John Pless Leaves NewsChannel 9

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
John Pless
John Pless

John Pless, a fixture with the NewsChannel 9 news team for 20 years, is leaving the station.

Mike Costa, NewsChannel 9 president, said, "John decided not to renew his contract with Newschannel 9. This was his decision so we wish him well."

He has joined the staff at EPB.

After working for television stations in Atlanta and Savannah, Mr. Pless came to NewsChannel 9 in 1993.

He said in a bio on the NewsChannel 9 website: "When I interviewed for the reporter job in 1993 I asked then-news director Jim Church if Chattanooga got much snowfall during the winter months. He replied 'Nah, we get a dusting here and then.' Famous last words, right? Because my first week here, with my belongings in tow from Savannah, and me living in the Clarion Hotel, we got slammed by the SuperStorm Blizzard of '93. Welcome to Chattanooga.

"Now I have lived in Chattanooga longer than anywhere else in my life. In part because of personal circumstances, and because of the great location, weather and outdoor recreation opportunities this part of the country has to offer.

"I'm proud to be a part of the NewsChannel 9 team and the work we have done. I consider myself fortunate to have worked with and become friends with the people who made NewsChannel 9 what it is: Bob Johnson, Mary Ellen Locher, Marcia Kling, Don Welch, Neal Pascal, Darrell Patterson, Bob Brandy, Jerry Lingerfelt, Brian Drake and many others. I have learned a lot from them and am thankful for the time we spent and now spend together.

"Today we have newer members of the team who deserve just as much credit for taking NewsChannel 9 to the next level, the digitial future of delivering news and information through more platforms than just the TVairwaves.

"I also give thanks to my mother and family for teaching me the importance of speaking more than one language. Born in Stuttgart, Germany in November 1962 I learned to speak my first few words in German. Having an American-born father the English-part came as well. The combination of both cultural influences taught me at an early age the value of reading, learning and understanding the different ways people interact.

"I was raised in the Garden Hills neighborhood that sits in the heart of the booming Buckhead community of Atlanta. It was in elementary school I would learn to love science, especially meteorology, and that being mischievieous caused other people to laugh, sometimes at the peril of my being sent to the principal's office. Mr. Theo Vocalis, my principal, and I developed a warm relationship that taught me that if you want to succeed it helps to have the guy in charge like you.

"Many more life-lessons I learned attending college right after high school graduation at The Florida State University. After earning my degree in Poliical Science/Communications I furthered my education by quickly getting a degree in Broadcast Journalism from The Georgia State University in Atlanta, but I remain a die-hard Seminoles fan.

"My first real journalism job threw me into the fire - as a field producer for the CBS station in Atlanta I helped cover a story about a police officer who was fatally shot. I was hooked by the excitement. From there I went to WSAV in Savannah for my first on-air job as reporter and later as weekend anchor and morning co-anchor.

"I thank everyone here at NewsChannel 9 and the Chattanooga community for their support, friendship and invitations into thousands of living rooms to talk about what's going on around town.

"My outside interests include golf, hiking and walking and kayaking."  

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