Thursday, September 8, 2011

Memphis Daily Shrill Over Shill

A Kroger location in Gulfton, Houston, TexasImage via reports the E.W. Scripps Co.-owned Memphis Commercial Appeal is sulking because it believes it was misled by Lori Willis, communications director for the Schnucks grocery store chain out of suburban St. Louis.

The Appeal claims that Willis denied rumors that the supermarket chain was going to unload its Memphis stores to Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co., the nation's largest supermarket chain. When the transaction was announced last week by Schnucks, which means the loss of jobs for hundreds of Memphis residents, the Appeal felt like, well, Schnooks.

Roland Klose, Appeal business editor, deflected criticism that his paper was caught napping by not reporting on Schnucks exiting Memphis, arguing it would have been irresponsible to print rumors that Willis already had vehemently denied.  For her part, she claimed the two supermarket giants had an agreement that prevented her from commenting on the sale and that she told the Appeal "the best information I had at the time."

The Memphis Commercial Appeal may be in a snit over being "spun" by a foodstore flack, but "TUOL" can't help but recall advice received from his favorite journalism prof.: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out." Having its reporters line up at the "10 follow-up interviews or less" register might have tipped the paper to Schnucks' departure.

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1 comment:

  1. I just spotted this. Poynter did not report we were "sulking." And our newspaper wasn't "caught napping" -- we reported the deal before it was announced. What we did do was report that a spokesperson for a major employer in our market did not tell the truth. She may not have felt an obligation to, but we did.