Former WGCL Chief Photographer’s Death Being Investigated

By Kevin Eck 

WGCL chief photographer Jon Smith has died.

TVSpy initially reported his death was suicide, but his wife told us the investigation into his death is still ongoing. We have updated our story and apologize for the misinformation.

Smith’s wife Cara told TVSpy the family had packed up and was ready to move to Charleston where Smith had accepted a job at ABC affiliate WCIV.


Smith said investigators are still trying to piece together what happened. The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed with TVSpy the case was still under investigation.

According to his LinkedIn page, Smith had been chief photographer since April 2015. He worked at WTVF in Nashville, Tenn., before that. He’s also worked at WLEX in Lexington, Ky., WSAZ in Huntington, W.V. WTVQ in Lexington, WXLV in Winston-Salem, N.C., and WKYT in Lexington.

His friends and family have set up a gofundme campaign. They’re trying to reach a goal of $20,000.

Smith asked us to let people know they can donate to the Jon Smith Memorial Fund through Fifth Third Bank. Deposits can be made by calling Fifth Third Bank or making deposits in person.

From the campaign page:

Smitty was an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning news photographer who was repeatedly recognized by NPPA, NATAS, and his peers as one of the best in the business. With stints at stations including WKYT, WTVQ, WLEX, WSAZ, WTVF and WGCL, Smitty left an indelible mark on the tradition of video shooting and editing.

He was an excellent journalist who turned out stories that made you feel and think. We will remember Smitty for his passion, creativity, drive, and kick ass karaoke stylings of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Please consider making a contribution to help his wife, Cara, and their two young sons as they navigate this painful time.