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Editorial Results (free)

1. Bartlett Ninth Grade Academy Prepares for Debut -

A group of 213 children in Bartlett who are coming out of middle school and into a new academic year and system got an introduction last week to the Bartlett school that is a bridge between their middle schools and Bartlett High.

2. Redmont Joins HORNE as Tax Consulting Manager -

Richard Redmont has joined HORNE LLP as a tax consulting manager. Redmont, a certified public accountant, has more than 25 years of tax and consulting experience with international firms in the accounting and insurance industries, and has served clients in the manufacturing, retail, distribution, health care and financial services industries. He also served on a national Sarbanes-Oxley team for an international firm.

3. Ridge Lake Building Sold After Foreclosure -

756 Ridge Lake Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38120
Sale Amount: $2.9 million

Sale Date: May 8, 2014
Buyer: Life Insurance Co. of the Southwest
Seller: Brooks R. Smith, successor trustee
Details: The 38,472-square-foot Ridge Lake Office Building at 756 Ridge Lake Blvd. in East Memphis has sold back to the lender for $2.9 million following a foreclosure.

4. Construction Loan Filed for Kirby Whitten Land -

The owner of a 4.5-acre vacant parcel on Kirby Whitten Road has filed an $8 million construction loan for the Bartlett site.

Vancouver, Wash.-based Bartlett Care Group LLC filed the construction deed of trust with absolute assignment of rents and leases, security agreement and fixture filing financing statement May 7 through Wells Fargo Bank NA.

5. Eddleman Joins Family Safety Center -

Vernetta Eddleman has joined the Family Safety Center, Memphis and Shelby County’s center for victims of domestic violence, as director of client services.

In her new role, Eddleman will be responsible for the planning, design, development and management of client services, and will also supervise and train staff and partner agency providers in delivering quality care to victims and their families.

6. Fisher Named Director Of Economic Development -

Gwyn Fisher has been named the greater Memphis regional director of economic and community development by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. In her new role, Fisher will work with companies, municipalities and stakeholders in Shelby, Fayette, Tipton and Lauderdale counties to create jobs, attract new businesses and expand existing businesses.

7. Talks Underway for Club 152 Reopening -

The owners of Club 152 on Beale Street and prosecutors with the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office have been talking since the club was shut down a week ago as a public nuisance.

Both sides are due back before General Sessions Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter Thursday, May 21.

8. Healthy Church Challenge Tackles Obesity Epidemic -

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s second annual Healthy Church Challenge 100-day weight loss competition for churches in West Tennessee is set to get under way on Saturday, Feb. 2.

This year’s challenge is anticipated to include more than 50 local churches that will get the chance to compete for cash prizes to benefit their churches and health ministries.

9. Health Care Alignment Trend Accelerates -

The trend for alignment between hospital systems and private physicians hit the Mid-South in mid-2010 and has gained momentum since.

The area’s three major hospital systems – Baptist Memorial Health Care, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and Saint Francis Healthcare – are padding their physician rosters with primary care doctors and specialists by acquiring practices in strategic locations throughout the Memphis market.

10. Sekisui, Circa to Relocate Spaces -

Two East Memphis restaurants soon will have new addresses. 

Sekisui is moving from its original location in the Shops of Humphreys Center, 50 Humphreys Blvd., into Circa by John Bragg’s space in Regalia Shopping Center at 6150 Poplar Ave., suite 122. Circa plans to relocate west to Chickasaw Crossing, 2855 Poplar, in the space where Ronnie Grisanti’s restaurant operated for years.

11. Bartlett Zoning Case Tops Commission Agenda -

Shelby County Commissioners take up a proposed assisted living facility at their meeting Monday, Nov. 5, that doesn’t yet require approval from the city of Bartlett but which is in an area Bartlett is seeking to annex.

12. Business of Health Care Topic of Seminar -

In terms of national policy discussion, the current changes in the model and delivery of health care remains among the most heated and complicated of topics.

And on Thursday, Sept. 20, a panel of local experts assembled by The Daily News will participate in an in-depth discussion about the health care industry, including challenges, opportunities and the outlook through 2013.

13. Senior Sector -

The 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 were said to have remodeled society as they moved through it.

It was the baby boomer generation that drove the cultural shift to consumerism with SUVs and mini-vans. That demographic just turned 65 and real estate developers have taken notice.

14. Questions Stack up for Unincorporated County -

Countywide school board member David Reaves said he didn’t know on Tuesday, Aug. 14, enough times that a standing-room-only crowd at Bolton High School began to anticipate the answer to their questions about where there children would attend school in the first year of the schools merger.

15. Medical Realignment -

Private practice is fast becoming a thing of the past, as physicians groups across the country scramble to align with large health care systems in a move largely driven by national health care reform.

16. Cost Analysis Sparks Little Reaction -

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz noted that before he finished his presentation Wednesday, May 16, on how much municipal school systems in the suburbs could cost, other commissioners had already emailed the proposal to suburban mayors backing the move to municipal school districts.

17. Suburbs Consider Legal Challenges In Schools Fight -

After a race to call special referendum elections in May, suburban leaders this week may be in a race to get to Chancery Court in a legal challenge of the Tennessee attorney general’s opinion that last week stopped the referenda move.

18. CK’s Moves Into Jackson as Part of Expansion -

A longtime Memphis diner chain is expanding its presence into the Jackson, Tenn., market.

CK’s Coffee Shop has signed a five-year lease for 1,390 square feet of the existing 4,900-square-foot Old Medina Market Gas Station at 2800 Old Medina Road.

19. Relocated Campus Spotlights NCBT’s Growing Presence -

The National College of Business and Technology is in the very early stages of the planning process for its new brick-and-mortar campus in Memphis.

The private college – which is based in Roanoke, Va., and has locations in six states – plans to relocate its Lamar campus. The existing facility is nearing capacity (approximately 400 students), so NBCT will move to a larger, soon-to-be-constructed two-story building at 2576 Thousand Oaks Cove, just off Interstate 240 in East Memphis.

20. Cos., Churches Deliver Christmas Cheer to Perea -

Perched on a stool and wearing a blue-and-gray Memphis Tigers Santa hat, one-man-band Jeff Hulett led a group of preschoolers in singing “Feliz Navidad” Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Perea Preschool, located inside Klondike Elementary School in North Memphis.

21. Methodist To Invest $1M at North Hospital -

As part of a multiyear plan to upgrade its facility, Methodist North Hospital is planning a $1.1 million interior renovation of one of its medical units to improve the care and comfort of its mostly elderly patients.

22. Costs, Alignments Dominate Health Care Conversation -

The local and national trend of health care systems aligning with physicians groups emerged as the primary topic of discussion Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Business of Health Care Seminar, presented by The Daily News at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1934 Poplar Ave.

23. TDN Seminar to Examine State of Health Care -

The health care industry is an economic driver in Memphis, where hospitals, health care providers and biotechnology companies employ one out of every seven workers.

On Thursday, Nov. 10, a panel of local experts will discuss the health care sector’s current state and future forecast at The Daily News Business of Health Care Seminar, which begins at 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1934 Poplar Ave.

24. Capitoline Moves To SE Memphis Center -

A Rome, Ga.-based surface components manufacturer is relocating its distribution facility to the Southeast Memphis industrial submarket.

Capitoline Products has signed a 23,500-square-foot lease at 5805 Advantage Cove, confirmed the firm’s co-owner, L.G. Smith. The company is currently located off Lamar Avenue.

25. Baptist Affiliate Acquires Boston Baskin -

Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. is working to develop the Mid-South’s first adult multidisciplinary, comprehensive academic cancer center.

