@ 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.