Friday, October 28, 2011

Heartbreaking

FedEx truck involved in fatal accident near Senatobia - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee
It's become alarmingly easy for me over the years to avoid emotion while covering tragic stories.  I believe it is a necessity when you cover so many.  The first day of sweeps this November brought one such story.  I was covering an MPD officer's arrest on drug charges when we got word that a FedEx truck rear-ended a Saturn on Highway 51 in Senatobia, MS.  I was dispatched to The MED (hospital) after my hit on Action News 5 at 4:00.  I waited..and waited..with hopes of finding a family member of two young sisters killed in the crash.  These assignments are never easy.  I eventually met an uncle of the girls and he took my card back into the hospital.  Two cousins later emerged, did interviews, and provided photos of the two girls -- ages 2 and 6.  We were the first station to air the photos.  It was a victory for us..but bittersweet considering the circumstances.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Let the games begin

Today marks my first post on this blog and the beginning of November "sweeps" 2011.  TV advertising rates are determined during four sweeps periods per year.  November is arguably one of the two most important.  WMC/Action News 5 has traditionally been the dominant station in the Memphis market.  However, WREG is an extremely close competitor (particularly at 10:00) thanks to a strong CBS prime-time line-up.  This makes Memphis one of the most competitive markets in the country ratings-wise.  Sweeps periods usually bring giveaways, special reports that are endlessly teased, and much more tense work environment.  I look forward to chasing down as many breaking news opportunities as possible.