26. Baptist Affiliate Acquires Boston Baskin -

Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. is working to develop the Mid-South's first adult multidisciplinary, comprehensive academic cancer center.

27. Plotting a Course -

State and federal officials are developing new programs and legislation to bolster small businesses.Many companies are facing a variety of hurdles in a lackluster economy in which millions remain jobless and the outlook for consumer confidence and companies’ confidence in hiring and investing remain bleak. But what shape those hurdles have taken depends on who you ask.

28. Haykal Recognized For Work in Psychiatry -

Dr. Radwan Faysal Haykal, director of the Bipolar Spectrum Program at Lakeside Behavioral Health System and clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has been inducted as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

29. Plans Move Ahead For Cordova Staples -

1.7 acres in
Galleria of Memphis
Sale Amount: $850,000

Sale Date: July 26, 2011

Buyer: TN Cordova Germantown LLC

30. Germantown Collection Sells for $7.3M in Foreclosure -

7810 Poplar Ave.
Germantown, TN 38138
Sale Amount: $7.3 million

Sale Date: June 23, 2011
Buyer: GA Poplar Avenue Germantown LLC (c/o Principal Real Estate Investors)
Seller: Jason A. Strain, substitute trustee
Original Borrower: CH Realty III/Germantown LLC
Original Lender: Principal Life Insurance Co.
Orig. Loan Amount: $8.7 million
Orig. Loan Date: Oct. 12, 2004

31. Ga.-Based Coastal Logistics Signs Lease -

A budding Savannah, Ga.-based third-party logistics firm is expanding into the Southeast Memphis industrial market. Coastal Logistics Group Inc. has signed a new 50,000-square-foot lease at 5715 Distribution Drive.

32. MBIN Signs New Lease At Bellbrook Park -

A Memphis-based wholesaler of collectable items has signed a new industrial lease in the Southwest submarket.

MBIN Global Inc. has signed a new lease for 26,250 square feet at Bellbrook Industrial Park, 1004 Brooks Road.

33. Martino’s Faith at Center Of Successful Design Career -

Angelo Martino, head of the interior design department at Lakeland-based Renaissance Group, has been in the business almost 50 years. But what others may call the result of many years of practice, Martino calls a “gift from God.”

34. Stephen Hegdale Named General Manager at BarDett -

Stephen Hegdale has been named general manger of BarDett, dba A.S. Barboro, a Memphis-based distributor of Miller and Coors beer with ties to Nashville’s Det Distributing Co.

35. OrthoStat Fills Orthopedic Niche -

The staff at OrthoStat has seen a steady stream of hand, foot, hip, spine and other orthopedic injuries since opening its doors in the fall.

The acute care clinic at 6286 Briarcrest Ave. is inside the large OrthoMemphis facility that also houses The Hand Center, The Spine Center, an MRI center and rehabilitation services.

36. ATTN: Mayor Wharton -

Memphians sound off on city’s most pressing needs.

Aaron Shafer
Founder of Skatelife Memphis; scientist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hosp.

Develop and promote a citywide mentoring campaign. We must heavily invest in the positive development of our children. Many of our Memphis children suffer not from a material poverty, but a poverty of healthy relationships and ultimately a poverty of possibility – of reaching their full potential. Each of us has had supportive network of mentors (“the village”) in our lives, be they our parents, teachers or friends, that have come along side of us to build our self-esteem and to help us navigate a path that moves us closer to realizing our potential.

37. EMHC Moving to Appling Farms, Doubling in Size -

Emergency Mobile Health Care is more than doubling the size of its Memphis corporate headquarters.

EMHC has signed a 14,200-square-foot lease at 6972 Appling Farms Parkway. EMHC currently occupies 6,900 square feet at 5071 Wilfong Road, and also has an office in Jackson, Tenn.

38. Menlo Bolsters Local Presence With New Lease -

Menlo Worldwide Logistics LLC is expanding its Memphis-area operations with a new 181,000-square-foot lease in ProLogis Park DeSoto in Olive Branch.

39. Healthy Industry -

Throughout a prolonged recession and anemic recovery, hospitals and health care companies have given Memphis a powerful antidote to an ailing economy.

They have invested more than a billion dollars in new construction and equipment, expanded operations and kept tens of thousands of people working.

40. Clean Slate -

A Memphis corporation is helping set standards for best practices in the health care industry on an international level.

This week ServiceMaster Clean’s Bartlett-area training facility led business managers from Japan through the gray areas of cleaning in medical facilities.

41. Greenbrier Gets Loan for Downtown Project -

436 S. Front St.
Memphis, TN 38103
Loan Amount: $2.1 million

Loan Date: Sept. 30, 2010
Maturity Date: n/a
Borrower: Greenbrier Partners LLC
Lender: Southern Bancorp Bank

42. Commission: Read the Charter and Vote -

Both sides in the consolidation debate are urging citizens to read the proposed metro charter and vote.

And as the campaign nears the Nov. 2 Election Day vote on the charter, each side is accusing the other of reading things in the charter that aren’t there.

43. Infection Offensive -

Tennessee has lifted a curtain of secrecy, exposing the successes and failures of Memphis hospitals in preventing bloodstream infections.

The likelihood of getting a central line-associated bloodstream infection at some area hospitals is double what it should be. Data compiled by the Tennessee Department of Health in a recent report show some hospitals have a standardized infection ratio (SIR) of 2.0 or more when the national guideline is 1.0.

44. Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Buys Sutherland Cardiology Clinic -

7460 Wolf River Blvd.
Germantown, TN 38138
Sale Amount: $13.3 Million

Sale Date: July 1, 2010
Buyer: Methodist Healthcare-Memphis Hospitals
Seller: The Sutherland Cardiology Clinic Rental Co. LLC

45. Brighter Future -

The financial services industry in Memphis is apparently back to thinking about tomorrow, rather than simply making it through today.

Firms are hiring again, deepening their bench strength in key areas, recommitting to a focus on customer relationships – and, in some cases, once more turning a tidy profit.

46. Flintco Cos. Names Clawson Marketing Coordinator -

Beth Clawson has been named marketing coordinator for the Memphis office of The Flintco Cos. Inc. Clawson joined Flintco after serving as director of the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk in Memphis.

47. Hospitals Challenged on Infections -

The rate of central-line associated bloodstream infection in hospitals is decreasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but data on how Memphis hospitals are doing won’t be released until this summer.

48. Payne-Johnson Joins Arlington’s Baptist Memorial Medical -

Dr. Ann Payne-Johnson, a family medicine physician at Baptist Memorial Medical Group, recently began practicing medicine at Baptist Memorial Medical Group Arlington Family Medicine.

Hometown: New Orleans, La.
Education: Residency, University of Tennessee Department of Family Medicine, Jackson, Tenn.; Spartan Health Sciences University School of Medicine; master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Southern Mississippi
Work Experience: Family medicine physician at BMMG, clinician at Saint Francis Hospital, aerobics instructor/fitness instructor (stopped when I was 5 months pregnant with my son)
Family: Married. Five-year-old son, Donovan, in kindergarten at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School; daughter, Ashley, 2.
Last book read: “Llama Llama Mad at Mama”
Music: Disco. Favorite song: “I Will Survive.”
Favorite movie: “Scarface” (“Avatar” is a close second)
Sports team: New Orleans Saints (Who Dat!!!)
Activities you enjoy outside of work: Farmville on Facebook, gadgets, spending time with the kids
Who has had the greatest influence on you? My father, who was a musician and scientist.
Why did you pursue a career in medicine? I have always wanted to practice medicine.
What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishments? Becoming board certified.
What do you most enjoy about your work? The people I work with every day are phenomenal. Baptist is growing to continue to meet the community’s needs for primary care.

