ROLL THE BREAKING NEWS OPEN!!! The Pegster Pulls the Plug on Herself at WMC

Peggy Phillip is officially leaving as News Director at WMC. PP told me by phone she is stepping down at the end of the year. For those who have been around the market, Peggy was one of the first of the female NDs in the market and at one time during her tenure at least three of the TV newsrooms in Memphis had a woman at the helm calling the shots. When Peggy arrived, she didn’t speak softly and she carried a big stick, making a lot of waves and in the process, stepping on a lot of toes. She always had her opinion about a lot of things and if you were in doubt, all you had to do was ask and she would share. I know the former female ND DOTR absolutely hated her. Not just dislike her but hated her and was incensed that some of us in the NC3 newsroom admitted that we read Peggy’s blog. On the topic of her blog, Peggy laid it out there on a regular basis. It always made for interesting reading. I never found out her source in the NC3 newsroom but I swear there were times it seemed they had Peggy on a conference call. She found out things almost as soon as it happened.
Predictions immediately started last summer when Howard Meagle resigned as GM that Peggy was right behind him. As usual, Peggy didn’t do what people predicted. And Peggy says she still loves the news business so I expect to see her pop up somewhere else. In the meantime, the big question is: who will replace her. Perhaps the GM (who has a news background) has somebody in mind. Now the folks on Union get to play the waiting and guessing game that the folks DOTR did last December when Michele Gors called it quits.
I’m not sure just how many years you were in the saddle at the station on Union but it sure was longer than the 18-24 months that most news directors last. Plus, the competition always knew you were there.
So Good Luck and So Long Peggy. People will be talking about you for years to come.

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24 Comments on “ROLL THE BREAKING NEWS OPEN!!! The Pegster Pulls the Plug on Herself at WMC”

  1. Joe Larkins Says:

    This is unconfirmed but it would make sense. I was alerted that the current News Director at WAFF Tracey Rogers is the person who will be replacing Peggy. Again, I do not have this independently confirmed but was told that Rogers sold the house. This would actually make sense since the GM came from Huntsville and would know the work of TR. Whatever they did in the Rocket City worked as they moved to the Number One position there. It stands to reason the GM would want want to recreate that MOJO in the Bluff City. Of course there’s no guarantee that the magic touch in one market will work in another. Then again lightning could strike twice. Anyone know anything about Tracey Rogers?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    This was rumored when the new GM first came to town. Back then the rumor said her house was for sale. You are hearing it is sold now, eh? You can find out a bit about Tracey here:
    Interestingly, the other person featured in that article is Kent Harrell, who just stared as WMC’s new managing editor.

  3. Joe Larkins Says:

    Thanks for the heads-up and the link.

  4. AMNewsBoy Says:

    Love her or hate her, I’ve gotta say that PP was a very passionate ND.

    I know from reading her blog (when it was around), from folks on Union, and from the brief time I met her (interviewing at 5), she was a very polarizing figure… but I thought that she cared about the product that came out of there, and would do what she could to help it out — whereas a lot of NDs won’t step into the newsroom unless they have to.

    Some exciting times in Memphis TV these days…

  5. Joan Carr Says:

    Interesting. I read about Tracey Rogers and Kent Harrell at this link:
    It’s interesting how two small market news directors can be so involved in day-to-day newscasts. Kent Harrell apparently produced or at least boothed his own newscasts in Corpus, while Rogers apparently proofed all scripts for her evening shows. Now obviously these day-in-the-life lists were self-reported, so these guys may not really be that involved in day-to-day news. But it’s interesting to contrast their attitude with the past three news directors DOTR who often couldn’t be bothered to look at a rundown of a show, let alone proof scripts. And if a producer had a problem, like a story falling through, don’t bother going to the boss for help…his or her office door was closed. However, he or she could always find time to chew a producer out after the show. Even Michelle Gors, who came in with the image of an open-door, kinder, gentler news director (a welcome change after Craig Jahelka), couldn’t be bothered with the little people’s problems. She quickly developed a clique of favorites who were the only ones welcome in her office. Everyone else had to make an appointment to see her. Maybe Tracey Rogers will turn out to be that way when she comes to WMC. It may just be what happens when a news director moves up to a bigger market with bigger staff, but it’s a sad statement about the quality of news management out there. Not that I care anymore….:)

  6. bishop Says:

    I knew it was coming soone ror later. Peggy is very blunt and doesn’t mind saying what she has to say. I enjoyed reading her blogs even though I thought she went to far on some of them. I wish the best for he rbecause she has a lot to offer.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Peggy was one of those personalities that you either love or you love to hate.

    Its rare (in Memphis) to have such a go getter, a attack the competition, the hands on driver at the helm.

    Probably with hind sight, she should’ve left whwn she was on top. I am not sure she actually did badly. She had to dela with a declining network ratings, a bad olympic rating, and some really incredible lucky moves at DOTR.

    I wish her well, but I won’t miss her attitude.

  8. newsboyarizona Says:

    So now that she’s moving on, will Peggy resurrect her blog ( and take it back from the squatters who turned it into a credit card disinformation mill?

