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White Noise: News from inside the media bubble

by Brian Clarey, Jordan Green and Amy Kingsley

Still mourning from Katrina

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina continues to arrest the imagination and sympathy of Triad residents more than two years after the storm hit the Gulf Coast. “The Murphy in the Morning Show” on WKZL 107.5 FM engaged listeners on the second anniversary of the hurricane with an interview with Biloxi, Miss. resident Hardy Jackson by Mississippi reporter Jennifer Mayerle. In the recording made in the terrible days after the storm, “Jackson described how his house split in half during the hurricane,” a press release by “Murphy” producer Jared Pike reads. “He was holding onto his wife in the raging floodwaters before she said, ‘You can’t hold me, take care of the kids,’ and slipped away.” The staff at “Murphy in the Morning” recently learned that Jackson, now living in Georgia, has yet to hold a memorial service for his wife because of financial difficulties, so the station stepped up to pay those expenses through the Murphy’s Kids charity. The memorial service for Tonette Jackson was held in Biloxi on Sept. 15. – JG

Radio radio

There’s been a reshuffling in top management at WFDD FM, the Wake Forest University-affiliated NPR station. Station Manager Jay Banks is moving to the development department to make way for News Manager Denise Franklin, who is taking the station’s helm. Banks, who has served as station manager since 2004, “invited this change in leadership,” said Michele Gillespie, associate provost for academic initiatives at Wake Forest University. Later this month, the station will be rolling out two new digital signals including one, with the call letters WFDD2, which will broadcast only classical music. In January, the station plans to launch a third signal, which will also be available on high definition radio, which will feature world and local music. – AK

Cross-pollination

At a time when newspaper wonks are debating the ethics and financial impetus behind selling ads on the front page, bean counters at The Philadelphia Inquirer came up with a unique solution: Place advertising on the front of the building. Earlier this month the paper announced its intent to display a banner large enough to cover one side of the building promoting Bee Movie, the newest offering by Dreamworks Animation written by and starring Jerry Seinfeld, and also a giant inflatable bee. The plan was scrapped after neighborhood associations and media critics had their say, but we don’t have a problem with it. After all, a building is just a building and it needs not be beholden to any type of integrity, save for the structural kind, and we’re big Seinfeld fans around here. Jerry, if you’re reading: Call us. The picture window of our Adams Farm offices is definitely for sale. – BC

And then there were five

In retrospect, it almost seems as if two of the seven soldiers whose names appeared on an Aug. 19 guest editorial in The New York Times were speaking from the grave – ghosts questioning the judgment of the generals and civilian war planners. The article, headlined “The War As We Saw It,” questioned the attainability of the Bush administration’s goals in Iraq. As noted recently in Editor & Publisher, reports came of the deaths of two of the soldiers, Sgt. Omar Mora and Sgt. Yance T. Gray, in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad just as Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker were preparing to testify before the US Congress. On Sept. 11, Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat from California, read aloud from the column during the hearing. Her Republican colleague, Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska asked, “Are we going to dismiss those seven NCOs? Are they ignorant? They laid out a pretty different scenario, general, ambassador, from what you’re laying out today.” – JG

Top blogs

Greensboro native Garrick Brown took second prize in a blogging competition hosted by ProgressiveU, a nonpartisan organization that promotes open discussion of current events. The $1,000 first-place scholarship was awarded to Naomi Leger of El Paso, Texas. Brown, a student at NC Central University, took home a $500 scholarship for his efforts. You can read Brown’s musings at progressiveu.org/blog/gbrown888. Despite his facility with the interactive word, Brown says in his profile that he hopes to become a meteorologist. So keep your eye on the TV, or on We101, to see how the young blogger develops. – AK

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