49. How to Build a Government in 71 days -

The idea of consolidation is a political perennial in Memphis, but the details of merging Memphis and Shelby County governments are much more elusive.

The Metro Charter Commission’s formation last year represented the most meaningful move toward consolidation in almost 40 years.

50. Commission Races Hinge on Public Issues -

Two issues figure in to the 11 competitive races for the Shelby County Commission – the future of the Regional Medical Center and local government consolidation.

Any push card for a credible candidate includes either something about how to save The MED or the candidate’s opposition to consolidation – or both.

51. Sheriff's Race Attracts Hard-Boiled Veterans -

Most of the Democratic and Republican candidates for Shelby County sheriff gathered last month in the office of outgoing Sheriff Mark Luttrell.

52. Wamp: Memphis To ‘Turn a Corner’ -

Republican candidate for governor Zach Wamp came into Memphis just ahead of the Easter weekend with kind words for the last Memphian to leave the governor’s race and a warning about the area’s politics.

53. Consolidation Charter Slow To Move -

Not a single word of a proposed consolidation charter has been drafted.

A Metro Charter Commission is still working toward an August deadline to complete a charter that would consolidate Memphis and Shelby County governments.

54. Life or Death for The MED -

A hand as tiny as a budding leaf punched at the air inside a baby incubator.

Kelley Smith, the head nurse of the neonatal intensive care unit at The Regional Medical Center at Memphis, checked on the little fighter.

55. Ledbetter Joins UT Medical Group’s Dept. of Urology -

Dr. Christopher K. Ledbetter has joined the Department of Urology at UT Medical Group Inc.

Ledbetter will care for patients at UTMG’s urology clinic at Methodist South Hospital and at Methodist University Hospital, where he focuses on minimally invasive robotic urological surgery.

56. West Tennessee Neurology Adds Autonomic Clinic -

West Tennessee Neurology has set up a clinic with technology that helps pinpoint the causes for a variety of ailments and symptoms that are often difficult to diagnose.

The patients who go there include people with healthy hearts who sometimes experience racing beats, people with normal bladders who suffer periodic incontinence problems and people who suddenly faint for no apparent reason.

57. Ford Considers County Mayoral Run -

Interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford is moving closer to a run for the office in the 2010 elections. Ford told The Daily News citizens have urged him to run since he took the job on an interim basis in December.

58. Tenet Inks Deal With UnitedHealthcare -

Tenet Health Care Corp., which owns and operates the Saint Francis Hospitals in Memphis and Bartlett, has signed a multiyear agreement with the insurer, UnitedHealthcare Group.

59. 2010 -

Is it over yet? That may be the most frequently asked question in the New Year. “It” is the worst national economic recession since the Great Depression.

Accurately reading the indicators will not be easy. Some will predict the recession is about to end, just as new indicators point to continuing economic agony for thousands of Memphians.

60. Conwood Acquisition Helps Salvage November Commercial Sales -

A single, high-dollar transaction helped salvage November’s commercial sales total, accounting for half of the dollar volume last month. Beyond that, the most noteworthy trend to arise from the most recent data was a dearth of activity as Shelby County nears the end of 2009 – the slowest year for commercial transactions in at least two decades.

61. Beyond Halloween -

The signs are already up in some stores around the city – especially those open 24 hours a day. They remind Halloween minded patrons not to wear any kind of masks or face coverings into the stores or risk being mistaken for robbers. What we fear is the basis for Halloween as we know it. What we believe others fear is part of the evolving tradition. Combine the two and you are past Halloween and into a civic discussion that has a season of its own.

62. Golf Performance Center Slated For Timberlake’s Mirimichi -

6129 Woodstock Cuba Road
Millington, TN 38053
Permit Amount: $1.3 Million

Project Cost: $1.3 million
Permit Date: Applied October 2009
Completion: 2010
Owner: Big Creek Golf LLC
Tenant: Callaway Performance Center
Contractor: Eagle Contractors Inc.
Architect: N/A

63. Malone Gears Up for County Mayor Run -

Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone stood under a carport in Orange Mound earlier this week and kicked off her campaign for Shelby County mayor in 2010.

The timing of the campaign kickoff at her grandparents’ house with her mother, other family members and her friends in attendance had been planned months ago to follow the end of Malone’s year-long tenure as County Commission chairwoman. Malone turned over the chair Monday to fellow Commissioner Joyce Avery.

64. Braking Point: Inside MATA's identity crisis -

The bus system in Memphis has an undeserved “mythology,” according to the people who run it. However, some who ride Memphis Area Transit Authority buses everyday – and many who don’t – contend the system is far from perfect.

65. Compromise 101: Who’s going to fund the schools? -

In the year he’s been head of the Memphis school system, Superintendent Kriner Cash has been virtually unflappable.

Since the Memphis school board hired him in July 2008, Cash has doggedly pitched a detailed plan for the school system’s renewal with dozens of specific goals in a well-traveled PowerPoint presentation.

66. The Politics of Rape: What went wrong at MSARC -

There’s no such thing as a textbook rape victim. There are, however, some very thick and detailed textbooks on how medical and legal authorities should come to a victim’s aid.

Those two realities collided violently in March inside an examination room at the Memphis Sexual Assault Resource Center.

67. Sexual Misconduct Costs Bartlett Doc’s License -

The Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners has suspended the license of Dr. John R. Wickman for six months because of “unwanted and inappropriate sexual conduct” with two female patients.

The suspension of his license last month follows a disciplinary action against Wickman in 1995. Wickman owns and operates Wickman Family Medical Care in Bartlett.

68. Prosecutor: Crisis Center Problems Threaten Cases -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A shortage of nurses at a regional rape crisis center has delayed physical exams for some victims, and prosecutors are worried about losing crucial forensic evidence for taking accused rapists to trial.

69. Deadline: What it's Really Like Inside the City's Big Daily - EDITOR’S NOTE: Bill Dries was a reporter at The Commercial Appeal from June 1997-October 2005. This story is based in part on his experiences there and more recent conversations with other CA staffers.

The fall evening six years ago when Chris Peck became the editor of The Commercial Appeal was treated with utmost secrecy inside the newspaper at 495 Union Ave.

Then-publisher John Wilcox was determined to prevent leaks of that night’s decision to any other media outlets. So not only would the choice be a secret to those outside the building, but inside as well.

Then-Metro editor Charles Bernsen camped out in his small office at one end of the newsroom with the blinds drawn across its large window. He emerged just before the regular 11 p.m. deadline to tell editors on the copy desk he was sending the story, written from home by a trusted reporter.

The article by Tom Charlier in the Oct. 9, 2002, edition described Peck as “a veteran journalist who built a national reputation for innovative leadership and unblinking coverage of difficult topics” as the editor of The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash.

Otis Sanford, the CA’s deputy managing editor and the other finalist for the top job, was promoted to managing editor. It was the first of many changes in the past six years to the newspaper’s masthead, where its top leaders are listed.

New era dawns

Peck arrived in Memphis shortly after the article and, although he would officially take over in January after Angus McEachran’s retirement, there was a great deal of anticipation – and, uncharacteristically for a floor full of reporters – not much background checking on Peck.

Before selecting Peck, executives of the CA’s parent company, the E.W. Scripps Co., had set up a committee of CA employees and solicited their opinions on what they wanted to see in the next editor. Many said they wanted a new direction at the newspaper.

Peck came to Memphis from a short stint as the Belo Distinguished Chair in Journalism at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He had served as editor at the Spokane Spokesman-Review just prior to the academic post.

Peck left that paper on the heels of a journalism controversy that got little play outside the Northwest and continued to linger as recently as two years ago. It concerned financing for a large public project involving the newspaper’s owners.

