Thursday, May 17, 2018

New Media Venture May Be Home for Calkins, Biggs, Herrington

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2018 at 12:33 PM

click to enlarge G. CRESCOLI, UNSPLASH
  • G. Crescoli, Unsplash
Some new news-media venture is in the works in Memphis, sources close to the move said Thursday morning, and it may be the new home for some of The Commercial Appeal’s most-recognized bylines.

Though details are scanty, a read of the tea leaves in a Smart City Memphis blog post said that new venture might be the new home for sports columnists Geoff Calkins, food and dining writer Jennifer Biggs, and editor and columnist Chris Herrington.

Smart City Memphis said Biggs and Herrington have both resigned from The CA. Sports radio station ESPN 92.9 tweeted that Calkins, too, was leaving. Calkins has a show on the station.

Smart City Memphis claimed that while the details weren’t readily available, the new venture seemed to stem from ”an aggressively expanding (The) Memphis Daily News.” However, sources said Thursday morning the new venture is not an outgrowth of that newspaper.

Eric Barnes, publisher of The Daily News, said he could not comment on the situation.

The Smart City Memphis piece harshly criticizes Gannett Co.’s stewardship of The Commercial Appeal, noting “that (Gannett) has in only three years, eviscerated even those fond memories of a time when (the newspaper) mattered so much to the Memphis region.”

A source said the new venture involves many people disappointed in what The CA has become.

Neither Biggs nor Calkins had formally announced their moves Thursday morning. However, the Smart City Memphis post accurately pointed to the resignation of Chris Herrington, an editor at The CA and author of the daily online "The 9:01" column, and of a new place for him to ply his trade. Herrington announced on his personal blog, “Sing All Kinds,” that Wednesday was his final day at The CA.

“In the absence of another compelling opportunity within this city, I may well have been there as long as they would have had me, though, like most Memphians I lament the paper’s shift toward being a corporate cog in a Nashville-centric Tennessee network,” Herrington wrote.

He said, while he can’t divulge much about his new employment situation at the moment, that “I’ll re-emerge later this summer, writing about many of the same topics in many of the same ways, but in different formats and at different frequencies.”

The Flyer will continue to follow this development and will update this story when new information comes to light.

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