Imitation is still the most sincere form of flattery

For years folks in the Memphis area could vote on what they considered “The Best” the city had to offer. Everything from the best burger to the best weather guy. It was always fun to read the results in the weekly Memphis Flyer. I think it was this survey that had a standout TV reporter from down on the river winning the dubious honor of Best and Worst reporter in the same issue although that might have been Memphis Magazine. I almost always pick up a copy of the Flyer when I stop to get a pie from the Memphis Pizza Cafe. Good reading with good pizza.
Now, I don’t know if the newspaper world has consultants stumbling all over themselves like they do in the world of TeeVee News, but it sounds like they do. Anyone who has been in the television news business knows there are about a half dozen new ideas that surface each year in the broadcast business and some of these aren’t really new. They’ve been stolen from news operations from overseas somewhere. These TV consultants then go preach the gospel to NDs and GMs about how implementing these ideas will boost ratings, increase sales, restore virginity and lead us all a little closer to broadcasting nirvana. Pretty soon, everyone is doing the same thing in every market and even more people stop watching local news.
It sounds like some consultant or perhaps some person high up the food chain at the CA in Memphis finally tried to figure out why the Flyer is popular and decided to do some of what they do over there. At the CA you can vote on “The Readers Choice” awards. You too can share your thoughts on the Best Burger and the Best Weather anchor. Remember, if you haven’t read it, it’s still news. A great slogan.
And one final note that might fall under the heading of full disclosure. My wife was checking out something on the Memphis Flyer’s website when she informed me that my blog was listed under the Flyer’s heading of “blogs we like”. I’m quite flattered to be among those listed. Now, like Navin R. Johnson who found his name listed in the phone directory, “I’m somebody.”

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12 Comments on “Imitation is still the most sincere form of flattery”

  1. Jon W. Sparks Says:

    You’ll notice that one may vote in the media department for a web site, a magazine, radio and TV — but not for those ink-stained wretches who put out a newspaper. You have to wait for the Flyer to do that. It is a bemusement.

  2. Joe Larkins Says:

    A most excellent point my good man and thank you for pointing it out. You know those TV people, even the former ones. It’s all about them.
    Please give my regards to your family (the one at home, not the newspaper folks.) It’s been a while since I’ve seen them. I trust everyone is doing well.
    Thank you for weighing in. I didn’t think anyone at the CA ventured in my general direction.
    Regards,
    Joe

  3. AMNewsBoy Says:

    I totally miss Memphis Pizza Café — some of the best pie I’ve ever had. (The Overton Park location is the only one, as far as I’m concerned — you can put it out in the burbs, but it just ain’t the same.)

  4. Jon W. Sparks Says:

    Thank you! The home family is doing very well — the little girl you pulled from the drink is a splendid young lady now.
    And I’m a regular reader of your fine journal although I don’t know how many others at the CA also check it out. I’ve heard of this secluded office, however, where every word of every local blog is carefully monitored …

  5. Anonymous Says:

    This is way off subject but I was looking up several tv stations on wikipedia.org and on WREG’s entry there is a link to your blog as a former wreg-tv anchor. I thought that was pretty cool. I’m looking at different markets and I think it’s interesting the way they connect. Maybe you can answer their question on the dicussion tab.

  6. Joe Larkins Says:

    I’m not sure but I doubt that WREG had anything to do with the link that you find on the Wikipedia page. They generally don’t like to remember people who “left the fold”.
    Also, I’m not sure what discussion tab you’re speaking of.
    Thanks for taking time to write.
    Regards

  7. FlyerMan Says:

    Another difference worth pointing out between the Flyer BEST OF MEMPHIS poll and the CA’s Faux Poll, is the fact that the CA’s poll is run by the paper’s marketing department and that, as they say on the ballot, they will take your personal information and use it to sell to marketers and (probably) to sell you subscriptions. Also, I’m betting that the number of people who bother to fill out a full page ballot, fold it 8 times, put it in an envelope, buy a stamp and mail it, is miniscule. The Flyer’s poll is online and done by the editorial staff, a big difference, both in intent and substance.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    One thing about the Flyer…the price is right!!

    I got a three day a week subscription to the CA late last year…it took many phone calls to get it straightened out since I had paid for it in advance!

    Is there a trend now where the younger group of reporters are burning out faster? Is there more pressure now than before? Just seems to be a revolving door the last several months at that station down by the river.

  9. Joe Larkins Says:

    I’m not sure about the revolving door down on the river. The only reporter who has left that I know about is Christine Connolly although I’ve heard that several others are actively looking. I’ve heard that some of the folks behind the scenes have left as well. But anyone who has been in the business for very long knows there is a turnover of talent (especially those trying to get to a bigger market) every couple of years.
    If others have left, please bring me up to speed.

  10. GrantParish Says:

    The last thing I want to read in either the Flyer or CA is a “best of” list compiled by the general public. That is a guarantee of “lowest common denominator” thinking.

    You see this in the Flyer results when great local places are overlooked so that Target is named the “best gift shop,” Macy’s the “best place to shop for women’s clothing” and Olive Garden shows up on the list of best Italian restaurants. Aughh. I don’t care that Joe Six Pack thinks Hooters has the “best hot wings,” I want a knowledgeable expert with a background in retail or the culinary world to give me a well considered list of reasons why this or that establishment is best.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Roswell Encina put in his resignation yesterday and will be there for about one more month. He is heading to Baltimore. The strange thing I heard about this is, the Roswell Report has it that he does not have a job there yet. It appears he may be freelancing there. Sorta like Connelly is doing in San Fran.

    WREG’s morning producer also has put in his resignation.

    There’s that “it happens in 3’s” theory at work again.

  12. ReggieH Says:

    Actually, Anonymous, Mr Encina will be coming up here to be Director of Communications for the Enoch Pratt Free Library (Baltimore’s Public Library and the State Library Resource Center for Maryland)….


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