Media

Friday, May 25, 2018

Dammit Gannett and other Media Follies — Long Weekend Roundup!!!

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2018 at 3:52 PM

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I planned to write a whole column goofing on WMC’s time machine. See, the well-intentioned tweet above notes that the City of Memphis was created 199 years ago (in 1819) and goes on to note that WMC has been “in love ever since” even though the 70-year-old media company was founded in 1948. Maybe you can be in love with Memphis retroactively, and find some kind of familial agape love to get you through the years of slave trading and civil strife. But who has time to dwell on that while Memphis still still has a dying daily newspaper to kick around? Especially when that newspaper has a time machine of its own. And instead of going back in time and not completely screwing itself up, the Gannett-owned sadness chose instead to bring back Houston High’s 2015 soccer team to win the state championship.
"Stop, you're BREAKING THE TIMELINE!!!"
  • "Stop, you're BREAKING THE TIMELINE!!!"


This weird and probably misplaced act of heroism seems to have adversely affected the timeline, devolving Gannett’s copyediting staff to the point they can’t spell the name of their own damn newspaper. 
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And, perhaps most alarmingly of all, the CA has begun to insert random photos of Burt Reynolds into its content. And not the good ones, either.
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Friday, April 27, 2018

Dammit Gannett: Fabulous Prizes Edition

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 9:27 AM

Picking on the Commercial Appeal used to be its own reward, back in the day when they were the big corporate Goliath and we were the little dude with a slingshot. As the paper has continued to decline, it's become a weekly, though not entirely joyless, chore. Still, it's good to feel appreciated. So thanks, Jim Palmer, for this cartoon inspired by Fly on the Wall's regular "Dammit Gannett" feature.
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Jim's a first generation Memphis Flyer vet who contributed illustrations for columns by Lydel Sims. He's the creator of Memphis' own Li'l E and your Pesky Fly's very favorite cartoon about the journalist's life. 
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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Will WREG dodge the Sinclair bullet? FCC commissioner criticizes policy decisions.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 11:19 AM

Race to the Bottom
  • Race to the Bottom
A recent tweet by FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel argues against policy rulings custom built to enable the Sinclair Broadcast group's $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune media. The move she criticizes would transfer ownership of WREG Memphis and push the overtly Conservative company's local market reach well past what's previously been allowed.  Rosenworcel's comments were inspired, in part, by President Donald Trump's apparent endorsement of Sinclair over "fake news" media like "CNN, NBC, ABC & CBS."
What makes Trump's endorsement especially troublesome — even for him — is the fact that Sinclair's stations operate unbranded and so, by way of affiliation, these Sinclair stations the President endorses often are the same NBC, ABC, CBS stations he also criticizes. And sometimes Fox stations as well.

Welcome to the media ownership funhouse.

Sinclair has been collecting network affiliated stations in an environment where cable news gets all the attention even though local TV news has more reach than all four major cable news stations combined

Via Common Dreams:
"Critics, including Rosenworcel, are concerned that under Chairman Ajit Pai, who Trump appointed last year, the FCC is moving deliberately to allow the Sinclair-Tribune merger to go through. Known for pushing right-wing viewpoints within the stations it already owns, the broadcaster drew ire this week after a viral video showed how local anchors nationwide are forced to read the same pre-packaged scripts."

When the FCC cleared a path for Sinclair's acquisition in May it was widely assumed that the deal would go through quickly, but that hasn't been the case. Delays have resulted from ongoing wrangling with antitrust officials in the Justice Department and the FCC's internal investigation into decisions made by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and "whether there had been [FCC] coordination with [Sinclair]."






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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Great National Pancake Day Robbery + A Thirsty Burglar

Posted By on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 11:55 AM

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Fly on the Wall's always looking to spot new trends in TV reporting and WMC's recent marriage of food and crime news looks promising.
From this list of headlines we discover two things: It's national pancake day (who knew?). Also, the International House of Pancakes in Midtown was robbed.

Good news/Bad news
  • Good news/Bad news

WMC has also alerted Mid-southerners to the activities of a very thirsty burglar who'll break into your house and steal all your Capri Sun. We bet this fiend would grab your SunnyD too, given half a chance. 
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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Local 24 Reports Violent Crime from the Distant Future

Posted By on Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 12:51 PM

If we're reading Local 24's tweet correctly, a shooting occurred 17,999 years in the future, on a thoroughfare that doesn't exist in this timeline: Avenue Ave.
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This tweet raises a number of questions but I'm mostly interested in the deterioration markers CSI officers use to develop a forensic profile of victims that won't be murdered for thousands of years. 

