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Tommy Tucker

It's a good day getting started! Tune in to "WWL First News" for fun and informative talk about the national and local issues of our day.

Weekdays 6am-10am

Twitter: @ttuckerWWL
Email: tommy@wwl.com

Tommy: Is Ebola a crisis or not?

The Ebola virus is on a lot of people's minds right now. It's a scary, scary disease that's been ravaging West Africa; and now we have a couple cases in the United States.

So we talked to a couple different experts on this. Is this a crisis? How much should we be worried? And are we prepared?

I spoke with Ernest DelBuono, the Senior Vice President and Chair of Crisis Practices at the crisis management firm Levick. When I asked him if this was a crisis, he immediately answered in the negative.

"This is not a crisis yet…Right now we have one death. We have two people who are ill, both of whom have been identified and are in quarantine. We're not in a crisis…What we have is a public health issue."

Those are great points that we need to keep in mind. This is a serious disease; but, so far in the US, it's been relatively minor. We obviously should stay vigilant, but we don't need to freak out.

I also spoke with Dr. Frank Welch, the Medical Director of the Center for Community Preparedness for the Department of Health and Hospitals here in Louisiana, about the state's preparation for if there's a case of Ebola diagnosed here.

"The State of Louisiana has been preparing for the past eight weeks, and intensively for the past two and a half weeks, for the possibility for an Ebola patient to enter the health care system at any level. Preparing, education, training."

That made me feel better.

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Ernest DelBuono about Ebola
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Tommy: Do we have ourselves to blame for bad customer service?

Do we only have ourselves to blame for poor customer service?

Jet Blue kicked a 47 year old mother of three off of a flight after she posted some negative tweets about the airline. And some of the airlines that get the worst customer service ratings are often doing the best on Wall Street.

What gives?

We decided to turn to Pamela Kennett-Hensel, Professor and Chair of the Department of Marketing at UNO, to try and get an expert's take on the matter, and, well, it's a bit of a mixed bag.

"There's a lot of conflicting data as to whether customer satisfaction translates to a company's bottom line." she said. Alright, well, that didn't clear anything up. So we dived a little deeper, and it looks like it depends on your time frame.

"You may have dissatisfied customers, but in the short-term, it might not affect your bottom line. But in the longer-term, there's a lot of research that has shown there's a strong relationship between customer satisfaction and financial performance." Ah-ha! So it takes some time before bad customer service could really affect the bottom-line. If people give the business a couple chances, the company will still see that money for a few cycles.

So if we keep going back and getting bad service, we're not accomplishing anything because they keep getting the dollars. So it may cost less, but we're rewarding the bad customer service. Dr. Kennett-Hensel's take? "We have probably, as a society, been willing to accept lower levels of service; but we are pleasantly surprised and reward companies that provide us with really excellent service," she concluded.

To me, it depends on what I'm looking for. For something like automotive work, I'm willing to pay more if it means good service.

To listen to my entire conversation with Professor Kennet-Hensel, click the link below.

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Professor Kennet-Hensel about customer service

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Topics : Business_Finance
People : Pamela Kennett-Hensel


VIDEO: Tommy visits with J Peterman of 'Seinfeld' fame

Today I caught a quick minute with actor John O'Hurley, who you probably remember as playing the catalouge-company entrepreneur J. Peterman on "Seinfeld." I'm a huge fan of his, and so is my daughter. Check it out!



Tommy: Win or lose, I'm impressed by Sean Payton's preparation

I had the great opportunity to speak with Saints Head Coach Sean Payton Tuesday morning.

While preparing for the interview, I couldn't help but remember a previous time I had interviewed, way back in January of 2006, right after he had been hired as head coach. He only had a few minutes that night because of something many of us can relate to: he had to go be a dad. The newly-minted New Orleans Saints head coach needed to be on time to take his daughter to a Gretchen Wilson concert.

"I had flown over [to New Orleans] and then had to turn around and fly back and she was waiting with her cowboy hat on."

We also talked about passion and how hard it can be to keep an NFL team motivated for an entire 16-game season.

"You pick and choose your spots. Look any good team I've been a part of is a team that has that desire to be successful, that has that passion point, at some point, those teams take over themselves. They demand it of each other."

And if a player doesn't have that passion, that purpose, that drive, well, Coach Payton isn't afraid to make a change.

"If we're not getting effort, we'll make a change…If there's a lack of effort, someone else is gonna be in that position. It's their job."

We saw that last year after left tackle Charles Brown wasn't getting the job done. Rookie Terron Armstead was named the starter, and he still is this season.

I've been impressed with the thoroughness of his preparation, even knowing how likely the crew of officials are to throw flags and call penalties. The amount of preparation that goes into just one game is a lot, so it's always helpful to have other to bounce ideas off of and to get their feedback, and Sean Payton is no different.

"I would probably speak with [Bill] Parcells or [Jon] Gruden. Both of them have been huge influences on my career, both of them are very sharp football people."

And for the Who Dats worried about the Saints 2-3 start?

"We haven't played our best football to date…I think we've got the right guys, though. I think we've got the right make up on this team."

Click the link below to listen to the full interview:

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Sean Payton about Saints' season so far
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Topics : Sports
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Locations : New Orleans
People : Charles BrownRookie Terron ArmsteadSean Payton


Tommy: What to do about ISIS?

