John Mercer’s journey led from the midwest, to Pacific northwest, to Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Chattanooga news anchorman John Mercer has died at the age of 56 from natural causes.
John was born in Indiana but his family moved to the Seattle area, where he grew up.
He graduated from Washington State University.
John began his broadcasting career in Yakima, Washington as an intern, but was later hired as a reporter.
His career took him to KOBI in Medford, Oregon and KTVN in Reno, Nevada where he was an evening anchor in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
The station posted a response from former anchor Wendy Damonte.
“I am so incredibly sad to hear of John’s passing. He and I had so many good memories anchoring the news together. From the implosion of the Mapes Hotel, to our school district wide “Time 2 Act” programs to prevent school violence, to spending every evening with him on the news desk. John was always so professional and so much fun at the same time. Journalism lost a great reporter and KTVN lost a great friend. My heart breaks for Jenny and the twins and all of us who had the great opportunity to work with John.”
John brought his experience and the proper pronunciation of “Nevada” with him to Chattanooga.
He began working at CBS affiliate WDEF News 12 Now in August of 2003, replacing long time anchor Jerry Brown.
In the next 17 years, John covered the Katrina migration into our area, visits by Presidents Obama and Trump, the tornado outbreaks of 2011 & 2020, the Woodmore bus crash,and the Fallen 5 terror attack in 2015.
Over the years, he oversaw franchises on Cold Cases, handing out Golden Apple teaching awards and highlighting stories on What’s Right in Our Schools.
He was proceeded in death by both his parents and a sister.
He is survived by his twin daughters, Maddie and Delaney.
Arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations in John Mercer’s name to the American Heart Association.