When it comes to television broadcasting in Arizona, Mike Conlee a 2004 Silver Circle inductee, has seen it all.
His stellar career began in 1971 as a 16mm film editor at KGUN-TV in Tucson.
From there, in 1979, he moved up the I-10 to Phoenix at KOOL-TV as a photographer and ENG editor.
After a brief stint there, in 1980 he started working at KTVK-TV in Phoenix as an ENG videotape editor and photographer eventually rising through the ranks becoming Chief Photographer in 2001.
During the course of Mike’s career at KTVK-TV, he has covered countless local, national and international news and sports stories.
Some of those stories include numerous Arizona Wildfires such as the Dude Fire, Rodeo-Chediski Fire, Cave Creek complex Fire, Wallow Fire and the Yarnell Hill Fire where 19 firefighters lost their lives.
Presidential visits in Arizona that Mike has covered include President Donald Trump in 2016, President Barack Obama in 2009 and President George W. Bush in 2008.
Mike was also sent to cover the Republican National Convention for KTVK AND CNN in San Diego in 1996 well as the Democratic National Convention that same year for KTVK, ABC news and CNN.
Other assignments handed to Mike included going to Hollywood, California on 7 different occasions where he provided live and tape coverage of the Oscars on 7 different occasions for KTVK-TV, ABC and CNN.
1994 was an especially busy year for Mike as he was assigned to cover the OJ Simpson trial in Los Angeles, CA. There was also the funeral for President Richard M. Nixon, NBA playoff action between the Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns. In addition, Mike was sent to Portland, Oregon for coverage of U.S. figure skater Tonya Harding and the investigation surrounding the attack of figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.
He also covered the devastating earthquake in Los Angeles, Northridge, I-5 and San Fernando Valley.
In the summer 2003, Mike played a key role for the startup of local KMSB-TV’s first news program in Tucson.
Still, the stories Mike has covered stretch far and wide, a list of some include:
Arizona Diamondbacks World Series games 6 and 7 @ Bank one ballpark downtown Phoenix Arizona 2001.
The funeral of Princess Diana from London in September 1997.
1993: NBA playoffs and championship series
1992: President Bush’s trip to the Grand Canyon
Christmas broadcasts to 10 ABC affiliates – Fairbanks, Alaska
1992: Riots in los Angeles, Rodney king federal civil rights trial – Los Angeles, CA
1991: U. S. Senate ethics committee hearings, “Keating 7” – Washington, D.C.
1990: Mid-term election coverage – live broadcast for ABC nightline
1988: Super Bowl week, Costa Mesa, CA
Presidential State of the Union address, Washington, D.C.
Winter Olympics, Calgary, Canada
Iowa Caucuses, New Hampshire primary – Babbitt campaign
Republican National Convention – New Orleans, LA
1987: Pope visit to America – Phoenix, AZ and San Francisco, CA
1984: Democratic National Convention – San Francisco, CA
Mike has distinguished himself having earned numerous awards such as:
Edward R. Murrow award, 2011 regional for video news documentary “prison break: the escape of Arizona’s Bonnie and Clyde”
Three staff Rocky Mountain Emmys,
Six nominations for individual Emmys,
Associated Press award for public service,
Arizona Education award for best series in education, commendation from Phoenix Chief of Police for drunk driving series,
Quality award from GTE spacenet for error free transmissions – 1991
Mike was educated in Arizona having graduated from Rincon High School in Tucson and attended Phoenix College where in 2004 he earned an Associate Art Degree.
Today, while no longer chief photographer Mike is still contributing in a significant way,5 days a week as a multi-media journalist for AZFamily