The terrorist group ISIS beheaded a SECOND American journalist that had been captured, saying they were doing it because of US air strikes.  How should we respond to this?  Targeted airstrikes? Diplomacy? Boots on the ground?  Bomb ’em all?
We spoke with Michael Rubin, a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute whose major areas of research include the Middle East, Turkey, Iran and diplomacy, about ISIS and what the United State can, and should, do.
Rubin said one of the best options is bombing them. “You’re not carpeting bombing, you’re not bombing randomly. You’re basically forcing the Islamic State to go to ground to allow other forces in the region to have the upper-hand… there are models where we can use our air power and allow people on the ground to take action against the Islamic State.”
Will we eventually face an attack on our own soil? Rubin had a dire answer: “I think we will.  Here’s the basic problem. Too often people in the State Department and the White House, people want to see terrorism in terms of grievance. If you address the grievance, the problem goes away. I tend to… see terrorism through the lens of ideology. It’s not motivated by grievance. No matter how many concessions you give some of these guys, they’re still going to want to kill you.”
Something needs to be done.  And, while the executions are tragic and terrible, I think we need to be angrier about US troops (including a general) who are still being killed by “green-on-blue” attacks (when Afghan soldiers or policemen fire at US troops).

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Michael Rubin about ISIS
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Topics : PoliticsWar_Conflict
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Locations : Middle East
People : Michael Rubin


Tommy's Ice Bucket Challenge


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Tommy: Do we want LSU to have cupcakes or challenges?

LSU has lots of unsold home game tickets.  Is it all about the experience at Tiger Stadium as the sun finds its home in the western sky on a Saturday night, or is it more important who the opposition is?  Would you rather play traditionally good teams like USC or Notre Dame or Texas, or take on a smaller team and get a guaranteed win?

We decided to talk to LSU football radio analyst Doug Moreau and get his take on the issue.

“Whoever the opponent is, my job is to try and describe a picture so they can visualize what’s going on on the field. It doesn’t make a difference to me who the opponent is, frankly.  There’s excitement, of course, when you play the Alabamas, the Ole Misses, and you play the SEC-caliber teams…but when you play the Sam Houston States, the demand isn’t going to be as great.”

Listeners weighed in as well, with some saying LSU should schedule the big-name opponents while others said the SEC slate is tough enough on its own.

A win is a win, and it’ll feel better on Sunday morning than a loss to a powerhouse.  But can LSU’s diet consist of cupcakes alone?

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Doug Moreau, LSU football radio analyst, about LSU football games
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Topics : Sports
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Locations : Texas
People : Doug Moreau


Tommy: Tight end or not tight end? That is the question

An arbitrator is deciding whether Jimmy Graham should get the franchise tag for a tight end or for a wide receiver. The difference?  About $5 million (and the spelling).

Graham wants wide receiver bucks; the Saints say he’s a tight end.   Which is it?

We spoke with WWL’s NFL analyst Mike Detillier, who believe Graham should get paid wide receiver money.

“In his first 4 seasons in the NFL, he’s caught more passes than any other tight end in the history of the National Football League. This is a guy that played a grand total of one year of college football, and last year played with a foot injury that he didn’t miss a lot of time out on the field.”

Mike went on to point out that Graham has more receptions than Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice did in his four years.

That does make a pretty compelling argument.

But what if there were a compromise?  Barry Wilner, an NFL writer for the Associated Press, offered up a possibility.

“What the league and the teams might need to find a way to do is restructure these definitions on positions so that you do have a tight end/wide receiver like a Jimmy Graham.”  Part of the problem is that the tight end might be the most hybrid position in the NFL…Jimmy Graham is as good as almost every wide receiver in the league, even though I do believe he is a tight end.”

Could the debate force a change for the whole NFL?   Well, we’ll see.

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Mike Detillier about Jimmy Graham

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Barry Wilner about Jimmy Graham
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Topics : Sports
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People : Barry WilnerJerry RiceJimmy GrahamMike Detillier


Tommy: Where's the best place to live?

Data indicates the West Bank of Jefferson Parish peaked in 2000 and is struggling with an aging population, low paying jobs and defections to Orleans Parish.  

We spoke with Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts about a study the Council commissioned that shows West Jefferson has been struggling, but it’s not all doom and gloom.

“When you have facilities like the TPC, and you have the NOLA Motorsports track, those are attractions that are going to be regional attractions that bring people from all over. So if you never had a reason before to cross the bridge, to come over and see West Jefferson, those are draw cards that cause people to come out. And it helps change the general perception.”

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts about the West Bank

Jefferson Parish residents and West Bankers, we really want to hear from you.  Do you like where y’at? 

And where are the best and worst places to live in the metro area?  If you could magically put your house in ANY neighborhood… where would it be?  

Click here to post your comments on our Facebook page!
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Locations : Orleans ParishWest Bank
People : Chris RobertsJefferson Parish


Tommy: Can volunteer Minutemen reduce crime in the Quarter?

The Minutemen are coming to the Quarter. Just like the Guardian Angels only these folks will be armed to help keep tourists and locals safe.  Aaron Jordan, the founder of the French Quarter Minutemen, joined us in studio to talk about the group.

“It’s a group of concerned citizens that live in the metro area of New Orleans. Some of them have a concealed carry license, and some will choose to exercise an open carry policy.” 

But one area in particular Jordan wanted to focus on was service workers.  He says many of them worry about going to and from work late at work.

“You can call our group! We’re going to have people in the French Quarter.  We will come out there and walk you to your car, walk you to your bus stop… that’s what I really want to focus on. The service workers in the French Quarter who are scared to death out there. We want to say, “‘Okay, we’re going to be there for you.’” 

Will volunteer citizens carrying guns make for a safe or more dangerous French Quarter?  Would it be better if they were in uniforms and not plain clothes?  Is this a good or bad idea?

Listen to the full interview and tell me what you think!

FULL AUDIO: Tommy talks to French Quarter Minutemen about patrols in the Vieux Carre
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Locations : New Orleans
People : Aaron Jordan

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