Tom Puckett: Kid From Reading Rainbow is an Anchor Today

Netflix’s ‘Butterfly in the Sky: The Making of Reading Rainbow’ brings together the creators and producers involved in the more than two-decade journey of the popular TV show ‘Reading Rainbow.’ It also features individuals like Tom Puckett, who grew up watching the series and was invited to an episode to read aloud a book review of his choice. While the series was driven by its creators’ desire to promote the habit of reading, it became much more for Tom. He found comfort and an opening to a new world every time he engaged with the series through his television. Tom shared what it had been like and how the series touched his life, making it a cornerstone of his childhood.

Reading Rainbow Took Tom Puckett on a Journey of Self-Discovery

Tom Puckett recalled his excitement upon learning he would appear on his beloved TV show, ‘Reading Rainbow.’ Eager to make his time on TV memorable, he poured extra energy into his performance. He chose to review ‘Max’ by Rachel Isadora, a book that deeply touched him and one he wanted everyone to read and know about. He meticulously rehearsed his review, repeatedly reviewing what he would say to ensure he was well-prepared for the big day.

Tom Puckett wanted to make a dazzling entrance, so he chose to open with the line, “Hello, America,” which, in hindsight, he admitted might not have been the smartest choice. Nevertheless, things went well for Tom that day. He was adored by everyone and praised for his confidence and style. It was a moment Tom will never forget and look back on fondly, as it marked his first foray into the public eye.

Reflecting on his experience, Tom shared that his appearance on the show felt like a journey of self-discovery. Watching ‘Reading Rainbow’ opened him up to different spheres of life, from science fiction to stories about places he had never heard of and even magical and fantastical lands. It broadened his world and helped him find hobbies, discover what he liked and disliked, and ultimately, find himself as the person he was. This exposure played a significant role in shaping his interests and identity.

Where is Tom Puckett Now?

Tom Puckett went on to earn his Bachelor’s in Communication Arts from Gannon University. While at the university, he became interested in radio anchoring and began hosting the Saturday news on WLKK in Erie County, New York. After graduating in 1996, he became a full-time correspondent, and by the spring of 1997, he had joined the news team at WNED Radio, though his time there was brief. This early experience in radio set the stage for Tom’s career in broadcasting, allowing him to hone his skills and gain valuable industry knowledge.

Tom had a deep interest in sports, and when he was offered a sports reporter job as an anchor at WGR-AM, he gladly accepted. This opportunity allowed him to work under the leadership of Ray Marks. In 2000, WGR merged with another news production company, WBEN, leading Tom to take on the role of assignment editor for Channel 4. However, he soon realized that he missed anchoring and radio hosting, the aspects of his career he most enjoyed. In April of 2000, he returned to his passion as a news anchor, a position he has held ever since.

Tom has a deep interest in bowling, which earned him the prestigious JA Golden Pin award after winning the Media Rolloff event in 2017. His enthusiasm for mentoring young minds is evident in his co-hosting role for the JA Stock Market Challenge, where high school students simulate Wall Street trading. He is the emcee for the YMCA Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving, and because of this, he has earned the nickname “The Voice of the Turkey Trot.” Tom enjoys quality family time with his wife, Annie, and their beloved nieces, Arianna, Vivian, and Quinn. The Buffalo, New York resident spends his free time with them or plays poker, participates in fantasy sports leagues, and adds new pieces to his collection of retro sports jerseys.

Read More: Jamie Duneier: Kid From Reading Rainbow is a Writer Today