I’m Back in the Saddle Again.

Wow! I was out of town last week because of a death in the family and when I got back on line I find some sad and interesting things going on.
First, condolences to the family of former Commercial Appeal TV & Radio reporter Tom Walter. The 57 year old Walter died after a long bout with cancer. I really didn’t know Tom that well and only met him face to face twice and both times were awkward at best. I talked with him once on the phone around the time I was preparing to leave the station on the river. I will admit that on stories about ratings, everyone at the SOTR thought he was slanting the story toward the folks on Union. Now it seems some folks on Union think the CA slants the stories toward the SOTR. I always got the impression that Tom really didn’t care too much for the local news media and if he had his druthers would have covered national entertainment exclusively.
I also hear that Annie Kim is leaving the SOTR and from what I am told, she is the third person to announce her departure with no job in hand. Some people are asking me what is going on down there and quite frankly, I don’t know since nobody is talking and anybody who is suspected of talking about internal matters to an outsider can be fired. She follows Christine Connolly and Roswell Encina who both decided the pastures must be greener elsewhere. Best of luck to Ms. Kim.
I’ve had several people asking where former GM on Union Howard Meagle is these days. I will assume he’s still in town unless somebody tells me otherwise. Since I’ve been out of pocket I haven’t heard if the new GM has taken over the reins yet. Last I heard he was in Europe. A new GM always has folks feeling a little antsy whether he or she is a fire-breather or takes a more subtle approach on arrival. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that business as usual will become a thing of the past on Union.

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16 Comments on “I’m Back in the Saddle Again.”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    nick paranjape moved to reporter and weekend co-anchor. bill lunn to am and noon anchor.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    New GM at Union is an ex-news guy instead of the somewhat standard ex-sales guy….could be interesting.

  3. Joe Larkins Says:

    Yah, I’d like to hear what the folks at the Raycom station in Huntsville have to say about this guy. He apparently is on the ball as he took that station to the Number 1 spot after the NYTimes station had dominated for a while. I’d like to know if it’s what he did or what the NYTimes station did not do that caused the shift or if was a combination of those factors. If anybody out there has any contacts on this or information about the situation down south, please share.
    And you are right. The fact that he has a news background should make the game interesting in the Bluff City.

  4. John Says:

    sounds like the first report may have been true, Bill Lunn was anchoring this morning’s newscast. Nick is a nice guy but I always thought he didn’t belong anchoring newscasts, especially the early morning ones. They should move him back to sports, but he might do better as a reporter and weekend co-anchor.

    Unrelated, but also interesting, is that Today was supposed to be the debut of 24’s first shot and a morning and midday newscast, even my TV guide showed it, but they were a no show. Hmmm….

  5. Anonymous Says:

    The trend continues. Given what has been written (very small raises, contract clauses removed on renewal), morale is probably low and pressure high to keep the #1 news rating. Realistically, how can they if there’s a revolving door? When people are choosing to leave without a new job lined up, that’s a bad sign.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    you should take a look at http://www.senacle.blogspot.com

  7. Anonymous Says:

    got news for you. the public expects reporters to change esp. in medium-sized markets like this.. look at all the new faces on all the stations now compared to just two years ago.

    the key is stability among your anchors and maybe a reporter like matthews. people are giving these GA reporters’ departure way too much importance.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    While Lee Meredith is a terrific news guy, WAFF became number one because of the efforts of those who came before – namely former GM Mark Pimentel and former ND Frank Volpicella. They were the ones that stirred up the market, took WAAY out of the #1 slot and built the foundation that Lee and Tracey are working from now.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    i would totally disagree about reporter turnover. i hear people say all that time that they wish reporters were here longer. after all they get most of their important info from the reporter. if it’s a big story the anchor reads the intro and tag.

  10. Doug Johnson Says:

    speaking of people leaving, are you sure you did.. your bio is still on 3’s site: http://www.wreg.com/Global/story.asp?S=165512

  11. Joe Larkins Says:

    Well, I’m pretty sure I left. No one has called me so far about coming in late and the paychecks have stopped so I must be off the payroll.
    I’ll have to check out my bio as per your suggestion.

  12. Joe Davis Says:

    The anchors are the key. Reporters are a dime a dozen. All of the ones leaving will be replaced with younger ones. The new reporters coming to Memphis will not know what they are doing for about four-five years. Then they will decide they need to move and not know what they are doing somewhere else for the next few years.
    The only reporters I even remember in Memphis are Andy Wise and Mike Matthews. The new younger ones do not have the ability to catch my attention.

  13. Bob Jacobs Says:

    There are a lot of us out there who believe that if you do a good job covering the news, the audience will come. The stunts and screaming can move the bar, but only for a short time. You have to earn the audience and the viewers’ trust. Of course, that’s probably why I’m no longer in the industry (thanks Bob). I’d be considered a dinosaur in today’s “what’s Brad and Angelina doing” society. News is a business, but it’s also an investment that takes time to yield dividends. Stop with all the “live-local-latebreaking-news-you-can-count-on-watch-my-helicopter” crap and just dedicate yourself to serving the community and being smarter, not louder, than your competition. As I like to say, you have to stop making noise and turn up the volume. Good managers know the difference.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Annie Kim is getting married soon. She is moving back west to be with her fiance. Not sure if she will continue a TV news carrer. C.C. and Rozwell had been talking about leaving for quite some time, Roz was just more discreet about it.
    I’m not sure if it is fear of loosing jobs that has ppl being quiet down on the river. Ever since Peggy closed her blog and certain ppl left, there seem to be less leaks coming from NC3’s newsroom. When it’s quiet, work can get done.

  15. Tommy Stafford Says:

    Bingo Bob Jacobs! – That is what I have been saying here for months. The reason viewers are leaving in droves are those very reasons. There is no investment in news anymore. Yes, they have the fancy graphics, toys, etc. but not investment in the people. Unfortunately, the consultants snowed most news managers and GM’s, now they are all paying the price. I can find out more about what’s really happeing here and on a few other websites than I could ever get on local or national news these days. Television news now, is bad entertainment masqueraded as news.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    nick paranjape moved to reporter and weekend co-anchor. bill lunn to am and noon anchor.

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