Otis Sanford serves as political analyst and commentator for Local 24 News, providing daily commentary during the 5:00 p.m. newscast. He also holds the Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economic and Managerial Journalism at the University of Memphis, and is the author of the critically acclaimed book, “From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics.”
In addition, Otis appears as a regular panelist for Local 24 This Week, a weekly public affairs program airing Sundays at 9:00 a.m. He also writes a weekly political column for the Daily Memphian online news site.
Before joining the U of M in 2011, Sanford was editorial page editor, columnist and director of the editorial board for The Commercial Appeal, and formerly served as the paper’s managing editor. He also served as a political commentator for WREG-TV Channel 3 for seven years before joining Local 24 News.
Otis is a Mississippi native and a 1975 graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in Journalism. He began his professional journalism career at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., and has also worked as an editor at The Pittsburgh Press and The Detroit Free Press.
Otis is a nationally recognized lecturer on newsroom management, journalism ethics, southern politics and First Amendment issues. He is past president of the Associated Press Media Editors, past board chairman of the Mid-America Press Institute and a current board member of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. In 2014, Otis was inducted into the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.