Could ALL of the TV Stations in Memphis Come Together and Work for a Common Cause?

The Memphis television market has really become quite competitive.  It’s become a dog-eat-dog world out there as all the stations claw and scratch for a shrinking piece of the audience pie.  But a common cause is prompting some stations in a growing number of cities around the U-S to join forces.  What is this cause?  According to an article in Shoptalk the problem with crystal meth is prompting stations to work in cooperation with each.  That article from the Poynter Institute details how the who thing got started in Reno and the success there prompted stations in other markets to follow suit.  Here’s a paragraph from that article:

A remarkable thing is about to happen in Sacramento, Calif., just as it did in Las Vegas, Reno, Nev., Oregon and San Diego. It will happen again soon in Arizona, Juarez, N.M., and other areas. Practically all the TV stations in those communities will set aside a half hour to air a commercial free documentary about meth. …..in May in Las Vegas, 50 percent of the households tuned in to the documentary, according Nielsen ratings. In August, 25 stations in five Oregon cities broadcast the documentary, and newspaper reports say the toll-free number was flooded with calls. And in December, San Diego stations blanketed the airwaves.

Folks, this is big.  Getting 50-percent of the households in a market (Las Vegas) to tune in is no small feat.  This shows what can happen when television stations turn their collective power to a common goal.  The visuals they share on the tube can help address and perhaps if not alleviate a problem, at least get things started toward a solution.   Granted there will be politicians with agendas who will try to subvert any effort as they grandstand.  There will be some bickering over which stations will do what in putting this things together.  In Memphis, there will be someone who somehow manages to turn this into a race issue (but then isn’t everything in Memphis).  But once, maybe once we can move beyond that and actually get something done in this city.  The really cool thing about this is that IF the stations (and newspapers) can come together and collectively tackle this issue, then maybe the other BIG issues such as CRIME, TEENAGE PREGNANCIES, GANGS, RACE or whatever can be addressed as a community instead of “hey, it’s not my problem”.  Who knows, maybe then Memphis will grow up to be the great city it should already be.

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5 Comments on “Could ALL of the TV Stations in Memphis Come Together and Work for a Common Cause?”

  1. Ryan Vaughan Says:

    That would be powerful and awesome to see…

  2. Doug J. Says:

    Didn’t the Memphis stations band together on a “stop the crime” special a few years back? No reason why they couldn’t do something similar.

  3. joelarkins Says:

    I’m not sure how much cooperation the stations had with each other back in the day. Still, anything is better than nothing. I also seem to remember when WREG, which was caught up in the spirit of crime solving decided they would lead the effort at raising money for a police car/cruiser. They really promoted the heck out of the idea and I remember the promo had a big bundle of cash morphing into a police car. I think the promotions department bought the software just for that promo. Apparently the good people of Memphis were not forthcoming with the “coin” and that effort died a silent death after a whole lot of hype. I’m not sure what ever happened to the money since it wasn’t nearly enough for a police car. I guess they gave it to the local police department. Of course, that may be the year they had the big shrimp-fest at the Christmas party (back when they still ponied up for the Christmas party). That would have been the year they were “on the employees’ side.

  4. JD Says:

    Hi Joe!
    That promotion was called “Operation Drive Out Crime.” It was put together by Carol Colleta Ad group, and was put out there before the police department was ready to see if it was worth doing. At first it was citizens giving money only, then it was MPD match the money, then who knows what else. The conditions multiplied like rabbits!They had some very large T-shirts printed up and even had a couple of the casinos give to the fund. In all, 1 car was actually paid for. It died because it was a put the cart before the horse idea from the start.
    Oddly, the same group tried to do a gun buy back program with on air coverage (twice) and everything, but it too failed due to bad planning. I think they had 20 TV’s and it ended up with them having to keep 6 of them.
    There was one gun buy back program that set a record for the most guns in the least time early in Director Burgess’ tenure. 1700 guns in 6 hours. It set a record for the United States.
    “Best laid plans of mice and men!”

  5. the tall tv guy Says:

    Several years ago, there was a fire at Ch. 5. They admitted without the help of the other tv stations loaning them equipment, there was no way they could have stayed on the air.

    Years later, Dave Brown lost his daughter and grandchildren in a terrible auto accident involving a drunk driver. After taking a few weeks off, Dave, on his first time back on the air, thanked the many people of the Mid-South for their cards, prayers, and support. He also thanked Jerry Tate personally for his being there for him and his family. They had worked together at Ch.13, later at competing stations, but that didn’t prevent one from helping the other in a time of need.

    I saw that huge banner of the west side of Ch. 5’s building a few weeks ago, meant to let you know about it, but overtime has interrupted my internet time the last week or so.


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