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WBIR-TV channel 10 is the NBC affiliate in Knoxville, Tennesseemarker. The station is owned and operated by Gannett. Its transmitter is located in Knoxville.


WBIR-TV signed on the air on August 12, 1956 as an affiliate of the CBS television network. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. WBIR-TV was owned and named after Jesse W. "Jay" Birdwell, who also owned WBIR radio (1240 AM, now WIFA and 103.5 FM, frequency now occupied by WIMZ). WBIR's sign off was "We are the best in radio," which is where the call letters originated from. Birdwell was one of the partners who had put WJHL-TVmarker, the CBS affiliate in Johnson City, Tennessee 100 miles away, on the air in 1953.

Shortly after signing on channel 10, Birdwell gave up his interest in WJHL-TV due to a fairly large Grade A signal overlap between the two stations. At the time, the FCC did not allow common ownership of two stations with overlapping signals. In 1963, Birdwell sold his Knoxville stations to Southern Broadcasting Corporation, which merged with the News-Piedmont Publishing Company of Greenville, South Carolinamarker in 1967 to form Multimedia.

In 1988, WBIR became an NBC affiliate, swapping affiliations with WKXT-TV (channel 8, now WVLT-TVmarker). Ironically, channel 8 had been the original CBS affiliate in Knoxville (when it operated on channel 26). Multimedia merged with Gannett in 1995.

Digital television

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:Digital channel
Channel Programming
10.1 main WBIR-TV/NBC programming
10.2 NBC Plus

National feeds for NBC Weather Plus ended December 2008

Analog-to-digital conversion

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion on June 12, 2009, WBIR-TV moved its digital broadcasts back to its former analog channel number, 10.


The Heartland Series

The Heartland Series, hosted by Bill Landry, was a popular documentary series produced by WBIR from 1984 until 2009. It was conceived in 1984 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Great Smoky Mountains National Parkmarker. It continued to celebrate the people and the land of the entire Appalachian region, presenting re-enactments of historic events and feature stories about regional culture. In February 2009, WBIR announced that it would suspend production of the series in September 2009, but would continue to show the hundreds of episodes already produced "for as long as the viewers like them." The last episode was taped at the Museum of Appalachiamarker in Norrismarker on August 8, 2009 before an audience estimated at 10,000 people, one of the largest crowds in the museum's history.

During its 25-year history, The Heartland Series received several awards, including four Emmy Awards United States embassies around the world keep tapes of The Heartland Series broadcasts as an information resource on life in Appalachia.

Our Stories

In 2006, WBIR celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special report on some of the past stories captured on WBIR for the past 50 years. These reports were called "Our Stories" and included retrospectives on events such as U.S. Presidents visiting Knoxville and East Tennessee, major crimes and even the 25th Anniversary of the 1982 World's Fairmarker.

News reporters and journalists

Current personalities

News anchors

  • It was reported in late April 2009 that departed anchor Abby Ham would return to the anchor chair at WBIR, as part of the morning show, replacing Michelle Silva, who would take new job in the station's marketing department. This change was expected to occur in late June 2009.

  • Steve Phillips (Weekdays)
  • Kris Budden (Weekends) Weekday fill-in

News reporters
  • Ken Schwall
  • Emily Stroud
  • Yvette Martinez
  • LaSaundra Brown
  • Brittany Bailey
  • Stoney Sharp
  • Erin Donovan
  • April Lamb
  • Jim Matheny
  • Alison Morrow

"Live at Five at Four" hosts

Prior to September 15, 2008, this show was aired at 5:00 PM on weekdays, but since then airs at 4:00. A new name for the program has yet to be announced, with WBIR asking for viewers' opinions on a new name.Hosts are:
  • Russell Bivens
  • Beth Haynes

  • Todd Howell
  • Mike Witcher
  • Julya Johnson
  • Christina Meeks (fill-in substitute)

