Areas of Work

Reporting

Asking the questions others won’t. Getting the answers others can’t.

Multimedia Journalist

From sit down interviews to press conferences, Phil is ready to go when needed. Good journalism is a team sport.

Video Editing

Experienced AVID editor. Making the story look right makes the message resonate.

Phil's Thoughts

I’m staying…but why?

With the sign of my pen I put an end to a few weeks of contract negotiations and officially began my 10th year in Oklahoma. Does that make me an Oklahoman? I have the driver’s license, the car tags, the desentization to dirt that is red and am accustomed to nature trying to kill me.

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7 Things Dads with Daughters Learn

I’ll admit it. I didn’t know if I wanted to have kids…I mean, after I met my wife I kind of assumed that I would be a dad someday, but I never dwelled on the idea. I thought it would be OK to have children and thought about having a son that would carry on

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Change

Recently I purchased gas for $1.51 a gallon.  It is actually cheaper as I write this post.  So why is $1.51 important?  That is the exact price I paid per gallon to fill up my tank on 9/11. I remember a lot about that day, but this is not a 9/11 post necessarily.  This is

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World’s Worst…or Best Birdhouse

Dear Big Box Store, I want to thank you for the important life lessons you inadvertently sold disguised as a birdhouse. At first I’ll admit I was a bit stunned when I opened up the birdhouse kit to put it together with my daughters (side note, we’ll deal with this whole boy toy/girl toy labeling

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Thank God For Kids

I apparently do not post that often anymore. Well I have never been a very frequent blogger, but this post has been rolling around for a while in my head and I felt that I need to put pen to paper, (in the figurative digital sense). This Christmas season we put about 3,300 miles on

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Why I Hate Father’s Day

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That’s right.  I hate Father’s Day.  Not because of my children…they truly are the best of me.  There isn’t anything that has ever been done to me on the few Father’s Days that I’ve been able to celebrate as a father, it’s more how everyone reacts to Father’s Day. Think about it.  What do we

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What else I’m thankful for

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I’ve written about my parents and how important they’ve been in my life.  I’ve written about my in-laws, wife and children and how blessed I am to be living the life God’s provided for me.  But as we enter this time of family, thanksgiving and retrospection I am reminded of one of the big influences

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Loving vs Leading

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Our latest church message series has been focused on the topic of “Jesus Told Me To…” and you fill in the blank. This last message was Jesus told me to…honestly I forgot what it was all about.

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Appraisal

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The home appraiser just left.  We’re not selling or moving, just trying to refinance the mortgage.  It’s one of those “I’m a grown up” moments…a chapter in the book of life.  That’s book I think they are supposed to give you when you become an adult; though I think my copy got lost in the

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One year…wow

You always hear how kids grow up so fast.  I get the sentiment, but on a day-to-day basis it is not always fully appreciated. Then you see things like this:   My how time does fly.  I’m not getting all sentimental because right now these little girls only get more fun as each new day

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What About Father’s Day

This week I started getting ads from the various retail outlets that have my email address.  They are all pushing those Father Day gift ideas.  I’m not sure why they’re sending them to me.  I know what I would like for Father’s Day and I would think in the day and age where so much

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Reporters vs. Journalists

Phil’s Note:  This was written several weeks prior to posting when I decided to start blogging again…unfortunately it was written just before life got very crazy with the Oklahoma natural disasters so posting was delayed. Recently I gave a lecture to some aspiring college journalists. One of the first things I started out with was

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Happy Birthday Karis

*Editor’s Daddy’s note – This was actually written weeks ago, but life interrupted my plans to get back into blogging.  More on that later…but hopefully you won’t hold it against me later in life Karis.  I can tell you that you don’t hold it against me right now and the statute of limitations for being

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Respect

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I’m not sure who said it, but I’ve heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Sometimes that’s true, but sometimes imitation is just insulting.  That is especially true when that imitation is nothing more than ripping off your hard work and portraying it as your own. To be honest, for the majority of

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Dear Karis…

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Karis, One day you’re going to look back on this and realize I wrote my first letter to your big sister shortly after she was born.  You’re then going to see that this letter is coming a few weeks later.  All I can say is, ‘I’m sorry.’  Life, you see, has been a bit busy

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Dear Selah: Big Day Big Sister

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Dear Selah, I am writing this letter on your last day as an only child.  I doubt you will ever remember a time when you were our one and only little girl.  Tomorrow we are going to the hospital to meet your little sister Karis.  I pray you will both be best friends and love

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Easy Does It

I make my own laundry detergent. Weird. I know. I could buy it, but for me it’s not about saving money as much as it is fun. Sometimes I feel between my two smartphones, netbook and now tablet I’m losing a connection to a hands-on life. Life is too convenient these days.

