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VOL. 128 | NO. 119 | Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blank Joins WKNO-FM As News Director

By Kate Simone

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Christopher Blank has joined WKNO-FM, the Mid-South affiliate of National Public Radio, as news director. Blank, who has produced feature stories for the station since 2011, will oversee local news production for “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”


Work experience: While working as a copy clerk at the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times), I charmed editors into letting me write concert reviews, mostly for the free tickets to shows. In short order, I had stories in every section of the paper. Then I edited a magazine. I came to Memphis in 2001 as the arts reporter and critic for The Commercial Appeal.

Family: Lots of family back in Florida. In Memphis, it’s my dog, Maple.

Favorite quote: “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” – Tom Waits via Dorothy Parker

Favorite movie: All movies, for me, pale in comparison to live theater and dance.

What is your favorite book? Just read “Les Miserables” for the first time, and it added a fifth chamber to my heart.

What’s playing on your stereo right now? A little tune called “Rhapsody in Kacky (Walton),” and other classical music hits.

Activities you enjoy outside of work: I have a merit badge for everything. Every summer, I like to pick a new skill or hobby to learn. I call it “Camp Christopher.”

What talent do you wish you had? The gift of suspending disbelief is the only thing standing between me and the presidency.

Who has had the greatest influence on you? My new coworker just told me to always answer this question with “my mother,” so I’d say it’s my new coworker.

What attracted you to WKNO? I had a dream of writing the story that would end pledge drives forever.

What are your goals in your new position? My first goal is to maximize the effectiveness of our limited resources. Then, it’s distinguishing our content from other local media while maintaining NPR’s high standards of excellence.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Overcoming social anxiety to master the art of small talk.

What do you most enjoy about your work? Nothing’s more valuable to me than the license to ask complete strangers questions about their lives, and the trust they place in me to represent them fairly. If we could all bypass formalities and listen nonjudgmentally to other people, the world would be a far more loving place.

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? What Thomas Edison didn’t say about genius (“1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration”) is that most of the perspiration comes from showmanship. I advise taking an acting class.


James R. Mulroy II, managing partner of the Memphis office of Jackson Lewis LLP, has been ranked in the 2013 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the labor and employment practice area.

Dr. James M. Hoffman, medication outcomes and safety officer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, has been named a fellow by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists for excellence in pharmacy practice. Hoffman is an associate member in the St. Jude Pharmaceutical Sciences Department.


Courtney Schuyler Vest has been named a member of McNabb, Bragorgos & Burgess PLLC. She has been with the firm since 2004 and focuses her practice on representing individuals, insurance companies and self-insured companies in civil litigation.

The Levitt Shell has named Christina Guibao, Alex McLean, Morgan Rose and Calvin Turley to its board of directors.


Lynn Beegle has joined Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck PLC Certified Public Accountants and Advisors as senior tax manager.

Jason Shifflett, owner of 32 Domino’s Pizza stores in Memphis, Nashville and Mississippi, has been awarded the International Franchise Association Gold Franny Award for operational excellence. The award is based on audit scores, community involvement, store security and safety, and employee morale.

Bethany Coots has joined Dunavant Trans Gulf as director of marketing and business development. Coots previously managed U.S. cotton freight for The Noble Group.

The Memphis Mid-South Affiliate of Susan G. Komen has awarded 11 grants to programs providing breast cancer services in the Mid-South. Recipients are: Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women, Christ Community Health Center, Church Health Center, Julie B. Baier Foundation Inc., Methodist Healthcare Foundation, Regional Medical Center at Memphis, New Bethel M.B. Church STAARS program, Tennessee Department of Health, Urban Health Education and Support Services and West Tennessee Area Health Education Center.

Mid-South Community College has been named to Southern Business & Development magazine’s Ten Outstanding Southern Community Colleges for Workforce Training list. The magazine covers economic development news in a 15-state region.

PROPERTY SALES 63 441 6,018
MORTGAGES 72 450 6,721
BANKRUPTCIES 0 1,045 4,093