WTVC is the ABC television affiliate in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 9 from a transmitter in Signal Mountain. Owned by Freedom Communications, the station has studios on Benton Drive in Chattanooga.
This Chattanooga (on DT2)
|Slogan||Depend On Us|
|Channels||Digital: 9 (VHF)|
9.2 This TV
(Freedom Broadcasting of Tennessee Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||March 13, 1953
(Rome, Georgia) February 11, 1958 (current incarnation)
|Last air date||1957|
|Call letters' meaning||We're TeleVision Chattanooga|
|Former callsigns||WROM-TV (1953-1957)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
9 (VHF, 1953-2009) Digital: 35 (UHF)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1953-1956)|
|Transmitter power||45 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||35°9.0′38.0″N 85°19′6.0″W / 35.16056°N 85.31833°W / 35.16056; -85.31833|
|9.1||main WTVC programming / ABC HD|
|9.2||WTVC-DT2 "This Chattanooga" SD|
The station signed on-the-air in 1953 as WROM-TV, licensed to Rome, Georgia. Because of its full power designation, WROM-TV was the first television station in the Chattanooga area, serving as a primary NBC affiliate. It transmitted its full-powered analog signal on VHF channel 9 at 316,000 watts from a tower on Horseleg Mountain west of Rome. At that time, Rome was considered part of the Chattanooga television market but Rome, Floyd County and the surrounding counties, have since been moved to the Atlanta market. WROM also had secondary affiliations with CBS, ABC, and DuMont. The station lost CBS when WDEF-TV signed on in 1954. WROM then carried NBC, ABC, and DuMont until 1956 when Dumont went off-the-air and WRGP-TV (now WRCB-TV) signed on and took the NBC affiliation. At that time, ABC opted for secondary affiliations with WDEF and WRGP because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had reduced WROM's Grade A signal, which made it difficult to be picked up in Chattanooga. WROM continued as an independent station until late 1957.
Martin Theaters of Georgia bought the station in 1957 and in December of that year, took it off the air to move the transmitter 70 miles (110 km) north to Chattanooga. Martin had purchased WTVM in Columbus, Georgia in late-1956, and was granted permission to switch that station from channel 28 to channel 9, but ran into government regulations. FCC rules mandated a certain amount of separation for stations on the same channel and WROM's Grade B signal reached Columbus. Also, the FCC normally did not allow common ownership of two stations with overlapping signals. The government has since relaxed this particular restriction. The Chattanooga-Columbus channel reallocation was part of the last huge FCC national channel reallocation that saw channel numbers in the Southeast switch not only in Chattanooga and Columbus, but also in Dothan and Montgomery, Alabama; Greenwood, Tupelo, and Laurel, Mississippi; Florence, South Carolina and High Point, North Carolina.
Channel 9 returned to full-power as ABC affiliate WTVC in Chattanooga on February 11, 1958. To this day, it still operates under WROM's old FCC license. Chattanooga also became one of the smallest television markets in the country to have three VHF stations. The station is the only station in Chattanooga to have never had a secondary affiliation with another network.
WTVC developed a strong reputation for local programming in its early years. Among the shows that WTVC pioneered was the children's educational show Funtime with Marcia Kling. Although Funtime ended many years ago, Marcia Kling who became known as "Miss Marcia" is still associated with the station after 45 years. Shock Theater which aired on Saturday nights developed a cult following with WTVC Programming Director Tommy Reynolds dressed up as Dracula with the moniker "Doctor Shock" alongside his irreverent sidekick "Dingbat". The Bob Brandy Show which aired in the afternoons featured cartoons and kids activities hosted by WTVC advertising executive Bob Brandy, his wife Ingrid, and their horse Rebel.
In 1969, Martin Theaters was sold to Augusta, Georgia businessman J.B. Fuqua. Fuqua also owned WJBF-TV in Augusta, WTVW-TV in Evansville, Indiana, and KTHI-TV (now KVLY-TV) in Fargo, North Dakota. Over the next few years each station was sold with WTVC being purchased in 1980 by the A.H. Belo Corporation of Dallas, Texas. In 1984, current owner Freedom Communications bought the station along with KFDM in Beaumont marking the newspaper chain's second entry into television ownership. Belo had to put WTVC and KFDM on the market after it announced plans to purchase Corinthian Broadcasting from Dun & Bradstreet in order to comply with the FCC-mandated ownership limit of five VHF television stations which was in effect at the time.