  • Ed Rupp

Past personalities

  • Cheryll Jones Last seen at CNN
  • Lisa Cornwell, Weekday mornings and Noon (now at Big Ten Network)
  • Moira Kaye, Style
  • Dan Farkas, reporter and sports
  • Ben Senger, anchor (now weekend anchor at WXII 12 News, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Josh Roe, sports {now at WWMT-TVmarker)
  • Seth Grossman, anchor
  • Mark Schnyder, anchor and reporter (now at KMOV-TVmarker St. Louis)
  • Teresa Woodard, anchor and reporter (now at KTVI-TVmarker St. Louis)
  • Ted Hall, anchor and reporter (now anchor at WXIA-TVmarker Atlanta)
  • Gary Loe, sports (now anchor of Hockey LoeDown WVLT-TVmarker Knoxville)
  • Steve Burgin, anchor
  • Byron Webre, weather
  • Jim Early, anchor and news director (D)
  • Cassandra McGee, anchor
  • Jennifer Mabe, reporter
  • Rob Braun, anchor and reporter (now anchor at WKRC-TVmarker Cincinnati)
  • Scott Sams, weather and sports
  • Rex Rainey, weather
  • Carl Williams, anchor
  • Marti Skold, weather (now at KTVX Salt Lake Utah)
  • Terri Gruca [161377], anchor (now 6pm/10pm anchor at KVUE-TVmarker Austin)
  • Bob Kesling, sports (now Voice of the Vols with Vol Network3)
  • Chip Carter, sports
  • Doc Johnston, anchor
  • Gene Patterson, anchor and reporter (now Anchor at WATE-TVmarker Knoxville)
  • Sara Allen, host of "Live at Five"
  • Nicole Henrich, host of "Style"
  • Jim Cline, sports
  • Judy Jenkins, anchor and reporter
  • Kristin Hoke, anchor and reporter
  • Kim Carson, weather
  • Larry Smith, reporter
  • Todd Summers, sports
  • Jim Holliday, sports
  • Phil Rainey, sports
  • Greeley Kyle, reporter
  • JaQuitta Williams, anchor and reporter (now reporter/weekend anchor at WSB-TVmarker Atlanta)
  • Bret Dark, anchor
  • Al Klensch, anchor and reporter
  • Van Hackett, reporter
  • Charles Thompson, reporter
  • Steve Dean, reporter
  • Pauletta Jackson, reporter
  • Janet Cunningham, weather
  • Sonja Smith, reporter
  • Edye Ellis, anchor
  • Margie Ison, weather (retired)
  • Mark Packer, sports (now First at 4 anchor, Sports Overtime Anchor at WVLT-TVmarker Knoxville)
  • Greg Zorb, sports
  • Mark Smith, sports
  • Jennifer Broome, weather
  • Missy Kane, reporter
  • Valerie Hyman, reporter
  • Lindsey Nelson, reporter
  • Tony Perkins, reporter
  • Kim Stephens, anchor
  • Faith Fancher, reporter
  • Carol Marin, reporter (now with WMAQ-TVmarker "NBC 5 Chicago" as political reporter)
  • Deborah Roberts, reporter
  • Bill Harris, weather
  • Mark Nagi, sports
  • Adina Chumley, anchor and reporter
  • Steve Oglesby, reporter, anchor, newscast producer
  • Jim Acosta, reporter
  • Renee Jameson, reporter
  • Jennifer Leslie, reporter
  • Mark Johnson, weather
  • Alysiah Bond, sports
  • Krista Goldhair, reporter
  • Tom Poe, anchor
  • Wallene Dockery, weather
  • Cheryl Mazur, anchor
  • Alan Williams, sports (now anchor at WVLT-TVmarker Knoxville)
  • Lori Perry, weather
  • Tim Cox, anchor and reporter ((now with WXIN-TVmarker "Fox 59" Indianapolis as Gene Cox, which is his first name)
  • Lance West, anchor and reporter
  • Lisa Argen, weather
  • David Nelson, anchor and reporter
  • Mary Nelson, anchor and reporter
  • Jason Pack, reporter
  • Jim Ragonese, reporter
  • Syan Rhodes, anchor and reporter (now weekday morning anchor at WESH 2 Orlando, Florida)
  • Carmen Ainsworth, reporter
  • Mary Loos, weather (now at NWCN)
  • Stephanie Wines, reporter
  • Chuck Denney, reporter
  • Foster Arnett, reporter
  • Janice Williamson, reporter
  • Ben Bailey, weather
  • Gina Miller, sports
  • Jay Beeler, reporter
  • Laura Hatch, reporter

News/Station Presentation

Newscast titles

  • The Esso Reporter (1956-1960)
  • The Big News (1960-1970)
  • 24 Hours (1970-1974)
  • NewsCenter 10 (1974-1977)
  • Action 10 News (1977-July 2004)
  • 10 News (July 2004-present)

Station Slogans

  • Straight from the Heart (1990-present)

Newscast themes

  • The Action News Theme by Unknown Composer (1970-1972)
  • NBC TV-Radio Newspulse by NBC-TV (1974-1980)
  • WBIR 1982 News Theme by Unknown Composer (1982-1983)
  • Theme From Firepower by Gato Barbieri (1983-1985)
  • Power News V.1 and V.2 by 615 Music (1985-1997)
  • Newsmark by 615 Music (1997-2000)
  • Heartland by 615 Music (2000-2008)
  • Gannett News Music Package by Rampage Music (2008-present)

External links


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