No such thing as bad publicity?

A former ND down on the river who is now a GM out west once told me that he didn’t care what the local newspaper said about him as long as they got his name and the station call letters right. He basically said there is no such thing as bad publicity. I think he might change his mind after reading about the situation facing a local anchor in Memphis charged with statutory rape.
I got an email Wednesday night alerting me to the fact that the man had been arrested and was directed to WMC’s website where they had a brief story posted before the late news. I don’t know the specific allegations, how old they are or whether they are true. That will be worked out in the courts. True or not, this is a big blow to the station in general and the morning show in particular where after a decade, that morning show has developed a solid audience. Your anchors are your face, the people you invite into your home on a regular basis to share the news and information of the community. Any allegations, founded or unfounded will follow that person in a market and the rest of his or her career. Whether it’s a DUI, disorderly conduct, spousal abuse, infidelity or anything in between or beyond, it has an impact.
This isn’t the first time someone from the Memphis TV market has had legal problems. One allegation involving sexual assault meant a person got fired. I don’t know the specifics, but it turns out the charge, which was an old one, had been dropped. The station (not in this market) that had dismissed the accused person, asked if he wanted to come back. He said no and has moved on, away from news. But the stigma will still follow him.
Because of who he is, this situation in Memphis is already one of those high profile cases and a lot of folks, both in and out of the business will be watching to see where it goes. It’s also a reminder that there can be such a thing as bad publicty and one former ND might now say this is a time when he’d hope the people reporting it would get the station call letters wrong.

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5 Comments on “No such thing as bad publicity?”

  1. Bevan Says:

    Oh, how about 24’s promos last night (I was watching Lost… I can’t help it)? “A local news anchor is arrested for having sex with a child.” Cameron Harper just belted it out without a second thought. WTF? That’s just a little misleading and um… what’s that word… oh yeah, a lie. He was arrested for not registering. Cameron Harper should be gang raped.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I was wondering your take on this news.

    By the way, it’s good to have you back, I’ve missed your commentary.


  3. Joe Larkins Says:

    Hey gang, let’s keep it civil and not resort to name calling. I didn’t have any problems with MemTv’s posting until he called Bevan a name. I’m removing that part of the post this once. In the future, I’ll just delete the whole post. Having said that, here is the post from MemTv:

    MemTVman said…
    Hey Bevan,

    It’s a good thing you think you can shoot, because you sure can’t hear.

    What Cameron said was “A well known Memphis television news anchor is arrested on a charge of child rape”, which is entirely accurate.

    The only liar here is you.

    If you don’t believe it, play back the tape. (offensive section removed) The next time you post here, know what you’re talking about.

  4. MemTVman Says:


    Thanks for giving me a break. Now I understand the rules. It is alright to advocate gang rape, so long as you don’t call anybody a name. Got it.

    It is a slippery slope, isn’t it?

    Don’t get too riled up. I really do enjoy your blog.

  5. Joe Larkins Says:

    Yah, MemTV, you got me there. It is a slippery slope. I really do appreciate all comments and I’m just trying to keep things as civil as I can on this blog. Sometimes, the mojo just doesn’t work for me.
    Thanks again for your comments.

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