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?


11:42 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Tennessee's Free Community College Program Touted in SOTU Address

White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz spoke with WKNO about the President's proposal to make two-year community college free for all Americans.

Modeled after Republican Governor Bill Haslam's "Tennessee Promise," it was just one of many proposals offered during Tuesday's State of the Union speech centered on "middle-class economics." President Obama also pushed affordable child care, paid sick and maternity leave and equal pay for women.

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7:45 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Elvis at 80. Still More Popular Than -- Well, Almost Everyone

Today on WKNO’s Culture Desk, we celebrate the 80th birthday of Elvis Presley, born in a shotgun house in Tupelo, Miss. He would later become the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music.

Though the first generation of Elvis fans are well into their 60s and 70s, Elvis' popularity on the Internet is remarkably stable, consistently hovering above many young artists with huge national exposure. 

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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