The VIPP Report: Being nominated for Most Admired Woman by Today’s Woman Magazine

 

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By Sherlene M. Shanklin

When I was contacted by Today’s Woman Magazine I had mixed emotions. – shocked to even be nominated even though no one knows anything about me.

People have no idea that I’ve worked in the media for almost 27 years.

When teachers told my graduating class that we would likely have to start at a smaller market to get your experience and then work your way back to your hometown.  I beat those odds and jumped straight to my hometown of Louisville.  I was hired part-time as an associate director. Working crazy hours, weekends and holidays.  All while I worked in a new healthcare division full time and attending graduate school obtaining two master’s degrees.

I’ve worked in just about every position behind the scenes.  Receiving several award nominations for floor directing and my camera work for some of the biggest news events in Louisville.  I had the opportunity to first produce/coordinate the very first forum where community leaders said some 20 years ago that Louisville was ready for a professional team.  Many of the same believers in that idea are still believing in the vision today and its moving in the right direction.  I believe there will be a farm team that’s affiliated with an NBA team who will make Louisville their home first. Those players, when developed, will be called up to team.

After proving I could produce I went from production to the newsroom where I had the opportunity to write and produce some of the biggest stories of our lifetime like 9-11. Then I was recruited away in 2003 to WHAS11.  I started off as a producer but later moved to the assignment desk.

I had an opportunity to start one of the first webcasts in the area about entertainment and community news that you did not see on the air.  I took the challenge upon myself to help promote people and events.  My original concept was to find national figures throughout the world that had Kentucky ties.  That helped me create that niche in the market and The411 with Sherlene Shanklin was born.

In 2018, the Society of Professional Journalists announced my story about the NBA as their Best Sports Writing piece of the Year.  I also won Best Use of Social Media for Louisville’s own Bryson Tiller announcing his national tour and pop-up concert series.  In 2017, I was nominated for an Emmy Award for the coverage of Muhammad Ali’s memorial coverage.

411After, first using web-based and social media platforms to promote my stories. I had the opportunity to go on air.  There was only a few stories out there at the time but now the table has turned and dozens of stories are developed with the emphasis on “did you know that person is from Kentucky?”

Now, you can watch The411 on Thursdays at 12:50 p.m., Fridays at 4:20 p.m. and Saturday mornings during Good Morning Kentuckiana Weekend.

You can hear me on 104.7/WLOU on Miss Krystal Goodner’s show on Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. and of course you can read my stories on www.whas11.com and www.thevippreport.com.

Can you believe it all started from an idea and now it has flourished into its own standalone brand.  My primary job at WHAS11, an ABC Affiliate is the assignment desk.  In a nutshell I’m reading and/or listening to all of the story ideas, news tips and helping develop the story.

Even if the story doesn’t make air I still try and assist as many people as I can with their problems.

So, no I’m not new to the area.  Some people consider me as the go-to in the community when they need assistance.  Even if I can’t assist, I try to lead then in the right direction to get assistance.  Once I think we can do the story.  I consult with the reporter I believe has the sources and passion to get the story done.

vippnewlogoWhile working around the clock in the media.  It gave me other opportunities to help people.  Once the demand was so real I started VIPP Communications.  It’s a one-stop public relations, branding, marketing, special events and video production firm.

Then The VIPP Report was created so I could have a platform to talk about clients.  Then through supply and demand everyone wanted to know where I vippstylemakeastatementpurchased my jewelry, so I created VIPP Style an online accessory store.

So, to be nominated as “Most Admired” by the magazine is simply humbling.  I’ve worked so hard for so long that I didn’t think anyone was noticing.  I’ve chosen not one but multiple fields that are highly competitive.  When no one wanted to help me, I created and developed what others would not give me a chance to do.  To now receiving calls for assistance simply brings me to tears.  This was not an overnight, an instant potato career. I’ve been moving mountains my entire adulthood and making ways out of no way.

I still have a lot more to accomplish because I’m never satisfied but to know others are watching and acknowledging that I’m on their radar lets me know that a real breakthrough is just around the corner.  This is a little bit about me and what I do.  I will be sharing more in the future about my journey, who I work with and why I refuse to lose.

