Meet the Team


Savannah Smith

Lead Producer
Savannah is the Lead Producer for UT Today. She was born and raised in Chattanooga, TN, but calls Knoxville her second home. She is a junior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and is majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media. Her experience in producing includes interning at WTVC, the ABC local affiliate in Chattanooga during summer 2019. Currently, Savannah is a Producers Academy Intern at WBIR, the NBC local affiliate in Knoxville. While at UT Today, Savannah is overall in charge of writing weekly shows that consists of both national stories and UTK related stories put together by her fellow classmates. When Savannah isn’t in the studio booth, she spends her free time as a member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band. Savannah hopes to one-day land a future career as a News Producer for a large local news market.

Marcella Tocco

Entertainment Anchor/Reporter & Lead Digital Producer
Marcella is the Entertainment Anchor/Reporter & Lead Digital Producer for UT Today. Originally from Long Island, NY, she moved down to Knoxville for her undergraduate career at the University of Tennessee. She is majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media and minoring in Italian Language. She has worked with the SEC Network & VFL Films for three and a half years as the stage manager and replay operator. Though most of her experience is in the sports production world, her true passion is music and entertainment. She took a semester away from Knoxville and moved across the world to Sydney, Australia where she studied at the University of Sydney and interned at local radio station Eastside 89.7 FM in Paddington, NSW. After graduation, Marcella hopes to pursue a career in the entertainment television and/or radio industry. In a time where the news can be so pessimistic, she loves the fact that entertainment news offers a chance to chat rather than debate.

Hailey Gravitt

Associate Producer & Anchor/Reporter
​Associate producer/ News Anchor. Hailey was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has always had a passion for storytelling and hopes to continue that passion after college. She is a senior at The University of Tennessee and will graduate with a Journalism and Electronic Media degree. Hailey has had experience through interning at KLAS Channel 8 in Las Vegas and WBIR Channel 10 in Knoxville. She also had the opportunity to spend a semester in Denmark at the Danish School of Media and Journalism. Hailey looks forward to working with her classmates of UT Today. After college she hopes to get her meteorology degree and become the next Ginger Zee. To keep up with Hailey follow her on social media @haileygravitt

Courtney Cox

Entertainment Anchor/Reporter
Courtney Cox is a Tennessee-based journalist and digital storyteller. Recently, Courtney has contributed to the student-run TV station at the University of Tennessee. Focusing on providing a more Afro-centric approach to journalism, Courtney aspires to change the way news is consumed and delivered to the Black community. When she is not working on a project, Courtney can be found in her hometown of Memphis, TN where she is either working or reading a new book. She is a graduate of Memphis Central High School and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and the National Association of Black Journalists. This past semester Courtney interned at WATE 6 On Your Side where she worked alongside a nightshade MMJ covering everything from politics to movie premiers. She’s so excited to be a part of the UT Today news team.

Kiaja McCabe

Sports Anchor/Reporter
Kiaja McCabe is a senior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media. McCabe is an aspiring sports reporter with goals of working for ESPN. McCabe has interned with WATE Six on Your Side, ESPNU Campus Connection, and the National Basketball Association. McCabe is currently apart of LaChina Robinson’s Rising Media Stars mentoring program. McCabe can be reached at kmccabe5@vols.utk.edu. For more on McCabe visit Kiaja-mccabe.com

Mac Morey

Sports Anchor/Reporter
Mac Morey is a Sports Anchor for UT Today. Originally from Kansas City, Mac is a junior at the University of Tennessee. In Nashville since he was 16, he has done play-by-play around Middle Tennessee, including Page High School and Belmont University. Mac has interned with ABC’s affiliate WATE channel 6. Mac is currently the Sports Director for 90.3 The Rock FM on Rock Solid Sports where he hosts his show on Friday evenings. His leadership roles continue into TV as well where he is also the Executive Producer for “The Volunteer Channels” show Sports Mecca. Mac plans to graduate in December where he has hopes of being on Sports Talk TV or Radio. To keep up with Mac, follow him on Twitter @macjmorey25.

Joseph Staton

Sports Anchor/Reporter
Joseph Staton is a reporter and anchor for news and sports with UT Today. He was born in Crossville, Tennessee, and is a junior at the University of Tennessee. Joseph hopes to graduate in the Spring of 2021 with a degree in Journalism & Electronic Media. Since his freshman year at UT, Joseph has been executive producer and host of TorchLight Sports on The Volunteer Channel, while also covering Volunteer football and basketball. In Fall 2019, Joseph was a news and sports intern for WVLT-TV in Knoxville where he covered high school football and local news. Now in Spring of 2020, Joseph is an internship position at WBIR-TV where he covers college basketball and local events. For UT Today, Staton contributes stories to news and sports, while also occasionally anchoring either side. Joseph plans to enter the sports industry through media with a final goal of joining an NBA or NFL team’s front office.

