Scott D. Pierce: Aussie host joins KTVX
Troy Thompson came to Utah to ski. He's staying to join the on-air team at KTVX-Channel 4.
The Australian hairdresser, author and on-air host spent this past Christmas holiday on Utah's slopes and fell in love with state.
"I said, 'I have to live here. I have no choice.' I just loved everything about Salt Lake and Park City."
A lot of us vacation places we'd like to live. Not many of us make the move. Fewer still do it this effortlessly.
While in Park City, Thompson met Stanton Jones, the owner of Park City TV. Jones put Thompson in touch with his brother, Richard Doutre Jones, the vice president and general manager of KTVX and KUCW-Channel 30.
"We had four or five dinners, and it was love at first sight," Thompson said with a laugh.
"I think Utahns are going to fall in love with him, too," Doutre Jones said.
Thompson will appear on a pair of local weekday programs "Good Things Utah (9 a.m.) and "The Daily Dish" (11 a.m.) on Channel 4.
It's not like he's just some Australian who wanted a job. His career path isn't exactly the norm, but he's no TV neophyte.
In Australia, he was a celebrity hairdresser, which Thompson said "allowed me to do all sorts of media."
He parlayed his successful hairstyling business into being part of a TV makeover show, authoring best-selling books and his own national radio show.
"I was the go-to guy for morning TV in Australia where I went in and talked all about hair and beauty and things like that," Thompson said. "This is just an extension of what I already do."
He'll be the first male co-host of "Good Things Utah," joining Nicea DeGering, Gretchen Jensen and Brianne Johnson. Thompson also will co-host "The Daily Dish" with DeGering. (Johnson will still appear on "Dish" from time to time and be a substitute co-host.)
"The girls have already said that they want me to not always agree with them," Thompson said. "I do speak my mind and I like to challenge whoever I'm with on air."
He readily admits he doesn't know that much about Utah yet, which can be an asset.
"It will give the shows a fresh perspective," said Thompson.
His co-hosts will try to introduce him to the state, and KTVX is promising he'll do "some of the craziest things" in the next few weeks as he settles in.
"I've been here since Sunday [May 12]. I joined the gym. I've been to City Creek. I've been to a few of the shops," Thompson said.
"You know what I'm impressed about in Salt Lake City? You have McDonald's in Wal-Mart. I know that sounds crazy, but I was there the other day and I was beside myself. I can do groceries, furniture and McDonald's!"
Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.