I guess we'll just have to read the whole story to find out.


"No Room for Dispair" : The CA Prints Big Typos in Big Type

Posted By on Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 9:07 AM

The Commercial Appeal got it wrong on a number of accounts. Fact is, there's plenty of room for despair, no matter how you spell it. Even if you're not a subscriber and didn't see it in person, you've probably already seen Tuesday's most egregious error making the rounds on social media. I was too depressed to post about it yesterday. I'm out of jokes and tired of typing sentences like, "Since becoming a Gannett property, shrinking staff, and shipping design and editing work to hubs outside Memphis there has been a noticeable decline in the quality of our daily newspaper."

So write your own punchlines. 
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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Poop on Pees: A Commercial Appeal Headline Gone Wild

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 2:31 PM

Some names present special challenges for headline writers who have to pack a lot of information into only a very few words. Clarity can be especially difficult if the headline writer needs to identify a person whose name is also a verb. The sports section in today's Commercial Appeal provides us with a classic example of how  inconsiderate word placement can transform the meaning of a sentence.
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How hard would it have been to simply reverse the names? — "Titans Vrabel scores twice with Pees, LaFleur?"

Way too hard for Gannett. Dammit.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Commercial Appeal Illustrates Local Earthquake Story with Non-Local Disaster Photographs

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 12:19 PM

Dear mom and dad,

I'm sorry I didn't check in safe on Facebook after the earthquake in Memphis and West Tennessee. But jeepers, I didn't even know there was an earthquake in Memphis and West Tennessee. Still, I can understand how you might be concerned after seeing pictures of collapsed buildings like this one published by the USA Today-owned version of The Commercial Appeal. It looks bad. 
Pretty bad, huh?
  • Pretty bad, huh?
But that picture's a video still somebody found on the web —  this video published in 2016 to be specific — and not a current picture from Memphis or West Tennessee.

Or maybe you saw this picture. It's super-scary, right? 
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It also wasn't taken in Memphis. Or Dyersburg. It's from...
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Anyway mom and dad, I don't want to be dismissive. It's possible that this quake (which I didn't feel) caused some damage somewhere. But near as I can tell no multi-story buildings from New Zealand collapsed in Memphis today.

Anyway, I love you and I'm sorry, and I promise to check in in the future. Stay warm!

Chris

PS: I think I'm creating a new tab for my Fly on the Wall blog called Dammit Gannett. I used to just file all this stuff under media but I think with this one the CA's parent company has earned its own special place in the cabinet.   

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Commercial Appeal: Best Place to Work in Memphis is Nashville

Newspaper honors Memphis businesses by giving them plaques with pictures of Nashville.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 2:22 PM

It's nice to see the Commercial Appeal honoring Memphis' best workplaces. Like Bartlett City Schools which, according to this Facebook post, were ranked second in the “Top 10 Large Business Workplaces” category. But wouldn't it be even nicer if the plaques had a picture of the Memphis skyline on them, instead of Nashville?
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Local journalism. Can't beat it.

Andy Wise Leaving WMC Post. Tags Decision #WiseChoices

Posted By on Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 11:41 AM

Look how they follow you.
  • Look how they follow you.
WMC consumer advocate Andy Wise is making a change. More details will be available at 1 p.m. Right now all we know is that Dec. 15th is the newsman's #LastDay.
And that he has some parting wishes, none of which involve Fly on the Wall.
Merp. 
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hello Boris! FCC Clears the Way for Right Wing Sinclair's Channel 3 Takeover

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 12:37 PM

Race to the Bottom
  • Race to the Bottom
Well, we all knew it was going to happen, didn't we? When's the last time something awful that could happen didn't happen, am I right?

Channel 3 is about to become a Sinclair Broadcast station.

Via Freepress.net

WASHINGTON — On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to erase several longstanding media-ownership limits that prevented one broadcast company from controlling too much media in a single market.

The agency rolled back a local television-ownership rule that barred a broadcaster from owning multiple stations in smaller local markets and weakened the standards against owning more than one top-rated station in the same market.

