‘He was born to tell stories:’ WJHL team reflects on friendship with former co-worker Tim Cable


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tri-Cities region continues to mourn the loss of local broadcast legend Tim Cable. His passing has had a big impact on our News Channel 11 team, which Tim was a part of for more than two decades.

Several longtime WJHL team members who worked with him every day at the station wanted to share some of their favorite memories.

“Any time that you think about Tim Cable or you’re asked about Tim Cable, it just brings a smile to your face. He made everybody around him smile,” said Paula Jackson, general manager and vice president of WJHL.

Cable was known for his unique, home-grown stories highlighting his favorite people and places through a popular series once on WJHL called ‘Cable Country.’

“Tim wanted to live in a world where you loved your neighbor, you respected everybody who came along, it didn’t matter who they were, where they came from, what they looked like. Every person mattered to him,” said anchor Josh Smith.

“Tim never treated anybody he interviewed like a subject. They were a person,” said anchor Sara Diamond. “When I would see him do that, I would start doing that as well. I would look at the people that I was interviewing and think, how would Tim handle this?”

Tim Cable, known across the region for his humor and authentic personality, was the same person when the cameras were off according to his friends, who call him “genuine.”

“The thing I will always remember about Tim is his smirk. He had the best smirk in the world, you always knew something was going on in his mind. We were always laughing,” said WJHL photographer Doug Counts.

Many people might not know that oftentimes, Cable went on his own to shoot his stories.

“Today it’s the norm that everybody goes out and shoots their own story, writes their own story, edits their own story. But he was doing that for decades. He was a role model for new people coming up in this business to learn how to do those types of things,” said WJHL producer David McAvoy.

Cable met his wife Christinia at WJHL, he also forged lasting friendships here.

“Every day when he came in, my favorite part to watch with him was his interaction with everybody. He became lifelong friends with a lot of people here at the station. But also, his love for Bob Lewis. They were very close friends, always smiling, always cutting up,” said Chief Meteorologist Mark Reynolds, thinking back on Lewis, another former anchor at WJHL who has passed away.

Though Tim Cable loved news, he also had many other passions, like football and baseball.

“He loved his sports. He knew his sports,” said WJHL Sports Director Kenny Hawkins. At one time, Cable worked on the sports team alongside Hawkins.

“The only thing he was probably more passionate about than sports was Mayberry. The Andy Griffith Show. This guy could tell you any episode, anything that happened in that series he could tell you about it, just like that,” said Hawkins.

Cable passed away from complications with COVID-19. His legacy is forever cemented at WJHL.

“He was born for this job. He was born to tell stories,” said Smith.

“He came to life in front of a camera. Everybody knew that,” said Jackson.

“Tim was community. Tim brought community to News Channel 11,” said Hawkins.

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