News4 70th anniversary on air - Sept. 2020

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Happy birthday to us.

News4 turns 70 on this day. We were originally WSM, now WSMV.

WSM television went on the air on Sept. 30, 1950, the first TV station to do so in Nashville.

It was black and white back then with Jed Collins handling the news. Viewers saw flames and housefires, then the first live remote, a Nashville prison riot.

Those early days were far different from today. Music filled much of the programming, country music.

Ralph Emery and his morning show was a must-do live event for some of country’s biggest stars. Many wound up with their own show, many broadcast from the News4 studios.

We did weather forecasts then too. The graphics package a pen and paper.

Before Vanna White, Pat Sajak was here forecasting storms. Entertainment Tonight’s John Tesh was the investigative reporter.

The station was owned by an insurance company when it went on air. They picked the call letters WSM – We Shield Millions.

It’s 70 years later and so much has changed.