|Branding|| WSMV Channel 4 (general)|
Channel 4 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Working 4 You|
|Channels|| Analog: 4 (VHF) |
Digital: 10 (VHF)
Telemundo (on DT2)
|First air date||September 30, 1950|
|Call letters' meaning||We Shield Millions (V for "Vision" added to differentiate from WSM radio)|
|Former callsigns||WSM-TV (1950-1981)|
|Former Affiliations|| All secondary:|
|Transmitter Power|| 100 kW (analog)|
42.4 kW (digital)
|Height|| 434 m (analog)|
415 m (digital)
|Website||Channel 4 News' Website|
WSMV-TV, Ch. 4, is the NBC TV affiliate serving the Nashville, Tennessee area. It broadcasts it's analog signal on VHF ch. 4 & it's DT signal on VHF ch. 10. It's transmitter & tower are located adjacent to it's studios in west Nashville, which were built in 1963.
WSMV also airs programming from the NBC-owned Spanish-language network, Telemundo, on it's DT2 subcarrier, since the Nashville DMA lacks a Telemundo affiliate of it's own. The subchannel began airing in the summer of 2006. Nashville is the largest market in the US without NBC Wx+ on 1 of the NBC affiliate's subchannels.
WSMV signed on as WSM-TV on September 30, 1950 @ 1:10 PM. It was Nashville's first TV station & the 2nd in Tennessee, behind WMCT (now WMC-TV, coincidentally an NBC affiliate also) in Memphis. It was owned by the locally-based National Life & Accident Insurance Company along with WSM radio (650 AM & 95.5 FM); the AM station is renowned for broadcasts of the country music show "The Grand Ole Opry", which has been heard since 1925. The stations took their calls from their parent's slogan, "We Shield Millions".
The TV station has been an NBC affiliate from the very 1st day, though it carried some programming from CBS, DuMont & ABC until 1953, when WSIX-TV ch. 8 (now WKRN-TV, ch. 2) signed on as a CBS primary affiliate. WSM shared ABC programming with WSIX for a year until WLAC-TV (now WTVF) signed on & took CBS. Before the advent of satellite delivery, network programming was delivered to WSM-TV by microwave transmission from WAVE in Louisville, Kentucky.
Ownership Changes since 1981Edit
National Life was taken over by American General, a Houston-based insurer, in 1980. The new owners sold off WSM-AM-FM-TV, the Opry & Opryland USA in order to maintain focus on the insurance business. Gaylord Entertainment Company bought the Opry, Opryland USA & WSM-AM-FM. Gaylord would have bought WSM-TV as well, but was already @ the FCC's TV ownership limit at the time; the FCC has since practically abandoned such restrictions. Instead, Gillett Broadcasting (property of George N. Gillett Jr.) bought WSM-TV on November 3, 1981 & changed the callsign to WSMV, in order to trade on the well-known WSM identity while @ the same time separating it from it's former radio sisters (later, the TV & radio stations would engage in news department cross promotions). WSMV was later sold, on June 8 1989, to Cook Inlet Television Partners, an Alaska-based company which was a subsidiary of an Alaska Native Regional Corporation; Cook Inlet, in turn, sold it on January 5, 1995 to Meredith Corporation, it's present licensee.
Past Personalities & ProgramsEdit
The station's famous alumni include Pat Sajak (announcer & weekend weatherman from 1972-1977), Robin Roberts (sports anchor & reporter from 1986-1988), John Tesh (news anchor in 1975-1976), John Seigenthaler, Jr. (weekend anchor in the late 1980s) & Huell Howser (features reporter in the 1970s).
Ralph Emery, the longtime country music disc jockey on WSM-AM for many years, hosted morning (& @ times, afternoon) shows on WSM(V) from the mid-1960s until the early 1990s; for much of that time, they were the highest-rated locally-produced early morning shows on American TV. They featured performances by prominent country stars like Tex Ritter & current star Lorrie Morgan; also, the studio band consisted of top-notch Music Row session musicians.
Larry Munson, best known as the play-by-play announcer for radio broadcasts of Georgia Bulldogs football, created & hosted a long-running hunting & fishing show called The Rod & Gun Club.
WSMV has alternated with WTVF for 1st place in the Nashville ratings for many years. Generally speaking, the station takes a softer approach to news than WTVF. Surprisingly, the reverse was true some 15-20 years ago, as WSMV earned numerous prestigious awards for hard-hitting investigative stories, while WTVF took a more cautious approach. While WTVF usually leads the way in the city of Nashville itself, WSMV generally leads in Nashville's more conservative suburbs. Dan Miller, 1 co-anchor of it's newscasts, has been associated with the station since 1969, except for an 8-year absence (1986-1994) during which he spent time in Los Angeles as a news anchor @ KCBS-TV & Sajak's sidekick on his short-lived late-night talk show.
Early in 2006, WSMV attracted some attention by becoming the largest-market NBC affiliate to refuse to carry the controversial NBC show The Book of Daniel on it's programming schedule, after the premiere episode. This action, along with that of several smaller affiliates in the Midwest & South, prompted NBC to cancel the series after only 3 episodes.
During the May sweeps period that began on April 26 2007, WSMV debuted it's own live news helicopter known as Air 4, becoming the second station in Nashville to do so (WTVF's news helicopter Sky 5 debuted a year earlier, in 2006).
On September 15 2008, beginning with the 5 PM news, WSMV became the 2nd Nashville station (behind WTVF) to broadcast local news in HD.
The station's DT channel:
|4.1||10.1||1080i||16:9||Main WSMV programming / NBC HD|
In 2009, WSMV-TV will remain on it's current pre-transition ch. #, 10. However, through the use of PSIP, DTV receivers will display WSMV-TV's virtual ch. as 4.