The FCC also gave its blessing to so-called joint sales agreements, or JSAs, which allow a single company to run the news operations of multiple stations in a single market that would otherwise compete against each other. The vote also overturned the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules, which prevented a single company from owning a daily newspaper, TV and radio stations in the same market.

Today’s moves clear the way for the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed $3.9 billion merger with Tribune Media, a deal government agencies including the FCC are now reviewing. Should regulators approve the merger, the resulting broadcast giant would control more than 233 local-TV stations reaching 72 percent of the country’s population, far in excess of national limits set by Congress on broadcast-TV ownership.

Fly on the Wall's been watching this story since news of the intended merger broke earlier this past Spring.

With their overemphasis on crime and safety in the urban core, Memphis' TV-news stations already affect a potent, subtle, and effective right-wing bias. Today's media news suggest things are about to get less subtle. On Monday, May 8, Tribune Media Co. announced its 42 television news properties, including Memphis' WREG-TV, would be acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group for somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.9 billion.

If approved by the FCC Sinclair, will operate 233 stations in 72-percent of America's broadcast markets. The company will additionally assume $2.7 billion in debt.

Sinclair has a long, unapologetic (though occasionally denied) history of aligning itself with conservative politics and making local news less local. There's no point in repeating the origin story when this Memphis Flyer Viewpoint from 2003 does such a fine job of condensing things.

Like many a media empire, Sinclair grew through a combination of acquisitions, clever manipulations of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules, and considerable lobbying campaigns. Starting out as a single UHF station in Baltimore in 1971, the company started its frenzied expansion in 1991 when it began using "local marketing agreements" as a way to circumvent FCC rules that bar a company from controlling two stations in a single market. These "LMAs" allow Sinclair to buy one station outright and control another by acquiring not its license but its assets. Today, Sinclair touts itself as "the nation's largest commercial television broadcasting company not owned by a network." You've probably never heard of them because the stations they run fly the flags of the networks they broadcast: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and the WB.

The new deal, which also gives Sinclair part ownership in the Food Network, still requires FCC approval, but, as noted by CNN, the Trump administration has shown nothing but interest in approving these kinds of mergers. Once approved Sinclair plans to swiftly liquidate all real estate connected to Tribune Media's print holdings. That makes sense since, as noted by The Baltimore Sun, Sinclair Broadcast Group does two things very well: "It knows how to run local stations lean and mean. And it makes some of the most visually engaging local news in the country."
This also means Trump surrogate Boris Epshteyn's ongoing surrogacy will become a regular feature in the Memphis media landscape.

"Bottom Line With Boris," doesn't even sound like a real news segment. It sounds like something made up by the Onion News Network. But it's real — at least in the sense it exists. And if the FCC approves Sinclair media's rule-fudging acquisition of WREG, former special assistant to President Donald Trump, Boris Epshteyn will be popping up on Memphis TV screens several times a week.

For whatever it's worth, Mr. Bottom Line is also the sixth person questioned by the House Intelligence Committee in its ongoing Russia probe. Throughout the campaign Epshteyn was pro-Putin and his financially conflicted commentary mirrored Russian propaganda on the Ukraine. He parted ways with Trump in March, but continues to stand by his man in his private sector editorials.

This week Politico broke news that Sinclair tripled its weekly order for must-air "Bottom Line with Boris" segments.

Memphis won't be alone. If/when the Sinclair deal goes down — and there's no reason to believe it won't — 72-percent of all Americans will live in a Sinclair market. It's a big deal, to borrow from Vox, "Because local news programs are some of the most-watched shows in America."

"Most watched" translates to 4-times the combined audience of the top three cable news stations — CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.

While national news outlets like CNN become targets in political info-wars, local news delivers the eyes and ears of the nation, and Trump-entangled Sinclair is on the verge of acquiring Memphis' top-rated station.
Boris Epshteyn — Coming to WREG soon?
  • Boris Epshteyn — Coming to WREG soon?

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Richard Ransom Announces Plan to Curb Violent Crime Reporting at WATN 24

Posted By on Mon, Nov 6, 2017 at 5:32 PM

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“Reporting crime all the time is not a responsible or accurate reflection of life in our city and I am proud to work with a news team that wants to inform you, not scare you.” — Channel 24 anchor/managing editor Richard Ransom
Richard Ransom, who left his position at Memphis' top-rated WREG, to join the news team at WATN Channel, 24 says he wants to break the cycle of "if it bleeds it leads" TV-journalism. In a brief but compelling interview with Smart City Memphis, Ransom described lazy “crime all the time” coverage, as  low-hanging fruit. "It also doesn’t reflect the city I know," he said. "It glorifies violence and can fuel racial stereotypes."

