Christopher Blank

News Director

It all started with ghost stories. Dad convinced me that spirits lurked just outside my bedroom door at night. After years of night terrors, I began listening to LPs of spooky tales, memorizing them and acting them out around campfires on those balmy winter nights in South Florida. In this way, other children would suffer as I had.
 
Naturally, this dramatic flair evolved into a prestigious four-year engagement on the high school drama circuit where my mother’s rapturous reviews provoked standing ovations also from my mother.
 
One day, while working part time as a copy clerk at the St. Petersburg Times, an editor asked me why my hair was dyed bright orange. I explained that it was because I was “an actor.” Was my future decided out of pity? Out of concern for my mental health? I cannot read minds. However, the next thing that happened is that I was made a theater critic.
 
For more than a decade, The Commercial Appeal’s readers tolerated my opinions on everything from classical music to ballet. Even WKNO-FM let me create a little club for theatergoers.
 
When this fine radio station went looking for someone to tell stories of the “news” variety, I made the argument that Memphis is a city full of great stories; no other has a richer cultural narrative. The crossroads of America is a crucible of stories from all walks of life. Also, crossroads are known for ghosts and devils, and who doesn’t love those?
 
They totally bought the argument. So now, I’m looking for great stories. What’s yours?

Pages

NEWS AND FEATURES
7:30 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Archivists or Activists? A Civil Rights Museum Responds to Recent Controversies

Terri Lee Freeman, the new director of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, didn't expect a new chapter in the movement so soon on her watch. But the museum won't wait on the sidelines.


Read more
MEMPHIS HISTORY
8:02 am
Thu October 2, 2014

All Aboard: Central Station Turns 100

The Golden Age of railroad travel may be in the past, but that doesn't mean Central Station is through making history.


Read more
JOURNALISM
7:30 am
Tue September 30, 2014

C.A. Editor Louis Graham and the State of the Paper

Louis Graham sees hard journalism as the key to the Commercial Appeal's future. In the meantime, Memphis' largest paper will lose some frills.  


Read more
EDUCATION
7:30 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Stories of Champions III: Esmeralda Martinez

Esmeralda Martinez
Credit WKNO-TV

Esmeralda Martinez, an elementary school teacher at Catholic Jubilee Schools, is the focus of our third installment in the "Stories of Champions" series.


Read more
EDUCATION
7:30 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Stories of Champions II: Gabriel Fotsing

Gabriel Fotsing
Credit WKNO-TV

In our second "Stories of Champions" installment, Gabriel Fotsing helps students throughout the Mississippi delta navigate the college admissions process. 

Fotsing is the founder of The College Initiative, a Memphis-based nonprofit organization that spends time with students explaining the often-complicated process of college admissions. Many students, Fotsing says, don't realize what is out there, either in terms of college programs or opportunities for scholarships.

Read more

Pages