@ the Chicago Sun-Times
— Daily newspaper, circ. 400,000, and website, avg. 1 million unique visits daily (Chicago, Ill.)
Pop Music Critic, 2010 to 2013
Featured columnist, writing music criticism, features, and news across the Sun-Times platform (print editions, website, promoted blog), as well as commentary on trends and issues related to music and culture.
Online Features Editor, 2007 to 2010
Managed all features content at suntimes.com, including tailoring print stories for optimal Web readership and generating engaging original content. Boosted external (unique visits, SEO, social media outreach) and internal (writer training, editor liaison) performance.
Assistant Features Editor, 2005 to 2007
Planning, assigning, editing and proofing of several print entertainment sections. Managing small staffs of writers (staff and freelance), copy editors and designers. Budgeting and hiring, too.
During both editorships above I served concurrently as Music Editor, overseeing the pop music critic and two staff writers plus a stable of freelance writers, assigning features and reviews, as well as managing the budget.
@ the Tulsa World
— Daily newspaper, circ. 160,000 (Tulsa, Okla.)
Assistant Features Editor, 2002 to 2005
Planning, assigning, editing, and proofing of entertainment and lifestyles sections. Managing a staff of 21 writers, copy editors and designers.
Producer, Spot Music Awards, 1999 to 2005
Created, planned, and produced this annual awards ceremony recognizing local musicians and marketing the Tulsa World’s weekly A&E tab, Spot. Boosted our visibility in a key demographic, expanded advertising opportunities, and increased Friday readership.
Pop Music Critic, 1995 to 2002
Award-winning features coverage and arts criticism in this mid-sized market, writing everything from weekly previews and countless CD reviews to breaking news and long-form features.
An active freelance writer, my features work has been published in The Washington Post, DownBeat magazine, Obit magazine, Tulsa Voice, Oklahoma Today, Discoveries, among others, and I remain a proud occasional contributor to This Land magazine.
Other work has included a history of the Cain’s Ballroom for the venue, as well as various bios and press materials for bands (e.g., the Boondogs, Flick).
Six years writing and delivering occasional music commentaries called “Warped Vinyl” for KWGS, 89.5-FM (NPR affiliate), 1999 to 2005.
Early experience includes a year as a Copy Editor (Tulsa World, 1994 to 1995), a Reporter covering three communities (Community World, 1993 to 1994), a Staff Reporter covering all beats (The Del City Sun, 1989 to 1990) and a Consultant creating a newsroom manual & style guide (Univ. of Oklahoma, 1993).
Publications & theater
Conner, Thomas. 2015. “Dispatches From the Weedpatch Camp.” In Mason, M & Wall, H. (Eds.), A Voice Was Sounding: Selected Works from This Land, Vol. 5. Tulsa, Okla.: This Land Press.
Conner, Thomas. 2014. "The Ghost of Karen Dalton." In Mason, M & Wall, H. (Eds.), A Voice Was Sounding: Selected Works from This Land, Vols. 3 & 4. Tulsa, Okla.: This Land Press.
Conner, Thomas. 2012. "Heaven and Heart: The Tense Past of Michael Been." In Mason, M. & Brown, M. (Eds.), A Voice Was Sounding: Selected Works from This Land Vols. 1 & 2. Tulsa, Okla.: This Land Press.
Conner, Thomas, John Wooley, and Mark Brown. 1999. Forever Lounge: A Laid-Back Guide to the Languid Sounds of Lounge Music. Iola, Wisc.: Antique Trader Publications. (Read a chapter here)
“Time Changes Everything”
Premiered June 25, 2009, as a featured production at the annual SummerStage festival in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, with a dozen regional productions through April 2013
-- A play, co-written with John Wooley, chronicling two fictional conversations between folksinger Woody Guthrie and country bandleader Bob Wills.
Awards & honors
First Place in Arts Criticism at the 2002 Katie Awards (Dallas Press Club), plus consistent top-three showings in the annual awards from both Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives and the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as several newsroom honors.
A sampling from a quarter-century career, this just scratches the surface but outlines a core.
Find someone you like (and sorry if I didn't) ...
