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?

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TRIBUTE 2013
7:30 am
Mon December 30, 2013

In Memoriam 2013: Memphis Remembers

R&B legend Bobby "Blue" Bland was among the residents of the Mid-South who died in 2013

From singers to soldiers, the Mid-South lost some fascinating personalities in 2013. Here's a list of some of those who passed.

WKNO hosts Kacky Walton, Justin Willingham, Rob Grayson, Darel Snodgrass and news director Christopher Blank pay tribute to those members of our community we lost in 2013.

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HOLIDAY BLESSINGS
6:00 am
Thu November 28, 2013

A Homeless Poet Gives Thanks

Thaddeus "Theddy" Wilkes has written a number of poems for "The Bridge," a local newspaper that supports the homeless.
Credit Christopher Blank

A poem from the streets of Memphis asks us to think about the plights of others and to give thanks for our blessings.

  

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SOCIAL MEDIA
7:30 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Newspaper Delivers Hope, Bridges Vastly Different Worlds

Andre Ervin sells "The Bridge" newspaper from his usual spot at Sam Cooper and Highland. He treats it like true self-employment, keeping regular hours and waving to his repeat customers.
Credit Christopher Blank

Since March, local college students have published a monthly newspaper for the homeless to sell. With winter's arrival, it's news that sustains.

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EDUCATION
1:00 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Memphis Rejects Sales Tax Hike for Pre-K Ed

In unexpected numbers, voters derail an initiative to bring universal Pre-K classes to Memphis.


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EDUCATION
7:30 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Will Voters Back Tax Hike for Pre-K in Memphis?

Credit Flickr Commons

A "Yes" vote on the referendum would mean higher taxes in the check-out line. But is it worth free Pre-K classes for Memphis' 4-year-olds?


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