Christopher Blank

News Director

It started with ghost stories, of a sort. The wood floors creaking at night, dad assured me, confirmed the presence of spirits in our home. Years of night terrors followed. Then years of transference. Thank you for attending my slumber party. Let me tell you about the noises, friends... 

Eventually, the joy a child finds in manipulating other children's emotions matures into a high school theater career. In that regard, my teen years were of the traditional, unpopular variety.

One day, a few years after college, an editor at the St. Petersburg Times pulled me aside from my part-time job sorting mail and delivering faxes. "Why is your hair orange?" she asked. "And did I see you unicycling in front of that theater across the street?" Few things a person does in the services of "Art" translate into being taken seriously as a human being. To my surprise -- to my eternal, immeasurable surprise --  this was the start of a career as an arts reporter and critic, first at the Times, then at the Memphis Commercial Appeal and for many magazines, journals and newspapers in between. 

In some ways, radio journalism is a back-to-basics medium; people tell stories, share insights, opinions, beliefs and experiences of the verbal kind. And for all the Tweets and Facebook posts and clickbait headlines that parade so stridently upon our psyches day-to-day, the surest way to convince someone that their house is haunted is simply to turn off the lights and let their ears confirm it.

 

Ways to Connect

Christopher Blank

A warning to readers: this web posting of today’s WKNO radio story on National Doughnut Day can be dangerous to your waistline.

It includes graphic depictions of sugar-coated confections, including a delicious maple sugar-glazed doughnut with bacon sprinkles.

But before we completely savage your diet, let’s remember how National Doughnut Day started.

During World War I, Salvation Army volunteers went to France to help cook for soldiers in the trenches. Doughnuts were easy to mass produce.

Delta Air Lines


On Tuesday, June 5, Delta Air Lines announced that the Atlanta-based carrier will slash more than 40 percent of its service to Memphis International Airport by September.

Details:

Christopher Blank

It was ten minutes before the Memorial Day Grizzlies game against the San Antonio Spurs, and outside the FedExForum visitors were being urged to “believe.”

Believe, Memphis, that the team would come back after three straight losses and win the   Western Conference Finals. Everyone was sure this was going to happen.

In case you missed the game, it did not end with a blue Bear doing a victory dance on top of the Alamo.

Photo by Christopher Blank

On April 6th, 150 years ago, the epic Civil War battle of Shiloh took place along the Tennessee River, 22 miles north of Corinth Mississippi.

Columbus, MS – On March 26, cities throughout the South will fete the 100th birthday of the late Tennessee Williams, the playwright who won Pulitzer Prizes for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Perhaps nowhere is the centennial more anticipated than in Columbus, Mississippi.

Memphis, TN – This month, as U.S. forces are reduced in Iraq to 50,000, a troupe of another kind is just starting its final tour of duty in the war-torn country.

The Bar-Kays, the pioneering funk band founded in Memphis in 1966, recently set out on what officials say is the last scheduled tour of a musical group to military bases in Iraq.

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