Until June 12, 2009, WTVC aired its digital signal on UHF channel 35. It now broadcasts on digital channel 9.
The first studios for WTVC were located at its transmitter site in Signal Mountain. In 1960, it moved to new facilities in the Golden Gateway Shopping Center in downtown Chattanooga next to a Zayre department store. Over the years, however, the station outgrew the building. In 2000, WTVC moved into new digitally-equipped 26,000-square-foot (2,400 m2) studios located adjacent to the Highway 58 / Highway 153 interchange.
WTVC clears all of the ABC network schedule, including newscasts, entertainment, sports, children's programming, and most news special reports. Syndicated programming on WTVC includes: Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Oprah, Regis and Kelly from WABC-TV, and The Doctors.
WTVC is the exclusive home for the weekly University of Tennessee Volunteer Television Network highlights shows featuring head football coach Derek Dooley, head men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl, head women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, and other UT athletic-related programs.
Currently, WTVC airs 24 hours and 30 minutes of news each week. That includes four hours and 30 minutes each weekday, and 2 hours on weekends. In the event of special sports coverage overlapping news time, the station streams a live newscast on its website. The station also airs a public affairs show, "This-N-That", with longtime personality Don Welch at 12:30 weekdays, which has a weather segment and news updates whenever necessary.
Through the late-1960s and mid-1970s, WTVC branded its newscasts under the Eyewitness News label. In 1975, this switched to Action News. In the late-1980s, they were one of the first stations in the country to adopt the NewsChannel branding. This makes it one of the few stations around the country to have used the top three most popular news brandings.
In the early 1990s, WTVC produced a 10 P.M. newscast for then-independent WFLI-TV but that was eventually cancelled. In 1996, the station began airing a nightly 10 o'clock broadcast on Fox affiliate WDSI-TV using station meteorologists, sports anchors, news reporters and news video, while WDSI provided separate news anchors. In 2000, that station launched its own news department and aired local news on weekday mornings, weekday afternoons at 4, and nightly at 10. In 2004, the news department at WDSI closed down and a news share agreement with WTVC was re-established. Since then, this station has been producing Fox 61 First At 10 on WDSI. That station's website has video from the primetime show.
From the 1960s through the 1970s, WTVC newscasts were usually in last place, but it wasn't until new owners Belo took over, that the rating began to favor WTVC. Since the mid 1980s, WTVC had waged a spirited battle with WRCB for first place in the local news ratings weekdays, while WDEF has usually trailed both stations. For the past several years, WTVC had won the noon, and evening newscasts (despite a somewhat weak ABC schedule), with WRCB winning the late newscasts, and one hour of the morning newscasts.
But beginning in 2007, separate Nielsen Ratings ratings showed WTVC winning the Noon and evening newscasts; in 2008, that began to include the morning newscasts. The Nielsen ratings for May, 2010 shows WTVC winning the noon, 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 PM newscasts, and also the weekend newscasts, whenever it competes head-to-head with WRCB. In the two-hour early morning race, May diaries show WRCB and WTVC are virtually tied during the first half-hour at 5 AM, but WTVC takes the remaining 90 minutes.
