Latest Ratings for Memphis TV, TV Relationships with the Local Newspaper & Other Odds and Ends

I received a “heads-up” that the latest numbers were about to come out late last week and the next thing I knew I had received a news release from WMC-TV.  I have to admit when I receive a news release from Action News 5, I have to “decode” it on another computer since the version of Word that they create it on and send it out is a later version than I have on most of my computers at home.  So that usually takes a bit of time.  The bottom line: AN5 did well in the latest ratings book.  Yes, Yes, I know that the “cums” haven’t been released yet but perception is often times reality and this is a chance for bragging and expect the promos to begin.

The end of the ratings book also means that News Chopper 3 was supposed to be sent flying off into the sunset.  Was there a big final use of the “Red Chopper” before it departed? Did everyone in the newsroom get a ride before it left.  Did the pilots sign autographs?  Another big question: What will happen to the hangar building and helo-pad that was built especially for the chopper on the side of the building? Also, will NC3 ever really be able to start using a chopper there again?  That subdivision that sprang to life over the last ten years next door may get used to the peace and quiet and folks who pay high dollar for real estate tend to like not having a lot of noise next door.  It will be interesting to see what pans out should the economy improve and the helicopter is brought back sometime in the not too distant future.  Moving on..

For years, the Commercial Appeal’s parent company owned WMC-TV and it’s sister radio stations.  Even though there was no “synergy” between the paper and the stations, I know there was always the feeling that the C-A showed favortism toward the WMC group.  The paper denied it.  Then the parent owner of the C-A sold the stations and folks at other stations in Memphis finally thought there might be more of a level playing field.  Fast-forward a few years and WREG started a relationship with the C-A.  I think the feeling of excitement was kind of one-sided with the euphoria being on the side of WREG.  The reality is that for years (and perhaps it still exists to this day) folks on the print side of news have tended to look down on people who cover news for electronic media.  The feeling is that reporters for TV and radio aren’t really journalists.  I do know this:WREG was excited about what the C-A folks could bring to the table.  Unfortunately for both sides that synergy really never developed as it could have.  Oh, there were teases back and forth but IMHO it never really got off the ground as it had the potential to do.  Too much turf  to protect I guess.  Still, it looked like the C-A and WREG had something going when I started seeing WREG weather folks appearing in the newespaper.  Perhaps that was just paid advertising.  I say this because now I see that WPTY 24/30 weather folks are appearing in the C-A.  Has the love affair/relationship between WREG and the C-A faded or is it once again all about the money.  Perhaps someone can shed some light on that for me.  Moving on…

At this writing I am inching ever closer to joining the H-D crowd.  I’m waiting to hear back from the person who is supposed to upgrade our service to H-D.  It could possibly happen by the end of the week.  This brings me to my question about H-D/digital signals coming from local stations.  I’ve noticed as I’ve traveled (and I’ve been on the road a lot in the last couple of months) that there seems to be a lot of “lip lag” or loss of lip synch coming from local stations. It was especially noticeable when I was in the Baltimore area recently.  It was only on local stations during local programming.  Was I seeing some sort of issue because of the whole digital/analog transmitter thing?  Was it because of SD/HD issues?  I’m not sure.  I have also noticed lip synch issues on some You-tube videos I’ve watched.  Maybe there is just some sort of disconnect between MY eyes, ears and brain.    And sort of along those issues I’m still having some sort of “digital” lock-up on my local cable signal.  It’s still rather sporadic but it’s still quite annoying.  Maybe it’s just old cables in my house or an old system feeding in to my house but I can tell you that I’m at the age that when I find something that continues to annoy me, I tend to remove the annoyance.  Moving on…

Finally, Next week my lovely and talented bride and I will celebrate 20-years of living in Midtown.  I will admit that moving to Memphis was NOT our first choice.  We really wanted to live in Nashville.  She went to school there (after growing up in East Memphis) and I went to school just north of there.  But we moved to where the work is.  I always thought I would retire in this city after finishing out my career at WREG.  It’s always interesting to see how life has other plans for you.  So next week we will toast our 20th and we will think fondly of all the great folks we’ve met along the way.  If your ears tingle a bit, that means we are talking about you.  Cheers.

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6 Comments on “Latest Ratings for Memphis TV, TV Relationships with the Local Newspaper & Other Odds and Ends”

  1. lead pipe Says:

    I’ve noticed that the WREG weather folk are no longer included in the “weather portion” of the CA. Word is, the relationship is now over, null and void. Someone in the “online” section of the the CA went and did the deal with the 24/30 folk, and didn’t bother to tell the “print side.” 3 had apparently offered to do that (the video weather insert for the online version of CA) many moons ago, but was never taken up on the offer. So, 3 has said, enough.

    In reference to going HD, you’ll never go back. Betcha a belly wash. It is a tremendous difference, one that will have you asking, I can’t believe what I had been watching before HD. It’s just that good.

    Whom ever sent you the ratings from wmc, be sure to ask them how they managed to jack around the morning ratings to get a win.

  2. joelarkins Says:

    I’ve said for years that ratings could be added to the list after “lies, damn lies & statistics”. Plus, I’ve learned that the sun doesn’t shine on the same dog’s rearend too many days in a row. Another ratings period is just around the corner. As for the C-A online version, I wonder if the change to WPTY was actually sanctioned by upper managers. Just asking.

  3. ALAMO FUNRO Says:


  4. Doug Johnson Says:

    I have to agree on the sound system part. I used to route the TV through my stereo system, but it’s on the other side of the room now, so I got a 2-piece system to hook up to the HDTV. If you go that way, don’t crank it up too much, it might scare the dogs…

  5. Tom Stocker Says:

    What a sweeping blog entry, where does one start? First, the C-A clearly favored AN5 when I was DOTR. Tom Walter was the TV critic and rarely, if ever mentioned any other station news other that AN5. Second, ever since Memphis became a one-newspaper town, a monster was created. No competition, never good for quality. Of course the newspaper reporters looked down on TV reporters, all the CA reporters had to do was research and write the story. Others set the type (archaic term I know) wrote the headlines, etc. They had nothing to do with the final production of the story, they did not have to write., edit and then host the story live on camera. If all I had to do was scribble down notes, type the story, submit it and leave the office, I could have spent far more time on the story. Thirdly, and I’m not blowing smoke up your skirt, but Memphis TV was better for having you work in the market. I mean that sincerely.

  6. joelarkins Says:

    As always it is good hearing from you. I cannot tell you how flattered I am that you read the dog gone thing.
    I also really appreciate your sentiments. I’m always flattered when someone besides my wife remembers my work.
    P.S. I’ll send that ten bucks to you right away.

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