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Sign of the Sweeps: Longtime Memphis Met’s “Big Announcement” Falls Flat

In CBS, Editor's Desk, Memphis, NBC, Raycom, Tennessee, Weather on May 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Dave Brown (Courtesy: WMC-TV)

Memphis chief meteorologist Dave Brown has celebrated 50 years in broadcasting, 35 of which was spent at NBC affiliate WMC-TV. But why was his name trending on Twitter Tuesday night?

Let me start by saying I have the utmost respect and appreciation for anybody who works in broadcasting for at least 20 years. It’s one of the most stressful occupations around, and too often others leave to pursue jobs that aren’t governed by day-to-day deadlines.

In an apparent May sweeps ploy Tuesday night (which was teased on-air, on the website and on Twitter all day Tuesday as a “big announcement”), Brown has announced he will be staying with the station, talking to 10 p.m. anchors Joe Birch and Ursula Madden after a commemorative tribute video aired.

From the video provided on

“Weighing all his options, he has decided to stay with us for a couple more years and extend his contract. We are so glad that you’re staying with us,” Madden said during the newscast.

While I didn’t watch the broadcast in person since I live two states away, I still got bombarded on Twitter by the seemingly intense buildup to something that could have lived up to the hype, that Brown would step down.

Why have all that hoopla just to announce he’s staying?

I don’t put the decision to air this on Brown; he had already renewed his contract days before this “planned” announcement was put together. But WMC and its parent company Raycom have only further reinforced the big-market sensationalism normally reserved for the likes of Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition.

Rival station WREG-TV also teased up a similar announcement, but it ended up being nothing more than a viewer shopping spree offer.

Both seem to leave bad tastes in this humble blogger’s mouth.

Dave should be congratulated on his 50 years of service, 35 years at WMC and humble nature (from the video), all of which are rare in broadcast journalism. But teasing up something just because it’s the day before May sweeps ends is not the way to do it.

We at South TV News wish you all the best, Dave; management, you should be ashamed.

  1. […] WMC’s “big announcement”┬álast week didn’t exactly help the NBC affiliate win as planned at 10 p.m., […]

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