Favorite

Smith leaves, restaurants lose 

KATV mainstay Pamela Smith is leaving the station at the end of the month to become the Little Rock School District's director of communications. As weekend anchor for more than a decade, she's been a familiar face to KATV viewers, who'll no doubt miss her steadiness. But one group in particular that's bound to be especially bummed by Smith's departure? Restaurant owners.

Since 2009, Smith's selection of a restaurant for her weekly "Pam's Picks" dining feature has been like Oprah picking a book for her bookclub once was — a guarantee of a significant sales bump. Big Orange, the popular West Little Rock burger joint, set a sales record the week it was featured. Owners of Brown Sugar Bakery and Stickyz, both in the River Market and both featured on "Pam's Picks" last year, also told me they got big boosts after their segments, particularly from first-time customers outside of Central Arkansas.

The popularity of "Pam's Picks," which airs at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesdays and often on "Saturday Daybreak," is fairly obvious. People love to look at footage of food. Moreover, while most local media only cover food with reviews, news and recipes, Smith's segments are decidedly more narrative driven. Over four or five minutes, a typical "Pam's Pick" fits in interviews with chefs and customers, an extended look behind the scenes in the kitchen, shots of much of the menu on the plate and a quick review. All the cheesy local news tropes are there — too much stock footage, interviews with "real people" who have nothing to say, forced studio patter — but "Pam's Picks" still manages to offer a more complete sense of the restaurant experience than just about any other local media.

The series came naturally, Smith said. She's a foodie. "Until recently, I had well over 2,000 pictures of food on my phone. When I go on vacation, that's what I do. I chat with chefs or servers and I videotape it. I have an adult son. When we go out to eat, and I'm chatting with folks, he always says, 'Mom, do you really have to do that?' "

Smith, who also operates a "Pam's Picks" blog (katvpamspicks.blogspot.com) and a Facebook page, said she wants to figure out a way to keep the series going, but doesn't know how it will fit with her new schedule. Her last day at KATV is March 30. See "Pam's Picks" videos at arktimes.com/pam.

As the Times gears up for several anniversaries on the horizon — in May it'll be 20 years since we first became a weekly and our 40th anniversary is coming in 2014 — we're making a concerted push to digitize our considerable archive. You can already see a scattershot sampling of our efforts at Old Times, our new Tumblr site (oldarktimes.tumblr.com.), where daily we're posting interesting odds and ends from our back pages. So far, that includes a picture of the cover of our first issue in 1974, an excerpt from a 1979 article on Lucinda Williams that describes her three-night stand at White Water Tavern, and a cover story on Nolan Richardson after he won the national championship. We've also just enabled the Timeline feature on our Facebook page, facebook.com/arkansastimes, where you can see more archival images and read about the history of Arkansas Times.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • The Jerry Jones at the Ethics Commission Edition

    A potential constitutional amendment from the state Bar Association; the city of Little Rock and homelessness; and Jerry Jones, ethics and the North Little Rock Police Department — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • May 19, 2017
  • The Deafening Silence Edition

    The emerging scandal surrounding President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey and the silence from Arkansas Republicans, the defeat of the Little Rock millage and more — on this week's podcast.
    • May 12, 2017
  • The Rich Get Richer, Sick Get Sicker Edition

    Health care, Judge Wendell Griffen and the legislature and the Arkansas Supreme Court and Michael Morton — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • May 5, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Trump unfit

    Even as an oligarch, President Trump turns out to be breathtakingly incompetent. Is there any reason to suppose he's even loyal to the United States? Does he even understand the concept? Trump is loyal to Trump, and to his absurdly swollen ego. Nothing and nobody else.
  • You want tort reform? Try this.

    The nursing home industry and the chamber of commerce finally defeated the trial lawyers in the 2017 legislature. The Republican-dominated body approved a constitutional amendment for voters in 2018 that they'll depict as close to motherhood in goodness.
  • Goodbye, Mr. Trump

    It is hard to escape the feeling that the fortunes of President Trump and the country took a decisive, and for Trump a fatal, turn May 9-10, when the president fired the director of the FBI over its investigation of Russian efforts to swing the presidential election to him and the very next day shared top-secret intelligence with Russian officials in an Oval Office meeting closed except to a Kremlin press aide toting electronic gear to capture the intimate session for Russians but not Americans.
  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.

Latest in Media

  • UA cozy with D-G columnist

    An interesting element of the ongoing story of budget problems in the University of Arkansas Advancement Division has been a divide in outlook in the pages of the state's dominant news medium, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
    • Nov 21, 2013
  • Democrat-Gazette covers one of its own in story of reporter Cathy Frye's rescue

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's reports on the rescue of its reporter Cathy Frye, who was missing for days in the hot scrubby desert that is Big Bend Ranch State Park, are gripping.
    • Oct 10, 2013
  • Hodge shares his OA vision

    Roger Hodge, the new editor of Oxford American magazine, talked about his rise at Harper's, his writing philosophy and his plans for the OA before a full crowd last Wednesday at the Clinton School.
    • Sep 26, 2012
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

New Entrance and North Forest to debut with Chihuly exhibit opening at Crystal Bridges

New Entrance and North Forest to debut with Chihuly exhibit opening at Crystal Bridges

Dual Chihuly exhibit opening also brings culmination of year-plus forest project

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Trump unfit

    Even as an oligarch, President Trump turns out to be breathtakingly incompetent. Is there any reason to suppose he's even loyal to the United States? Does he even understand the concept? Trump is loyal to Trump, and to his absurdly swollen ego. Nothing and nobody else.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Trump unfit

    • Well, Al - I'll give it to you - I can't find, again, that phrase…

    • on May 22, 2017
  • Re: Trump unfit

    • Well, not only does Al do the Projection shuffle, he also does the Strawman two…

    • on May 22, 2017
  • Re: Trump unfit

    • Al, you're a little late to the party, and have arrived with dated info. The…

    • on May 22, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation