WDEF–TV channel 12 is the CBS affiliate television station for Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley. The station, whose call letters came from its former AM and FM sister stations, is owned by Morris Multimedia. Its transmitter is located in Signal Mountain, Tennessee.

WDEF's broadcasts have been digital-only since February 17, 2009.[1][2][3]

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Branding WDEF News 12
Slogan Local, Quick and to the Point
Channels Digital: 12 (VHF)
Subchannels 12.1 CBS
Owner Morris Multimedia, Inc.

(WDEF-TV, Inc.)

First air date April 25, 1954
Former channel number(s) Analog:

12 (1954-2009) Digital: 47 (2004-2009)

Former affiliations All secondary:

DuMont (1954–1955) NBC (1954-1956) ABC (1954-1958) UPN (2004-2006)

Transmitter power 26 kW
Height 384 m
Facility ID 54385
Transmitter coordinates 35°8′6″N 85°19′25″W / 35.135°N 85.32361°W / 35.135; -85.32361


The station signed on the air on April 25, 1954, carrying programming from all four networks, though it has always been a primary CBS affiliate. It was owned by Joe Engel, who owned the Chattanooga Lookouts baseball team as well as WDEF radio (AM 1370 and FM 92.3). It took the CBS affiliation from WROM-TV (now WTVC, (channel 9). It lost NBC to WRGP-TV (now WRCB-TV) in 1956, and lost ABC to WTVC (the former WROM) in 1958. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[4]

For many years, WDEF was owned by Park Communications, which was bought by Media General in 1997. In 2006, Media General sold the station to Morris Multimedia.[5]

On Saturday, April 4, 2009, WDEF-TV became the first station in Chattanooga to launch local news in high definition, with, News 12 at 11 as the first HD newscast. </ref>


In its early years, WDEF was locally oriented, offering a mix of children's shows, talk and variety programs, including Point Of View, one of the longest–running local public–affairs programs in the United States.[6]

Luther Masingill is the station's best–known personality. He was discovered by Engel in 1940 and has been a fixture in Chattanooga broadcasting ever since. While hosting the morning show on WDEF radio (as he has since 1941), he hosts the "Community Calendar" segment on WDEF–TV's morning newscast. He also advertises lost pets on channel 12's noon newscast

Mort Lloyd was the station's top anchor from the station's inception in 1954 until 1958, when he moved to rival NBC affiliate WRGP-TV. He returned to the anchor chair at channel 12 from 1970 until he stepped down to run for Congress in 1974]. He won the Democratic nomination, but died in a plane crash while en route to a victory celebration. His widow, Marilyn Lloyd, replaced him on the ballot and won in November, serving twenty years until 1995.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • The Tri-State Report (1969-1984)
  • NewsCenter 12 (1984-1992)
  • News 12 (1992-present)

Station slogans

  • New Tall Tower, More Picture Power (1960s)
  • Chattanooga's News Source (1980s)
  • The Look of Chattanooga is TV-12 (1991-1992, localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • This is CBS, on TV-12 (1992-1994, localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • I am WDEF People (1994-1995, localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • People You Can Count On (1995-1997)
  • When Local News Comes First (1997-2002) 
  • Local, Quick and to the Point (2002-present)

News music packages

  • On Top of It All (19??-19??)
  • Tuesday13 (19??-19??)
  • WNDU 1986 News Theme
  • WDEF 1987 News Theme
  • WDEF 1990 News Theme
  • Signature (1992-1995)
  • WFTV 1988 News Theme (1995-1998)
  • Counterpoint (1998-2002)
  • News Matrix (2002-present)

[2] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.==On-air staff==

Current on-air staff

  • Patrick Core, Chief Meteorologist
  • John Mercer , 6:00PM & 11:00 PM Anchor/Reporter
  • Nordia Epps, 11:00 PM Anchor/Reporter
  • Amy Katcher, Weekend Meteorologist/Reporter
  • Reneé LaSalle,6:00 PM Anchor/Reporter
  • Webb Wright, Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter
  • Joe Legge, Noon Anchor/Reporter
  • Luther Masingill, Community Calendar
  • Rick Nyman, Sports Director
  • Rachel Oesch, Morning Anchor