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There’s No Place Like Home

Recently I found a time machine.  It took me back to this gas station…where prepay doesn’t happen at the pump and analog is in action.  Ok, so this wasn’t a time machine, this is my hometown.  It’s the gas pump at the local station, recently upgraded – or so the sign says.  I can only

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Weleetka

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The murders of Taylor Placker and Skyla Whitaker were really the first big story I ever reported on in my news career. Sure I had worked behind the scenes and coordinated coverage of other big events, but this was a case where I got to be on the scene.

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History…not so long ago

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As I watched my little girl play with this, I realized she will likely never know what radio static is or what it’s like to turn a dial to get a radio station. Who knows, she may not even know what a radio station is in the traditional sense.

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Dear Selah: Year One

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Dear Selah, This is your daddy writing…you’re actually starting to get the hang of saying ‘dada’…although when you get really excited you sometimes get it backwards saying “ah-dah, ah-dah.”  These are the memories I hope I’ll be able to hold onto forever. Your first year of life went by so fast.  It really doesn’t seem

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Write Right

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If you watch the news, then you probably know the news lingo. They are those highly predictable phrases that seem to pop up in story after story. I had a news director who called it ‘Journalese’ and it was banned in his newsroom.

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Dear Doctor…

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I hate going to the doctor. I’m not really sure why. Perhaps it’s because I wasn’t ever the ‘sickly’ child…or maybe because I hate being sick.

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Civility

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A lot has been said about the lack of civility these days. I agree, though I don’t think the problem is with politics, politicians or pundits. This is not a political post…though the political rhetoric is a bit intense; I think the real problem with civility is with the populous. What happened to common courtesy?

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Thanks Dad

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This post is a little late in coming, but we have a baby now, so I get a pass on getting things done for…well how long can I use the ‘new baby’ excuse?  Anyway, yes that is a picture of a ceiling fan in the baby’s room.  My dad came down a few weeks ago

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Tweet-free Christmas

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I am so blessed to have family. Not just my family, but a new family that became mine when I met my wife. I was also blessed to have time to spend with not just one family this Christmas, but both sides. It meant a lot of traveling and since I am paranoid about crime after doing a story about social media and crime I did not tweet for most of the week before and week of Christmas. Don’t worry I saved my more poignant thoughts.

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Seasons of Love

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We all go through seasons of love and would imagine, most of them are very similar. Sure the circumstances are different, but like every Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter our seasons of love are essentially the same.

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Dear Selah: Final Thoughts Before I Meet You

As I write this, your mommy is laying in front of me in a hospital bed all hooked up to the machines as we await your arrival. I can’t believe you are on your way. Your mommy has been wanting to meet you since we first found out about you

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Dear Selah…We Can’t Wait

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As I write this, you are still weeks away from arrival, or you are supposed to be weeks away, and we are still getting ready for your appearance. The room is painted and the crib is put together

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College – Was It Worth It?

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A friend of mine recently put out a call for people to talk about their college classes and what classes best prepared them for life in the media. The question got me thinking about my own college experience and how much my world and world view has changed since my time walking the halls at Missouri Southern State University.

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No Longer Just “Baby”

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We are less than 24 hours from finding out the sex of our baby. I am nervous, excited and some other emotions I am not really sure what you would call them. Finally this will no longer be the baby…this child will be our son or daughter. It makes it all much more real. Not

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Mark Shannon: Life & Legacy

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A sign on the door reads, “Limit Visits to Five Minutes.”  It was put up by a loving wife, concerned over the energy her husband is expending meeting friends, family and fans.  On this day, we’ll get more than 5 minutes, because he has a lot to say. Mark Shannon has fought, what conservative Oklahomans

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Twitter For Android: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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I love Twitter, that is no secret. However finding the perfect app to access Twitter on my Android phone has been more of a love-hate relationship. Over the past several months I have tried out several different clients. Each one has potential, but I am unwilling to pay for an app to access a free site.

