ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Mayor-elect Richard Berry has tapped two local reporters, including one from the Journal, as spokesmen for his administration. He also intends to announce the appointment of a police chief this evening.
Chris Ramirez, formerly of KOAT, will serve as the city’s communication’s director. Ramirez covered City Hall, animal cruelty and other topics for the station.
T.J. Wilham, who resigned from the paper today, will handle communication for Albuquerque’s public-safety departments. He has covered crime and other breaking news for the Albuquerque Journal.
Incumbent Police Chief Ray Schultz is expected to be a candidate to keep the position under Berry.
Official press statements follow:
MAYOR-ELECT RICHARD J. BERRY SELECTS COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE
Former Journalist to be City of Albuquerque Communications Director
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – November 17, 2009 – Mayor-elect Richard Berry selected Chris Ramirez as Communications Director for the City of Albuquerque.
“Chris is someone Albuquerque residents have come to trust and respect as he delivered nightly news reports over the years. I’m excited he’s coming on board with the City,” said Berry. “Chris will make sure residents get the information they need about city services, especially during emergency situations.”
Ramirez worked at KOAT-TV for the last several years as a news reporter, covering issues important to New Mexicans. He’s been awarded by the New Mexico Associated Press for his coverage and his work has appeared on CNN, ABC News, and the Weather Channel. Before reporting for KOAT, Ramirez worked at commercial news stations in Myrtle Beach, SC and El Paso, TX.
“I knew that after a career in news, I still wanted to serve my community. I’m honored that Mayor-elect Berry has given me this opportunity to help Albuquerque residents get the information they need,” Ramirez said.
Chris earned a Bachelor’s Degree from New Mexico State University in Journalism and Mass Communications. Chris is a long-standing member of the National Hispanic Journalists Association.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAYOR-ELECT RICHARD J. BERRY TAPS VETERAN REPORTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS STAFF
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – November 17, 2009 – Albuquerque Mayor-elect Richard J. Berry announced today that he is naming veteran Albuquerque Journal reporter T.J. Wilham to his communications staff.
For the past five years, Wilham has covered public safety for the Journal. Prior to coming to Albuquerque in 2004, Wilham, who lives on Albuquerque’s West Side, covered public safety in Indiana for nine years. In his years as a journalist Wilham’s writing has received more than a dozen awards and most recently one of his stories was named Story of the Year by the Associated Press.
In his new position, Wilham will oversee communications for the city’s public safety departments such as the Albuquerque Police Department, the Albuquerque Fire Department, Emergency Management and the Safe City Strike Force. Wilham will also be working directly with Mayor-elect Berry to develop his initiatives for combating property crime.
APD and AFD will still have their own public information officers who will work with the media on breaking events. Wilham will represent the city for any public safety open records requests, internal affairs investigations and policy matters. He will also write stories for the city’s web site.
He will begin his new position on December 1.