That all sounds good, and just about right, but can we expect real change?
"Based on our sample, WATN-24 (formerly WPTY) appears to have the highest percentage of mayhem in the Memphis market. In fact, among Memphis stations, Channel 24 seems to devote the least amount of time to news reporting." — Guns & Bunnies, a Memphis Flyer cover story from April, 2017.
  • "Based on our sample, WATN-24 (formerly WPTY) appears to have the highest percentage of mayhem in the Memphis market. In fact, among Memphis stations, Channel 24 seems to devote the least amount of time to news reporting." — Guns & Bunnies, a Memphis Flyer cover story from April, 2017.
Local Memphis 24 has little to lose with this experiment and everything gain.  Judging by the results of a  Memphis Flyer survey from earlier this year, it was the station devoting the largest percentage of its time to crime reporting while producing the least amount of non-crime-related news content. It has also been a perennial cellar-dweller in the ratings game and any attempt to generate more  relevant news programming would be a step in the right direction. A serious attempt to deemphasize crime in favor of useful news might even disrupt the local broadcast market.

Or it will prove once and for all that broadcast consumers prefer being entertained, enraged, and scared to being informed.





Thursday, October 26, 2017

Start Halloween Weekend Right With a Tribute to Sivad and Fantastic Features

Posted By on Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 10:00 AM

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Every now and then Fly on the Wall likes to publish something "From the Morgue," which, in newspaper jargon, means an article we published some time in the past that's been filed away. But in this case the expression's especially fitting. It's late October — time to remember Memphis' original horror host Sivad. All links have been updated, so readers should be able to sample some of the movies that made Fantastic Features so fantastic. 

The horror first took control of Memphis television sets at 6 p.m. Saturday, September 29, 1962. It began with a grainy clip of black-and-white film showing an ornate horse-drawn hearse moving silently through a misty stretch of Overton Park. Weird music screeched and swelled, helping to set the scene. A fanged man in a top hat and cape dismounted. His skin was creased, corpse-like. He looked over his shoulder once, then dragged a crude, wooden coffin from the back of the hearse. His white-gloved hand opened the lid, releasing a plume of thick fog and revealing the bloody logo of Fantastic Features.

"Ah. Goooood eeeevening. I am Sivad, your monster of ceremonies," the caped figure drawled, in an accent that existed nowhere else on planet Earth. Think: redneck Romanian.

"Please try and pay attention," he continued, "as we present for your enjoyment and edification, a lively one from our monumental morgue of monstrous motion pictures."


In that moment, a Mid-South television legend was born. For the next decade, Sivad, the ghoulish character created by Watson Davis, made bad puns, told painfully bad jokes, and introduced Memphians to films like Gorgo...


The Brain That Wouldn't Die
...

and Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent.


Watson Davis' wisecracking monster wasn't unique. He was one of many comically inclined horror hosts who became popular regional TV personalities from the '50s through the '70s. According to John Hudgens, who directed American Scary, a documentary about the horror-host phenomenon, it all began with "Vampira," a pale-skinned gorgon immortalized by Ed Wood in his infamously incompetent film Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Although a Chicago-area host calling himself "The Swami" may have been the first costumed character regularly introducing scary movies on television, the big bang of horror hosting happened in 1954, when the wasp-wasted actress Maila Nurmi introduced her campy, Morticia Adams-inspired character on The Vampira Show, which aired in Los Angeles.

via GIPHY

In 1957, Screen Gems released a package of 52 classic horror films from Universal studios. The "Shock Theater" package, as it was called, created an opportunity for every market to have its own horror host. "Part of that package encouraged stations to use some kind of ghoulish host," Hudgens explains. "Local television was pretty much live or had some kind of host on everything back then."