  9. Anonymous Says:

    hmm… who says Tracey Rogers proofs most if not al evening newscast scripts? I know for a fact this has not always been the case. As for having favorites… she has hers too. It has caused resentment amoung some members of the staff for some time now. Not to say she hasn’t worked hard or had a hand in keeping WAFF at #1, she’s just no different from others.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Why do so many people here think being an blowhard equals smart? You can stop sucking up now folks. She’s gone. Time to start brown-nosing the new guy.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I worked with Tracey in Nashville and think the world of her, she is a wonderful person as well as a talented manager. WMC should feel great about this.

  12. Average Guy Says:

    The internet and blogging is a great thing. However, the above posts by anonymous illustrates why it is so dangerous and lacks true credibility. If you work at the station DOTR, why not wait and meet the new ND. Reserve judgement on that person until you have a chance to work with them and get to know them. Nothing like taking the word of an anonymous poster to judge a person’s character.

    Here’s a suggestion. Do your job to the best of your ability and don’t get caught up in “brotherhood of negativity”. If you’re good and dependable, guess what, you’ll probably be one of the favorites. My dirty little secret is that yes, I play favorites. My favorites are the ones who come in and do their job. They’re the ones I can count on. Whiners are a dime a dozen. Good, dependable people are priceless.

    The GM

  13. Tommy Stafford Says:

    OK, I’ll add my two cents worth here Joe. Let’s just say that Peggy and I agreed to disagree. I don’t have much respect for her, but she survived, and in this business that’s worth a lot. Her technique leaves lots to be desired. WMC survived on the momentum put in place by previous ND’s and GM’s – not by any magic performed in the past few years. To the contrary, that’s why WREG and others have managed to creep seriously into the picture.

    On Tracey let me tell you from personal experience she is a gem and WMC would do well to get her. I had the pleasure of working with her when she was ND in Paducah and before when she was in Nashville as well. Tracey is a person first, ND second. Something most ND’s long lost years ago. I can’t think of any time when Tracey would stand up in the newsroom, scream and shout like a child, or throw things. Can we all remember a few in Memphis ND’s that have though???

    I hope she gets the gig and let me tell you folks on Union, you will be happy with her there.

    Merry Christmas, or can we still say that???

  14. LeftWingCracker Says:

    Didn’t Bill Applegate bring her in, IIRC? I believe he was her mentor and a lot of what she did came from what she learned from him.

    I always enjoyed her blog and hated to see it go; I hope she starts it back up.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    So here goes…Peggy is not pulling the plug on herself.
    She was given the option to resign or be fired. Period.
    She is a tough woman–which I have no problem with–but she has repeatedly proven to be incredibly mean spirited, petty and unfair. And just like all other bullies, once she wasn’t so tough…i.e. #1…she tried to get nicer…but it was too late. I dare say almost no one down here Union Avenue is sorry to see her go. WMC and the entire Memphis TV market will be a better place without her.

  16. Andy Wise Says:

    Manage your people first, and the newsroom will follow — not the other way around. One more thing to pack on the way out, Ms. Phillip.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    I’m amazed at several things I just read re: the Peggy Phillip but the most amazing thing is that news scripts got by the news director at a TV station without approval. I really find that hard to believe. That should never be allowed even if it means killing a story. Can you imagine the legal ramifications? Now, if someone would develop a spell checker for the lower-third “ticker”.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Peggy Phillip is not a good ND having worked with her at KJRH in Tulsa back in the 90’s she destroyed that shop– and brought in this WSVN mindset…it didn’t work… Peggy’s biggest problem is she doesn’t listen…except to herself talk…her style went away in the 60’s!

  19. Anonymous Says:

    I am surprised at the ammount of (lack of better words) blunt comments whenever Prggy Philip is a topic.

    SOmetimes a management style has to adapt to the people. apparenly Peggy’s could not adapt her style.

    SHe is more a victim of the NBC decline in ratings, but I do agree she benefitted as Tommy said from earlier management decisions.

    I wish Tommy was back here doing reports and weather!

    As far as advice foor the peggys and the anti-peggys out there: don’t live in a glass house if you throw stones, some of em may come back on you.

    Joe, Sorry you have to delete comments. Maturity is not neccessarily connected with age!

    Make it a special day, take your wife to lunch at Dale’s before tomorrow’s storm!

    Remember bad weather is approaching, Weather will take over the news again.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Interesting comments about PP.

    Knew a long-time employee there left because of her bullying.

    A former ch. 5 reporter moved on to another local station because she crossed swords with Peggy.

    The local tv columnist had a few episodes with her over the years.

    See a pattern here??!??!?!

  21. David E. Says:

    Peggy was a tough but fair ND. I can honestly say there will be more than a few tears shed when she moves on. It has been a privilege and an honor to work with her.

    I see the haters have come out to blog some venom. Thanks Joe for cleaning up the mess.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    She is a mean bully. There are good people at WMC. I hope they end up with someone good leading them. As for Peggy..I hope she ends up way far away. She is a cancer to every person she touches. I think she is getting what she deserves. She ruined many careers…it finally happened to her. Good riddance.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Why is it Memphis stations seems to look to Huntsville when they need to replace someone or fill a open position?

  24. Joe Larkins Says:

    I guess it’s because both WREG and WMC have sister stations there and perhaps consider them to be like a farm team to feed players to a bigger market.
    If I remember correctly Brenda Wood who was so beloved at WMC before going to Atlanta came from Huntsville. Maybe stations here figure they will strike gold again.

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