Watchdog reporter appears on Nashville FOX news affiliate to discuss state contract



NASHVILLE — Tennessee Watchdog reporter Chris Butler appeared on FOX 17 News of Nashville on Wednesday to discuss how $60 million of taxpayer money, meant for tourism promotion, is going across state lines.

In a release, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development officials announced late last month they have selected VML, a global marketing agency, for a five-year contract to increase tourism in the state.

In the article, Tennessee Watchdog questioned why the money is going to Missouri, especially when Tennessee has so many marketing firms of its own.

FOX 17 of Nashville reporter Mikayla Lewis interviewed Tennessee Watchdog reporter Chris Butler Wednesday about a $60 million state contract.

FOX 17 reporter Mikayla Lewis interviewed Butler, who discussed how eight of the 40 vendors that the TDTD selected to compete for the contract were Tennessee-based.

The tourism release said VML, which has offices scattered throughout the world, will open an office in Nashville, but the release didn’t say when.

State officials did not specify when VML plans to open its Nashville office, and VML officials have thus far not responded to Tennessee Watchdog’s requests for comment.

The advertising contract includes website, social media, research and public relations work, TDTD officials said.

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