Carolina Hurricanes

TWC News sports director Connors dies at 51

A fixture on the Triangle sports scene for more than a decade, Time Warner Cable News sports director Jim Connors died Saturday after what his employer described as a “short and sudden illness.” Connors was 51.

A native Philadelphian and die-hard fan of the Eagles and other Philadelphia pro teams, Connors worked at television stations in New Bern and Winston-Salem before joining what was then called News 14 Carolina in 2002, where he was described by competitors and colleagues alike Sunday as “a pro’s pro.”

“I know firsthand how willing he was to help a colleague in need, no matter what the circumstances,” TWC News sports colleague Ryan Welch said Sunday. “In addition, he developed great relationships with those he covered, was never afraid to ask a tough question, and always had a knack for lightening the mood with a well-timed joke.”

Always dapper and unerringly cheerful, Connors maintained his sense of humor even after tearing ligaments in his knee during the Carolina Hurricanes’ media floor hockey game this fall – turning his diagnosis, surgery and recovery into a multipart series for TWC News.

The Hurricanes had a moment of silence in Connors’ memory before their game against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.

“I remember seeing Jim after the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup, and his suit was soaked with celebratory beverages,” said Hurricanes director of media relations Mike Sundheim. “That was a product of the respect and appreciation our players had for the enthusiastic way Jim did his job every day. He had a great passion for sports and for hockey in particular and our organization feels a great sense of loss at his passing.”

Connors, who attended Ithaca College and also worked in Montana and West Virginia, is survived by his wife Kim, son Brice and daughter Landry.

Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947,, 919-829-8947