If you have time between now and March 22nd at noon, please vote for me in the #media category for Today’s Woman Most Admired for WHAS11 Television.

www.todayswomannow.com/maw

 

 

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VIPP Special Report: How 10-year-old Seven Bridges death is now bringing awareness to so many who don’t understand the consequences that bullying brings

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The heartbreak a community is feeling because a child dies a tragic death because he was suffering in silence

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Affiliate in Louisville, KY (Original story posted: January 22, 2019/Updated: January 23, 2019)

Shanklin, an assignment editor with more than 25 years in the broadcast field for the station took the mother’s call in September 2018 while heading into work.  In a rare and raw account which is hardly done she reflects on when she took both calls about Seven Bridges.   

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The story of Seven Bridges is making headlines not only in Louisville but nationwide after the 10-year-old committed suicide on Saturday for alleged bullying. I have to use alleged because this will likely be determined in the court of law.

I spoke to the mother Tami Charles Saturday evening after returning from out of town. I had received numerous texts wanting to know what happened to Charles’ son. I had no idea because I was traveling and could not be distracted due to extremely heavy rain.

When I got back to Louisville, I reached out to her because I knew the backstory. I didn’t expect for her to answer my text message for weeks but later that evening she responded. We texted a couple of times and then my phone rang it was Charles. She told me what happened all we could do was cry together over the phone. I got off wondering, “What else could I have done?” “What can I do now?” “Why didn’t someone say something?”

50739415_1000508566810691_3647677009657593856_nTo hear the hurt but strength of a mother on the same day she lost her child made my heart drop into my stomach. What do you say? It’s not about getting the story. I didn’t move into this community. I grew up in this community. I know the names, the faces, the unsung heroes, and the sacrifices many do day in and day out and never get a day of media coverage. I chose to stay to help and support those who needed a voice but all I could do was listen to this mother.  What could I say to comfort a grieving mother who knew something was going on but couldn’t stop it?

I walked and cried and cried and walked, all night until my family had to ask if there was anything they could do. They know I keep my work close to the vest and private and I never include them to keep my journalistic integrity. Frankly, if I told them some things, they could not erase the image from their minds. Some stories develop while others do not, but I still assist and work for an answer with as many as I can even on my off days.

My main job is to get the story out of people. Whether they are yelling at me because of their situation, their frustration and/or confusion on how to express what they are thinking and/or feeling. My task is to translate their thoughts and get to the core of the situation.

A mentor taught me a long time ago that you need to listen to the details they are in there just listen. Then, ask follow up questions to make sure I’m understanding them correctly. If I can’t understand the story, I can’t get our team to understand the importance.

With this burden on my heart and mind, I did reach out to the reporter that helped with the story in September 2018. We talked about it. We agreed not to talk to Charles about doing an interview. There was no rush since we were the only ones who did the initial story on Seven. When she along with her husband were ready they would let us know.

Then when Charles mentioned that insurance would not pay for her son’s funeral we decided that we needed to do something. That’s when we asked them to do the interview.

Reporter Heather Fountaine and I also said we wanted her to talk to anyone who could help her get the needed funds to bury her only child. Actually, her miracle child because Charles thought she was not able to have children, but she was blessed to have Seven.

Because Seven’s death was a suicide we did not think she would get a lot of coverage. Fountaine and I had to move faster than any of us wanted too, but thinking we spoke to the family during the trying time we needed to see it through and worked all weekend on our days off.

Let me take you back to September 2018 when the mother was trying to help her child when no one else thought it was anything until the untimely death of Seven on Saturday, January 19, 2019.

Charles reached out to me in September and explained to me what her child was going through and as a mother she needed to find a way to help her son. They loved the school but felt like the process might have been broken when it came to the notification process.

What the mother didn’t know that I was having a bad day, running late for work and was literally stuck in traffic at 2:30 p.m. in the middle of the day. But when I saw Charles’ name on my caller ID I knew I needed to answer. She said she was having a problem and wanted to get the word out. I explained to her that I was in traffic and as soon as I got to work I would begin looking into it. As soon as we hung up, I went to work. I called my newsroom and asked them to pull the video, so we could review it as soon as I walked in and asked others to listen as well, so we could make a decision. (Our evening meetings are at 3:00 pm, so if i wanted them to try and get all of the elements before the end of business we didn’t have much time or I would have to hold the story for consideration the next day.)

In Charles’ video, which has 38,000 views and more than 1,100 shares. She expressed sincere concern for her child’s well-being. Charles alleged her son was choked and verbally abused racially and no action was taken nor was she told of the incident even though her child was elementary school age. She used the words bullied. She also said several times that they loved the school, but it needed to change its procedure of alerting parents when situations like this occur. I went into the meeting and explained the situation and that the mother wanted to address the procedure and the time frame in which a parent is notified so that the child does not continue to go through a situation alone but with a support team.

