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Knoxville

Bob Yarbrough, Michele Silva Anchor Final WVLT Broadcast

WVLT morning co-anchors Bob Yarbrough and Michele Silva both anchored their final broadcast at the Knoxville CBS affiliate this morning (video above).

“A lot of exciting things are happening here at Channel 8. One of them being that we’re finally going to be able to get some sleep,” Silva joked on their final broadcast.

Silva is transitioning to a behind-the-scenes position as WVLT director of promotions and community service. Yarbrough is planning to remain in the area and expand a radio news and sports network he launched six years ago. He said he is eager to spend more time with his two young daughters, which his schedule has made difficult.

WVLT Adds Weekend Morning Newscast

Knoxville CBS affiliate WVLT is launching a weekend morning newscast later this month, the station confirmed to TVSpy.

The hourlong newscast will debut April 20 at 7 a.m. Allie Spillyards (pictured), a multimedia journalist at WVLT, will anchor alongside meteorologist Mike Simon.

The show will be the earliest locally-produced newscast in the Knoxville market.

WBIR Invites Former Anchors Back for ‘Retro’ Newscast

Knoxville NBC affiliate WBIR brought back a few former news anchors for a “retro” 6 p.m. newscast earlier this week (video above).

The newscast was in honor of the 30th anniversary of WBIR’s “Straight From the Heart” brand. Edye Ellis, Bob Kesling and Moira Kaye joined Bill Williams, who is still a reporter for WBIR, at the anchor desk. Former weathercaster Margie Ison, battling throat cancer, was unable to appear for the broadcast in person.

Lockwood Broadcast Group Announces Plans for Knoxville Duopoly

Lockwood Broadcast Group announced Tuesday that it will acquire WMAK in Knoxville from Daystar Television. When the deal closes, the station will form a duopoly with WBXX, Lockwood’s CW affiliate in Eastern Tennessee.

Lockwood has applied to change the WMAK call letters to WKNX when the deal closes, which is expected to be in the first quarter of 2013 pending FCC approval.

“We’re excited about adding WKNX, ‘The Knox’ to our growing group of stations. This is a terrific opportunity to better serve the community and advertisers in Knoxville and maximize the wonderful resources in place at WBXX,” Lockwood president Dave Hanna said in a statement.

Ashley Izbicki Set to Join Knoxville’s WBIR

Ashley Izbicki will be joining Koxville NBC affiliate WBIR as an anchor/reporter.

“I am excited for more time at the anchor desk, and the opportunity to report in a bigger market,” Izbicki told TVSpy.  “WBIR has a great team and the warmer weather is an added bonus to the perfect career move. ”

Izbicki comes from WBND, the ABC affiliate in South Bend, IN, where she was a multimedia journalist.  Before WBND she worked for WBKB in Alpena, MI.

Her first day on the job will be November 5.

WATE Reporter Mona Nair Becomes American Citizen

Mona Nair, reporter for WATE, was naturalized as a United States citizen Tuesday.

Nair was born in Kerala, India and raised in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  She moved to the U.S. twelve years ago to major in broadcast journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia.

“The kind of support I’ve gotten from my co-workers and the viewers here in East Tennessee is unbelievable,” Nair said in the Knoxville ABC affiliate’s story about her swearing in ceremony.  “It’s been a long road and the process is tough. A lot of it is about luck and timing. I’ve been lucky to have had a lot of people who came into my life at just the right times.”

You can watch the video of Nair taking the Oath of Allegiance to the U.S. with 100 other immigrants after the jump.

Read more

Drew Gardner Leaves WTVW for Knoxville’s WATE

Drew Gardner is headed to Knoxville to report for ABC affiliate WATE, according to Jake’s DTV Blog.  Gardner comes from WTVW in Evansville, IN.

Gardner joined WTVW in 2010.  He survived a merge between two Evansville stations last year when Nexstar, which already owned WTVW, bought cross town ABC station WEHT.

He posted this farewell to his facebook page Friday:

 

Anchor Robin Wilhoit Marks 20 Years at WBIR

Robin Wilhot, the main anchor at WBIR, is celebrating her 20th anniversary at the Knoxville NBC affiliate.

Wilhot’s co-anchor, John Becker, surprised her with a tribute video during a newscast last week (video above). “I’m speechless, I really am,” Wilhot said after seeing the video. “To see all those faces from the past, and the present and certainly the future. I’m a blessed person.”

Christy Moreno Named News Director at WBIR

Christy Moreno has been named news director at WBIR in Knoxville, replacing Bill Shory, who abruptly left the NBC-affiliate in March.

“I’m extremely excited about moving to Knoxville and joining the winning team (with a heart) at WBIR,” Moreno tweeted recently, referring to the station’s “Straight from the Heart” slogan.

Moreno comes to WBIR from KENS in San Antonio, where she worked as assistant news director.  Before KENS, Moreno spent nine years at KRIV in Houston, producing a number of the Fox station’s newscasts.

WBIR Staffers Come to Defense of Former News Director Bill Shory

Although Bill Shory has declined to go on the record about his departure from WBIR, current and former staffers of the Knoxville NBC-affiliate are speaking out on his behalf.

In a recent blog post, Katie Granju, a former online producer at WBIR, compiled statements from a handful of people who worked closely with Shory during his tenure as the station’s news director.

“In his eight years as news director, Bill led the newsroom through great ratings successes, sweeping industry changes, heartfelt community tributes and tough investigative projects,” Granju wrote.  “Through it all, he was a wonderful boss.” Read more

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