The Tennessean’s Brad Schmitt has started something. A few weeks ago, the Page 3 gossip columnist and wire-rewrite man was hired as a morning drive radio sidekick for Scotty O’Brien on 102.5 The Party. Since then, other businesses have taken note of the constant barrage of free publicity the ever-accommodating Schmitt lavishes on his radio show.
“This works like a charm,” one local media observer observed. “Brad gives publicity to the radio show in his column and gives publicity to his column on the radio show. It’s genius.”
Since the Schmitt partnership is working so well, other businesses are lining up to take on other Tennessean reporters in hopes of gaining favorable coverage.
♦ City editor Gail Kerr has begun working nights at her mother and sister’s business, Donelson Air Conditioning. Sources say new commercials for the company will feature Kerr joining Peggy and Joyce McKnight in “inspecting” the troops of repairmen and also touting a “buy a new heat pump and get a free month of The Tennessean” special.
♦ Several major corporations have “adopted” Tennessean business writers. Candy McCampbell has landed a teller’s job at AmSouth Bank, while new business editor Bill Choyke is said to be mulling consulting offers from Dell, Corrections Corporation of America, Gaylord, and every label still left on Music Row.
♦ Frank Sutherland, the paper’s editor and senior vice president for newsand also its wine columnistrecently was seen working the front counter at Bud’s Wines and Liquors in Green Hills. Look for the store to be mentioned in future columns.
While mercenary-minded Scene reporters have also been eager to cash in on the “adopt-a-reporter” trend, the pickings have been somewhat slim. Scene writers are mulling offers from Melrose Lanes, Shelby Park Golf Course, and one of those mall kiosks that sells cheap vitamins.
“I’d sell out in a minute,” one frustrated Scene writer said. “But nobody will buy me.”
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