The Kentucky Dept of Education defines “bullying” as any unwanted verbal, physical, or social behavior among students that involves a real or perceived power imbalance and is repeated or has the potential to be repeated: 1. That occurs on school premises, on school-sponsored transportation, or at a school-sponsored event; or 2. That disrupts the education process.

This incident met the criteria. We sat down with Charles and her 10-year-old son Seven Bridges. The reporter was very sensitive to the situation but asked the hard questions and the mother and child answered freely.

When the team came back to the station, they were so surprised of the maturity of the fifth grader and his level of forgiveness.

In our September 2018 interview Bridges said, “I know that I can get it out of my mind, and tomorrow is like a better day, so I can still make friends with him.”

Charles also in that interview said she would like to see the school’s administration held accountable and more racial sensitivity training within the school system.

The school system said in September 2018 that the incident was under official investigation.

Presently, the district is opening a full investigation. The parents of Seven Bridges say they will file a lawsuit.

Now, the grieving parents have to find a way to bury their child. Again, they have insurance but when a person commits suicide it is not covered under the policy.  So, they have started a Go Fund Me page entitled: Rest in Paradise Seven Bridges if you would like to donate, go to https://www.gofundme.com/rest-in-paradise-seven-bridges.

The community is rallying around the family be using the words “Seven Strong” – this is to bring awareness of bullying of any kind so that no other family has to go through this traumatic situation because unfortunately Seven was suffering in silence.

There’s a phrase that’s commonly used: “If I can just save one person, then I did my job.”

I will never use that phrase again because the one person I thought I helped I could not save but I hope my efforts and Seven’s memory will not go in vain.

If you know someone who may not be able to talk to you. Have them talk to someone. Give them this number 800-273-8255. Let’s not let anyone suffer in silence.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.

Sherlene Shanklin, an multi-Emmy nominated, two-time 2018 Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Winner for Sports Writing & For Best Use of Social Media and multiple AP Awards currently works for WHAS11 Television. She created a segment The411 and is a regular contributor to whas11.com.  You can hear her on Thursdays at 11:30 am on WLOU/104.7FM as well as WHAS11 Noon Show at 12:50 pm, Fridays at 4:25 pm and Saturday mornings on Good Morning Kentuckiana at 6:25 am and 9:25 am.  You can also read her stories on this site The VIPP Report.  Sherlene’s podcast Giving You The Vibe, (GUTV) will begin in the first quarter of 2019.  

Travis Scott’s Astroworld Tour is announced

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Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Affiliate Louisville

The411 with Sherlene Shanklin:  It’s been a busy day when it comes to concert announcements.  Hip hop star Travis Scott announces his “Astroworld: Wish You Were Here” Tour.  The show is slated as a show unlike anything done before and unlikely to be topped with the artist’s explosive and wild performances.  The tour will kick off in Baltimore, Maryland on November 8th.  Several days later he will make a stop in Louisville, KY at the KFC Yum! Center on Monday, November 19th.

The tour is the same name of his third album, ASTROWORLD.  Scott;s album earned the second highest debut of the year on the Billboard Top 200.

Tickets go on sale Friday, August 24th at 10 am for the Louisville show.

Also, did you know that he was giving away $100,000 to fans? Travis uses his platform to give back to fans and he actually handed out $100,000 on his Cash App. He calls it transferring his blessing to others.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr, IG: @sherlenemediapro and FB @SherleneShanklin for the latest in community and entertainment news.

Here’s Travis Scott’s AstroWorld Tour schedule:

Thursday, November 8, 2018 – Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms Arena

Friday, November 9, 2018 – Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena

Sunday, November 11, 2018 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena

Monday, November 12, 2018 – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 – Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena

Thursday, November 15, 2018 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center

Monday, November 19, 2018 – Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 – Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena

Saturday, November 24, 2018 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center

Sunday, November 25, 2018 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden

Thursday, November 29, 2018 – Washington, DC @ Capital One Arena

Friday, November 30, 2018 – Hartford, CT @ XL Center

Saturday, December 1, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center

Sunday, December 2, 2018 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 – Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 – Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena

Thursday, December 6, 2018 – Chicago, IL @ United Center

Saturday, December 8, 2018 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center

Sunday, December 9, 2018 – Milwaukee, WI @ Fiserv Forum

Monday, December 10, 2018 – Omaha, NE @ CenturyLink Center Omaha

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center

Saturday, December 15, 2018 – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 – Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena

Wednesday, December 19, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum

 

The VIPP Report: Music icon Prince dies at the age of 57

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(Exclusive Coverage) Prince performs onstage during the “HitnRun” tour opener at The Louisville Palace on March 14, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Special Report from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television/ABC Louisville

Just a week ago, there was an emergency landing in Illinois to get music icon Prince to a hospital and today his publicist confirms that the artist had died.  He was found dead at his home in suburban Minneapolis.

