Rotary Club Members Celebrate Chattanooga's Broadcasting History

Friday, April 11, 2014

Nearing the 89th anniversary of Chattanooga’s first radio station, Chattanooga Downtown Rotary Club members celebrated the city’s broadcasting history with two special guests at their weekly meeting.  WRCB news anchor David Carroll and WDEF radio and TV personality Luther Masingill shared stories of broadcasters past and present.

The club is observing its centennial year by spotlighting various aspects of the city’s history. Mr. Carroll, author of “Chattanooga Radio and Television,” began his presentation with a salute to Norman Thomas and Earl Winger, co-owners of the Chattanooga Radio Company. 

On April 13, 1925, Mr. Thomas and Mr. Winger put WDOD-AM on the air.  For the first four years, WDOD ran a very limited broadcast schedule of 90 minutes a day, three nights a week.  The station later hired entertainers like George Gobel, Archie Campbell and John Totten to provide music and comedy on its “Noonday Frolic” show. 

In the 1930s, Mr. Carroll said WDOD hired its first morning disc jockey, Chuck Simpson, whose cheery chatter was a daily “must-listen” for thousands of Chattanooogans, including a young man named Luther Masingill.  “Luther” began his radio career while he was a senior at Central High School in December 1940, and still works at WDEF today. Mr. Carroll introduced him to the club as the city’s only member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, and he received a rousing ovation. Luther shared stories of working with the late Buddy Houts, who often played practical jokes on the radio host.

Mr. Carroll also saluted local media personalities including Marcia Kling, Bob Johnson, Cindy Sexton and Earl Freudenberg, as well as the late MaryEllen Locher, Mort Lloyd, John Gray and Harry Thornton.  He noted that April 25 will be the 60thanniversary of Chattanooga’s first TV station (WDEF), and described how Jim Nabors got his show business start while working at Channel 3 in the late 1950s.

Mr. Carroll’s book is available at

River Gallery Has Opening Reception For November Exhibit Nov. 4

The River Gallery November exhibit will feature Christina Goodman, Scott Hill and Tracy Sharp.  The opening reception will be Friday, Nov. 4, from 6:30-8 p.m.  The artists will be present at the reception.    Review for the artists:     Inspired by the Renaissance period, Christina Goodman creates precious treasures ... (click for more)

Tennessee Women's Political Caucus Endorses Wilkinson For State Senate

The Tennessee Women’s Political Caucus, in affiliation with the National Women’s Political Caucus,  endorses Khristy Wilkinson for the Tennessee State Senate, District 10 position on the ballot for the Nov. 8.  “Women will be the deciding factor this election, it is crucial that in this political climate we continue as an organization to support women in ... (click for more)

Domestic Assault Charge Dismissed Against Bobby Stone In Case Involving Mayor's Top Advisor

A charge of domestic assault was dismissed Friday morning against Bobby Stone in a case involving a top advisor to Mayor Andy Berke.  District Attorney Neal Pinkston said Mr. Stone was not read his Miranda rights and the arrest was based on his statement. He also cited the involvement in the arrest by the mayor's office with Chief of Staff Stacy Richardson going to the ... (click for more)

Firefighters Respond To Commercial Fire In Alton Park

The Chattanooga Fire Department on Thursday responded to a fire at Metalcasting Minerals Technologies at 3406 Alton Park Blvd. with five fire companies. Battalion Chief Ashley May said a hopper was full of combustible materials and a small area was on fire. Firefighters opened the hopper's hatch and applied large amounts of water and foam to the burning coal dust-type material. ... (click for more)

Literacy Is Critical

Government spending is often portrayed as a freight train "quickly running out of track." And there is some truth to that statement. There is not an endless supply of money to fund every good idea that comes along, and we must acknowledge that problem. Fiscal responsibility is a must.  That is why spending on priority issues like public education is important. You can spend ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Prayer Over Despair

As a strong proponent of early voting, I joined hundreds at the Hamilton County Election Commission headquarters on Amnicola Highway yesterday to exercise what I consider one of our greatest freedoms – “for the people, by the people.” Candidly, I have never been as upset or as disappointed over my choices for President in my life. Locally I am fine with our candidates but to pick ... (click for more)