News on-air staff
Current on-air staff
Good Morning Chattanooga
- Kevin Sims - News Anchor/Reporter
- Sarah Jennings - News Anchor
- Lindsay Jackson - Traffic Reporter
NewsChannel 9 Midday
- Sarah Jennings - News Anchor
NewsChannel 9 at 5
- Calvin Sneed, Senior News Anchor and Chief Investigative Reporter
- Latricia Thomas, Anchor
NewsChannel 9 at 5:30
- Kim Chapman - News Anchor
- Latricia Thomas - News Anchor
NewsChannel 9 at 6 & 11
- Calvin Sneed, Senior News Anchor and Chief Investigative Reporter
- Kim Chapman, News Anchor
NewsChannel 9 Weekend
- Tanya Mendis - News Anchor/Reporter
- Dave Staley - News Anchor, Sports Reporter
- Don Welch - host/co-producer
- Marcia Kling - Senior topics reporter
Storm Track 9 meteorologists
- David Glenn, Chief Meteorologist, 6 & 11 (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval)
- Bill Race, Senior Meteorologist, Morning and Noon (AMS)
- Allison Chinchar - Meteorologist, Weekends
- Darrell Patterson - Sports Director
- Dave Staley - Sports Reporter
- Lindsay Jackson - Reporter
- Amanda Shropshire - Reporter
- John Madewell - Reporter
- Jessica Oh - Reporter
- John Pless - Reporter
- Karen Zatkulak - Reporter
Past on-air staff
- Valerie Abati, weekend weather anchor, now main weather anchor at WLWT-TV, Cincinnati
- Linda Allen, Noon and 5:30 co-anchor, "News For Women" co-anchor, now at WJTV, Jackson, Mississippi
- Sean Ash, Weekend Meteorologist, now at WXYZ-TV, Detroit
- Glenn Augustine, reporter, now with the Indiana Boys Institute, Indianapolis
- Michael Baldwin, Reporter 1999-2000, now Weekend Anchor at WITN-TV, Greenville, NC
- Carole Houser-Bartoo, Noon Anchor, Health Reporter, now at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, Nashville
- Barbie Carroll-Bassett, weather forecaster, now Chief Meteorologist at WLBT-TV, Jackson, Mississippi
- Laurie Bishop, reporter-weekend anchor (early 1980s)
- Varen Black, Reporter, now English Professor, Columbia College Chicago
- Jason Boyer, Morning and Noon Meteorologist (2003–2005) now at WLOS, Asheville, N.C.
- Betsy Bramlett, Reporter
- Bob Brandy, Host, "The Bob Brandy Show," deceased
- Ed Buice, Reporter, now with National Crime Information Statistics, Washington, DC
- Cullen Browder, Reporter, 1993–1996, now at WRAL-TV, Raleigh, NC
- Lisa Burkhardt, weekend sports (early 1980s)
- Lu Ann Cahn, Reporter, now with WCAU-TV, Philadelphia
- Melydia Clewell, Good Morning Chattanooga, NewsChannel 9 for Women and Midday Anchor, now with WRCB, Chattanooga
- Amy Jo Coffey, Reporter, now professor at the University of Florida
- Caren Connelly, Reporter
- Tina Cosby, Reporter, now with WISH-TV, Indianapolis
- Roy Crowley, Reporter, now with Memorial Hospital, Chattanooga
- Ed Crump, Reporter, now with WTVD-TV, Durham, NC
- Derek Dellinger, Traffic/News Repoter (2007-2009), now with WBBH, Fort Myers, Florida.
- Mike Dello Stritto, General Assignment Reporter, now at KOVR-TV, Stockton-Sacramento-Modesto
- Amy Carlisle Deluca, Reporter/ 5:30 Anchor, now at WPRI-TV, Providence, Rhode Island
- Mark Dickinson, Reporter, now high school teacher in North Georgia
- Karen Drew, Reporter/Noon & 5:30 anchor, now with WDIV-TV, Detroit
- Erica Donerson, reporter, now with WNEM-TV, Saginaw, MI
- Mike Dunne, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (1987–2006), now with Hamilton County (TN) Government
- Vanessa Echols, Reporter, now anchor with WFTV-TV, Orlando
- John Favole, Anchor/Reporter, now with WPTV-TV, West Palm Beach, FL
- Mark Fenelon, General Assignment Reporter (1996–1997)
- Kim Fields, Weeknight 5 and 5:30 Anchor (2005–2009), now anchor with KTVB, Idaho
- Bill Foster, Noon and Ten PM Anchor/Reporter
- Melissa Greene, Anchor for Good Morning Chattanooga & NewsChannel 9 for Women & Reporter
- Melissa Greer, Weekend Meteorologist, (2003–2004), deceased
- Lisa Gurevitch, Reporter, now with CNN, Atlanta
