Best TV Newshound

Phil Williams, WTVF-Channel 5

It's worth repeating: If you're a local politician, corporate executive or police chief and you get a call from Phil Williams, you have a problem. That's because Williams, one of the nation's top investigative reporters, has made a career of ending careers. His hit list includes former Davidson County Clerk Bill Covington, high-flying former UT President John Shumaker, friends of former Gov. Don Sundquist who incorporated companies just to land fat state contracts, and many, many others whose names are typically preceded these days by the adjective "former." Williams has won just about every top prize there is to win for a TV journalist, including a Peabody and a Columbia-DuPont award, and he's been elected to the national board of directors for the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association. For Williams, though, the oh-shit expression on his victims' faces is probably reward enough. They oughta call him "the Proctologist"—who else can say they've seen so many Tennessee public officials with their pants down? —P.J. TOBIA

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