• Adele Arakawa

    Adele Arakawa

    Adele Arakawa was a popular weekday evening news anchor at WRAL-TV in the 1980s.

    Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Arakawa grew up in Hawaii. She began her broadcasting career at the age of 16 as a radio disc jockey at a small station in East Tennessee. Two years later she became the first female disc jockey in Knoxville at WRJZ-AM.

    Arakawa moved to television news at WRVK-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she filled numerous roles, including reporter, producer and news anchor.

    In 1983, Adele moved to Raleigh, and for the next six years she teamed with Charlie Gaddy, Bob DeBardelaben and Tom Suiter as anchor of WRAL-TV’s 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. newscasts. She was also the host of the station’s “Wednesday’s Child” adoption series.

    In early 1989, Arakawa left WRAL for an anchor position at WBBM-TV in Chicago, a position she held for five years before departing for a similar job in Denver. Arakawa joined KUSA-TV in Denver as a weekday evening anchor and she continues in that role today.

    During her two decades in Denver television she has received seven regional Emmy nominations. She won the Outstanding News Anchor Emmy in 1997 for coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing trial.

    In 2013 Adele Arakawa was inducted into the regional Emmy organization’s prestigious Silver Circle—an honor reserved for journalists who have spent more than 25 years in the broadcast industry and made lasting contributions to the region and craft.

    She attended Tennessee Tech University and the University of Tennessee.

     

    • Election coverage at WRAL-TV

      Anchors Adele Arakawa and Charlie Gaddy host election coverage from the WRAL newsroom.

    • WRAL anchors on election night

      Adele Arakawa and Charlie Gaddy discuss election results with analyst in 1988

    • Action News 5 6:00 PM Newscast January 7, 1985

      Action News 5 hour long newscast that air January 7, 1985. At this time, WRAL was still an affiliate with the ABC network.

      One of the main stories of the day was Jim Martin’s first full day as Governor of North Carolina. (full coverage of his inauguration on January 6 is available on this website) Other stories of the day were reported by Shelly Kofler, Sharon Nash, Connie Howard, Tim Kent, Tina Seldon, Fred Taylor, Denece Boyer, Renee McCoy and Joe Oliver. Sports with Tom Suiter. Weather with Bob Debardelaben. Editorial by Joel Lawhon.

      The commercials that aired that day are included as well.

    • Action News 5 funnies with news anchor John Hudson

      Sometimes the best made plans go awry, especially if it is a “live” shot during a newscast. Here are two examples of WRAL news anchor John Hudson having a bit of fun with two situations. (circa 1984)

      The first example shows reporter Bryan Glazer reporting “live” from a post office on tax filing day, April 15. Before the day of electronic filing, tax payers needed to mail their tax returns in an envelope stamped before midnight. Last minute deliveries were common and created long lines at the post office. It just so happened that the “live” shot occurred during a lull. That left Bryan without someone to interview. News anchor John Hudson helped relieve the awkward moment with a little humor.

      The second video shows WRAL news anchor John Hudson offering up a humorous comment after WRAL reporter Howard Fox finished his “live” shot at the fairgrounds at the expense of reporter, Bryan Glazer, who was not even on the scene. You’ll recall in the previous video that Glazer waited in hope of interviewing someone about filing their tax returns at the last minute. Hudson cleverly connected the wait to Howard Fox having to wait for a mule to dive into the water. The humor left Adele Arakawa speechless and the studio camera crew doubled over in laughter.

    • WRAL Sports anchor Tom Suiter and WRAL News anchor Adele Arakawa on Christmas Eve

      Christmas Eve in the mid-’80s brought out a bit of mischief on the newset with sports anchor Tom Suiter and news anchor Adele Arakawa.

  • Bill Armstrong

     

    Bill Armstrong was WRAL-TV’s first News Director, a role he held from the station’s sign-on in 1956 to 1966.

    He was also the station’s primary news anchor, who teamed with sportscaster Ray Reeve and weatherman Bob Knapp to form the first WRAL-TV anchor team.

    Armstrong was a native of Salisbury who joined the Army and served on the front lines of World War II in Europe. He was a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Journalism. Before joining WRAL, he was a reporter at the Raleigh Times.

    Armstrong was a “one-man-news operation” in WRAL’s early days, chasing down the news then reporting it himself from the anchor desk. Among the highlights of his WRAL news career was an interview with Neil Armstrong, who was training at UNC-Chapel Hill at the time and later became the first astronaut on the moon. (see an excerpt of that interview here).

    Armstrong also provided on-the-scene coverage from the Raleigh-Durham airport when the victorious UNC men’s basketball team returned to North Carolina after winning the 1957 national championship.

    Armstrong left WRAL-TV in 1966 for a job as Director of Highway Safety Promotion in the state Motor Vehicles Department. He also worked for North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry and its North Carolina Magazine.

    Bill Armstrong died March 30, 2005 at the age of 80.