Meanwhile, hopes were high among some CA staff members that Peck would change the dysfunctional management style at the paper. Others believed no creative undertaking the size of a newspaper is possible without some level of dysfunction. And still others were leery about any optimistic assessment for any reason.

Bernsen was among the first to leave the CA after Peck’s hire. Louis Graham, who had been expected to head the Metro desk even if Sanford became the new top editor, replaced Bernsen.

Six years later, departing and current staffers describe the CA’s management style and newsroom atmosphere as “toxic.” They also complain that little has changed in terms of who runs the newspaper on a daily basis despite a frequent shuffling of the management chart.

None would talk with The Memphis News on the record for fear of reprisals. Even past staffers didn’t want their names used because of the prospect of doing freelance work for the newspaper. Those still in the newsroom and on the payroll wouldn’t talk on company phones.

Profits and losses

What ails The Commercial Appeal has a lot to do with what ails the newspaper industry in general these days. But that’s a black-and-white version that misses large colorful splotches unique to the institution.

Decisions made during the past six years to pursue a growth strategy targeting “suburban” readers, as well as longstanding practices for managing talent, have also helped bring the newspaper to where it is today.

Managers at the newspaper, in separate interviews with The Memphis News, insist it is stable, profitable and will remain a seven-day-a-week operation despite recent moves that severely cut the reporting staff, eliminated classified ads from the already thin Monday and Tuesday print editions and an admission that the newspaper probably won’t be covering less urgent topics in the future.

Asked if the demise of classified ad sections in the Monday and Tuesday editions could be a sign that the Monday and Tuesday print editions might vanish entirely, publisher Joe Pepe was unequivocal.

“No. That’s not going to happen, at least under my tenure here,” Pepe said. “A lot of the transactional classified business is done online anyway. Everything that you see in the paper every day of the week is also online. So putting the Monday and Tuesday (classifieds) online was essentially just a way for us to save on some newsprint costs while not taking away from the advertising.”

The CA is profitable, Peck and Pepe insist, although they won’t release any numbers.

“We’ve projected a profit for 2009,” Peck said. “We were profitable in 2008. So, I fully expect we’ll be profitable in 2009.”

Pepe responded, “Absolutely,” when asked if the CA is profitable. When asked if he would be more specific, he replied, “No. Good try.”

Doing less with fewer

The newspaper is not alone in its reluctance to give out specific financial data. Most businesses consider such information to be proprietary.

The optimistic assessment is in contrast to a letter subscribers got this month from Karl D. Wurzbach, vice president of circulation, saying subscription rates would go up by $2 a month effective Nov. 1.

“This is the only way we can continue to deliver to your home every day,” he wrote. “This increase is across the board, for everybody, with no exclusions.”

Wurzbach’s letter also noted that the CA had dropped home delivery to 11,600 subscribers in outlying areas during a five-month period. The weekday newsstand price had already increased from 50 cents to 75 cents.

“It was costing us more money to print and deliver than we earned in revenue,” he said in the letter. “No company can survive using that business model. … Simply put, we are making very difficult decisions to help our business survive.”

Both moves in the appearance and delivery of the paper came in the week after 20 reporters and editors faced the ultimate “difficult decision.”

The newspaper made the decision of whom to fire using a controversial system that ranks reporters in the particular section of the paper they work for. The key to the ranking is not reporting ability or even a byline count; it’s how a reporter gets along with his or her editor. It had already been a key to longevity at the CA before Peck arrived in Memphis and made it a formal part of employee evaluations.

“You have to grieve those who are no longer with us in a genuine way because they were great contributions,” Peck said. “But you really at that point also have to rather quickly turn your attention to the task at hand. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

But the veteran employees “grieved” by management are the same employees management had ranked as the least valuable in their respective departments.

That included Jimmie Covington, the longest-serving reporter at the paper until his dismissal in March after years of being shuffled from one suburban bureau to another. Covington was a veteran of the county government and Memphis City Schools beats.

The layoffs also included Frederic Koeppel and Christopher Blank, who provided much of the newspaper’s arts coverage and who apparently won’t be replaced with full-time reporters.

There’s now no mention of the “master narratives” Peck once included in his “blueprint” for the CA. They included long-form stories on race, the city’s musical heritage, barbecue and the river. It was to be a departure from the newspaper being what Peck referred to as a “news utility,” or all-purpose paper of record.

“What we have to do is prioritize our staff resources,” Peck said just weeks after 20 people in the CA newsroom either resigned or were fired in the latest series of cutbacks – the deepest to date for the editorial staff. “I think where that’s going to lead is making sure that we have the nuts and bolts of hard news coverage. That’s probably police reporting, court reporting, government reporting, school reporting. We want to make sure we’ve got those bases covered.”

Whatever is left of a full-time reporting staff will be devoted to issues and institutions such as FedEx, the University of Memphis Tigers basketball team, the Memphis Grizzlies, the economy and the medical center.

“If we run out of people at that point, then we’re going to turn to freelancers and more community-generated content,” Peck said. “I think we’ll be able to fill a lot of holes there if we need to and I think it will work out fine.”

Wanted: free (or reduced) labor

Pepe offered a basic definition of citizen journalism.

“All blogging is citizen journalism,” he told The Memphis News. “In a lot of cases it’s unsubstantiated. It’s not objective. It’s not edited content. It leans more toward opinion and subjectivity. Anytime we have citizen journalism, it’s still going to get edited. It’s still going to get verified. It’s going to get checked for facts before we post it. We apply the same rules to citizen-sponsored journalism as we do to our top line reporter.”

Sanford said citizen journalism “has its place” and has been discussed since the early 1990s. It shows up in the pages he governs in the form of opinion pieces and letters to the editor. Non-newspaper employees also serve on the CA’s editorial board.

“Now, I am a traditional, old-fashioned journalist,” Sanford said. “And I believe that while citizen journalism has its place, I’m not one – and maybe this is an old-fashioned view – but I’m not one to think that citizen journalism can ever take the place of the traditional journalism that I know and love. I just don’t believe that.”

The names of reporters and photographers cut in the most recent round of layoffs are already turning up in CA coverage as freelancers. Instead of a straight name with “The Commercial Appeal” below it, their names now appear with the phrase “special to The Commercial Appeal” and, of course, they receive no health benefits or regular paychecks from the newspaper.

Worldwide wakeup call

Before Peck’s arrival in Memphis, the CA was more than out of touch with the need for an Internet presence. The newspaper was hostile to such a move.

Posting a story on the Web site that was anything more than a teaser paragraph before the actual newspapers rolled of the presses and into delivery trucks was seen as handing the story to the competition.

It was a philosophy that had served the newspaper well in competing with television news, even with the rise of 24-hour cable news channels.

However, there have been consequences for being late to the Internet party, and financial consequences for not taking the Internet seriously.

“Right now all the revenue is generated off advertising,” Pepe said of print journalism’s gradual realization that it needed to be in the Web business as well. “Until search engines are firewalled – until all local media either together or individually start charging for content online – it’s going to continue to be a source of non-revenue in terms of content. That then means that revenue for all Internet ventures will be based on advertising.”

After Peck arrived, the move to unique content for the Web site was still slow in coming.

Editors exerted the same multi-tiered control over copy that might mean a story was not edited for Web or print until later in the day, closer to the print deadline.

Scraps often erupted over how copy was edited after it left the editors and went to the “new media” department. It might be a change in a few words or a new, snappier lead (first sentence), but some editors clearly didn’t like having their work changed as much as they might have imagined reporters liked having their work rearranged.

Reporters are expected to take such changes without protest, and protests are rare even when edits distort meaning. Reporters can always fall back on the excuse that the story got messed up after it was out of their hands.

