WDEF Salutes Masingill for 70-Plus Years in Local Broadcasting

WDEF Chattanooga will salute Luther Masingill, who joined the station in 1954, for his service to WDEF and to Chattanooga Oct. 20. The Morris Network station will recognize 12 employees for their many years of service to the station, but none have more time on the job than Masingill.

Masingill was discovered in 1940 while working at a gas station in Chattanooga. WDEF Radio's then owner, Joe Engel, talked him into trying out for a telephone receptionist job. When staffers heard his deep, mellow voice, Masingill was hired as an announcer and signed on the air in 1940.

Masingill started in television when WDEF-TV began broadcasting in 1954. WDEF says Masingill may be the only broadcaster to have reported on both the attack on Pearl Harbor and on 9/11.

These days, he hosts a morning show on WDEF Radio, and joins its TV counterpart for WDEF's morning program via remote camera. At noon he pops into the TV station for his "Dog Gone" segment, which reunites lost pets with their owners, and contributes "Life With Luther" segments for the 6 p.m. newscast.

Attending the ceremony will be Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, among other local luminaries. "It is only fitting that our local city and county officials join hands with us to help recognize Luther for his lifetime of achievement in broadcasting," says WDEF TV General Manager Phil Cox.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.