WVLT-TV (VHF channel 8) is the CBS television network affiliate station serving Knoxville, Tennessee, the 58th DMA in America according to Nielsen Media Research. The station's owned and operated by Gray Television and has its transmitters located in Knoxville. It is known on-air as Volunteer TV.

150px-VLT2 Logo Tile.jpg
Knoxville, Tennessee
Branding Volunteer TV (general)

Volunteer TV News (newscasts) MyVLT2

Slogan Taking Action for You
Channels Digital: 30 (UHF, PSIP 8)
Subchannels 8.1 CBS8.2 MyNetworkTV
Affiliations CBS Television Network
Owner Gray Television, Inc.

(Gray Television Licensee, Inc.)

First air date October 1, 1953
Call letters' meaning Tennessee VoLunTeer Television
Former callsigns WSKT-TV (1953-1954)

WTVK (1954-1988) WKXT-TV (1988-1997)

Former channel number(s) 26 (UHF analog, 1953-1988)

8 (VHF analog, 1988-2009)

Former affiliations Primary:CBS (1953-1956)ABC (1956-1979)

NBC (1979-1988) Secondary: ABC (1953-1956) DuMont (1953-1956) DT2: UPN (2003-2006)

Transmitter power 398 kW (digital)
Height 551.3 m (digital)
Facility ID 35908
Transmitter coordinates 35°59′44″N83°57′23″W
Website www.volunteertv.com/

The station also operates a MyNetworkTV affiliate MyVLT2 on its DT2 digital sub-channel; before 2006, it was a UPN affiliate, branded as UPN Knoxville.


WVLT-TV debuted on October 1, 1953 as WSKT-TV on channel 26. It was Tennessee's first UHF station, and the second television station in East Tennessee. The station was a CBS affiliate, but also shared ABC programming with WROL-TV, now WATE-TV, which signed on a few hours before WSKT.

Channel 26 found the going difficult at first, since television manufacturers weren't required to build in UHF tuning capability at the time. Viewers needed an expensive converter to watch WSKT, and even then the picture quality was marginal at best. In addition, most of eastern Tennessee is very mountainous, and UHF signals at the time usually did not carry very well over rugged terrain. In 1954, the station's original owners sold the station to South Central Communications, a radio company in Evansville, Indiana, who changed its calls to WTVK.

When WBIR-TV signed on in 1956 and took the CBS affiliation, WTVK became a full-time ABC affiliate. However, it spent most of the next 20 years as a very distant third in the ratings. While this was due in part to ABC being a much weaker network (it wouldn't be on par with CBS and NBC in terms of programming until the 1970s), another problem was the terrain issue. Many viewers didn't get a clear signal from channel 26 until cable arrived in Knoxville in the 1970s. In fact, many viewers got a better signal from WLOS-TV (channel 13) in Asheville, North Carolina; WLOS' transmitter is located almost 118 miles east of Knoxville.

In 1979, the station changed its affiliations from ABC to NBC, swapping affiliations with WATE-TV. By this time, ABC had become the highest-rated network in the country, and was seeking to affiliate with stronger stations. Under the circumstances, ABC jumped at the chance to move its programming to long-dominant WATE-TV. Even as NBC dominated the ratings in the 1980s, channel 26 stayed in the local ratings basement. However, it did win the rights to broadcast a daily one-hour features show from the 1982 World's Fair, held in Knoxville.

In 1988, the station returned to CBS, swapping affiliations with WBIR-TV; shortly afterward the station changed its calls to WKXT-TV and moved to channel 8, one of the last remaining VHF channel allocations in the U.S. It became one of the few stations in America to have been a primary affiliate of all "Big 3" networks. Soon after the move to the VHF band, South Central sold the station to a local ownership group. Channel 8 changed its callsign again to WVLT-TV in 1997 after Gray Television bought the station in 1996.