Overnight, horror hosts such as New York's "Zacherly" and Cleveland's "Ghoulardi" developed huge cult followings. "TV was different in those days," Hudgens says. "There weren't a lot of channels to choose from, and the hosts could reach a lot more people quickly. Ghoulardi was so popular that the Cleveland police actually maintained that the crime rate went down when his show was on the air, and they asked him to do more shows."
Dr. Lucifer
  • Dr. Lucifer

Tennessee's first horror host was "Dr. Lucifer," a dapper, eyepatch-wearing man of mystery who hit the Nashville airwaves in 1957. Since Fantastic Features didn't air until the fall of 1962, Sivad was something of a latecomer to the creep-show party. But unlike most other horror hosts, Davis didn't have a background in broadcasting. He'd been a movie promoter, working for Memphis-based Malco theaters. His Sivad character existed before he appeared on television. At live events, he combined elements of the classic spook show with an over-the-top style of event-oriented marketing called ballyhoo. So Davis' vampire, while still nameless, was already well known to local audiences before Fantastic Features premiered.

"You've got to understand, things were very different back then," Elton Holland told the Memphis Flyer in a 2010 interview. "Downtown Memphis was a hub for shopping, and going out to the movies was an event. And back then, Malco was in competition with the other downtown theaters, so when you came to see a movie, we made it special.”

To make things special Holland, Davis, and Malco vice president Dick Lightman became masters of promotion and special events. Davis and Holland were neighbors who lived in Arkansas and car-pooled into Memphis every day. During those drives, Davis would float ideas for how to promote the films coming to town.

The studios only provided movie theaters with limited marketing materials. Theater businesses had in-house art departments that created everything else. What the art department couldn't make, Davis built himself in the theater's basement. When 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea came to town, he built a giant squid so large it had to be cut in half to get it up the stairs. He constructed a huge King Kong puppet that towered over the lower seats. For the film Dinosaurus, he built a Tyrannosaurus rex that was 20 feet tall and 45 feet long. It sat in the lobby, roaring and moving its tail.


"All movies were sold through exploitation," Holland explained. "And horror movies were the best ones to exploit. ... I remember when Watson first told me he wanted to be a monster. He was thinking vaudeville. He wanted to put on a show."

Davis' plan to create a scary show wasn't original. The "spook show" was a sideshow con dating back to when 19th-century snake-oil vendors traveled the country hawking their wares. Slick-talking performers would hop from town to town promising entertainment-deprived audiences the chance to see a giant, man-eating monster, so terrible it had to be experienced to be believed. Once the tickets were sold, it was loudly announced that the monster had broken free and was on a bloody rampage. The idea was to cause panic and create a confusing cover for the performers to make off with the loot.
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In the early 20th century, the spook show evolved, and traveling magicians exploited the public's growing fascination with spiritualism by conjuring ghosts and spirits. By mid-century, they developed into semi-comical "monster shows" that were almost always held in theaters. Today's "hell houses" and haunted mansions are recent permutations of the spook show.

When England's Hammer Films started producing horror movies that were, as Holland says, "a cut above," he, Davis, and Lightman took the old spook-show concept and adapted it sell movie tickets. They went to Memphis State's drama department and to the Little Theatre [now Theatre Memphis] looking for actors so they could put a monster on a flatbed truck in front of the Malco.

Davis dressed as Dracula, Holland was the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and another Malco exec played Frankenstein. The company also included a wolfman and a mad doctor.

Davis sometimes joined Lightman on inspection tours of other Malco properties. On one of those tours, the men saw an antique horse-drawn hearse for sale on the side of the road. They bought the hearse that appears in the Fantastic Features title sequence for $500. It also appeared in various monster skits and was regularly parked in front of Malco theaters to promote horror movies.

"One time we had this actor made up like a wild man," Holland said, recalling a skit that was just a little too effective. "While Watson did his spiel about the horror that was going to happen, the chained wild man broke loose and pretended like he was attacking this girl. He was going to jerk her blouse and dress off, and she had on a swimsuit underneath." One 6'-3", 300-pound, ex-military Malco employee wasn't in on the joke and thought the actor had actually gone wild. He took the chain away, wrapped it around the wild man's neck, and choked him until the two were pulled apart.

Music to Sivad to...
  • Music to Sivad to...

The proliferation of television eventually killed ballyhoo promotions and all the wild antics used to promote movies. At about that time, the studios started "going wide" with film distribution, opening the same film in many theaters at one time instead of just one theater in every region. This practice made location-specific promotions obsolete. By then, the Shock Theater package had made regional stars out of horror hosts all across the country. WHBQ approached Davis and offered him the job of "monster of ceremonies" on its Fantastic Features show. The show found an audience instantly and became so popular that a second weekly show was eventually added. Memphis viewers apparently couldn't get enough of films like Teenage Caveman...


and Mutiny in Outer Space...


