Christopher Blank

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?

On this week's Behind the Headlines on WKNO, leaders of Memphis 3.0 discuss the next phase of the city's comprehensive plan for the future. Host Eric Barnes talks with John Zeahah, deputy director of the Memphis & Shelby County Division of Planning and Development, Ashley Cash, comprehensive planning administrator for the City of Memphis and Eric Robertson, president of Community LIFT. 

On WKNO's Behind the Headlines for July 14, 2017, panelists discuss the impacts of blight in Memphis and some of efforts to curtail it, from clean up programs to legal solutions. Joining host Eric Barnes and journalist Bill Dries of the Memphis Daily News is Janet Boscarino, executive director of Clean Memphis; Brittany Williams, Neighborhood Preservation Fellow; and Christopher Blank, news director of WKNO-FM. 

On WKNO's Behind the Headlines, host Eric Barnes talks with journalists Bernal Smith of the New Tri-State Defender, Toby Sells of the Memphis Flyer, Madeline Faber of High Ground News, and Bill Dries of the Memphis Daily News about Memphis 3.0, South City, and more. 


On this week’s Behind the Headlines, host Eric Barnes speaks with community and business leaders about the transformation of public housing. Guests include Paul Young from the City of Memphis Housing and Community Development, Archie Willis with Community Capital and Marcia Lewis, director of the Memphis Housing Authority.


A recent report by EdBuild, a nonprofit that researches educational disparities, argues that the gap between poor and affluent students is widening in Shelby County. The report criticizes laws that allow municipalities to "secede" from larger urban districts.

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