On January 9, 2011, their 11 p.m. newscast became the first in the Knoxville market to originate in high definition.[1]

Vol Network affiliation

In 2007, WVLT TV/MYVLT TV and the Vol Network, the broadcasting arm of the University of Tennessee's athletic department, entered into a new 10-year agreement for WVLT/MYVLT TV to be the exclusive home of all Vol TV Network programing in the Knoxville area. WVLT paid UT $4.95 million for the 10 year contract. This gives the two stations the exclusive rights to the weekly highlights shows featuring head football coach Derek Dooley, head men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl, head women's basketball coach Pat Summit, and other UT athletic-related programs in the Knoxville market. With this, the Vol TV Network ended a 10-year relationship with NBC affiliate WBIR-TV.[1]

Digital television

The station's digital signal UHF 30, is multiplexed:

Digital channels

Channel Programming
8.1 main WVLT-TV/CBS programming
8.2 My VLT-TV/My Network TV programming

Digital conversion

After the US analog television shutdown, which took place on June 12, 2009 [2], WVLT-DT remained on its current frequency, channel 30.[3] However, digital television with PSIPcapability will display its virtual channel as 8.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • First Edition News (1975-1977)
  • Metro 26 News (1977–1981)
  • NewsCenter 26 (1981–1986)
  • WTVK NewsCenter (1986–1988)
  • News 8 (1988–1997)
  • NewsChannel 8 (1997–1998)
  • Volunteer News (1998–2002)
  • Volunteer TV News (2002–2011)
  • Local 8 News (2011-present)

Station slogans

  • 26, Proud As A Peacock! (1979-1981; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Hello Knoxville, TV-26 Loves You (1981–1985; used during period station used Frank Gari's Hello News)
  • Channel 26, Our Pride Is Showing (1981-1982; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • We`re Channel 26, Just Watch Us Now (1982–1983; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • TV-26 There, Be There (1983–1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • WTVK, Let's All Be There!/TV-26, Let`s All Be There (1984-1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to TV-26 (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come on Home to TV-26 (1987-1988; last localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • You Can Feel It on Channel 8 (1988-1989; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • The Valley's Own, News 8 (1988-early 1990s)[4]
  • Get Ready for News 8 (1989-1991; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • In Touch with East Tennessee (1997–2002)
  • Taking Action for You (2002–present)

On-air staff

Current news anchors and reporters

News anchors

  • Casey Wheeless – weekday mornings on Local 8 News This Morning (4:30-7 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Lauren Davis – weekdays at 4 p.m.; also reporter
  • Ted Hall – weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Amanda Hara – weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Brittany Tarwater – weekdays at 4 and 5
  • Allie Spillyards – weekday morning headline news on Local 8 News This Morning (4:30-7 a.m.); also multimedia journalist
  • Bob Yarborough – weekday mornings on Local 8 News This Morning (4:30-7 a.m.)
  • Alan Williams – weekday headline news
  • Kelsey Lehrer – weekends; Saturdays at 6 p.m., Sundays at 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Melissa Lee– Saturdays on Local 8 News This Morning (6:00-8 a.m.) *John Carroll – co-anchor

Local 8 Weather

  • David Aldrich – chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Heather Haley – meteorologist; weekdays noon, 4 and 5 p.m.
  • Dani Ruberti – weather girl; weekday mornings on Local 8 News This Morning (4:30-7 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Kyle Grainger – meteorologist; Saturday mornings on Local 8 News This Morning (7-8 a.m.) and Saturdays at 6 p.m., Sundays at 6:30 p.m. and weekends at 11 p.m.


  • Rick Russo - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Daryl Hobby - sports anchor and reporter; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 6:30 and weekends at 11:00 p.m.
  • Jeff Archer - sports reporter

News reporters

  • Lauren Davis
  • Courtney Elledge
  • Whitney Kent – Also Weather Specialist
  • Sharee Gilbert
  • Kyle Grainger
  • Hilary Magacs
  • Michele Silva – Director of Promotions & Community Service and Franchise Reporter
  • Casey Bitch
  • Kyle Warnke


  • Walter Lambert – TV Chef
  • Shirley Nash-Pitts – Consumer Expert
  • Jan Charles – Chef

Former on-air staff

  • Adele Arakawa (main news anchor for KUSA-TV in Denver)
  • Ed Hooper  (author)
  • Conroy Delouche
  • Mike Simon


  1. ^ http://www.volunteertv.com/home/headlines/WVLT_Volunteer_TV_announces_first-to-market_high_definition_news_and_local_programming_113190709.html
  2. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
  3. ^ CDBS Print
  4. ^ Found on a VHS cassette tape from a Channel 8 recording in early 1990s
  5. ^ a b http://brianhornback.blogspot.com/
  6. ^ http://www.davidaldrich.com/index.php?itemid=319
  7. ^ Morrow, Terry (March 24, 2009). "Stacy McCloud to leave WVLT, Channel 8". Knoxnews.com.
  8. ^ http://blogs.knoxnews.com/telebuddy/archives/2010/06/wvlts_megan_cam.shtml
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