     

    • 1964 Election coverage on WRAL-TV

      Bill Armstrong, Sam Beard and Scottie Stephenson on set election night at WRAL-TV.

    • WRAL 60th Anniversary “The Early Years” by The Tar Heel Traveler

      WRAL celebrated 60 years of broadcasting on December 15, 2016. In recognition of that anniversary, Scott Mason – better known as The Tar Heel Traveler – took viewers on a time travel, via black and white film footage, to witness several news events covered by WRAL during the early years.

      A few of the highlights include President John F. Kennedy’s visit to the campus of UNC to WRAL News Director Bill Armstrong’s interview with NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong while he was training at the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill. Meet Marlene Carole, WRAL’s first female weatherperson who used a chalkboard to write the high and low temperatures – with an eye-wink. Later we see WRAL transition to color and then lead the nation in HD technology.

      Feature edited by WRAL Tar Heel Traveler photographer Bob Meikle.

    • Man on the Moon

      In 1963, WRAL News director and anchor Bill Armstrong landed an interview with NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong, no relation, at the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill. Neil Armstrong and other astronauts were there January 28-30, 1963 learning about celestial navigation.
    • Bill Armstrong WRAL First News Director

      Watch and listen to WRAL News anchor David Crabtree’s conversation with Bill Armstrong, WRAL-TV’s first News Director. Armstrong held that role from the station’s sign-on in 1956 to 1966. He was also the station’s primary news anchor, who teamed with sportscaster Ray Reeve and weatherman Bob Knapp to form the first WRAL-TV anchor team. Armstrong was a “one-man-news operation” in WRAL’s early days, chasing down the news then reporting it himself from the anchor desk. Among the highlights of his WRAL news career was an interview with Neil Armstrong, who was training at UNC-Chapel Hill at the time and later became the first astronaut on the moon. That interview can be seen on this website titled “WRAL News Director Bill Armstrong interviews astronaut Neil Armstrong.” Bill Armstrong died March 30, 2005 at the age of 80.

    • Through the viewfinder

      WRAL-TV News Director Bill Armstrong delivering the news as seen through old camera viewfinder

  • Bill Jordan

     

    Bill Jordan was the popular “morning man” at WRAL-FM (MIX-101.5) for more than two decades. He says he “was made to do mornings at WRAL-FM,” and his success over the years proved that statement true.

    Jordan grew up in Newport News, VA and attended the University of Richmond before being terminally bitten by the radio bug. He got his first job at WSSV-AM in Petersburg and followed up with on-air stops in Roanoke, Norfolk, Charleston, SC and Durham. Then he got the call from the radio managers at Capitol Broadcasting and his long career with CBC was born.

    Jordan walked through the doors at WRAL-FM on Nov. 14th, 1989 and began a career that would encompass seven different co-hosts, five program directors and three general managers.

    His career at MIX was full of highlights: broadcasting from London, Paris, the Olympics in France and Universal Studios and Disneyworld in Orlando. Along the way he chatted with countless celebrities, among them Charlton Heston, Richard Petty, President Jimmy Carter, First Lady Michelle Obama, Kevin Costner, Mark Harmon, Marie Osmond and Jeff Foxworthy.

    Jordan is probably best known to listeners for two things – his good natured “Birthday Call” segments and his tireless work at the helm of the annual MIX “Radiothons” for Duke Children’s Hospital.

    Jordan anchored the WRAL-FM coverage through 19 radiothons, helping raise over $15 million and making it the biggest per capita radiothon on record anywhere. He credits those experiences as the most significant thing he’s ever been involved with professionally.

    During his first ten years on radio in Raleigh Jordan also entertained listeners with daily birthday calls to unsuspecting recipients. In true “Candid Camera” style, Jordan would use the phone and radio to play good-natured gags on local citizens who most always laughed along with listeners once the truth came out. The birthday calls helped make Jordan one of the most popular broadcasters in the market.

    As a staunch supporter of the military and veterans, Jordan flew on three “Flights of Honor” and says he was humbled to be in the presence of so many WWII veterans who truly represent our nation’s Greatest Generation.

    Bill never shied away from first-hand experience, and during his career he shared some eye-opening experiences with every branch of the military.

    Bill flew with the Navy Blue Angels and passed out only when the gravitational force reached 6 ½ “Gs.” He also spent three days “learning the ropes” with US Marines at Parris Island; and he flew on a refueling mission with the 916th Air Refueling Wing out of Seymour Johnson AFB.

    Never one to leave out the G.I.s – Bill jumped out of a perfectly good airplane 2 ½ miles above the earth while strapped to one of the elite members of the Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, an experience he says he’ll never forget.

    Jordan says he just tried to live out his life out on the radio, and the best compliment he could ever hear was for someone to say he was like their neighbor, brother or dad.

    In honor of his long career and service to the community, Bill was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest citizen honor.

    Jordan retired from WRAL-FM July 31, 2013.

