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

Magnolia Pictures

Many Memphians collaborated on the "fun" political documentary "Best of Enemies," says Commercial Appeal film critic John Beifuss.  


Ambrose Jones

Passing a comedy club on his way home from work, Ambrose Jones found the courage to grab the mic. Now, the Memphian is a full-time comic.


Magnolia Pictures

Robert Gordon's latest film analyzes the intellectual battle that, he says, gave birth to today's culture wars.


Christopher Blank

Commercial Appeal food writer Jennifer Biggs talks with WKNO about her latest dining excursion: the restaurants of Main Street.


WKNO-TV

A gathering of UFO fans in Memphis on Thursday will celebrate the mysteries of the unknown. Bring your curiosity and your x-files.


Memphis' Pinch District holds special meaning for novelist Steve Stern, a professor living in upstate New York.


Christopher Blank

Who was that stoic figure holding B.B. King's guitar in Wednesday's funeral procession down Beale?


Memphis writer and editor Richard J. Alley's debut novel "Five Night Stand" has a stylish touch, says book critic Peggy Burch.


Christopher Blank

Thousands gathered to bid farewell to the late bluesman who got his start in Memphis.


Christopher Blank

When B.B. King put together his first band, Floyd Newman was among his first hires.


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