- Shay Harris, Reporter, now with WOFL-TV, Orlando
- Tracy Haynes, Reporter, now with WBMA, Birmingham
- Felicia McGhee-Hilt, reporter, now host "Tennessee Insider," WTCI-TV, Chattanooga
- Jenny Hoff, Reporter, now with KXAN-TV, Austin, TX
- Tom Hogue, reporter, deceased
- Janice Huff, Weekend Meteorologist, (1982–1983) now at WNBC-TV, New York City
- Amy Katcher, Weekend Meteorologist, (2004–2006) now at WDEF-TV,Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Bob Johnson, 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 Anchor (1975–2007), retired
- Butch Johnson, Traffic Reporter, (2001–2003)
- Wendell Johnson, Reporter, now Public Information OFficer, Huntsville (AL) Police Department
- Angela Lee, reporter, now producer at WTCI, Chattanooga
- Vince Lennon, reporter, now with CNN, Atlanta
- Mary Ellen "Mel" Locher, 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 Anchor/Health reporter (1985–2005), deceased
- Laura Marquez, Reporter, now with ABC News
- Julie Martin, Weekend Meteorologist
- Bill McAfee, sport and weather anchor, retired
- Nancy McKenzie, anchor
- Bruce Moore, Reporter, now news director at WREG-TV, Memphis
- Kevin Moore, Reporter, now with AXA Advisors, Chattanooga
- Bob Morford, Reporter, now news director in Cincinnati
- Jessica Morris, Weekend Anchor
- Bob Mueller, reporter/anchor, now at WKRN-TV, Nashville
- Pat Murphy, reporter, now sports director at WPEC, West Palm Beach, FL
- Deborah Nettune, Anchor (5:30 and Weekend Mornings)/Reporter (1996–1998)--Now living in New Jersey
- Pam Newby, Anchor
- Don North, Reporter, now news director at WFLA-TV, Tampa
- Gil Norwood, Anchor/News Director, now retired
- Lori Ogilvie, Reporter
- Katrina Owens, 5:30 Anchor/Reporter
- Neal Pascal, Chief Meteorologist, (1981–2006) now weekend meteorologist at WRCB, Chattanooga 
- Gene Randall, Anchor/Reporter, now with the Gene Randall Group, Washington, DC (formerly of CNN)
- Kevin Reece, reporter/noon anchor, now with KHOU-TV, Houston
- Tommy Reynolds aka "Dr. Shock", host of the late 1960s and early 1970s Shock Theater, deceased
- Suzy Rigsby, Anchor
- Erin Sebree, Weekend Meteorologist, now at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati
- Seth Seymour, Reporter, now a consultant in Corporate Communcations at Unum
- Tracy Moore, Anchor, now family court judge, Tampa
- Jackie Schulten, Reporter, now Hamilton County (TN) Circuit Court Judge
- Terry Smith, Reporter, now with WTVA, Tupelo, MS
- Gray Stabley, Weekend meteorologist, now with WMTW-TV, Poland Spring (Portland), ME
- Greg Starddard, Reporter/Fill-in anchor, (1983–1985), now at WTOG-TV, Tampa
- Roxanne Stein, Reporter, now with WPTV-TV, West Palm Beach, FL
- Anne Thompson, Good Morning Chattanooga Anchor
- Amy Clarke, General Assignment Reporter (1998–2001)
- Robin Henderson, General Assignment Reporter (1999–2001)
- Rex Thompson, Weekend Meteorologist, now with WDAM-TV, Hattiesburg, MS
- Eric Turner, reporter, now with the U.S. Embassy, Guinea
- Brent Weber, now sports anchor at KOKH-TV, Oklahoma City
- Tom Willette, 6 & 11 anchor, deceased
- Jerry Wilson, 6 & 11 anchor
- Gary Wordlaw, Reporter, now Vice President and General Manager, WTXL, Tallahasse, Fl.
- Steve Wrigley, sports reporter, now with WTEV-TV, Jacksonville, FL
- The Pepsi-Cola Report (1958-1961)
- The Chattanooga Report (1961-1965)
- Newswatch (1965-1970)
- Eyewitness News (1970-1975)
- Action News (1975–1989)
- NewsChannel 9 (1989–present)
- Depend On Us (2004–present)
- ^ "Our New Home". WTVC. 1998-12-02. http://web.archive.org/web/19981203082331/www.wtvc.com/studio.html. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- ^ "Chattanooga: Neal Pascal to join weather team at WRCB Eyewitness News". Chattanooga Times Free Press. June 26, 2008. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2008/jun/26/chattanooga-neal-pascal-join-weather-team-wrcb-cha/. Retrieved 2008-06-25.