But that brings into play another rule for newsroom survival – always, always make a hard copy of the story you turn in to your editor.

The anonymity of snark

The comments section on www.commercialappeal.com, where readers may post their thoughts at the bottom of stories, has been wildly successful if you look just at the number of comments some stories generate in a short amount of time.

But success isn’t the word that comes to mind if you start to read the comments on a regular basis.

They routinely crackle with racial tension and even racial slurs. When some staffers complained about the slurs and called for better policing of such comments, Peck reportedly asked for a list of what slurs should be considered cause for removing comments.

Sanford had a different take in March as he spoke at a University of Memphis panel discussion about race and the media.

“Please stop reading those comments,” Sanford told a crowd of 100 people on campus. “You’ve got … anonymous people who go on our stories … and make unbelievably goofy and stupid comments. And then that becomes, unfortunately, the reality. And we have to stop that. We can’t stop the comments because the Web people have told us, ‘Well, that’s how you get people in there.’ But please don’t listen to that.”

To civic groups and even individual citizens who contact the paper with complaints and concerns, Sanford is its face, voice and ears. When the CA participates in media forums, chances are the speaker will be Sanford.

For the past two years, Sanford has been in charge of the paper’s editorial board and Viewpoint section. It’s a position that evolved after editorial page editor David Kushma’s departure, when Kushma’s duties came to be included in Sanford’s.

“That just didn’t work right,” Sanford told The Memphis News. “We had a lot of discussions about this. Corporate was even involved in it. We agreed that the editorial pages, Viewpoint, the editorial board – we would sort of restructure the newsroom operation and the editorial board and the editorial opinions of the paper so that would fall directly under the publisher and I would be running that. I think that was a good thing to do.”

That means that Sanford works for Pepe, not Peck, as he did when he was managing editor.

Gum-popping good times

Peck met with each reporter in his office shortly after he arrived in Memphis. He appeared to be taking notes on a legal pad as he listened to their comments and suggestions.

However, trying to find Peck’s strategy over the years has been no simple matter. There wasn’t much beyond slogans that included “rebuilding the jet while flying it” or “building a 21st century newspaper.” The latter phrase was still being used six years into the new century.

One reporter who tried to get into Peck’s head in terms of management philosophy hit a brick wall with a thud, although he is still employed at the CA.

On that occasion, Peck was in no mood to discuss philosophy despite a casual-sounding e-mail asking if the reporter had a few minutes to talk. Instead of a dialogue, Peck gave the reporter $50 in cash and a list of books he could buy to read. He also sent the reporter back to the night cops beat for objecting to how a story was edited.

The editorial page and op-ed page were the first parts of the paper that changed. Peck wanted more letters to the editor. He also wanted to stop the practice of rigorously fact-checking letters.

This drew dissent from Kushma, who was eventually overruled and left in the first round of buyouts in 2003 that followed Peck’s arrival. Some of the other changes were in the Metro section – the hard news engine of the paper.

Reporters were switched around, which is a normal part of life at the city’s daily newspaper unless you are declared immune from such changes. The six or seven Metro editors were immune for the most part from the changes.

The newspaper’s home office in Cincinnati had long maintained that the paper was top heavy with such editors. Peck talked a lot about change, but didn’t change that.

At one of Peck’s first meetings with the Metro staff, a reporter asked Peck when there would be changes for the editors as well. Peck’s answer was to talk about Dentyne gum and how the company that makes it had allegedly improved its sales figures by repackaging the gum.

The analogy was that the CA was going to undergo a similar repackaging: What was under the wrapper would remain the same.

For weeks after the meeting, fellow reporters left numerous packages of Dentyne on the questioner’s desk.

Before Peck answered the question, some staffers remained hopeful because they saw most of the problems with the new management as a result of Peck having to answer to John Wilcox, the CA’s publisher. It was a key difference in the management structure.

Before Wilcox’s arrival, McEachran had served as editor and president – a title that gave McEachran near absolute power over everything the newspaper did, editorially and otherwise.

The Dentyne story showed that if there was a struggle between Wilcox and Peck, it wasn’t much of a difference of opinion. They essentially agreed on a newsroom strategy that continued to unfold.

Neighborly gestures

Of those at the top of the masthead, only Sanford has seen all of the changes unfold from one regime to the other.

“In terms of news, certainly the newspaper has changed dramatically under Chris,” Sanford told The Memphis News. “There have been significant changes in focus and really in newsroom culture.”

Asked to characterize whether the change has been good, bad or indifferent, Sanford said, “I’m not going to say. I’m going to let others decide that. The readers can determine that.”

Peck’s take on newsroom culture at the CA is almost as neutral.

“The culture is not one where people are necessarily beaming with big smiles every day because it’s a difficult time in the industry,” he told The Memphis News. “I think that I have tried to be very realistic with people with what’s going on in the business – and very realistic about our expectations of what we need from our staff, from my office all the way down to the last person who leaves at night.”

The Neighbors sections were abolished with Peck’s settling in – sections included every Thursday for each zone of the city that also contained honors rolls of all schools in and out of the zone, and other such listings. It had the kind of items that readers might like to cut out and post on their refrigerators. No matter where you lived in Memphis, you got a Neighbors section.

Peck wasted no time in making the refrigerator postings a rallying cry for what was to replace Neighbors. They would be hyper-local sections that would contain only news about that part of the county. Some would be written by a staffer, but most often written by citizens in that area. Often, the citizens were members of a group or organization that was the focus of the piece.

Soon the philosophy began to apply to the news that appeared in other parts of the particular delivery zone.

Not every section of the city got a suburban edition. Vast sections of North and South Memphis as well as Frayser and Raleigh were out of the loop.

Peck first pleaded ignorance to and has since repeatedly denied a central tenet of life in Memphis. Memphians often have family that might live in another part of town. Thus someone Downtown might want to see the honor roll of Tara Oaks Elementary School in Collierville or someone in Bartlett might be interested in what is happening in Arlington.

This often led to readers wondering what they missed in other parts of the city, and being suspicious of only receiving certain news.

New suburban bureaus were opened as full-time postings in Mississippi and Arkansas and state Capitol coverage from Jackson and Little Rock, respectively, was abandoned. Meanwhile, the newspaper’s greatest success in a suburban edition was being changed to make it fit the cookie-cutter mold of the new suburban bureaus.

Escape hatch

The newspaper’s DeSoto County edition opened late in McEachran’s tenure. It was one of the few times McEachran talked about marketing studies as he explained a concept to the newsroom. But it was because the data were clear.

DeSoto County readers wanted a newspaper that covered North Mississippi and did not mention Memphis, at least on the front page. The DeSoto County bureau had a separate sales and management staff. And the CA edition delivered in DeSoto County had its own front page that was DeSoto County-centric. It was even called The DeSoto Appeal. And it was a hit out of the box, with plans to duplicate the model in Tipton County while maintaining a different model within Shelby County because of the differences in attitudes clearly shown in the marketing study.

Peck wasn’t interested in the distinction.

When Pepe arrived as publisher in late 2005, the CA got someone with experience in such suburban editions. Pepe came to Memphis from St. Louis, where he headed the Suburban Journals – a collection of 38 weekly community newspapers.

Pepe said the CA’s suburban business strategy as modified several times over has worked. That strategy is to get advertising from small businesses in the community receiving the directed section – businesses whose reach and revenue can’t sustain a pitch to the paper’s larger audience.

“In St. Louis, they’ve been in place for 50 years,” Pepe said. “So they were humming. Here, we’ve had them in place for three or four years. I would suggest that if we’d not done this, that we would have even greater financial problems, only because the dependency on the larger advertisers would have been even greater than it is.”

