Television News Anchorman
Hi! I'm Tom Zalaski and for the past 33 years I have had the privilege of being invited into the homes in Northeast Wisconsin every night to bring the events of the day that affect all of us. I don't see myself as the 'Newscaster' and you the 'Viewer'. I am a father, homeowner, taxpayer, voter, grocery shopper, laundry-doer and lawn-mower who happens to read the news on television. I have the same reactions you do to the news I read. I get angry. I get frustrated. I get teary-eyed. I laugh. I worry. I wonder. The more than 20,000 newscasts I have anchored have shown me the best and the worst in our world. I am dismayed and disheartened at the cruelty some people are capable of inflicting upon others. On a brighter note, I have been moved by how good we can be to our fellow human beings.
My television career began while I was in college at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. (Yes, the same Marshall University that produced Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss! Please don't hold that against me.)
While earning a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and a Masters Degree in Speech/Broadcasting I did part-time work as a talkshow host for PBS, taught broadcast law and history, consulted for a chain of radio stations, worked weekends on radio, emceed weekly live music concerts and was even the manager of a mindreader/mentalist! My first job out of college was at WOWK-TV 13 (ABC) in Huntington where I started as the guy who mixed the chemicals to develop the news film, and worked my way up to film editor, reporter, producer, talkshow host and anchor.
I came to Green Bay at age 25, telling myself I would stay here for one year and then it was off to the 'Big Time'. Now, 30-plus years later I realize how blessed I am to have stayed. There is nothing more important one can provide for his family than quality of life. In that respect, Green Bay is the Big Time.
Beside being a member of the Channel 5 family I have several outside interests and hobbies that keep me going mornings, nights and weekends. My 1993 book Mass Media Fast Track has recently had some company. In 2004 I finished The View From The Blanket - Vacation Memories From A Place Called Weekapaug, a series of essays about my seaside vacation hideaway in Rhode Island. Fall of 2007 brought the long awaited release of the book you wished that someone would write:We Need To Do A Benefit Fundraiser But How?, the complete guide to putting on a benefit fundraiser. My latest book, published in August of 2010 isHow To Manipulate The Media For Fun and Profit
I also have my own side business as professional speaker and emcee for parties, conventions, fundraisers and meetings. I can also be found, guitar slung over my shoulder, sitting in with various bands in area nightspots on weekends. I recharge my batteries on my 12-acre farm where I can trade in the suit and tie for jeans and boots.
While all of this may sound exciting, it pales in comparison to the one thing that means most to me in this world: my son, Michael. He and I have a special bond borne of the loss of his mother to cancer in 1996. Michael received a BA Degree in Business from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2000. He has suffered through "Mr. Mom's" cooking and shrunken laundry and has somehow come out the stronger for it!