wife, Jana.

KOAM 2021 KAB And MBA Awards

KAB Station Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting

The 2021 station award winners include KOAM employees and departments. The competition encourages the highest standards of reporting, programming and promotion.

Congratulations to KOAM Sports Director Jacob Lenard. He earned first place for his sports feature “Hard work pays off for Pittsburg’s Tyson Wiemers.” The KAB also awarded his March 9th Sportscast with second place. Thank you Jacob Lenard for your continued efforts to highlight the talented athletes here in the 4-States.

Dowe Quick, Kristi Spencer and Dale Switzer also got second-place accolades at KAB for their “KOAM Zoom Game Party.” It earned second place in the Station Promotion Announcement category.

You can see a full list of 2021 KAB awards here. 

2021 Missouri Broadcast Association Awards

The MBA looked at around 900 entries from members across Missouri. Awards are given for First Place and Certificate of Merit. KOAM’s team received three first-place awards for small market television.

Melody Matinee premiered on KOAM in 1954. It was the longest-running local music program. You can also find more about Melody Matinee here:

KOAM Video History

KOAM History is a part of Four-State History. Thousands of Four-Staters grew up watching local programs produced by this television station, so when recordings of those shows were lost, it was a loss for all of us. That’s why we’re so excited about the recent discovery of some lost reels of film. You can watch them by clicking the following links: