Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Man Who Once Dominated Memphis News Pulls the Plug on Himself

Mason Granger apparently has decided he's had his fill of the TV business, at least in New Orleans. A posting on ShopTalk's Watercooler says he's leaving WDSU. News Blues had a headline about the GM at WDSU in New Orleans abruptly resigning. I don't know the particulars and don't know what he was like to work for but the few times our paths crossed in Memphis, I liked him. He even sent me a nice rejection letter when I applied for a position in the WMC newsroom back in the early 80s. It was gracious enough that I still wanted to work for him.
For years Mason Granger was the undisputed King of the male News Anchors in Memphis. WMC dominated when he and Brenda Wood worked together and still ran strong when Brenda left and Kim Hindrew arrived. I did find that IFB (ear piece) he used for some time to be quite annoying because audio tube seemed to stick straight out from his ear in a big loop. But he was well known in the community and the region. It seems he was very involved in the community. His dominance of the airwaves helped pave the way for Joe Birch, whom he groomed, to rule supreme for years as well.
My wife worked with Mason briefly in the late 70's as a news producer and she always spoke highly of him.
I've not heard where Mason is going now whether he will stay in NO, move back to Memphis or head to the Big Apple. If he's looking for things to do, there might be an opening in Memphis after the NYTimes completes the sale of the Broadcast Group.

10 Comments:

Blogger bishop said...

Joe,

Thanks for this post. I have always had respect for Mason Granger. He was Mr. Tv anchor. He and Brenda Woods worked well together. Is he and Kim Hindrew still married? I thought she was anchoring in New Orleans too. It should be interesting see how this happens.

8:12 AM  
Blogger newsboyarizona said...

I interned at WMC in early 1989. Mason was rarely in the newsroom because of his many community commitments. But once he arrived for the 5pm or 10pm, he was in control. He was also very smooth on-air, considering that he usually didn't have much time to look over scripts.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Joan Carr said...

In 1989, Mason Granger took a chance and hired me as a part-time writer at WMC. He used to correct the scripts I wrote with a big red marker and give them back to me. More than anyone else, including the Journalism Department at Memphis State, he taught me how to write for broadcast. I have to admit I had a little bit of a crush on him back then. I got the chance to see him again recently at an earthquake seminar at the U of M. He claimed to remember me, which I'm not sure I believe, but it was gracious of him to say so just the same. I hope he goes on to bigger and better things in whatever field he chooses--but if he leaves broadcasting, I think it would be a loss for the industry.

7:34 AM  
Blogger UPnDC said...

Aaaah the memories. It was common after a show, or the next morning to see reporters' scripts from the day before back in their mailboxes with their copy marked up and given back to them. The newsroom was always a learning experience around Mason. Even better was a script marked "See Me." But then, it was never about fear. It was always about doing it better. That's just one of the reasons why AN5 was one of those special newsrooms in the 70s and 80s.

Good luck Mason.....where ever you land.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Joe Larkins said...

Wow, you don't find many news directors willing or who have the time to help reporters improve. Of course that was back when you didn't have local newscasts every other hour or three hours long.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Doug Johnson said...

Never knew the man personally. He was smooth on the desk. Met Kim once. Seems like all the Kims (or Kyms) at 5 were really nice women. I did see in Rick Gever's News Director's newsletter than a news release says Mason is "returning to his hometown of New York."

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Doug. Looks like you and Pam will team up again at FedEx.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Tommy Stafford said...

Mason Granger is a gem. He is the reason I was able to get into television news. When everyone else laughed, he and Gaylon Reasons gave me a shot. I originally freelanced at 5 in the very beginning and WTVF in Nashville. Eventually went to WREG full-time until 1997, then after "Jahoka" I went back to WMC until 2001.

Mason was there about a year with Ken Jobe until Bill Cottontop...the rest is history. But what a great guy, real newsman, real person.

Good luck Mason!

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Tom Stocker said...

MG and I used to run together in our single days (over 25 years ago, gulp). Our relationship obviously changed when he became ND at WMC while I anchored sports at 3. But one thing that never changed was his class and genuine personality. He was and is still a born leader and a genuine pro. I wish him well.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Ernestine S. said...

Joe, I miss you. I had to stop watching morning news because of a drastically altered sleep pattern that I had no control over, but I loved watching you and Mary Beth all those years - you should have been a comedy team. Don't grow up. Love you, (Ernestine S. Bonicelli, Millington, TN; old enough to be your grandmother)

8:21 PM  

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