Past on-air staff

  • David Ross, Reporter, Weekend Anchor (1984-1986) -- now Alternate Public Defender, Los Angeles County.
  • Debbie Baer, Weather and Human Interest, (1978-1980)
  • Jay Berman, Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter (2003-2006, Now at and 1010 WINS)
  • Allison Braxton, General Assignment Reporter (2003–06, now at WVUE)
  • Chip Chapman, Morning and Noon Meteorologist (now works in Chattanooga radio)
  • Lynette Charles, Weekend Meteorologist (now at WPMT)
  • Chris Allen, General Assignment and Education Reporter
  • Brooke Cornell, Weekend Meteorologist (?)
  • Tom Gilliland, Anchor
  • Dick James, Anchor
  • McLain Ramsey, Anchor
  • Jim Garner, Host
  • Betty Mac, Hostess
  • Tom Willette, Host
  • Jolly Cholly (Charles Krause), Host
  • Vic Gramount, Anchor
  • Hoyt Cameron, Anchor
  • Allen Jones, Anchor-Reporter
  • Russ Geller, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (1980-1983 now News Director at WCBI)
  • Ebony Hall, Reporter (1998-2004, now at WBMA)
  • Candice Lee, 6:00 and 11:00 Anchor (now at WCMH)
  • Kristy Lindstrom, Weekend Meteorologist (?)
  • David Neal, Chief Meteorologist (1987–97, now at WIAT)
  • Melissa Riopka, Anchor/Reporter (now at WBMA)
  • Alison Starling, Anchor/Reporter (now at WJLA)
  • Ben Tackett, Weathercaster (1983-86)
  • Kurt Williams, Anchor/Reporter (now at WTKR)
  • Cater Lee, News Anchor (now at CBS 2/KCAL 9 in Los Angeles)
  • David Carroll, Morning Show Host (now at WRCB)
  • Glenn Halbrooks, News Anchor (now at WAKA 8 in Montgomery, AL)
  • Tracy Moore, News Anchor
  • Mike King, News Anchor
  • Dale Harris, News Anchor
  • John Clark, News Anchor
  • Jim Hampton, News Anchor
  • Jerry Brown, News Anchor (now at WMBB)
  • Tom Hogue, Reporter, News Anchor
  • Dave Daughtry, News Anchor
  • Rich Buddine, News Anchor
  • Steve Conrad, News Anchor
  • Mort Lloyd, News Anchor
  • John Gray, Weather
  • Neal Kassebaum, 11 PM and Weekend weather anchor, now with Raycom Sports, Charlotte, NC.
  • Harv Bradley, Weather
  • Bill Schoocraft, Sports
  • Bill Smith, Sports
  • Bill McAfee, News Anchor
  • Ken Kettering, Sports
  • Randy Smith, Sports
  • Deb Collins, News Anchor
  • Christy Murphy, News Anchor
  • Ted Perry, News Anchor (now at WITI-TV)
  • Bill Ross, News Anchor
  • Garry Mac, News Anchor
  • Sally Schulze, News Anchor (most recently with WESH-TV, Orlando)
  • Heidi Robinson, News Anchor
  • Ken Chambers, News Anchor
  • Rebecca Williams, News Anchor
  • Ray White, News Anchor
  • Chet Green, News Anchor
  • Suzy Rigsby, News Anchor
  • Mike Lewis News Anchor
  • Joyce Oscar, News Anchor (now with WSB-TV, Atlanta)
  • Rich Everitt, News Anchor
  • Mark Grimm, Reporter
  • Jim Bradley Reporter
  • Margaret Johnson, Noon Anchor
  • Linda Edwards Noon Anchor
  • Kendra Farn, Reporter
  • Helen Hardin, Reporter, Morning Show Host
  • Sarah Harlow, Reporter
  • Beth McKay, Reporter
  • Dan Lothian, Reporter (now with CNN)
  • Kevin Billingsley, Sports Anchor
  • Bill Ericson, Sports
  • Esme Murphy, Reporter
  • Bethany Mowry, Reporter
  • Mike Chambers, Reporter
  • Doug Thomas, Sports
  • Chip Tarkenton, Sports
  • Leigh Mosely, Reporter
  • Catherine Cate, Reporter
  • Elizabeth Batterson, Reporter
  • Sherry Wein, Reporter
  • Gene Pinder, Reporter
  • Mike Andrews, Reporter
  • Lauren Thierry, Reporter (formerly of CNN)
  • Tina Crawford, Reporter, Fill-in morning anchor(Now with the Chattanooga Nature Center)
  • Carrie Davis, Reporter, Fill-in Anchor (WSPA Morning Anchor/Medical Reporter)
  • Timothy Bradfield, Reporter



  1. ^
  2. ^ "List of TV stations to end analog on Tuesday" From Google (February 13, 2009)
  3. ^ WDEF News 12 Goes All Digital: See What You Missed Overnight, Joe Legge, WDEF-TV, February 18, 2009
  4. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956.
  5. ^ "Media General Completes Sale of WDEF-TV in Chattanooga to Morris Multimedia". Media General. October 13, 2006. Retrieved April 8 2009.
  6. ^ "About Us". WDEF. Retrieved April 8 2009.

External links