|Branding||WDEF News 12|
|Slogan||Local, Quick and to the Point|
|Channels||Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
12.2 Bounce TV
|Owner||Morris Multimedia, Inc.
|First air date||April 25, 1954|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
12 (VHF, 1954-2009)
47 (UHF, 2004-2009)
|Former affiliations||All secondary:
Tuff TV (2009-2011)
|Transmitter power||26 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
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 studios are located on Broad Street in Chattanooga, while its transmitter is located in nearby Signal Mountain. On cable, WDEF-TV is carried on Comcast channel 13, and on EPB Fiber Optics channels 12 and 312 in the Chattanooga area. Syndicated programming on WDEF includes: Judge Judy, Dr. Phil, The Insider, and The Andy Griffith Show.
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.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|12.1||1080i||16:9||WDEF-DT||Main WDEF-TV programming / CBS|
WDEF-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 47 to VHF channel 12 for post-transition operations.
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.
WDEF has been the local home of Tennessee Titans (based in Nashville) games since 1998 (when the team was still called the Oilers). This comes with its CBS affiliation, as CBS carries all National Football League games played in the afternoon that feature a road team from the American Football Conference, which the Titans play in.
Luther Masingill was the station's best–known personality. He was discovered by Engel in 1940 and was a fixture in Chattanooga broadcasting until his death in 2014. While hosting the morning show on WDEF-FM (as he had since 1941), he hosted the "Community Calendar" segment on WDEF–TV's morning newscast; he also advertised 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.
On April 4, 2009 beginning with the station's 11 p.m. newscast, WDEF-TV became the first station in the Chattanooga market to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.
Current on-air staff
- James P Mahon - general assignment reporter
- "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956.
- "Media General Completes Sale of WDEF-TV in Chattanooga to Morris Multimedia". Media General. October 13, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WDEF
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "List of TV stations to end analog on Tuesday" From Google (February 13, 2009)
- WDEF News 12 Goes All Digital: See What You Missed Overnight, Joe Legge, WDEF-TV, February 18, 2009
- "About Us". WDEF. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
- "News 12's Luther Masingill Passes Away at Age 92". WDEF-TV. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WDEF
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WDEF-TV
- Location of WDEF studios on Wikimapia
- Huntsville Rewound-Huntsville AL TV Memories