Jim Gallagher was born and raised in a northern Philadelphia suburb in the Willow Grove area. He attended Upper Moreland High School, where he became deeply involved with its Instructional Media program, producing and anchoring a daily morning news program for the high school.
Gallagher studied at Temple University in what was then called the School of Communications and Theatre, majoring in radio/television/film. He interned at WPHL-TV 17, where he was supervised by Lew Klein and worked closely with the sales staff and Account Executive Chris Lamoureux. He graduated in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree.
His first job in 1979 was working for Allen Murphy as an account executive at WZZD-AM (Wizzard 100). Subsequent sales jobs as an account executive at WUSL-FM (today Power 99) and CBS’s WCAU-TV (today NBC 10) led to a 17-year stay at KYW-TV (today CBS 3). At KYW-TV, Gallagher progressed from account executive to local sales manager to national/local sales manager to director of sales.
In 2001, Gallagher left KYW-TV to join Comcast to help craft the company’s first major market Interconnect, then known as Marketlink. The goal was to create an experience for advertisers much like that of any major broadcaster in the Philadelphia market. In his role as vice president and general manager, he saw the Interconnect, now known as Comcast Spotlight, grow into one of the most powerful advertising alternatives in Philadelphia, not only in the linear spot television market, but also with online and on-demand marketing solutions. Under his ultimate leadership of the regional, national and local teams in both the Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton markets, the company enjoyed bigger shares of the advertising business for 14 consecutive years.
After 35 years in the business, Gallagher realized a lifelong dream in July 2014, when he retired from Comcast Spotlight to begin a new stage of life that he refers to as the “rewards phase of life.” He has been spending more time traveling and enjoying his Bucks County garden as he explores what life brings next. His love of the advertising business is unwavering, as he has continued to keep his finger on the pulse, from a new distance.