There May Be 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, It Appears Someone Found Another Way to Leave a News Operation

My wife has told me time and time again that when it comes to political skills, I’m somewhat deficient in that department. She tells me I’m a bit too honest. Perhaps. When I was working in news, I had a few assignments handed to me that appeared to be from the “bonehead” file. Perhaps that’s why I got them. A couple of times I questioned that validity of the assignment. Once, when I was given a 21 part series on the environment by a news director who announced his departure the next day, I really questioned the heck out of the assignment. All of this leads up to a point. According to blurb from NewsBlues and in the Watercooler segment of TVSpy, a reporter at WMC is out the door after alledgedly refusing an assignment. Here’s what was posted:

Syan Rhodes, a reporter-anchor at WMC-5-NBC in Memphis (Market #44) since Jan. 2005, reportedly told her bosses she was leaving the station at the end of her contract. Then, according to a tipster, she refused an out-of-town assignment to cover former FCC board member Dr. Benjamin Hooks, a Memphis resident, receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom earlier this week in DC.
Managers were so enraged, they locked her out of the building and left her personal belongings in a box at the front door. Her bio was stricken from the website.
Rhodes’s agent, Scott Wachs, insists his client was NOT locked out of the building.

On the Watercooler segment, the reporter was not named but one poster shared that the ND at WMC was not a person to trifle with. I got the impression that in a test of wills, the ND would win. Apparently she did just that. The bottom line: Unless you’ve got some powerful name recognition in the market or if you are a short timer, it’s best to do what you’re told. There are plenty of people waiting in line for your job as is.

Speaking of departures, another person is leaving the Memphis market. Amy Spears/Speropolous, a familiar face on weekends for about seven years now is moving on.  According to what I’ve been told, she’s following her husband to a new position for him in Northwest Florida. I always enjoyed working with Amy. She was always such a sweetheart and a pleasure to be around.  If she decides to get back in TV news she will do well.

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20 Comments on “There May Be 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, It Appears Someone Found Another Way to Leave a News Operation”

  1. Joe–Thank you so very much for your comments–I wanted to tell you a little more in person but since we always play phone tag let me just say thank you for being such a great co-worker and even better friend to Scott and I both while we’ve been here. I do leave Memphis and T-V News with a heavy heart–This city has been so good to me. After all, as you well know–I met my husband here-we were married and had our precious baby girl, Hailey Nicole here. But after 13 plus years in this business my husband got such a great offer we could not refuse it. Scott will be the Director of Sales for a group of radio stations in the Destin-Fort Walton, Florida area. Employeed by Cumulas Broadcasting he is thrilled about the opportunity and they’ve already rolled out the red carpet for us in the Sunshine State. I won’t have to work if I don’t want too–but you konw me–the stiletto, suit wearing career woman I am, that will be tough! I do hope this business will welcome me again if I so choose to come back–To you Joe–I love you and Bethany and just think now you have a free place to come and vacation!

    Please keep in touch with us–LOTS OF LOVE TO YOU!!

  2. Richard.... Says:

    I, for one, will miss you Amy. I wish you and your husband well in your new location! Residing in N MS, I watch New 3 more than any other and I must admit that you are “easy on the eyes” as well as very professional about your job.

    Good luck to you and your husband in his new job!

  3. curious Says:


    Whatever happened to Darrell Phillips???

  4. joelarkins Says:

    If you are asking where DP went after leaving WMC, he went to WHBQ Fox 13.
    If you are asking what ever happened with the brouhaha over that internet thing, I have not heard anything about where that stands. I’m sure someone will bring us both up to speed on that.

  5. Valerie Calhoun Says:

    Hi Joe and Amy.
    Wanted to say GOOD LUCK to you and your hubby, Amy. I am thrilled for you and will miss seeing you on tv!
    Wish I could join you on the beautiful Gulf Coast.

  6. Jeff Says:

    It takes alot to make the Memphis news pleasant and I always enjoyed Amy’s Reports. Good Luck to the both of you in Flordubya.

  7. OT, Joe, have you seen this? It looks like the CC TV deal may fall through; if so, what happens to 24/30?

  8. joelarkins Says:

    I have not seen this until now. Thanks for sharing. I guess it means that Clear Channel will pad its pockets with 45 million if the deal falls through and start shopping the group around again. I can’t imagine that day to day operations will change because of this.

  9. Chris Says:

    Tracey (ND at 5) is nuts. Everyone knows she is a puppet of the GM and Tammy (The Asst. ND) does the real work. All they’re doing there is cutting costs by making dumb decisions. Letting Syan leave early was cutting off their nose to spite their face. they still haven’t replaced George and now they’re short another. It won’t take long for their mistakes to add up. They can replace people but not the experience or the personality.
    I dare say most there would welcome Peggy back with open arms, at least you knew where you stood with her.

  10. DANIEL Says:


  11. watch for the falling pieces Says:

    it looks like the honeymoon is over at wmc and the walls are crumbling. i agree with the previous poster. tammy is the backbone of the newsroom. and at least you knew what to expect from peggy.

  12. Vickie Says:

    Joe, if it were not for you I could not keep up with whats going on. I personally watch Channel 3 news, I always thought they made a mistake when they let Joyce Peterson go, she always brought a little class to the news.
    Will hate to see Amy go

  13. The GM Says:

    It is always interesting to read how “things are falling apart” when new management makes changes to a complacent workplace. Does one really think some up-and-comer in market #80 wouldn’t jump at the chance to work at a place like WMC because some insiders say its falling apart. It has been my experience those most unhappy are the one being challenged to either get on the bus or get off the bus.

    The GM
    P.S. Yes, I know I’m cold, heartless and only care about the bottomline but so many people in this profession need to wake up and realize what you did yesterday doesn’t mean much if all you’re doing is sitting on your laurels.

  14. Flawless Says:

    Hey GM,

    Are you local? Your words are sounding very familiar.

  15. The GM Says:

    Nope, not local. I’ve lived the situation at WMC. I’ve rebuilt — no revitalized is more appropriate — a prennial #1 that was floundering in second place with a group of folks who were living on yesterday’s homeruns. Every market has one. What WMC has going for it is its brand. It is well known and Memphians seek it out. Yes personalities are important but the brand is more important.

    The GM

  16. Mike Says:

    Normally I might agree with you but the changes being made at 5 are purely financial. In-fact, most of the people shown the door are the ones who care and who’ve been there long enough to earn a decent paycheck. We hired one of their former people and we couldn’t be happer. Watch who pops up at 5, younger and lower quality. It’s already happened. We’ll see what the future holds. When Dave is gone ratings will drop far, when Joe is gone, it’s over.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Getting on and off the bus…sounds vaguely like the “Good to Great” mantra that Lee Meredith loves. He talks a great deal about getting the right people on and the wrong ones off.

  18. The GM Says:

    The specifics of every situation is different. I can only generalize. However if the world is over once Dave and Joe go, shouldn’t they be growing their bench now. They lose a lot of good people because with entrenched, top-notch talent like Dave and Joe, folks find opportunities elsewhere. It’s a tough perdicament. That’s why they need to focus on the brand, not the personality.
    The GM

  19. DANIEL Says:


  20. Ray Says:

    If CBS could fire Rene Syler a month before she was to have a double mastectomy nothing in TV news should be surprising.

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