What Fuente didn’t say

Sometimes, all the really vital information is in what isn’t explained.

Such was the case Thursday afternoon on the campus of the University of Memphis where Justin Fuente, 35-year-old co-offensive coordinator at TCU, was introduced as the new Tigers football coach.

During the Q & A portion of the press conference, someone asked Fuente what he thought the biggest challenges were for this program. First of all, that’s sort of like asking someone in Washington what are the biggest problems facing the American economy. You could go on forever. Or reach for a few grasp-at-the-air words.

So after a pause that was awkward in its length, Fuente went with the second approach and said, “Well, we have several.”

He then went into detail, as he did more than once, about the need to rec-connect with the community and make Memphis football matter. He’s right, of course, but we already knew this. We knew it by the 2,500 tortured souls who showed up for the last home game of the two-year and 3-21 Larry Porter Era.

When Fuente was asked to talk specifically about the biggest on-field challenges, his answer was specific in its vagueness: “I don’t know exactly where we’re at.”

Now, at one level, that response is perfectly reasonable and understandable. He just got here. But at another, it seems to reveal that Fuente was more intent on landing his first head coaching position than he was concerned about where that position landed him.

After the formal press conference ended and he was still speaking with several media members, he said when you’re a coordinator at TCU there are two career paths: step up to a coordinator’s job at any big school you care to name, or become a head coach at a smaller school.

“I wanted to be a head coach,” Fuente said.

Fair enough, I suppose, but two years from now let’s hope he still feels that way.

New Memphis-based Online Music Network is Coming

A new free online music broadcast network called DittyTV is launching soon, likely in early 2012, according to online music site The Vinyl District.

Husband and wife Ronnie and Amy Wright are launching the project out of a Downtown building they’re renovating into a video and production facility, according to the website. Also, Folk Alliance International executive director Louis Meyers is involved with the project.

According to The Vinyl District: “DittyTV will broadcast HD shows on whatever platform you use whether it be smart phones, PCs or home theaters, and live streaming video will give you an inside look at how music programming is done.”

For more info, click here.

Bookalicious Luncheon Raises $20K for Books from Birth

More than 200 women — mostly mothers — recently attended Shelby County Books from Birth’s Bookalicious Luncheon to help increase kindergarten readiness by providing free books to local children.

The event, which was held Nov. 29 at the Racquet Club of Memphis, raised more than $20,000 for the nonprofit, which provides a free age-appropriate book each month to Shelby County children ages five and under.

Planting the seeds of literacy early in life helps prepare children for success in kindergarten and elementary school. Since its inception, more than 50,000 children have enrolled in Shelby County Books from Birth, and more than 1,000 new registrations are added each month, fueled by grassroots outreach efforts in neighborhoods, child care centers and literacy groups.

More than 32,000 children currently are enrolled in the program, part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Click here to learn more.

Finally – a Regions executive talks (a little bit) about Morgan Keegan

Regions Financial Corp. president and CEO Grayson Hall said during an industry conference in New York City Tuesday that “we do see a resolution forthcoming” in Regions’ more than five-month strategic review and bid process for its Memphis-based investment banking franchise Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc.

Hall said he was not in position to share major details during Tuesday’s Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference (Goldman Sachs, it should be noted, being the firm tapped by Regions to help it figure out what to do with Morgan Keegan). But he did share more by way of public comments than any Regions executive has done so up to this point about Morgan Keegan.

“Market conditions in recent months have been challenging, which has added complexity to this overall process,” Hall said.

He added that Regions will conclude a transaction to sell Morgan Keegan only if it benefits Regions in terms of capital, liquidity and risk profile.

The Little Tea Shop is Reopening

The Little Tea Shop is open again after being closed for more than a month.

Owner Suhair Lauck had to close the restaurant while her husband was dealing with a medical issue. That’s according to the Memphis Bar Association (lawyers, of course, being among the most frequent and loyal customers of “Sue’s” Southern food sanctuary).

Needless to say, you’d be doing Downtown a great service by flocking back to the Tea Shop and enjoying the cornbread sticks, the daily specials and Southern charm, the likes of which you can’t get anywhere else in the city.

Dansette

google