Television executive remembers roots in Bayport

30th anniversary of network celebrated


On April 25, Bayport native Jim Weiss was interviewed about his role in launching TCM, Turner Classic Movies, the authority on film in the Golden Age.

A Bayport resident from 1962 until 1992, graduating Bayport-Blue Point High School in 1979, Weiss currently serves as head of external communications at the Scripps Network.

With 35-plus years of a successful career in television/media, Weiss said, “I’ve been blessed with a great career, but I was also blessed with an amazing childhood in the wonderful area. Bayport, Blue Point, and surrounding communities are very important to me.”

A part-time columnist for the Suffolk County News, Weiss remarked that “it all started there for me.”

Weiss’s career with the Suffolk County News began in the early ‘80s with some guest pieces and in later years regaling readers with fond memories of growing up in the area.

“One of the positions I held… was being the first head of PR and publicity—and helping to develop and launch—the Turner Classic Movies television network. The current TCM folks invited me and some other original team members back recently to be interviewed for their 30th anniversary this month.”

Accompanying the interview was a screening of Weiss’s movie pick, which was “The In-Laws,” starring Alan Arkin and Peter Falk, who Weiss said were “…the best!”

“I picked ‘The In-Laws’ because I love it and also because the day we launched TCM (Sep. 14, 1994), I was in charge of a massive PR event in Times Square and we had the head of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences taking part in the ceremony. He was Arthur Hiller, a respected movie director who had, in fact, directed ‘The In-Laws.’ After I briefed him on the event, the agenda, and his role, I told him how much I loved ‘The In-Laws’ and he was very gracious about it,” said Weiss.