Highlights for Bob DeBardelaben
Action News 5 newscast from December 12, 1978. Charlie Gaddy was the solo news anchor. Bob Debardelaben was the weathercaster, and Rich Brenner was sports anchor. Also seen seated at the anchor desk was reporter Leila Tvedt, who primarily covered high profile court cases. Also seen in the newscast is legendary reporter Fred Taylor and sportscaster Tom Suiter.
The video shows the end of the lead-in ABC network program “Bewitched” followed by headlines, commercial break, Action News 5 open and then the newscast. Classic commercials have been saved as well.
1. Name the weatherman or meteorologist who presented a weathercast from WRAL’s tall tower. a) Bob Caudle b) Bob Debardelaben c) Bob Knapp d) Greg Fishel 2. Name the SKY 5 pilot who appeared in a live shot wearing a
Known as “The Biggest Name in Weather,” Bob DeBardelaben was one of WRAL-TV’s best known on-air personalities, gaining fame as the primary weather anchor of the station’s dominant “Action News 5” broadcasts.
Bob joined CBC in 1966 as a sales rep for Tobacco Radio Network. He began voicing commercials and handling a variety of on-air and off-air jobs, and by the late 60s he was doing the morning show on WRAL-FM.
It wasn’t long before DeBardelaben’s talents would move to the world of television, where he gained instant popularity as the host of “Dialing for Dollars,” a daily quiz program on WRAL-TV. Bob would spin a big wheel, make random phone calls and challenge viewers to win money if they could recite “the count and the amount” of the contest totals at that particular moment.
Bob’s popularity continued to grow, and in 1976 his career was forever changed when he was named the primary weathercaster of WRAL-TV’s weekday newscasts. DeBardelaben replaced long-time weatherman Bob Caudle.
Bob was always up for a weather stunt, as well. In the mid-80s he broadcast the weather one evening from a platform near the top of WRAL’s 2,000-foot tower. All went well, but when he came back down after the newscast he kissed the ground and said “never again!”
DeBardelaben retired in 1989 at age 62. Always an avid golfer, he says he wanted to spend more time on the links.
Bob DeBardelaben died October 6, 2014 following a brief illness. He was 88.
Adele Arakawa, Charlie Gaddy and Bob DeBardelaben on set during 1980s newscast.
Crew member Jack Stokes, Sam Beard, Bob DeBardelaben and Russell Capps during live Dateline newscast.