Lelan A. Statom (’86)

Category: Alumni Professional Achievement | Awards

2023 Alumni Professional Achievement Award Winner

Lelan A. Statom is an Emmy Award winning meteorologist who has been helping mid-Southerners start their day for more than 30 years at WTVF-the NewsChannel 5 Network in Nashville. He has been part of the station’s #1 rated morning newscast since 1999. Statom joined the CBS affiliate in 1993 as weather anchor for all weekend morning and evening newscasts. Currently, he serves as senior meteorologist and is also co-host of Talk of the Town, the station’s long running & top-rated talk show.

Statom earned a bachelor of science in communications (’86) with an emphasis in news & public affairs from what is now the College of Communications and Information at UT. He received his Certificate of Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State.

His TV news career started in Knoxville, first at WTVK-TV(now WVLT), then at WATE. He did a host of jobs at both stations (producer, photojournalist, tape editor, weekend assignment editor, and weather anchor). Statom also worked with Black Entertainment Television News during his time in Knoxville. In 1990, he moved to WCYB-TV in Bristol, Virginia, to become a weekend weather anchor/reporter.

Statom has been honored with nine regional Emmy awards for his work at NewsChannel 5 and has been named Best Weather Anchor in the state three times by the Tennessee Associated Press. In 2019, he was named National Broadcaster of the Year by the National Weather Association. Readers of the Nashville Scene & The Tennessean have voted him favorite weather anchor in Reader’s Polls for each paper.

Statom was a charter member of the UT Knoxville Alumni Board of Directors when it was established in 2009. He has been honored with several awards from the university. Earlier this year, he was inducted into the Hall of Honor in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services for the amount of time he has spent in schools talking to students. In 2020, he received the Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given by the College of Communications & Information, and he has been recognized as an Accomplished Alumni.

Statom and his wife, Yolanda, are the proud parents of two children. Kayela is a UT graduate and is currently the Coordinator of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives for the UT College of Veterinary Medicine. Taylor, aka “lil taco,” is an aspiring music artist. They are members at Lee Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Nashville.