Quinton Douglas

Sports Anchor/Reporter
Quinton has hands in sports reporting and studio production for UT Today. He was born and raised in Brownsville, Tennessee. He is a senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and will be graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Journalism and Electronic Media with a minor in Africana Studies. His journalism experience includes working as a staff writer for the Daily Beacon, sports intern at Knoxville’s ABC affiliate WATE 6 On Your Side News, and sports intern for Sports Illustrated’s Volunteer Country. After graduation, Quinton wants to go into sports reporting.

Lou Brown

Sports Anchor/Reporter
​Lou Brown is a sports anchor and reporter for UT Today. She was born and raised in Australia and moved to the United States in 2014 where she attended Washington State University as a student-athlete as a member on the women’s basketball team. Lou graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelors in Sports Management and minor in Communications. She transferred to the University of Tennessee to further her education and compete on the women’s basketball team and will graduate in May 2020 with a Masters of Communications in Journalism and Electronic Media. Lou interned at a sports academy in Australia where she created media content for their website and social media platforms. After graduation she plans to find work for a sports network and hopes to begin building a career in sports broadcasting.

Kamera Harris

Sports Anchor/Reporter


Shania Brenon

Sports Anchor/Reporter
Shania is a senior who is passionate about journalism. She is an anchor for Sports Mecca through the Volunteer Channel as well as UT Today. This semester she has a News Internship with WVLT Channel 8 of Knoxville, Tennessee where she is learning skills and techniques to improve her experience in the field. Shania is from Buffalo, New York which makes her an avid Buffalo Bills fan. This sparked her interest in Sports Reporting. In January of 2020, she attended a week long journalism trip to New York City where she visited multiple national news affiliations through The University of Tennessee school of Journalism and Electronic Media. This upcoming summer, Shania will be studying International Reporting abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. She is looking forward to being apart of the UT Today team.

Rachel Rubadue

Sports Anchor/Reporter
Rachel is a sports anchor and reporter for UT Today. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Rachel is a senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Electronic Media. During her time at Tennessee, she was a student athlete for 4 years and was captain of the women’s 2018-2019 swimming and diving team. She has interned with VFL Films, and Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. After graduation, Rachel hopes to move back home and attend grad school at The Ohio State University, and continue her career in reporting/media.

Marina Trikones

Anchor/Reporter

Ford Sanders

Anchor/Reporter
Ford Sanders is a News Anchor and Reporter for UT Today. Ford’s reporting for companies like WVLT, the CBS affiliate in Knoxville, has contributed to local and national coverage of news stories including a bar stabbing in Nashville that left two students dead and a University of Tennessee student severely injured. Although from Nashville, Ford’s extended family lives in East Tennessee, enhancing his connection to the region and strengthening his commitment to serving the people who live here. Ford’s career in journalism spans the country and includes collaborations with ESPN’s SEC Network, WVLT, and The Daily Beacon. He also landed a premier internship at CBS News in New York. If he’s not on the job working, you’ll find Ford traveling the world and enjoying quality time with his friends.

Avery Conner

Anchor/Reporter & Social Media Manager
Avery Conner is an anchor and reporter for UT today. She is a senior at The University of Tennessee studying Journalism and Electronic Media. Born and raised in Knoxville, she has a passion for storytelling. She loves health and fitness and is a Core Change instructor. In the summer of 2019, Avery studied abroad in the Czech Republic as a foreign correspondent. She is a member of Phi Mu and is captain of Volunteer Team, a student recruiting organization for the football team. Avery has interned at WVLT in news in the spring of 2019 and is currently interning there in sales and will move to a full time position upon graduation. She will graduate in May 2020.

Lauren Meyers

Anchor/Reporter
Lauren Meyers is an anchor and reporter for UT Today. She is a senior at the University of Tennessee Knoxville studying Journalism and Electronic Media. Originally from New Orleans, LA but has grown up in Knoxville, TN. During her time at UT, Lauren has interned at WVLT-TV as a news intern and is currently working part-time for WVLT-TV as a Digital Content Producer and Photographer. After graduation, Lauren wants to continue in a career in journalism producing digital content or as a reporter.

Alex Sherry

Anchor/Reporter
Alex is a second year graduate student at the University of Tennessee studying Journalism and Electronic Media. He was born in Maryland and graduated high school in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Alex first started reporting in the summer of 2019 when studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic through TOL Education. In the fall semester he interned at WBIR where he learned a lot of the skills he uses in reporting. He hopes to go on to become a multimedia journalist in a bigger city.

Zach Piontkowski

Special Content/Production
Zach Piontkowski is a production assistant/MMJ at UT Today. Born and raised in East Tennessee, Zach is a senior at the University of Tennessee and plans to graduate in May. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps with combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, he also served in a humanitarian mission in support of Pakistan. During his studies, Zach has been a DJ for WUTK-FM 90.3 The Rock, served as a writing intern at the Center For Sports Peace and Society, and works currently as a sports correspondent for The Mountain Press.

Photos of the UT Today team courtesy of Kenneth Richmond, kennethrichmondphotos.com