WMC remembers 'godfather of Mid-South television'

WMC remembers 'godfather of Mid-South television'
Frank Reynolds (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Frank Reynolds (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Known as the "godfather of Mid-South television", Frank Reynolds was a mentor and trailblazer at WMC Action News 5.

Reynolds worked behind the camera at Channel 5 for more than 30 years. As an engineer and audio operator, he was the reason you could hear and see Channel 5 in your living room.

Reynolds was one of the first African-Americans hired at the station. He started in July 1968 as an audio engineer.

Sunday, Reynolds passed away peacefully at the age of 72.

"He made just about everyone he came in contact with successful because they were able to get so much knowledge from him," floor manager Carl Dillard said.

"It was very educational to be around Frank," director Lyle Bontrager said.

"He always taught me you have to be detail oriented," traffic coordinator Tracie Matthews said.

Reynolds was affectionately known as the "godfather of Mid-South television." He was a mentor and a trailblazer.

If you want to reminisce about Channel 5, click here.

Reynolds was a graduate of Memphis Catholic High School and attended Mississippi Valley State College before joining the U.S. Army and heading to Vietnam.

Reynolds is remembered for his words of wisdom.

"He gave me this saying, 'In TV and in life, you have to learn to improvise and execute, because regardless of whatever situation you're in, you're going to have to change,'" director Smori Cooper recalled.

"He was always encouraging and he taught me the things that were necessary to do the job that I've done for up to 21 years at this point," floor director Carl Dillard said.

In addition to opening countless doors for employees at WMC Action News 5, a little known fact is that Reynolds actually had a brother who later joined the WMC family.

After 35 years of service at WMC Action News 5, Reynolds retired in 2004.

He continued to be a loving husband, father of twin daughters, and grandfather who will leave a legacy of excellence.

"He led the way he worked: hard. He was determined and he set an example for everyone to follow, not just African Americans, but everyone," Cooper said.

Funeral services for Frank Reynolds were held Saturday at St. Augustine Catholic Church on Kerr Avenue.

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