Lisa Thomas-Laury

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Lisa Thomas-Laury
EducationMarshall University
Years active1978 – present
Spouse(s)Dr. William Laury
Website
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/bio?section=resources/inside_station/newsteam&id=5771819
 
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Lisa Thomas-Laury
EducationMarshall University
Years active1978 – present
Spouse(s)Dr. William Laury
Website
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/bio?section=resources/inside_station/newsteam&id=5771819

Lisa Thomas-Laury (born July 19, 1954) is a news anchor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

Ms. Thomas-Laury started at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia on February 20, 1978, as noon co-anchor and reporter. In 1983, she was promoted to the 5 p.m. newscast, co-anchoring it until 2003 with now-retired news anchor Marc Howard. At the same time, she frequently substituted for Jim Gardner when he was unable to anchor the 6 & 11 p.m. newscasts. She also has done the monthly Fast Forward, series, now hosted by Rick Williams, a show geared for teenagers. She has taken over the African-American-oriented, locally-produced "Visions" program (now named "New Visions") from Vernon Odom.

Thomas-Laury is also believed to possibly be the inspiration for the character "Maria" from the Guess Who? board game. Although she denies this rumor, she has admitted to sitting as a model for the illustrator of the popular game. The connection, she claims, is purely coincidental.

Thomas-Laury is one of a few African American women to anchor in the Philadelphia market, a group that currently includes her fellow WPVI anchors Tamala Edwards & Shirleen Alicott, WCAU anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah, WCAU anchor Lori Wilson, KYW anchor Natasha Brown, and WTXF anchor Joyce Evans.

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Medical leave

In 2002, Thomas-Laury began to experience health problems. Her first symptoms were tingling in her feet, which she assumed was from too much power walking. Her problem was initially misdiagnosed. According to a WPVI special report from November, 2005, Lisa finally ended up at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where she got the right diagnosis: she was suffering from a syndrome called POEMS Syndrome, which can cause nerve damage, organ enlargement, hormonal imbalances, and skin changes. She went on medical leave from Action News for almost a year and returned to work on September 11, 2003. She was scheduled to return to hosting the annual Thanksgiving Day parade, which she had missed, but her health problems returned, causing her to miss the parade again and return to medical leave.

In May 2004, Jim Gardner announced on the air that Lisa Thomas-Laury would be permanently leaving her anchor duties (but not leaving WPVI itself, as Gardner said that the door would be open for her to return when her health permitted) in order to have more time to focus on her recovery.

Announced return to broadcasting

During WPVI's 11:00 p.m. newscast on November 22, 2006, Lisa Thomas-Laury made a guest appearance and announced that she would return to the station in the next few weeks. She appeared the following day, November 23, 2006, during the broadcast of Philadelphia's annual Thanksgiving Day parade, the parade she once co-hosted. She returned to Action News on January 2, 2007, with a report on the opening of Oprah Winfrey's school for girls in South Africa. Since that time, Thomas-Laury has frequently filed reports for the noon, 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. newscasts and has also filled in on them as anchor.[1][2]

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