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?

Ways to Connect

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Capitol Hill Conversation unpacks Governor Bill Haslam's proposal to offer every Tennessee high school grad a free 2-year college education.

Without an immediate cash infusion, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra could play its final concert in March.

Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton described his administration's new focus in four P-words: Potholes, Public Safety, Pensions and Poverty. 

  The Tennessee Governor wants to crack down on meth production by making pseudoephedrine harder to get.

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

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.


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.

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

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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?

Roland Valliere, the new President and CEO of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, shares some thoughts about his first week on the job.