Could the clock be ticking already on the ND down on the river?

Anybody who has been around the station down on the river in Memphis knows that the ND’s post is considered by many there to be the fast track to a GM spot. Many folks don’t realize that the station on the river is the “flagship” station and many broadcast corporate honcos have offices there. It means the NDs usually go through a cycle after they are hired. First, they have the simple title of ND. Then, if they prove they can play the game and support those higher up the food chain, then they earn the title of Vice President of News for NYT where they learn the secret handshake and get to go to other stations and meet with other corporate types. If they continue to play the game, they get the opportunity to move up to one of the smaller stations as GM where they earn their chops and then get sent on to the other properties. Prior to the current ND, two of the previous four people who held that ND spot got the nod and moved up the ladder with one of those having done quite well. Another proved to be too ambitious and between not being patient and having run afoul of the politics, is now a GM out west at a non-NYT station. Of the two NDs who didn’t make it, both got sideways with the GM in charge down on the river at time. One eventually said it was the best thing to ever happen and has what I consider to be a dream job in the Washington area and the other moved out to the Midwest to be ND at some city in one of those rectangular states.
Having said that, I ran across an interesting read in the Watercooler section of Shoptalk that focused on a new anchor in Norfolk, VA. The conversation touched on the various stations and the problems at each and then one mentioned the current ND in Memphis who just arrived in January from the Belo owned station in Norfolk where he was Assistant ND and was well liked.
The poster said “it was very smart of the NYT to hire him and put him at one of their other properties. From what I understand at a well placed source, NYT had and does have a grand plan for Mr. Moore to return to HR after a year or so in Memphis.”
So, for those producers who are lamenting the fact that you’re still short of warm bodies to put shows together and you’re still doubling up on shows, hang in there. You may only have a couple more years to go. In the meantime remember, “death to the evil doers” at whichever station they’re now targeting.

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3 Comments on “Could the clock be ticking already on the ND down on the river?”

  1. Joan Carr Says:

    Thanks for the background info on what’s happened to past news directors “Down on the River.” Regarding the one who went to Washington and now has the dream job, it’s just more evidence that sometimes being sh#*-canned or passed over at a station, although painful in the short-run, can lead to much bigger and better things in the long-run.

    I want to send a shout-out to Mike Matthews and Tyler Chow, who I saw while they were working a story last Friday. Also, a hello to the other peeps still slaving away down on the river…I know you all read this blog!

  2. AMNewsBoy Says:

    The one who just moved to the “rectangular state” is going to have interesting times ahead… that particular station is now up for sale by its owners.

  3. Spook86 Says:

    Believe me, the last thing Mr. Moore wants to do is return to Hampton Roads, VA as the ND or GM of their Norfolk affiliate, WTKR.

    WTKR is dead last in the ratings for all newscasts, except the noon show, and (with a little ratings sleight of hand), they sometimes claim a second-place finish at 11 pm. There has been a steady exodus of personnel at “Your NewsChannel 3” (WTKR’s moniker) in recent years; at last report, the producing staff is short 3-4 bodies and the photographer staff has about as many vacancies. WTKR spends much of its time/effort on gimmicks (free IPods, free gas) in an effort to attrack viewers. It isn’t working. The 6 pm show is usually in fourth or fifth place, running behind sitcom re-runs on the WB affiliate.

    Mr. Moore has a lot of experience in Hampton Roads, and I’m sure he has personal desires to return. But trying to turn around WTKR is a hopeless task. Besides, there are rumors that the NYT may give up on that station, and put it up for sale.

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