“Zoning,” as it’s called, is now a three-day-a-week proposition.

“We still do zoning Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. We have a suburban, urban and a DeSoto zone. I think that’s where we need to be,” Peck said. “What we’re trying to do is balance the best of both worlds. Make sure our readers have the best of what’s going on in greater Memphis, but that we also provide a degree of zone content that is either geared toward the metro area, the suburbs or DeSoto County.”

But the practice has been much different than the theory behind the advertising and the needs of news consumers. As valued as the suburban coverage has been throughout Peck’s tenure, the bureaus have been places where reporters with troublesome attitudes toward editors have been exiled.

It was the next destination for many of those summoned for personal meetings with Peck as the first round of buyouts began in late 2003. In some cases, reporters have welcomed the assignment to be able to get out of the Downtown newsroom.

In the doghouse

The first round of buyouts under Peck in 2003 was brutal – even more ham-handed and graceless than anyone imagined possible. And the CA is not an organization noted for having an optimistic outlook.

All employees who were older than 40 and had been at the company 20 years or more got packets outlining the terms of the buyout. But within that group, Peck singled out about a dozen copy editors, reporters and photographers, including some of the most senior reporters and photographers in the organization. He had already begun discussions with several in the group who had been ill or had surgery.

Each got an e-mail from Peck asking if they had a few minutes to talk in his office. Peck would later quarrel with an assertion that he had threatened those in the group in the one-on-one talks. But he did tell each of them that if they didn’t take the buyout, they would be assigned more onerous duties.

One was told that if he didn’t take the buyout, he would be working nights and weekends. When the employee said he already worked nights and weekends, the meeting ended abruptly. A features reporter and another reporter each were told they would be working the night cops beat if they didn’t accept the buyouts.

The night shift started at 4:30 p.m. and ran until 1 a.m. or so. It involved listening to a police scanner and checking for such news that had to be written on deadline. The night cops reporter is the only news reporter on duty at the paper after 5p.m. unless there’s a late City Council meeting or someone on dayside decides they are on a roll and continues working.

Most papers have the night cops beat, and it is usually where beginning reporters start. It’s a good way to learn the basics of print reporting and determine whether a reporter can hold up under deadline pressure. At the CA, it is a beat assigned to reporters who are out of favor – firmly, decisively and usually terminally out of favor.

Under Peck, even summer interns don’t have to work night cops.

The Newspaper Guild, the union that represents reporters, photographers and copy editors, took the unusual move of passing a resolution that complained about Peck’s singling out employees. The same day the union passed the resolution, Peck called into his office the reporter who had made the proposal. I was that employee.

“I would really like for this not to find its way to Cincinnati,” was his reaction after he quarreled over whether his other talks with employees had amounted to threats.

The guild membership had voted unanimously for the resolution to be sent to Scripps management in Cincinnati. Peck later talked union leaders out of sending it, despite the membership vote.

Some of the squeezed employees took the buyout. Others stayed and were shuffled out to the suburban bureaus the following August, and were among those laid off this past March.

‘Treacherous ground’

The guild’s idea of a protest was to have reporters in the newsroom wear green on certain days of the week. This signaled that contract negotiations weren’t going well or weren’t going at all.

It’s been six years since the last labor contract expired that included guaranteed annual raises. Then the guild went to the idea of wearing green buttons – no words on the buttons, just green buttons that Scripps brass in town would see during their visits to Memphis. The brass never got near the newsroom. Still later, the guild kept the idea of the green color scheme but added the wording “We All Merit A Raise” to protest the company’s proposal of merit pay raises instead of a percentage raise guaranteed in the contract.

At one point, the guild was optimistic that the company was getting the message. So the guild urged members not to file grievances against management to keep the goodwill going.

In October 2007, the most visible sign of dissent in years came outside the framework of the guild and stalled contract talks. As the CA prepared to publish a series of articles on the impact of Memphis businesses around the world, a lead piece about FedEx to be sponsored by FedEx was ordered rewritten and the reporter, Trevor Aaronson, refused. The newspaper had approached FedEx about sponsoring that particular piece. Dozens of staff members, in a rare public move, signed a petition objecting to the practice Peck referred to as “monetizing content.” They felt it crossed the line separating the editorial part of the newspaper from sales. National trade magazines and blogs, which normally overlook the CA, took note of the flap.

Peck retreated, telling Editor & Publisher, a print trade magazine, “I went to our publisher and said, ‘We have probably gone half a step more than we should have gone on this project.’ It is treacherous ground when you start talking about having an advertiser in a section that has them in the reporting.”

Aaronson later left the CA, but has been quoted as saying he enjoyed the freedom he was given to pursue his own interests.

“I don’t care to talk about my experiences there,” Aaronson wrote in an e-mail.

The favored few

The stage for the latest round of layoffs that came in April was set with the release of fourth-quarter figures for Scripps.

Profits were way down. The chain ended the year with its share prices down 51 percent or $22. The chain announced it would freeze the pension plan, cutting 401(k) matching funds from the company. At the CA, the 401(k) match has always only applied to managers.

Mark Watson, head of the triumvirate of labor unions at the CA, including The Newspaper Guild, broke the news about the layoffs, calling it a “crisi-tunity.” He was among those laid off weeks later.

The weekend after the announcement, Peck in his Sunday column once again lectured about the hard economic times.

From the start, Peck’s quest was to garner favorable attention within the city and in journalism circles across the country by winning awards. At first, he touted every award the paper won, which, for writing and reporting, were usually the monthly Scripps awards from the home office in Cincinnati.

But he later reversed that and said the paper should note only awards of national stature. Photographers regularly won those, but reporters didn’t.

When some reporters complained their work was always excluded from consideration, Peck directed that reporters submit on a monthly basis any work they wanted to be considered for award entries.

Those suggestions were then forwarded to the very editors who had been excluding their work in the first place and who remained in control of contest entries.

Like other newspapers, the CA’s approach to awards is sometimes to deem a story to be eligible for an award, possibly before the first interview is done or the first word is written.

But a contest entry had to have the right byline as well – the right reporter doing a story for a contest was usually not the one covering the beat from which the story arose.

Pamela Perkins, who left the paper voluntary in the November 2008 round of layoffs, along with music writer Bill Ellis, who left in 2005, won a national award in 2004 from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri for their continuing coverage of the return of Stax Records and the surrounding Soulsville neighborhood in South Memphis. Their writing won first place in the arts and entertainment category of the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards.

There was no companywide e-mail congratulating them as there had been for awards in the monthly Scripps competition.

Stephen Price’s work as one of several reporters working on the deadly shooting of a child on Rosamond Avenue in 2002 caught the attention of Florida’s Poynter Institute, a leading journalism think tank. Other reporters deemed more worthy were praised the next day in the inevitable self-congratulatory e-mail in which management separated those it favored from those it didn’t.

Price had blended into the neighborhood crowd as police cleared reporters from the area, came back with the story no one else had and wrote it on deadline.

The Poynter Institute carries a lot of weight in Peck’s newspaper philosophy. Several times, he’s used Poynter fellows to mediate discussions with community leaders about the newspaper’s policies. But when Price’s account of the shooting aftermath in the Rosamond neighborhood was reprinted in Poynter’s annual anthology of the nation’s best journalism of the past year, CA management once again did not acknowledge the accolade.

Curious ideas

As the 2004 presidential season began, Peck revealed an important part of his views on political coverage to an editors’ forum in Washington. It was the same night as the Iowa caucuses.

The remarks to the American Press Institute gathering didn’t get much publicity, even after they showed up on an industry blog. It took a few more months. He never said anything about it to anyone who worked at the CA.