Joe Bob Briggs, cable TV's schlock theater aficionado who hosted TNT's Monster Vision from 1996 to 2000, says that "corny" humor was the key to any horror host's success or failure. "Comedy and horror have only rarely been successfully mixed in film — although we have great examples like Return of the Living Dead, Briggs says. "But comedy surrounding horror on television was a winning formula from day one. In fact, it's essential. If you try to do straight hosting on horror films, the audiences will hate you."

In 1958, Dick Clark invited New York horror host Zacherly to appear on American Bandstand. "This wasn't the year for the comedians, this was the year for the spooks and the goblins and the ghosts," Clark said, introducing "Dinner With Drac," the first hit novelty song about monsters. Four years later, Bobby "Boris" Puckett took "Monster Mash" to the top of the charts. In the summer of 1963, Memphis' favorite horror host hopped on the pop-song monster bandwagon by recording the "Sivad Buries Rock and Roll/Dicky Drackeller" single.


Novelty songs such as "What Made Wyatt Earp" became a staple on Fantastic Features, and Sivad began to book shows with the King Lears, a popular Memphis garage band that influenced contemporary musicians like Greg Cartwright, who played in the Oblivians and the Compulsive Gamblers before forming the Reigning Sound. Although "Sivad Buries Rock and Roll" never charted, Goldsmith's department store hosted a promotional record-signing event, and 2,000 fans showed up to buy a copy.

In 1972, Fantastic Features was canceled. And though Davis was frequently asked to bring the character back, he never did. Horror movies were changing, becoming bloodier and more sexually explicit in a way that made them a poor fit for Sivad's family-friendly fright-fest. In 1978, Commercial Appeal reporter Joseph Shapiro unsuccessfully tried to interview Davis. He received a letter containing what he called a cryptic message: "Sivad is gone forever" is all it said.

Davis, who borrowed his name-reversing trick from Dracula, Bram Stoker's blood-sucking fiend who introduced himself as Count Alucard, died of cancer in March 2005. He was 92 years old.
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* A version of this article appeared in the Memphis Flyer in 2010 —- but with out all the nifty links and embeds. 


Monday, October 9, 2017

Dick Pics: News Channel-5 Nashville Appears on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 2:48 PM

Memphis plays itself.
  • Memphis plays itself.
Last Week Tonight's latest installment of "And now, this..." was a thigh-slapping compilation of all those times when local weather people have gone all American Vandal and drawn dicks on TV. The segment included a snippet from Nashville's TV-5
(Video excerpt below).


Everybody should totally take the time to watch this whole important clip because there are so many more dicks where those came from. Still, it's kind of a shame Oliver didn't dive a little deeper into Memphis' sordid "things that look like dicks" history. Like the infamous "welcome to Memphis" sign that looks like a bouquet of dildos. 
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For reference, here's a picture of said sign next to an actual bouquet of dildos.
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And what about that enormous sperm-shaped ribbon of asphalt terminating at the Bass Pro Pyramid? Hmmmmm?
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And while we're on about it, I know she's from Columbia, TN not Memphis, but if you're going to do a segment on things that look like penises, does it get any better than the money-shot campaign materials created by District 65's Sheila "rape-and-incest-aren't-verifiable" Butt?
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Maury Co. Courthouse my behind!

UPDATE:  Your Fly on the Wall often teases and must admit his own mistakes. Because the penis-drawing begins with balls over Memphis I originally identified the news feed as being from WMC in Memphis. But it is News Channel 5, Nashville. I regret the error. It's even funnier this way. Nashville drawing balls over Memphis. Same as it ever was.

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"Bride Closure Begins Tomorrow," WREG Reports

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 9:11 AM

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Gosh, that just sounds terrible for everybody involved.

And while we're checking out the local TV typos it's nice to see that the folks at Fox 13 are every bit as good at misspelling disturbing as they are at perpetuating racist fear of undocumented workers. 
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We're pretty sure that was an accident, though. Well, the spelling part, at least. On the other hand, from the impeccable helmet-hair to the flanking finger-pistols, this pose seems to have been something the Foxites executed on purpose. 
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