This week, Ira spoke with John Katsilometes, the man-about-town whose column (KATS) runs daily in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Kats talks about how entertainers are relaunching themselves in new platforms since the closing of resorts and casinos; how he covers the town with shuttered venues (and offering his unique Vegas KatsWalk, covering the near-empty Las Vegas Strip); developing rapport with entertainers through skills formed in the smaller communities he grew up in; the challenges for Las Vegas entertainers who are primarily “gig” employees; and the future of entertainment once the showrooms and lounges reopen.
Katsilometes covers all facets of Las Vegas, and no topic, subject or facet of the city is out of his coverage range. Some of his biggest stories include covering the millennial New Year’s Eve with Wayne Newton in 1999, the first print interview with Roy Horn after he was seriously injured onstage at the Mirage in October of 2002, and Jerry Lewis’s final Labor Day telethon in 2010. He was also first to report Lewis’s death in 2017, and was the only journalist to interview Celine Dion after she announced she was leaving the Colosseum at Caesars Palace this June.
Prior to moving to the R-J in August 2016, Katsilometes was a columnist and magazine writer for the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Weekly and editor-at-large for Greenspun Media Group. He has won numerous state and regional awards, including the 2013 Nevada Press Association’s Journalist of the Year honor, and has been awarded four times for column writing by the Best of the West contest. In March 2019, he was inducted into the UNLV College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame for coverage of the city’s arts and entertainment scene.