I have some big news. Really big news. After lots of cajoling and arm-twisting, I've managed to convince Jack Sammons (yes!) to become the Flyer's new executive editor. Sure, I know he's a busy man, being the CEO of the hair-product company that makes Shine 'n Jam and running the Airport Authority and helping run the FedEx St. Jude golf tournament. And I know Mayor Wharton has tapped him as the man to take over as the new city chief administrative officer (CAO), but really, who else is there in town? Sammons, as we all know, is "Mr. Fixit," and we need him here at the Flyer, just like everybody else does.
And, as everyone knows, Sammons' resume is second to none. He's already been city CAO once. He's a four-term city councilman, a former council chairman, a restaurateur, a bartender, and a man with connections. And, according to several folks quoted in Wayne Risher's recent Commercial Appeal profile, Sammons is a "master salesman, communicator, and executor ... innovative, creative, and bold."
Whew! Sammons, as is now obvious, not only can do it all, he eventually will do it all. The mayor has now dispatched an emissary to Nashville to convince the GOP-led legislature to overturn a pesky law that prohibits a person who's running an airport authority from working for that airport's city administration. But surely that's just a formality. Sammons, as I may have mentioned, has connections in high places. And it's just that important that he become Memphis' CAO.
Sure, there are some nay-sayers, like county Mayor Mark Luttrell, who was quoted in Risher's story as saying: "I just think that's too much for one person. I think the airport needs someone who can give their unqualified attention to that situation and the city needs a CAO who can do that as well."
Sure, in other cities, there may be lots of qualified folks out there ready to step up and take things in a fresh new direction. But in Memphis, not so much. Around here, it's pretty much Jack Sammons or nothing. We're lucky to have him. Otherwise, we'd be screwed.
And that's why I'm so happy he's also going to begin running the Flyer. Sure, I could have looked around and found some perky, young forward-thinker. Heck, there are some deserving folks on my own staff, some of them even female, but if you get a chance to get Jack Sammons, you go for it, my friends. That's just the way it is.
And yes, I've heard the rumblings out there — that Sammons is also going to begin running Memphis In May, MIFA, the CVB, the Memphis Grizzlies, Archer-Malmo, The Chris Vernon Show, Muddy's Bake Shop, and Bass Pro, but he can handle it. He's Jack Sammons, dammit. If you doubt him, you don't know Jack.
And frankly (according to what a little birdie just told me), if I were Josh Pastner, I'd be a little nervous right now. Just sayin'.