Battle of the Burglars

So which station had the best burglar tonight?

May sweeps started today so what did the two big stations in Memphis do? They both kicked off the book by hiring burglars to break into somebody’s house.

Apparently this stunt spiked the numbers in other markets recently, so WMC and that other station on the river figured if it plays in Peoria, it’ll play in Memphis. Both burglars appear to have had some tv experience by describing tornadoes.


Kudos first of all for teasing the story, but placing it in the third block. They seemed to recognize this was not news, it was a stunt and therefore did not belong in the first block. There’s bad weather afoot and that’s important, especially with Memphis in May starting this weekend. They led the newscast with a live report on what they’ll do if a tornado or severe storm hits the park with those thousands of people. Good decision.

Joe anchored the segment live from the house which I liked. Their burglar seemed to have more personality and a good sense of humor, he was fun to watch going through the house. He didn’t cover his face either. The video looked good, crisp and showed us everything the burglar was doing. Technically speaking, it was flawless.

WMC didn’t try to make a Hollywood production out of it either. No funny lighting, no spooky music. As classy as they could have done this stunt.


Was it just me or did it seem like you were watching Sam Phillips (rest his soul) going through this house? He was wearing some type of face cover which was distracting. Why did he have to cover his face? I thought he was a FORMER burglar. Maybe somebody should follow this guy home after the news.

What was with the red lights? The reporter live on the scene was covered in a creepy red light that distracted my attention from the point of the story. They also dusted off their copy of the “Murder She Wrote” soundtrack to add creepy music which made the whole thing look and sound rather amateurish. I felt like I was walking through a haunted house thrown together by a local high school band.

The station also opted to put this story at the very top of it’s newscast, except for a quick look at the bad weather moving in tomorrow. Guess there was no news in the mid-south today.

Their burglar did seem to get more of a haul in less time than the guy from WMC. This dude went through the house so fast it made me think he was going to hit the house next door when the show was over.

And did anyone else notice that even though the station was careful to shield his identity by covering his face, they didn’t bother to keep his license plate a secret. I’ll bet a good director back at the station said a dirty word when that came up on the screen.

I don’t know which station did this better. Both stunts were similar. I was hoping for a more dramatic “break-in” but both burglars just broke a glass window, reached in and unlocked the door.

I hated the red light and music from TSOTR. On WMC I liked the helicopter shot of the house but what gives WMC the win here was the reporting of recent statistics about break-ins in Shelby County. That actually helped make this a “news story” by giving relevance to the whole stunt. The other station seemed to be more interested in making it look like a bad independent film than the actual content.

thats just my 2-cents.




Filed under Misc.

6 responses to “Battle of the Burglars

  1. Anonymous

    Why don’t you be up front and admit that your comments about “the other station on the river” could be less than objective because you were let go from there?

    Maybe the WMC guy was willing to show his face because he’s making a mint off doing these things around the country. I’d put my money on someone who’s doing an honest day’s work now and just doesn’t want to flaunt his checkered past in public now.

    The Channel 5 burglar also seemed to spend a lot of time going through the house and finding nothing. The Channel 3 burglar had better knowledge to share and told us right then what we could do to protect ourselves. We don’t have to “stay tuned” to find out WIIFM tomorrow, like Channel 5 did. That kind of stuff irks me.

    The red light was somewhat distracting. (But not as much as Donna Davis’ makeup.) But at least I felt like I was right there, in a dark house at night. Channel 5’s setup looked more like a staged performance.

    Personally, I wish all the stations would stop these stunts, period. Give me news and weather. But if you have to pit these two stations against each other, please be honest with your readers about your own prejudices.

  2. jamey tucker

    An anonymous comment telling me to be “up front”?

  3. Anonymous

    didn’t anyone find it odd that both burglars were white?

    did station execs feel it would offend viewers to have a black burglar?

    were all of the black burglars simply “working”

  4. kathy

    WMC gets my vote too – the piece on the “other station” was pure camp. (And I usually like the “other station” better). I have never worked for any station, so my opinion is pure – I’m just your average, everyday news watcher and blog reader. You know, that’s the beauty of blogs – you can give your OPINION and you don’t have to be OBJECTIVE. If someone wants objectivity, they can watch the news – oh wait, no they can’t!

  5. Mr. Smith

    Response to first comment:

    You don’t call Channel 3’s version staged??
    Maybe because the reason the burglar in WREG’s version found things so quickly and commented as he went along because it was very staged. He went through the house the night before. He knew where everything was. The red light made it really look very staged and the music was very corny.

    Besides, the viewers has spoken which version was the best. WREG lost viewers throughout the night. Channel 3 had the lead in the ratings when the 10 p.m. newscast started. When the newscasted ended, WMC came out on top. The public has spoken.

  6. jamey tucker

    In the past week I have heard from several people who agree with the last comment. TSOTR’s “burglar” was prepped. He found more stuff because he went through the house prior to the red light (and red lights) going on and knew where the good stuff was kept. Channel 5’s burglar went into the house with no previous knowledge of where stuff was kept.

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