Could One of the Marquee Reporters from Down on the River be Planning to Leave and The Issue of VJs Really Gets Things Stirred Up.

I got a post during the long Thanksgiving weekend suggesting that maybe Andy Wise was unhappy at the station Down On The River and was thinking about leaving. That was the first I had heard of it and perhaps its true, I don’t know. I do know this about Andy: You pretty much always know where Andy stands because he’s not afraid about telling you. If Andy responds to something like the postings on my blog, he is willing to put his name to what he writes. Not everyone has the intestinal fortitude to do that. Granted, that has sometimes backfired on AW but again you always know or have a pretty good idea where he stands on something. Some say it’s confidence, while others say its arrogance and still others say its belief in his convictions. I say perhaps it’s a combination of all three. But like him or not, he’s probably one of the best known TV reporters in the market and his work is easy to promote. I can tell you the other stations probably wish he would leave and unless they’re cutting salaries DOTR, the management should hope he doesn’t.

If you really want to stir up a hornets nest among those in TeeVee Nooze, mention your shop is considering going to a VJ operation. In the Watercooler section of TVSpy, the topic of VJ= OMB has generated 387 posts as of Monday morning. Granted there are some folks who post five or six times but that is still a lot of postings on one topic. I know Jamey Tucker, Faith and Ethics reporter for WKRN in Nashville loves the Video Journalist gig. He’s told me it works well with the type of topic he covers and has even declined a videographer at least once when offered one on a big out of town story. He will tell you that the VJ concept doesn’t neccesarily work as well on breaking news coverage and that ‘s when his station often puts a traditional two man crew on a story anyway. JT is a supporter of VJs and likes the freedom it offers and how the concept is applied at his station in Nashville. Now if the management at a TV station uses the VJ concept to only save money and replaces ALL two man crews with OMBs (one man bands) and tells them like it or leave it, that’s a different story altogether and I think that is shortsighted. Some stories just need a two person crew.

So, are we any closer to seeing the VJ concept put into place here in Memphis? Earlier this year I had heard some rumblings that Raycom was thinking about it. I still think the VJ thing will enter this market and to some degree it already has. Two long-time videographers/producers at the station DOTR have done something akin to this for years. Mike Suriani has put together some outstanding news pieces and long-form videos by himself. Yes, he will get some on-air folks to voice things on occasion but in the past has done the voice work himself too. Then there is Dan Patton, videographer, editor and producer for the outdoor show. He’s proven he is quite capable of putting together a couple of five to seven minute pieces for that weekly half hour show and does that 50 weeks of the year. Granted neither of these are remotely considered “breaking news” pieces but then, in my opinion, the VJ type concept is not for breaking news either.

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10 Comments on “Could One of the Marquee Reporters from Down on the River be Planning to Leave and The Issue of VJs Really Gets Things Stirred Up.”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Andy, this sounds like bait to me.. Don’t reply to this post..

    Also, WMC has posted a VJ position on their site…

    You are always ahead of the ball dropping Joe!

  2. autoegocrat Says:

    I don’t know if this is bait or not, but I will concur with Joe’s take on Memphis’ most memorable media muckraker. The first blog post I ever wrote was on the topic of Andy’s shoot-from-the-hip style.

  3. Joe Larkins Says:

    I do want to clarify a couple of things. I’m not trying to bait Andy or anybody else on this. I had somebody post a comment last week asking about Andy that’s all. So the person who is subbing for Andy’s guardian angel can relax a little. Also, Andy is very good at what he does. I will be the first to admit I don’t have the gonads to do what he does on a regular basis.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I was wondering if the sole host of Mid-South Outdoors has another job? I don’t think I have ever seen him on anything else. I know you were doing the show and the news and God knows what else all at the same time.

  5. Joe Larkins Says:

    Serving as Host, co-producer and sometimes videographer is a full time job for Jeff Woods. Trust me, he and co-producer, editor and videographer Dan Patton have their hands full cranking out at least 50 new, 30-minute outdoor shows each year. When I started out as host of the outdoor show, I was anchoring the morning show (at the time it was only about 2 1/2 hours) and turning a news package each day. Once a week I was allowed to turn a piece for the outdoor show and I hosted the show from a studio set. (It looked like an old cabin complete with a wood burning stove. It was torn down when the newsroom and the news set was moved into larger studio.) My role with the outdoor show was scaled back when they extended the morning show to three hours and I also joined April Thompson on the Noon show. Toward the end I mainly only “fronted” the Outdoor show.
    Make no mistake, the two guys on the outdoor show (Jeff and Dan)are kept quite busy with the Outdoor gig.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    here’s a tip. peggy phillip resigned today.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    This blog comes out yesterday. Wise guy gets called into ND office. Wise guy calls in sick today Tuesday, Nov. 28.

    Coincidence? Hmmmmmmmmmm

    Maybe we’ll hear the usually rumor that the Wise guy was spotted at Channel 13 today. lol

    Too bad Peggy resigned so soon. She coulda hired the Wise guy away from 3 and see her ratings shoot back up.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I knew this was a setup.. Larkins, this post will make a few people not respect you. You knew about Andy’s troubled past when it came down to blogs… You set him up…Shame on you…

    P.S. Ken, Hire Andy and you will bury NC3


  9. Anonymous Says:

    Oh please. Those that know Joe, know that he’d never do that.

    Set up? I don’t think so.

    Set up? For what? the truth?

    Maybe he’s trying to put to rest a rumor, rather than starting one.

  10. Andy Wise Says:

    O.K., everybody calm down…

    I am happy here at News Channel 3.

    I’m not going anywhere.

    My meeting with the ND is none of your business.

    My sick day is none of your business.

    And, yes, Joe’s just trying to put to rest a rumor, so get off his back.

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