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Heartbeat

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Today was our second doctor’s appointment for the baby. It is still a little surreal for me. I know I am a guy and it is OK to not feel the same level of attachment as Keiana does, but still part of me feels worried that I am not baby crazy. I have always been

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1/3 Over

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Well…a couple of firsts with this post: 1) my first baby post and 2) my first post written using the WordPress app for my Droid phone. I am not sure how I feel about composing a long post on my phone’s keyboard, but I can post from bed, so I guess it is a win.

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A News View

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I wanted to find a way to convey just how interesting and diverse a life in news is, so after doing a story about a guy who created a cool map…I decided to make my own. It’s a Google map that allows me to place markers at the locations I’ve found myself.

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Tears for Haiti

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Tonight I watched a video from Operation Blessing International about their first day on the ground in Haiti. I cried.

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Best Friends, Worst Situation

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Eric and Jennifer Lotz have a heart for Haiti. From the first time I met them, they talked about the Haitians and their desire to return to the country and serve.

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Wedding Bells (sans bells)

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Well it finally happened, and I’m finally writing about it. I never thought I would ever get married, but then I met the love of my life.

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Amber Waves of Grain

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If you take a trip down almost any rural road in Oklahoma you’ll come across some of the most American stories. On this trip to a small farm north of Enid, Oklahoma I came across some men in love truly in love with the country, only they’re not from this country at all.

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Red Dirt Rebellion

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The Red Dirt Rebellion is Oklahoma’s only all-female, banked-track roller derby league. If you think you know roller-derby, think again.

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Reunion

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I recently had the privilege to attend a renuion. It wasn’t high school or college, it was a war reunion. Four decades ago Gary Bain was shot down over North Vietnam. For the past 40 years Gary has been trying to track down the men responsible for making sure he made it out of Vietnam alive.

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Books, Covers and Shame

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I despise most (if not all) of the so-called “reality” TV. This may seem like an odd position for me to take , since I work at a Fox TV station and American Idol is our bread and butter. I made a good friend while I was at the University of Cambridge, who put it this way; ‘Look at the TV, then look away…THAT’S bloody reality!’ It seemed to have so much more effect and resonance coming from Greg and his thick Australian accent.

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Welcoming a Warrior

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This post has been a long time coming…however I suppose it is better late than never. This was a very interesting story to cover because it had several unique aspects. I have covered several soldier homecomings and think each welcome home deserves as much coverage as possible. This wasn’t a group of soldiers, it was a single soldier. But this was like no homecoming I have ever attended.

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Let it Snow!

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It was snow day. Already into spring, but there was a winter storm on the horizon. Doomsday predictions, rampant speculation from all sorts of media. We were all in the afternoon news meeting trying to decide what stories to cover for the day. Each reporter trying to pitch a story interesting enough to keep us out of a live shot in the cold weather telling people how cold it is outside.

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Noble Pond

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This story took some work to get put together. I heard about it while checking in with Jack Haley and knew it was too good to pass up, no matter how hard it would be to pull together.

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The Real Deal

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What is it about a police chase that captivates our attention? High speeds? The element of danger? Combine that danger with bigger vehicles and you get a very dangerous situation, but it can also be very exciting.

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Morrison Murder: The First Hearing

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Should a 12 year-old boy be charged as an adult. Just by saying “12 year-old boy” it would indicate he is a child and not an adult, but investigators say he committed a very adult crime.

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Austin’s Choice

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The Haley family are quite possibly the most amazing people I have ever met. They have an unshakable faith and have survived an unthinkable tragedy. I would say almost anyone who watches news anywhere around the country heard about what happened to their son.

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Welcome to PhilCross.org

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Thanks for stopping by my website. I am trying to get this up and running soon. When everything is updated you will be able to see the news stories I have worked on and read back stories and interesting facts that you won’t see on TV.

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“Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you’re at it.” – Horace Greeley

Questions or Comments?

Contact Phil

  • Email phil@philcross.org