I had the opportunity to be invited to his last show to do the review since it was the kickoff of his HITNRUN USA Tour in March of 2015.

Prince Roger Nelson passed away at the age of 57.

If you would like to send a tribute and memory of Prince, send it to The411@whas11.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr for real-time news.

Here’s my review for the March 14-15, 2015 concert review.

The411 with Sherlene Shanklin: Prince kicks off U.S. tour in the town where basketball, horse racing and the “Greatest” of all time is king

“On Selection Sunday the HITNRUN USA Tour was a number one pick for concerts in 2015” Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL performed four shows in two days in Louisville.

This time last week, Prince fans were scrambling to find tickets. When I announced that music legend Prince would be in Louisville to kickoff his U.S. tour, I instantly picked up followers. Prince gave fans an one week notice and the tickets sold out in record time causing Live Nation to add not one but a total of three additional shows over a two day period.

When I got word that I would be attending the last show in Louisville to give a review of the concert, I knew he would leave fans wanting more. Well, I was right.

With it only being March, I have to say Prince with 3RDEYEGIRL with Louisville native Hannah Welton on drums is the best concert of the year. Since the concert was held on Selection Sunday, I would have to use basketball analogy and call it a slam dunk causing real madness in March for music lovers.

The Louisville Palace had 2,600 screaming fans including myself when he took the stage to “Let’s Go Crazy”. That was so appropriate because fans went crazy when the music interlude started. I met some fans waiting for the 11 pm show and they told me if Prince is in a good mood, the show will be taken to another level. Well, he gave that positive sign almost immediately by pulling off his sunglasses and then he flashed his million dollar smile that confirmed to his fans that his jam session was officially underway. Prince even pulled two couples from Louisville on stage and they danced during his performance.

Some dozen songs later, an encore performance was underway and a solo from Welton. Fans stood nearly a hour and a half, screaming, singing along and taking you back in time because yes Prince did sing some of his biggest hits that made him a legend. The production and timing of his show was seamless. Vibrant colors transitioning the change of a song. Prince used the whole stage from standing right in front of the stage with his “symbol” microphone stand to the side of the stage where his keyboard was positioned.

The intimate venue made you feel like you were in a private show. I need to warn you that security has eyes on you and your electronic devices. They walked up and down each aisle. If security catches you, they would flash you with a light and someone would come and escort you out of the venue.

Prince addressed fans about 80 minutes into the show, Prince said “I like this place”. He also told the audience that Louisville had two things, Muhammad Ali and Hannah Welton and fans showed their love with a loud applause. Welton went into a serious jam session for her hometown crowd. Prince, members of 3RDEYEGIRL, backup singers and the keyboard player all left the stage to give Hannah her moment. Once she finished giving fans an unbelievable performance Prince returned to the staged to thank everyone for attending.

As they exited the stage Hannah threw up a heart sign to fans as she left.

I would say they left to a standing ovation but you really need to sit for that to happen. Fans NEVER sat down during the entire show.

This one of the most diverse concerts I have ever attended. From every race to a 12 year old getting to attend his very first concert as a birthday gift from his mother. The Hit and Run Tour is a home run for fans because Prince is hitting a grand slam with this tour.

If you have a story idea, send it to The411@whas11.com. You can also follow me on Twitter at @Sherlenemediapr for real-time news, entertainment and sports.

Note from Shanklin’s social media pageI had to stop and take a deep breath when I got the news of Prince’s death. I had to be absolutely sure before I said anything. As a member of the media my announcement of his HitnRun tour took The411 to another level. When his team invited me to his show to do a review of the show that was BIG for me. So, when other artist turn me down for opportunities I just say oh well because the BEST gave me a chance. ‪#‎RIH‬ ‪#‎musicicon‬ ‪#‎Sherlene‬‘sStory

Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL "HitnRun" Tour Opener - Louisville

LOUISVILLE, KY – MARCH 14: (Exclusive Coverage) Prince performs onstage during the “HitnRun” tour opener at The Louisville Palace on March 14, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for NPG Records 2015)