Kenny Hawkins

Kenny is one of our native Tennesseans, born in Oak Ridge. While in high school, he helped create a high school sports show called “Sportscenter 7,” which aired on local cable stations in Oak Ridge, Oliver Springs, and Clinton, TN.

Kenny attended East Tennessee State University, graduating four years later with a degree in Mass Communications. During that time, he interned at another television station in the Tri-Cities and worked at WQUT-FM as a nighttime DJ.

In 1986, he joined WJHL-TV as a videographer. Three years later, he became the weekend sports anchor and In 1992, he was promoted to WJHL Sports Director. 

During Kenny’s tenure, WJHL-TV’s sports department has won numerous awards, including the Tennessee Associated Press award for Best Sports Story, Best Sports Video, best Sports Talk Show and the Tennessee Associated Press award for Best Sportscast.

In 2004, he claimed the Virginia Associated Press award for best sports department, the only station to be located outside of the state of Virginia to win that honor.

Kenny is also the co-host of the popular radio show “Morning Monster” on WXSM Cumulus radio 640AM three days a week.

Kenny is heavily involved in the community. His charitable work over the years has involved working with the United Way, Relay for Life, Speedway Children’s Charities, Doe River Gorge, St. Jude’s and the Diabetes Association which he was co-founder/honorary chairman of the Tri-Cities chapter for Step Out Walk for Diabetes which raised over a million dollars.

Currently, he’s on the board of directors for the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. Kenny was also inducted into the ETSU Communications Department Hall of Fame in 2005.

Kenny is the father of twin daughters.

Here are some fun facts answered by Kenny:

Favorite story you’ve covered at WJHL: 1998 Tennessee winning the football national championship

Celebrity you’ve either met or seen while on the job: Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus to name a few

First concert you attended (What band/musician, when and where): The Jackson 5 in Knoxville in 1984

Your journalism role model (Reporter/anchor you’ve looked up to throughout your career): Bryant Gumbel

One class you hated (but had to take) in college: Comm. Law (only because it was at 8 a.m.)

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