Embedding with US troops during the war in Iraq, reporting off-shore in the Gulf of Mexico on the aftermath of the BP oil spill, traveling to South Porcupine, Canada in pursuit of a story about the life-changing impact of a dog on his owner, and reporting on the journey of two East Tennessee veterans back to France 70 years after D-Day rank among John's career highlights.
Among his first assignments after joining WBIR-TV in the summer of 2006 was returning to the Gulf Coast, where he reported in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and field anchoring coverage on the one year anniversary. In addition to anchoring 5pm, 6pm, 10pm, and 11pm newscasts, John also produces and moderates the half-hour weekly program Inside Tennessee. In 2008 he created the award winning Service & Sacrificefranchise focused on the lives and life challenges of military veterans.
His weekly reports range from veteran profiles to examining the issues they face including: combat stress, access to benefits, and the impact of regular deployments on military families. Among his professional accolades, in 2014 John received an Edward R. Murrow Award for his Service & Sacrifice series. In 2010 that series earned two Murrows and an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. In November of 2010 The East Tennessee Military Affairs Council honored John with the "Civilian Warrior" Award. In May of that year The American Legion, Post 2, Knoxville, presented John with its highest honor, The Lester Speeks Award, for using his "talents as a journalist to memorialize the history of area veterans."
John's anchoring and reporting on "breaking news" and "in-depth specials" have also earned top honors. A half-hour documentary John produced and reported earned an Emmy tied to his embed with Army National Guard troops in Iraq in 2004. A story within the special also received top honors from the Associated Press for news writing. A long-form piece about a teenager who lost his arm in a farming accident also received several honors including a Murrow and Best in the West medallion for excellence in journalism. John has attended The Poynter Institute, a renowned school for working journalists. And in 2000 his peers honored him with the Tom McCall Award for newsroom leadership.
Lesson from Mom: Be generous.
Friend: A Dog
River: The one I'm on at that moment with a fly rod.
Mountain: Mount Hood (summited in honor of my dad's cancer battle)
Trail: AC/DC Knoxville Urban Wilderness
Ride: (three way tie) Quarter Horse, Stand-up Board, or 29'er
Gift: My bride
Book: The River of Doubt
Saying: "Let's shred some kind pow!"