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WDEF logoWDEF-DT2 Bounce Chattanooga.png
Chattanooga, Tennessee
United States
Branding News 12 Now
Slogan Local, Quick and to the Point
Channels Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
Subchannels 12.1 CBS
12.2 Bounce TV
12.3 Escape
Affiliations CBS (Secondary through 1958)
Owner Morris Multimedia
(WDEF-TV, Inc.)
First air date April 25, 1954; 62 years ago (1954-04-25)
Sister station(s) WDEF-FM
Former channel number(s) Analog:
12 (VHF, 1954–2009)
47 (UHF, 2004–2009)
Former affiliations All secondary:
DuMont (1954–1955)
NBC (1954–1956)
ABC (1954–1958)
UPN (2004–2006)
Tuff TV (2009–2011)
Transmitter power 26 kW
Height 384 m
Facility ID 54385
Transmitter coordinates 35°8′6″N 85°19′25″W / 35.13500°N 85.32361°W / 35.13500; -85.32361
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.wdef.com

WDEF-TV, channel 12, is the CBS-affiliated 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 Xfinity channels 13 and 433, 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. Although parts of the Chattanooga market are in the Central Time Zone, all schedules are listed in Eastern Time.


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 minor league baseball team as well as WDEF radio (AM 1370, now WXCT) and WDEF-FM (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.[1]

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.[2]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
12.1 1080i 16:9 WDEF-DT Main WDEF-TV programming / CBS
12.2 480i 4:3 Bounce Bounce TV
12.3 Escape Escape

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WDEF-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on February 17, 2009, the original target 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. Immediately before the shutdown, anchor Joe Legge gives a brief retrospective of the station's history as well as the farewell message for all analog viewers. The message ends with images of the past newscasts.[4][5][6][7]


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.[8]

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.

News operation[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Notable current on-air staff[edit]

  • Emily Cassulo - 6:00 and weekend anchor
  • Chip Chapman - morning and noon meteorologist
  • Patrick Core - chief meteorologist
  • James P Mahon - general assignment reporter
  • John Mercer - 6:00 and 11:00 anchor
  • Rick Nyman - sports anchor
  • Christina Reuille - weekend meteorologist
  • Alisha Searl - morning and noon anchor
  • Jamal Williams - weekend sports anchor


External links[edit]