Broadcast Pioneers member Tim Lake has been a respected force in TV news in Philadelphia for two decades. Named co-anchor of NBC10 News at 4, 6 and 11PM in June of 2003, he originally joined the station in 1992.
A native of Ellisburg, New York from a family of 13 children, Lake graduated from Morrisville College and Fredonia State University after studying Journalism, History and Political Science. From the time he began college, he began building his resume and earning the attention of local editors. Lake made it a practice to attend newsworthy events and, noticing which news outlets had not sent a crew, he pitched prepared reports or photographs tailored to that outlet. That enterprise led to paid stringer assignments throughout his college years.
Lake began anchoring the news at the age of 23 and has been in the anchor chair regularly since 1983. That first opportunity came to him at WCSC-TV in Charleston, South Carolina, where he anchored the market’s dominant 11 PM news for nearly five years.
He recalls, “While at WCSC, I was involved in the very early stages of remote satellite multi-station news coverage through the CONUS Satellite Network. We pulled off some of the first back-to-back, four and five station live satellite reports from Hurricane Gloria and from the Mexico City Earthquake in 1985. While covering the earthquake in Mexico City for CBS affiliate WCSC, I managed to hitch a free ride on an NBC jet back to the Rio Grande Valley in time to stage live satellite reports for several CBS stations via the CONUS network. NBC never found out. I suppose they’ll know now.”
Lake also developed a strong sense of journalistic purpose, while in Charleston. “I went through a rather humiliating but exciting experience after I tracked down the photograph of a rape suspect and we put it on the air. Local police had warned the media not to put any suspect photographs on the air because they were planning a photo lineup with two of the victims who lived in another state. We (the station) determined that the photograph was newsworthy and because the victims lived in another state they would not see the local news. We aired the photograph that I tracked down and, as a result, I was arrested along with the 6 pm news anchor, the news director and the general manager. We were taken from the station in handcuffs and spent several hours in the Charleston County Jail. We were later freed on bail and the charges later dropped. The event only affirmed my conviction that if something is newsworthy, it goes out to the public.”
Prior to joining NBC 10, he was the weekend evening news anchor and medical reporter for KPRC-TV in Houston. Lake’s legendary stamina for continuous coverage got a workout when he spent three straight weeks in Washington covering events during the first Iraq War, working out of the news bureaus at 400 North Capital Street. “I put in 21 straight days of live reports from noon to 11 pm each night.”
While at KPRC, he was honored with numerous community awards for reporting on medical issues such as AIDS, cancer and infant mortality. Lake also reported on other major events including commercial airline crashes, the World Economic Summit, and several Gulf Coast hurricanes.
Since arriving at City Avenue, Lake has earned a strong local reputation among viewers for his thorough live reports on criminal cases, city and state government issues and politics. He won a Mid-Atlantic Regional Emmy for his role in a live program welcoming the Olympic Torch to Philadelphia, as it passed through on its way to the 1996 summer games in Atlanta.
He’s especially proud of a documentary he produced on the Navy destroyer USS Perry, the ship on which his late father served. Using personal letters, old film and shipmate interviews, he touched hearts while also preserving a chapter of military history. His interest in documenting American leadership extends to print. He has written on a book about the history of Henderson Harbor, NY, the summer vacation home of such notable Americans as Secretaries of State John W. Foster, Robert M. Lansing, and John Foster Dulles.
At both WCSC and KPRC he was a regular co-host on the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethons, with a collective 11 years as a telethon co-host. Tim has regularly hosted or emceed many charity and special events throughout the Philadelphia area. One of his favorites is the annual Fred’s Footsteps Charity event for children in Philadelphia organized by the family of the late G.Fred DiBona Jr., former head of Blue Cross of PA.
On Friday, November 18, 2011, Tim Lake was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's "Hall of Fame."
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo courtesy of NBC 10
Bio written by Broadcast Pioneers member Liz Matt
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