WSMV 4 is Nashville’s NBC affiliate and began broadcasting as Middle Tennessee’s first television station in 1950. WSMV 4 broadcasts 53 hours of live, local news each week, more than any other station in Nashville and has been recognized with numerous awards including an Edward R. Murrow Award for continuing coverage of the 2021 Waverly Floods. WSMV is also the home of Nashville’s Certified Most Accurate First Alert Forecast for 3 years running (certified by WeatherRate). Visit www.WSMV.com for more.
WSMV 4 first signed on the air as WSM-TV on September 30, 1950, at 1:10 p.m. CT. It was Nashville’s first television station and the second in Tennessee, behind fellow NBC affiliate WMCT, now sister station WMC-TV, in Memphis. WSM-TV was owned by a subsidiary of the locally-based National Life and Accident Insurance Company, which also owned WSM radio and the original WSM-FM; the AM station is known worldwide for broadcasting the country music show The Grand Ole Opry, which has been heard on the station since 1925.
Since sign-on, the station has been an NBC affiliate.
WSM-TV’s studios were originally located at 15th Avenue South and Compton Avenue in south Nashville, near the present Belmont University. In 1963, National Life and Accident Insurance built new studios on Knob Road. WSM-TV was the first station in Nashville to begin broadcasting in color in 1965.
Gillett Broadcasting bought WSM-TV on November 3, 1981, and changed the station’s call sign to WSMV on the same day (officially modified to WSMV-TV on July 15, 1982). WSMV-TV was sold on June 8, 1989, to Cook Inlet Television Partners, an Alaska-based company. Cook Inlet then sold WSMV on January 5, 1995, to the Meredith Corporation, where it remained for over 35 years. On May 3, 2021, Gray Television announced its intent to purchase the Meredith Local Media division for $2.7 billion. The sale was completed on December 1. As a result, WSMV became a sister station to several other stations in nearby markets, including WMC-TV in Memphis, WAFF in Huntsville, WVLT-TV in Knoxville, and WBKO in Bowling Green. It also resulted in Gray owning a station in Circle’s home market.
WSM’s close ties to Nashville’s country music scene have led to the Knob Road facility and its personnel being used for the recording of network and syndicated programs featuring Nashville-based performers during the 1960s and 1970s. The Porter Wagoner Show, That Nashville Music, The Bill Anderson Show, Dolly!, and several other programs were produced at WSM.
Beginning in the mid-1970s, WSM-TV developed a strong news division that, in the 1980s through the 1990s, won numerous regional and national awards for in-depth coverage and investigative reporting.
On September 5, 2022, WSMV became the first station in Nashville to offer local news at 3 p.m., while also expanding its midday newscast to two hours, and moving Today in Nashville to 2 p.m.