Tommy Tomlinson

Host of SouthBound

Credit JEFF CRAVOTTA

Tommy Tomlinson has written for publications including Esquire, ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, Garden & Gun, and many others. He spent 23 years as a reporter and local columnist for the Charlotte Observer, where he was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in commentary. His stories have been chosen twice for the “Best American Sports Writing” series (2012 and 2015) and he also appears in the anthology “America’s Best Newspaper Writing.”

He teaches magazine writing at Wake Forest University and has also taught at the University of Georgia, Queens University of Charlotte and the Poynter Institute. He has been a speaker at workshops and conferences across the country.

His book “The Elephant In the Room,” a memoir about life as an overweight man in a growing America, will be published soon by Simon & Schuster.

He’s a graduate of the University of Georgia and was a 2008-09 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Tommy and his wife, Alix Felsing, live in Charlotte.

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The Carolina Panthers made a strong statement in Sunday’s victory over Cincinnati. Another strong statement was recently made by the Panthers’ new owner that stood out to WFAE’s Tommy Tomlinson for several reasons.

Jeff Cravotta

Two years ago Thursday, Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer. That shooting and the days of protests after his death, are seared into Charlotte’s collective memory. Or are they? 

Tommy Tomlinson
JEFF CRAVOTTA

As North Carolina deals with the fallout from Hurricane-turned-Tropical Storm Florence, WFAE’s Tommy Tomlinson has his own ideas on how to deal with the storm – and how to treat one another, stormy days or not.

Rae Carruth, the former Carolina Panthers wide receiver convicted in 2001 of conspiring to murder his pregnant girlfriend, now has a different story about the night Cherica Adams was fatally shot in south Charlotte. WFAE’s Tommy Tomlinson says Carruth’s new version of what happened comes at a time that’s a little too convenient.

You could say that suburban towns in Mecklenburg County and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board are at a crossroads following last week’s approval of a controversial policy. WFAE’s Tommy Tomlinson has some other thoughts on the situation in this commentary.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system is stuck in what I think of as the car repair conundrum.

If you’ve ever been to one of those old-school places to get your car fixed, you might’ve seen some version of this sign: “Our service is good, fast and cheap. You can pick any two.”

There’s been a lot debate over Confederate monuments. One in downtown Salisbury was recently vandalized. Last week, the state Historical Commission voted to keep Confederate monuments on the state Capitol grounds, but to add signs that put them in context and erect memorials to African Americans. And there was the toppling of Silent Sam at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

WFAE’s Tommy Tomlinson says maybe it’s time to start over when it comes to monuments.

Maybe the way to start is by taking down ALL the statues.

The state of North Carolina is still trying to modify the contract it signed four years ago with a Spanish company to add toll lanes to I-77 from north Charlotte to Mooresville. State officials met last week without coming up with any solutions. Meanwhile, the construction drags on and traffic backs up. WFAE’s Tommy Tomlinson says the whole deal was based on a flawed premise.

It’s been nearly a year since U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren  made this memorable statement to Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan:

“You enabled this fake-accounts scam, you got rich off it, and you tried to cover it up. At best you were incompetent — at worst you were complicit. Either way, you should be fired."

Warren has renewed her call for Sloan’s firing with news of another Well Fargo scandal. WFAE’s Tommy Tomlinson shares his thoughts on that scandal in this commentary.

Hamilton debuts in Charlotte in two months, and there’s a lot of excitement. Last week, it took just four hours to sell out its nearly 4-week run uptown. WFAE’s Tommy Tomlinson did not get tickets. But he has some ideas where he – and you – can spend money. 


Something almost unprecedented is going on in Charlotte right now. There’s a big event that might come to town, and our city leaders are actually considering saying no.

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