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VOL. 128 | NO. 2 | Thursday, January 3, 2013

Spreading Good News

Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club launches TV show to shine positive light

By Andy Meek

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The Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club is expanding the reach of its upbeat, community-focused brand in 2013.

Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, which hosts monthly breakfasts that bring together local and national speakers with community leaders, is launching a new TV show to air on WKNO-TV.

(Daily News File Photo: Lance Murphey)

The club is launching a monthly TV show called “The Spark” that will aim to reach a new audience with the group’s positive stories about local nonprofits, civic-minded business leaders and reasons to love Memphis.

The show is a partnership between the breakfast club, video production and media monitoring company Media Source and WKNO-TV – the station on which the new show will air. Episodes will last about 30 minutes. They’ll be hosted by Jeremy Park, the breakfast club’s director who is equal parts cheerleader, storyteller and civic booster.

“When you look at it, this is basically an extension of everything else we’ve been doing,” Park said about the show, which at this point will see 12 episodes broadcast in 2013. “And it’s been in the works for about six to eight months.”

It’s been in the works both as a conscious production and perhaps as a natural next step for the breakfast club’s multi-platform presence.

In addition to Park’s weekly column “Giving Back” in The Daily News, the club also hosts a radio show. That radio show and “The Spark” will have a similar feel. Each involves bringing on an assortment of guests with positive stories to tell.

Beyond the radio show, one of the biggest pieces of the club’s brand is the monthly breakfasts it hosts, which bring together local and national speakers and hundreds of members of the city’s business community.

“WKNO initially approached us,” Park said about the new show. “They’d been following what we do, and we started talking. We got them out to some breakfast club events to show them who we are and what we’re doing, and then we said, ‘Now let’s talk about what we can do for a TV show.’ Really, we’d always had something more visual in mind to complement everything else we’re doing.”

Everything else includes things like the breakfast club’s “Memphis Rocks” campaign. Kicked off in 2012, it was designed as a way to use a catchy slogan to foster pride in the city, and the campaign includes the sale of “Memphis Rocks” T-shirts that feature a musical note comprised of words that list fun, memorable elements of Memphis.

Proceeds benefit the Memphis Police Department Fallen Officer Memorial, a $1 million project being built to honor MPD officers who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

The breakfast club’s new TV show, meanwhile, will air the third Thursday of every month at 9 p.m. on WKNO.

“We said, instead of it being a panel or profile discussion, let’s make it both,” Park said.

That means three guests per show, and about eight minutes per guest.

“The genesis of the name of the show – ‘The Spark’ - is that when you look at what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to be a catalyst,” Park said. “We’re trying to provide a spark. The whole idea of creating a movement, creating change, it’s usually sparked by a new idea. Some sort of passion you’re invoking, or you’re watching somebody else lead by example.

“We have so many great businesses and business leaders stepping up to create change. And not just in the business world, but in politics and nonprofits and elsewhere. People are just dying to hear about positive stuff.”

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