IN-DEPTH FEATURES >> Beyond radio >> Poi Dog Pondering & PDP oral history >> Rock history classes >> Guitar-making school >> Smoking Popes >> Lady Gaga at Lollapalooza >> MLK & hip-hop >> Numero Group >> What's a 'standard'? >> How to scream >> John Cage >> Karen Dalton >> Michael Been
PERSONAL FAVORITES >> Band vans >> The Blue Nile >> Cain's Ballroom history >> Clarence Clemons & rock sax solos >> Dirty Three >> Dismemberment Plan >> Esquivel! >> Eddie Fisher >> The Flaming Lips >> The Frogs >> Ezra Furman ’11#1 & ’11#2 & ’13 & 'Mysterious Power' >> Chris Gaines >> Davíd Garza >> Amy Grant >> Herbie Hancock >> Robyn Hitchcock & Joe Boyd >> Earl Klugh >> Lemonheads cover >> David Lowery & Jonathan Segel >> Johnny Mathis >> Janelle Monae & Afro-futurism >> Morrissey Q&A >> 'Muppets' music & Paul Williams doc >> Negativland >> Peaches >> Willis Alan Ramsey >> Ryuichi Sakamoto >> Sea & Cake >> Sex Pistols in Tulsa >> Shoes >> 'Song Reader' >> Matthew Sweet >> Wayman Tisdale >> World Party >> X Japan >> 'Weird Al' Yankovic Okla: Thomas Anderson >> Epperley >> Ester Drang >> 'Home Groan' >> Jify Trip >> Tyson Meade >> Molly's Yes >> Carlton Pearson >> Tall Tales Regional: Flick >> Ho-Hum
GREAT CONVERSATIONS >> Afrika Bambaataa >> Harry Belafonte >> George Benson >> Big Bird >> Frank Black >> Jon Bon Jovi >> Lindsey Buckingham ’09 & ’11 >> Johnny Cash >> Mark Eitzel >> Carl Finch >> Neil Finn ’10 & ’11 >> Roberta Flack >> Liam Gallagher & Gem Archer >> Noel Gallagher >> Larry Graham >> Chrissie Hynde & JP Jones >> Ernie Isley >> Rick James >> B.B. King >> John Lydon >> Ian McCulloch >> Tim McIlrath >> John Mellencamp >> Mark Mothersbaugh >> Bob Mould >> Bob Newhart >> Liz Phair >> Amy Ray >> Margo Timmins >> Jimmy Webb >> Janet Weiss >> Dan Wilson >> George Winston
GREAT CONCERTS >> The top 50
POP FESTS >> SXSW: ’96 >> ’97 >> ’98 >> ’00 >> ’11 >> ’12 >> ’13 Lollapalooza: ’93 >> ’95 >> ’10 >> ’11 >> ’12 >> ’91 retrospective P4k: ’10 >> ’11 >> ’12 Reggaefest: ’95 >> ’96 >> ’97 >> ’98 >> ’99
WOODY GUTHRIE >> Woodyfests: 1998 >> 1999 >> 2000 >> 2001 >> 2002 Interviews etc.: Arlo ’96 >> Arlo ’99 >> Arlo's train ’05 >> 'Art Works' >> Kevin Bowe >> Billy Bragg ’97 >> Billy Bragg ’98 >> Billy Bragg ’12 >> Nora Guthrie ’02 (exhibit & review) >> Klezmatics ’06 >> Pete Seeger ’00 & 'Union Maid' >> Seeger obit >> 'Woody Sez' >> Steve Young Albums: 'Asch Recordings' >> 'Folkways: The Original Vision' >> 'Mermaid Avenue' & 'Vol. 2' >> Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion debuts >> Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion >> ''Til We Outnumber 'Em' Etc: Red Dirt music 9/11: Immediate responses >> Country music retreat
HANSON >> Interviews: ’97 >> ’98 >> ’00 >> ’03 >> ’05 >> ’07 >> ’10 >> ’11 Concerts: ’97 >> ’98#1 >> ’98#2 Albums: 'Middle of Nowhere' >> 'Snowed In' >> 'Three Car Garage' >> 'This Time Around' >> 'Underneath Acoustic' >> 'Shout It Out' Etc: ’97 in review >> Admiral Twin >> Fan fiction >> Fan sites >> Haters >> News ’97#1 >> News ’97#2 >> Tickets ’98 & previews >> Zac is dead
LEON RUSSELL >> Tulsa history, then Interview ’98 >> Cocker & review >> 'Face in the Crowd' >> 'The Union' >> Les Blank documentary
DWIGHT TWILLEY >> Interviews: ’97 >> ’98 >> ’99#1 >> ’99#2 >> ’00 >> ’01 >> ’02 >> ’10 >> ’ 13 Albums: Reissues >> 'Live: All Access'
JACOB FRED JAZZ ODYSSEY >> Interviews: ’95 >> ’99#1 >> ’99#2 >> ’00 >> ’01 >> ’02#1 >> ’02#2 >> ’11 Albums: 'Lincoln Continental' >> 'Live in Tokyo' >> 'Mummy Weenie' >> 'Welcome Home' >> Trio >> 'Live in NYC' >> 'Telluride' Etc: Layton obit >> Tea Leaf Green >> What's a standard?
THE WAINWRIGHT FAMILY >> Interviews: Loudon ’96 >> Loudon ’98 >> Rufus ’98 >> Martha ’05 >> Rufus ’05 >> Rufus ’07 >> Sloan ’07 >> Loudon ’08 >> Rufus ’10 & review >> Loudon ’11 Albums: 'Rufus Wainwright' >> 'Strange Weirdos' >> 'Come Home to Mama'
OTHER MEDIA >> TV: 'Battlestar Galactica' >> 'Legends of Jazz' >> 'Lush Life' >> 'Match Game' >> 'Star Trek: Enterprise' >> 'WKRP in Cincinnati' >> Sifl & Olly Film: 'The Boys in the Band' >> 'Chris & Don' Books: Bloomsday >> David Byrne >> David Sedaris >> 'Fleetwood Mac' >> 'Imperial Bedrooms' >> 'Love Is a Mix Tape' >> 'On Monsters' >> Paul Nelson >> Ron Padgett >> Studs Terkel Travel: Eureka Springs >> Gay towns >> Vegas Tea: Books >> Chicago >> Hawaii >> London >> Tulsa
Concert and CD reviews not included. So many.
Pick a band, request one.