Odds and Ends on a Thursday Morning * (with a note added this afternoon)

I think I’m still trying to get over the loss Monday night by the Memphis Tigers. I know that eventually I will, but it may take a few more days.

Turns out WREG was a winner despite the loss by the Tigers. According to information I received Tuesday morning (but was too depressed to post) viewership was pretty dog gone high. According to a memo circulating, WREG was the leader among the Top 5 metered markets in term of viewership. They had a 50.4 Rating and a 64 Share. The order of the list AFTER Memphis: Kansas City, Louisville, Oklahoma City and Nashville. Take that Nashville!!!!

*Speaking of Nashville, I heard something earlier this week about rumors floating around that a newsperson from Memphis was headed to the Music City for a gig at the Fox affiliate there. I haven’t been in touch with this person to get it confirmed so I hesitate to mention his name. However the person who told me about what is being talked about on the streets in Nashville is a reliable source so I feel comfortable posting on this. I’ve seen the work of the person in question and it’s solid and his departure would be felt at his station.. Plus, a move to Nashville would mean he gets to do his work in front a home town crowd. I’ll let someone shoot me an email before I release the name as I don’t want to screw up his deal in any way.

*I had yet another person ask me about Andy Wise and where he’s trotted off to these days. That led me to discuss non-competes with a buddy of mine who is in the news business. We have come to the conclusion that WMC WON’T wait until the one year non-compete is up. It stands to reason that WMC would bite the bullet in a couple of months or just prior to the November book and put AW on the air, paying off WREG for a half year or less of Andy’s non-compete. Heck, if the matter went to court, think how much free publicity the whole thing would generate. Now, it is possible that the whole matter would be quietly resolved in arbiration but it would still get resolved. Of course the downside to that argument is that WMC would be setting a precedent about non-competes and IMHO help pave the way toward doing away with broadcast non-competes all together in the state of Tennessee.  I would be curious as to what someone in management thinks of that scenario.  Perhaps The GM will weigh in on this.

I was browsing around The Watercooler section of Shoptalk when I ran across someone asking about the Memphis market. Usually when someone asks about a market they want to know which stations to gravitate toward and which ones to avoid, cost of living, etc. Responders usually give some insights into the city itself. (That was the case here as well.) However, the responder apparently doesn’t care too much for the lead female anchor at WREG as was evident in this post.

WREG is generally neck-and-neck with WMC (NBC) and “3 On Your Side” has some real talent in the Newsroom but I’d watch out for the main female anchor… once you’re on her list there’s no getting off of it and she’ll work like Hell to get you out.
When she was at the Fox station she got into a knock-down drag-out (metaphorically) with her co-anchor over newsroom lighting during a long-term power outage, made management choose between them, and lost(BTW– he’s a jerk too by all accounts). She spent a couple of years in real estate before an opening came her way at WREG.

I can’t really say anything about Claudia Barr except that I met her a couple of times at going away parties for various members of the TV business over the years. She was always pleasant to me. I never worked with her though. I’m sure the thread on this Watercooler segment will continue for a few more posts but not many. I’ve found that threads about the Memphis market don’t go very far. As for what the poster said about Claudia: This is one more reason it pays to be nice to co-workers in a newsroom.

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7 Comments on “Odds and Ends on a Thursday Morning * (with a note added this afternoon)”

  1. Apple Smarts Says:

    Never worked with Claudia, but have worked with SD. He’s one of my favorite people in the world. He’s logical and old school. An amazing anchor. Not a jerk.

  2. Longtimeviewer Says:

    You MUST check out the ad running on WMC for AW.
    It is LOL funny.

  3. joelarkins Says:

    Do you have a link or does it require me monitoring WMC to view this ad?

  4. Doug J. Says:

    When I was a managing editor in Nashville (cheap plug to remind people that I left town for something better — although I was only there a year…), we hired away the investigative reporter from a competitor. My station waited out the entire year of his non-compete. He did off-cam work the entire time, conducting investigations and producing pieces for the anchors to voice… And while his former station wasn’t happy about it, in the end, they couldn’t do anything, since he wasn’t on air during that year.

    I wonder whether WMC will just promote the heck out of Andy, while not putting him on air — in an effort to push right up to the very edge of the non-compete — without actually violating it. Just a thought.

  5. joelarkins Says:

    But did your station hang posters around town with the picture of the investigative reporter on it. Since I never signed the new improved more restrictive contract with the NYTimes Broadcast group, I’m having to pull from memory the wording of that contract. What I remember is that the New contract was so restrictive, the person who signed almost could not breathe without permission. I recall my wife commenting after she read it, “wasn’t this type of stuff outlawed with the Emancipation Proclamation?” I do remember the previous contract did NOT allow a person’s IMAGE to be used during the non-compete period. And one other question Doug J. Did your station find it got a huge boost in viewership when they brought that investigative reporter on board? It will be interesting to see what unfolds from all of this.

  6. Longtimeviewer Says:

    Sorry no link……

  7. Doug J. Says:

    We didn’t get a big bump, although the reporter in question was an award-winning newspaper and TV reporter. He specialized in actual investigative reporting — not exactly the in-your-face stuff that Andy does so well. Over time though, the Nashville station did raise their profile by heavily promoting the investigative team.


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