Peck said having reporters cover campaign events was a waste of time and resources. Instead, he said citizen journalists should cover the events – those who were already going to attend the rallies anyway.

“We have to get over the notion that we have to do it all ourselves,” he told Chad Capellman of API as he talked of having editors find volunteers to write summaries of what was said. “It’s not doing the democracy any good to send out a reporter to write down a regurgitation of what a candidate is saying in a staged event.”

Peck also said newspapers should compete with comedy shows such as “The Daily Show” and “Saturday Night Live” as a source of political information. Also, Peck called for focus groups of readers to determine what issues should be discussed.

“Don’t let the candidates drive coverage of the three issues they want to ride to get elected,” he told the API group.

Being the newspaper’s political reporter had been a difficult posting for some time, even before Peck arrived in Memphis. Bernsen had a checkered history of political coverage that turned into a deep distrust and contempt for politics when he became the head of Metro.

Each election season he would dutifully call those assigned to political coverage to his office and haul out a set of his own news clippings, which he said illustrated the kind of reporting he wanted. Under no circumstances, he insisted, would the candidates be setting the agenda for the newspaper’s coverage.

Such tension is normal in the planning of most media coverage of politics. It’s a game candidates, their representatives and the reporters who cover them play constantly.

Bernsen’s decision was not to play the game at all. He did not want coverage of campaign events and rallies. And the end of an election meant the end of political coverage. Any attempt a candidate made to establish or give voice to an issue was uniformly rejected even if it obviously hit a nerve with voters. To him, the whole process was rigged and the newspaper’s view was the only valid one.

There was supposed to be a wall between the reporting that was allowed on the political process and the endorsements of candidates that the CA editorial board made. Most candidates interested in the newspaper’s endorsement never believed there was a wall. If there was, they reasoned, editors not on the board would still find a way to limit or tilt coverage of those who weren’t endorsed.

Prism of perception

The CA began 2009 with a curious 15-part series that recapped the public life of Mayor Willie Herenton.

Herenton has had problems with the newspaper throughout that public life. And similarly, the newspaper’s leadership has had problems seeing straight when the subject was Willie Herenton.

The paper’s until then consistent political coverage was missing in action when Herenton launched a surprisingly strong-willed bid for mayor in 1991. Editorially, the newspaper had strong reservations about the People’s Convention that Herenton took by storm, clearing the first political obstacle in what became a historic campaign.

His willingness to participate in the convention, whose goal was to come up with a consensus black challenger to incumbent Dick Hackett, put off those in the newspaper’s front office. It translated to next to no coverage of a campaign effort that was on the streets every day, while Hackett pursued the local equivalent of a rose garden strategy of speaking to small groups at select backyard parties.

When Herenton won, the ambivalence turned into hostility.

Herenton had a good relationship with several reporters who had covered his tenure as city schools superintendent – even through the sexual harassment lawsuit that came near the end of his tenure there and just before his entry into the 1991 mayor’s race. (The harassment case stemmed from a relationship Herenton had with a teacher.)

Those reporters had to walk a fine line. A favorable comment by Herenton in public that got back to editors could mean that reporter would be perceived as biased toward Herenton. The problem many reporters had with walking the tightrope was editors increasingly viewed a reporter’s duty to the paper as a requirement to shank their sources in print to show where their loyalties lay.

The editors were convinced a 2005 recall petition mounted by radio talk show host and blogger Thaddeus Matthews would succeed. They considered it a foregone conclusion that Matthews would gather more than enough signatures on the petitions and do it well before the deadline to file with the Shelby County Election Commission.

The newspaper’s planned coverage moved past the recall drive itself. The editors ordered up a piece on who was likely to run in the recall election that followed. They approached at least two reporters with the task before the effort flagged just enough for the piece to become an article on who might run for city mayor in 2007.

The fact that politicos across the city were still waiting to see if the 2006 county elections would offer any opportunities didn’t cross their minds. Calls to those politicos were met with widespread laughter and wonderment at the eccentric methods afoot at the CA. The petition drive failed and Matthews backed Herenton’s 2007 bid for re-election.

Distance learning

By this past February, CA management signed off on a content-sharing agreement with fellow Scripps paper The Knoxville News Sentinel, as well as The Tennesseean newspaper in Nashville and the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The Feb. 5 agreement was already in effect by the time an internal memo from News Sentinel management surfaced in early March in Editor & Publisher.

The CA and the Knoxville newspaper had used such a strategy for years in covering politics. The result was that the CA continued to do without any local political coverage beyond biographical pieces introducing candidates.

Statewide races for governor and the U.S. Senate were covered from Knoxville or by the CA’s Nashville bureau chief, Richard Locker, or in some cases by Bartholomew Sullivan, a former CA reporter who now works for the Scripps News Service’s Washington bureau. That meant candidates for statewide office coming to Memphis were usually covered before they got to the city or after they left.

The agreement was most visible during the 2006 U.S. Senate race between Republican Bob Corker of Chattanooga and Democrat Harold Ford Jr. of Memphis. One of the campaign’s crucial events was a showdown between the two at Memphis International Airport.

Corker had called a press conference there. Ford crashed the event ahead of time and the two faced off in the airport parking lot – a few inches from each other with television cameras and microphones surrounding them.

There was no CA reporter in the press pack. Sullivan covered what became known as the “parking lot debate” from the D.C. bureau.

...

70. Modular Energy Plant To Be Installed at Le Bonheur -

905 Poplar Ave.
Memphis, TN 38105
Permit Amount: $13.6 Million

Project Cost: $327 million
Permit Date: Applied April 2009
Completion: 2011
Owner: Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Tenant: Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Contractor: Skanska USA
Architect: FKP Architects

71. Events -

The R.S.V.P. Program is collecting old cell phones for use as 911 emergency phones for senior citizens and victims of domestic abuse. Phones and batteries may be dropped off through Wednesday at the Aging Commission of the Mid-South, 2670 Union Extended, Suite 1000. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. If you have 10 or more phones to drop off, you may call Joanne Lowe at 515-2084 for pickup.

72. Events -

The R.S.V.P. Program will collect old cell phones for use as 911 emergency phones for senior citizens and victims of domestic abuse. Phones and batteries may be dropped off through Dec. 31 at the Aging Commission of the Mid-South, 2670 Union Ave. Extended, Suite 1000. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those with 10 or more phones to donate may call Joanne Lowe at 515-2084 for pickup.

73. Events -

The R.S.V.P. Program is collecting old cell phones for use as 911 emergency phones for senior citizens and victims of domestic abuse. Phones and batteries may be dropped off through Dec. 31 at the Aging Commission of the Mid-South, 2670 Union Extended, Suite 1000. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have 10 or more phones to drop off, you may call Joanne Lowe at 515-2084 for pickup.

74. Dillihunt Joins Southeast Community Capital -

Craig Dillihunt has joined nonprofit financial institution Southeast Community Capital as assistant fund manager for the Memphis Business Opportunity Fund, a partnership between the city of Memphis, local banks and SCC.

75. Hottel Appointed Dean At UT College of Dentistry -

Dr. Timothy L. Hottel has been appointed dean for the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry.

Hottel currently serves as executive associate dean and chief financial officer, associate dean for academic and financial affairs, division chief for primary care, professor in the Department of Prosthodontics, and interim chair of the Department of Cariology and Restorative Dentistry at Nova Southeastern University in Ford Lauderdale, Fla.

76. U of M Appoints Meredith Director of Admissions -

Dr. Todd Preston has joined the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Department of Otolaryngology as a specialist in head and neck cancer and reconstructive surgery. He also has been named assistant professor at UTHSC. Preston comes from the University of Iowa, where he completed his residency in head and neck surgery and was a clinical instructor.

