PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – A well-known columnist for the Peoria Journal Star is writing a new chapter in his career.

Friday was Phil Luciano’s last day with the newspaper after 33 years.

Beginning next week, Luciano will work for WTVP Channel 47 in Peoria. There, he will do video, print, and on-air story-telling.

At the age of 24, Luciano began his career as a police reporter but felt there was more he could do.

“I started handing in some columns maybe that could run as a one-off thing, and they said, ‘Hey, do you want to try it weekly?'” Luciano said.

This led to Luciano writing thousands of columns for the PJ Star during his three decades with the newspaper. As a columnist, Luciano said he was given more leeway with the content he could write.

Looking back on his time with the PJ Star, he said he wanted to give the community someone they could turn to.

“Maybe they’ve been shafted by their boss or by city hall or by something, or just bad luck, and they’ve got no place to go. So, who do you call? You call the newspaper. Maybe you call that guy whose picture has been in the paper for umpteen years,” Luciano said. “Even if there wasn’t anything to change that situation, at least they had a voice.”

He remembers the first and last column he wrote, but it’s tough to pick a favorite. Luciano said he appreciates when he hears from community members who his columns have impacted.

“Someone will come up to me and say, ‘Hey, you did that story about my dad, or about my mom, about my dog, about my this, or about my that.’ I’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, I remember that, what was that like two years ago?’ And they say, ‘Well, it was 22 years,'” Luciano said. “That’s a cool thing that something you did not only was appreciated, but they remember.”

Luciano said he hopes whether liked or disliked his writing, that his readers continue to follow his work.