Christopher Blank

News Director

A native "Florida Man," Christopher started in this business as a copy clerk at the renowned St. Petersburg Times before persuading editors to let him write. He moved to Memphis in 2001 to cover arts and entertainment at the Commercial Appeal. Since then, he has contributed to nearly every publication in Shelby County, writing features on everything from the Civil War to Civil Rights. Also, Elvis... a lot of Elvis.   

He has won numerous awards for both print and radio reporting, including a 2017 Green Eyeshade Award for Public Service Journalism. 

In 2020, he was named Senior Producer at the University of Memphis' Institute for Public Service Reporting. 


Ways to Connect

The next top cop of Memphis would, pending confirmation by the City Council in May, be both the first woman to occupy the position and also a rare external appointment.


A recent unemployment bill in the general assembly and the retirement of Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings are discussed in this week's conversation with political analyst Otis Sanford. 

Public Domain

Who is getting vaccinations and who isn't? That's a topic of consternation as researchers examine vaccination rates among different communities. 

In a numerical sense, lawmakers in Tennessee have little concern or need for bipartisanship. That's because the 31 Democrats in the General Assembly are vastly outnumbered in policy debates with the state's 99 Republicans.


With more than 52,000 vaccination appointments scheduled for next week, City of Memphis chief operating officer Doug McGowen described the city's coming six-week immunization push as putting "our foot on the pedal." 


In this week's political conversation with Memphis analyst Otis Sanford, we look at some state and local headlines. 

Public Domain

Highlights from March 23, 2021 Memphis/Shelby County Joint COVID Task Force

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This week, an independent investigation concluded that Shelby County Commissioner Edmund Ford, Jr. violated ethics policies in 2019 when he helped a nonprofit organization acquire a $450,000 county grant. Soon after, $45,000 of that was used to purchase computers from a company that Ford owns. 

University of Memphis

Last week, University of Memphis President M. David Rudd announced that he would be stepping down in May of 2022, after an 8-year tenure.

One of his major goals as president remains tantalizingly within reach: having the university named among the nation's top institutions for research and doctoral degrees, also known as Carnegie R1 status. University of Tennessee Knoxville and Vanderbilt University are the only two Tennessee schools on that list of 131.

Despite opposition from law enforcement agencies, Tennessee Republicans view the unfettered proliferation of guns in public spaces as a constitutional right.