77. St. Francis-Bartlett to Add Professional Building -

With hopes of tapping into the growth at St. Francis Hospital-Bartlett, a local development firm in 2009 will build an $8 million, 60,000-square-foot medical office building on the hospital’s campus.

78. Multifamily Sector Healthy in Q2 -

No matter how tough the economy gets, people still need a place to live, and one of the few sectors to weather this latest downturn has been multifamily.

Apartment business registered a solid second quarter (April through June) this year with steady occupancy plus upward trends in the categories of rents, construction and absorption, according to the latest multifamily report by CB Richard Ellis Memphis’ multifamily division.

79. Pera to Serve on Advisory Board Of Miller-Becker Institute -

Lucian T. Pera, a partner at the Memphis office of Adams and Reese LLP, has been invited to serve on the Advisory Board of the Miller-Becker Institute for Professional Responsibility.

The Institute provides programs and activities to enhance ethical awareness among those who practice, adjudicate, teach and study law.

80. Srinivasan Joins UT Medical Group -

Dr. Saumini Srinivasan has joined the University of Tennessee Medical Group as a pediatric pulmonologist with a special interest in exercise stress testing.

Srinivasan is on the medical staff at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center and also teaches at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and sub-board for Pediatric Pulmonology.

81. Events -

The 2008 Bartlett Business Expo will be held today at the Bartlett Recreation Center, 7700 Flaherty Place. The Bartlett Area Chamber, the city of Bartlett and St. Francis Hospital-Bartlett are sponsoring the event. St. Francis will be performing screenings for blood glucose levels and bone density, and the Cole Pain Therapy Group also will hold health screenings. For more information, call the chamber at 372-9457.

82. Events -

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra will join with Terry Mike Jeffrey and the TCB Band Saturday at 8 p.m. at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 N. Main St. The performance is in honor of Elvis Presley's birthday. Tickets range from $28 to $90 and may be purchased by contacting the MSO box office at 537-2525 or by visiting www.memphissymphony.org.

83. Archived Article -

2855 N. Houston Levee Road
Cordova, TN 38016
Sale Amount: $4.6 million

Sale Date: Oct. 23, 2007

Buyer: JF Storage Holding LLC

84. UTHSC's Netland Honored by American Academy of Ophthalmology -

Dr. Peter A. Netland will receive the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology at its annual conference this fall.

Netland, a Siegal Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), is the director of the Glaucoma Service and vice chair for academic affairs for the UTHSC Department of Ophthalmology. He is also the site leader in Memphis for the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus.

85. UTHSC Appoints Thomason Associate Dean of Students -

Dr. Donald B. Thomason, professor in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center's (UTHSC) Department of Physiology, has been appointed associate dean of students for the College of Graduate Health Sciences. Thomason has been with UTHSC since 1990. He was appointed chair of the curriculum committee for the College of Graduate Health Sciences in 2005.

86. Keep Eyes Open In Nursing Home Search, Lawyers Say -

Attorney Valerie L. Smith advises families searching for nursing homes to approach it the same way they would a hotel: Don't be fooled by a fancy lobby.

"When you go into the nursing home to sign all the papers, you sit in a nice lobby, and then you go into a nice office, but you need to look beyond that," Smith said. "You need to notice how many nurses are around or if the place is clean."

87. Archived Article -

Three Memphis
Senior living communities
Sale Amounts: $11 million; $11.6 million; $7.1 million

Sale Date: April 26, 2007

88. On the Spry -

Doctors, health care professionals, trainers and nutritionists of all stripes probably have found themselves imploring someone to "Watch what you eat" and "Exercise more" at least once in the course of promoting a healthy lifestyle.

89. Former Getwell Gardens Gets Another Facelift -

3752 Winchester Road
Memphis, TN 38118
Loan Amount: $2.4 million

Loan Date: Sept. 14, 2006

Maturity Date: n/a

90. Archived Article -

Ashland Lakes
Phase One
Loan Amount: $12.1 million

Loan Date: Aug. 1, 2006

Maturity Date: Oct. 1, 2024

91. Young Go-Getter Racks Up $14.4 Million In Commercial Sales In Only Three Weeks -

In the past three weeks, a commercial real estate broker at Re/Max On The River has closed more than $14.4 million in real estate deals in Memphis, with more on the way.

Reuben Stein, 22, the senior vice president of Re/Max's commercial group, brokered the sale of two strip centers and an office park - in Cordova, Bartlett and Memphis - to Nightingale Properties, a New York-based group of investors.

92. The Belle of the (Wrecking) Ball -

The legacy of the genteel yet powerful landowner known alternately as "Miss Ellen" and "The General" is such that it is still influencing real estate development in Shelby County 12 years after her death.

93. Collierville and Germantown Chambers Host Political Candidates Mixer -

July 18

The Collierville and Germantown Chambers of Commerce Government Relations Committees host a "Political Candidates Mixer" from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ridgeway Country Club, 9800 Poplar Ave. The event will provide an opportunity for attendees to meet and greet many of the candidates who will be on the Aug. 3 ballot in state and federal primaries and the general election for the county offices of mayor, county commission, sheriff, trustee, county clerk and state and county judges. For more information, call 853-1949 or 755-1200.

94. MBA Sponsors Judicial Candidate Forum Today -

JULY 10

The Criminal Law Section of the Memphis Bar Association will hold a candidate forum from noon to 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Criminal Justice Center, 201 Poplar Ave. Candidates for General Sessions Criminal Court judge in Divisions 7 through 13 will speak for four minutes each. For more information, call Tony Brayton, Garland Erguden or William Robilio at 545-5800.

95. Medical Facilities Feather Their Nest in Germantown -

Three years ago, Greg McGaw figured it would cost an outlandish amount to convert some of the now-vacant Wal-Mart property at 1280 S. Germantown Road into a medical space.

Wal-Mart abandoned the 16-acre site in 2003, leaving McGaw - principal of Landstone Medical Properties - and others to speculate that the land was a prime site for a medical user. That type of real estate also is something Germantown officials have been keen on attracting since the town is landlocked, very nearly built-out and has few opportunities available to expand its property tax base.

96. Amid Congestion and Over-Building, Cordova Struggles to Reinvent Itself -

It's common to refer to the object of someone's affection as "the apple of my eye," so one thing a group of civic and business leaders wants to do for Cordova is brand the Memphis suburb with a similar phrase.

97. National, Local Small Businesses Hit Hard on Health Coverage Front -

As managing partner of Mid-South Marking Systems, Rick Summers makes critical business decisions every day. But one such decision had nothing to do with the bar code/RFID systems integrations his company has performed since 1981.

98. Dabble with Watercolors During Botanic Garden's Workshop -

MARCH 7

The Memphis Botanic Garden presents a "No Risk Watercolor Class" with Sally Markell from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 750 Cherry Road. The class is for beginners or experienced artists who want to get reacquainted with watercolors. All supplies provided. Cost is $55 for members and $60 for non-members. Call 685-1566, Ext. 130, to register.

99. Archived Article: Small Biz - By Andy Meek

Crenshaw Kills Weeds, Fights for Small Business

ANDY MEEK

The Daily News

One of the themes that has run through Kenny Crenshaws career as a small business owner is that of David triumphing over Goliath.

Crenshaw, owner an...

100. Archived Article: Real Recap - Three lots on Knight Arnold

Drug Treatment Center Buys Knight Arnold Property

Parcels on Knight

Arnold and vacant lots

Cost: $2.4 million

Buyer: Cocaine and Alcohol Awareness Program Inc., CAAP

Seller: BJS Associates

Property: V...