Earl Freudenberg - David Moore, The Kid From Alton Park U.S.A.

  • Monday, March 4, 2024
  • Earl Freudenberg

David Moore is an example of how a poor youngster from Alton Park U.S.A. can make it to the top. He started with WDEF TV Oct. 2, 1979 as a shipping clerk and film editor. A short time later, he was promoted to working camera and, when there was an opening in the newsroom, he became a videographer. David Moore has remained with the same station for 45 years and has no plans to retire.

He still goes out on photo shoots but is the station’s news operations manager, second to the news director.

Mr. Moore, who was raised on the Southside, said he was always interested in accounting so when he was 16 he applied for and got a job under a government program at the Alton Park Health Center. He told Jed Mescon and J.R. “Jim” Reynolds on Talk Radio 102.3 he really wanted to be an accountant and had planned to go to Chattanooga State transferring later to UTC, but the Channel 12 job came along and changed his mind.

His father died when he was in the fourth grade and he never saw his son’s achievements. With his mother’s encouragement and grandparents' help, he graduated from Howard High School in 1980.

In the radio interview, the veteran photo journalist remembered going to Argentina with sportscaster Randy Smith and the late Tennessee Temple basketball coach Ron Bishop. Mr. Moore said it was very rewarding to work with Coach Bishop and his SCORE organization whose primary mission was to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mr. Moore said he covered the legendary basketball coach for over a decade. Coach Bishop won four Christian College Championships.

David Moore’s resume includes covering President Obama, Vice President Al Gore, and several Governors including Bill Haslam.

Some of his best experiences were working with the late Luther Masingill producing the “Life with Luther Series.” He recalled the time they ran out of gas on the way to a photo shoot. From that time on Luther would make sure the news car had a full tank before going with Mr. Moore on a story.

Mr. Moore was a classmate of All American football player Reggie White at Howard High School, (Reggie died December 26, 2004). Mr. Moore said one of his favorite White stories was when they were taking a chemistry test, and White had copied some of his paper. He intentionally put down the wrong answers but later changed them before turning in the paper. Mr. Moore said, “Reggie made an F and I made a B.” Mr. Moore said, “We laughed about that experience for many years to come; Reggie became a millionaire and I’m still working.”

Mr. Moore is well loved by those in the community as well as members of the media.

The late Hamilton County Commission Chairman Curtis Adams said David Moore was his favorite; and they shared something in common, their Alton Park roots. (Commissioner Adams was raised in Alton Park where his father was a Baptist pastor.) Mr. Adams said, “David Moore is a top notch professional in representing his employer, Channel 12.”

Television news anchor and author David Carroll worked with Mr. Moore in his early years while co–hosting the Morning Show. Mr. Carroll said, “Channel 12 has been very fortunate to have David Moore for the past 40-plus years. He’s on the scene of every big news story. He does his job well, and he does it with a big smile and a great sense of humor.”

The late Public Works Commissioner Paul Clark said Mr. Moore was very professional and very courteous in doing his job with a smile. Commissioner Clark said, “He could really make us laugh.”

Retired assistant to several Chattanooga Mayors Shirley Pond said, “I love David, we grew up together at City Hall.”

Doris Adkins Ellis served as WDEF TV’s program director for 50 years. She said, “I remember the day David came to work at Channel 12. He always went above and beyond what was expected. He’s a great example to his fellow employees. Way to go David, you are a good man.”

WDEF’s Chip Chapman said, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Ain't none Better.”

Retired sportscaster Randy Smith said, “One of my very best friends, I love Hollywood.” (That’s one of Mr. Moore’s nicknames)

Retired broadcaster Ben Cagle followed Mr. Moore’s career from the beginning. Mr. Cagle said, “Best video guy out there, you da man, David.”

Broadcaster Calvin Sneed said, “Wonderful to work alongside him over the years, one of the best.”

Tennessee Hall of Fame member Gene Lovin said, “David is one of those behind the scenes guys that make all the others look good and a good friend to so many.”

Maureen Mullen Davis with Hamilton County Government said, “Wonderful guy, always loved when he showed up with his camera during Christmas at the Courthouse.”

Retired Chattanooga Fire Chief Jerry Evans said, “David was always happy, a good person, and put the pro in his profession.”

Walker County, Ga. public relations director and former Channel 12 employee Joe Legge said, “Ain’t nobody better.”

Former Morning show host Helen Hardin wrote, “David!! Wow! The memories and we were just kids. Thank you for everything, I miss you.

In 1983, this writer was WDEF TV 12 news director. It was a challenging job but David Moore was by my side the entire year offering me a lot of encouragement.

It was David’s idea to do a live shot from the Riverbend Festival at Ross’ Landing. He convinced station engineer Ricky McClain along with weather man Ben Tackett to make it happen from what was known as “Hawk Hill.” While Mr. Tackett gave the weather Mr. Moore focused his camera on all the activity below. It was great camera work and to my memory, the station's first live shot.

Mr. Moore and this writer traveled to Sand Mountain for the “Charlie Louvin’s May on The Mountain Festival” at Henagar, Ala. Mr. Moore’s video ended up in the Country Music Hall of Fame, thanks to the Grand Ole Opry star. Ben Cagle has preserved the 40-year-old video on youTube. That evening, Mr. Moore captured the King of Country Music balancing his fiddle bow on his nose and doing his famous yo yo tricks plus several of his signature songs, including the Wabash Cannonball.

News anchor Joyce Oscar once said, “I’ve never known a more eager person to always chip in and help - especially when the going got tough.”

Moore told Mescon, “I’m just a regular guy; my family was poor but didn’t know it.”

Mr. Moore said he’s very proud of his family; “My wife is employed by Hospice, my oldest daughter Julie works at our church and does some accounting, our youngest daughter is a cosmetologist, and our son David Lee works at Whirlpool in Cleveland, Tn. Mr. Moore has four grandchildren. He said Christmas "is a very special time when we all get together, have fun, eat and enjoy each other.”

Mr. Moore said he finds it most rewarding in helping produce the station's segment “What right with our schools, highlighting positive things in our school systems.”

Cleveland, Tn. Mayor Emeritus Tom Rowland summed it up this way, “A professional and great guy.”

Mr. Moore remembered the days with this writer in the Channel 12 newsroom. He said, “When I worked with Earl, he would call people early in the morning playing “Homegrown tomatoes. (That was one of Luther’s favorite novelty tunes) Boy, did we have some good times. It’s been never a dull moment. Thanks for the nice words, it means a lot,”

From this writer’s heart, “David Moore is a shining example of what long hours and hard work produces. I would only wish one of the civic clubs would recognize his professional efforts. Mr. Moore would easily quality for the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcaster of the Year and, if the state had a Television Hall of Fame, he should be one of the first selected for induction.

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Heyearl1971@epbfi.com

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