     

    • WRAL FM anchors with Coach K at Duke fundraiser

      Sheri Logan and Bill Jordan join Duke Coach K to raise funds for Duke Childrens Hospital.

    • WRAL FM Mix 101 promo

      WRAL-TV Morning News anchors promote the WRAL-FM Morning hosts!
      Not many people knew what Bill Jordan looked like until he appeared on the WRAL Morning newscasts. Bill and Sheri gave listeners an idea what the topic of the day would be during their morning drive to work or to run errands. Note the cross promotion included WRAL.com as well.

    • Mix 101.5 Best of the Birthday Calls 1998

      Check out this assortment of wild and crazy on-the-air phone calls made to unsuspecting listeners. The prank turns into a happy birthday phone call. Proceeds of the cassette went to Duke Children’s Hospital.

    • First Radiothon Montage

      Listen to the voices of children, parents, and those who made a donation to Duke Children’s Hospital.

    • Bill Jordan, MIX 101.5 announces his retirement

      The very popular Bill Jordan retires from broadcasting after many successful, fun years in radio.

  • Bob Caudle

    Bob Caudle

    Bob Caudle was a longtime newscaster and weatherman at WRAL-TV, but he is best known as the television announcer for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling during a broadcast career that spanned more than three decades.

    Bob’s TV career began in 1954 at WMFD-TV (later WECT-TV) in Wilmington, NC, where he played a lead role in “Bob and Hester,” a children’s program featuring a dog puppet that talked and sang songs. After three years in Wilmington, Caudle moved to TV job in Savannah, and three years later headed to Raleigh and WRAL-TV.

    At WRAL, Caudle anchored late-night news and appeared as “The Atlantic Weatherman” who would deliver the forecast each evening dressed in a gas station attendant’s uniform. In 1961 he took on additional duties as the announcer for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, which was recorded every Wednesday night at WRAL. From that point on—Bob Caudle became a household name in the world of television wrestling.

    Caudle announced and recorded hundreds of wrestling matches in WRAL’s famous Studio A, teaming up with partners such as David Crockett, Roddy Piper, Les Thatcher and Johnny Weaver. Soon he began going on the road for Crockett Promotions to tape wrestling shows throughout the eastern half of the country.

    Bob’s signature sign-off line at the end of every show was “That’s it for this week, and until next week fans, so long for now!”

    Caudle left WRAL-TV in early 1981 to become a legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Jesse Helms, with whom he had worked during his early days at WRAL. Caudle held that position until he retired in 1996. During his time as Senator Helms’ assistant, he continued his ring announcing—working for Jim Crockett Promotions and Turner Broadcasting until the early 90s.

    Bob Caudle is a native of Charlotte. He and his wife have three children and seven grandchildren. They live in Raleigh.

     

    • As the Weather Turns

      Weatherman Bob Caudle with incoming anchor Bob DeBardelaben during early 60s promotional shoot

    • Crazy Things

      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
    • Bob Caudle and Jim Goodmon

      Weathercaster and CBC President taking part in humorous promo campaign when Bob DeBardelaben took over for Caudle as Weatherman.

    • Bob Caudle

      Weatherman and wrestling announcer in 1960s staff photo

    • Bob Caudle

      WRAL announcer Bob Caudle with the microphone at a Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling taping.

  • Bob Inskeep

    Bob Inskeep

    Bob Inskeep was a popular morning radio announcer at WRAL-FM during the 1970s and ‘80s.

    Known as “F.B.I.” – which stood for “Famous Bob Inskeep” – Bob combined a laid-back conversational style with a keen wit and biting sense of humor to win legions of fans for his morning show on MIX-101.5.

    Inskeep came to WRAL-FM in 1974, not long after the station changed its programing to the popular Adult Contemporary format. He was on the air 3 ½ hours each morning delivering a mix of music, interviews, prepared sketches and impromptu humor. Listeners loved him and he was named “Best in the Triangle” five years running in the annual poll conducted by Spectator Magazine.

    Inskeep was born in Urbana, Ohio, but moved with his family to Rockwell, Maryland where he graduated high school. He went on to Virginia Tech University where he got his first radio experience at the campus station. At first Bob produced commercials, but he soon got his first regular on-air role as the host of a folk music program.

    Inskeep’s first commercial radio job came at WCFV in the small town of Clifton Forge, Virginia. Stints at other Virginia stations followed, including a sales job in Roanoke with announcer Adrian Cronauer, who would go on to fame as the subject of the movie “Good Morning Vietnam.”

    Bob first came to North Carolina for a sales job at WDNC AM/FM in Durham. He next moved to WCHL-AM in Chapel Hill, and that’s where he got his first morning announcing shift. In 1974 a job opened at WRAL-FM and Inskeep was hired as the station’s Operations Manager.

    Over the next 15 years, Inskeep entertained Triangle listeners as the always-likable “F.B.I.” One of his hallmarks was community involvement, and Inskeep appeared at telethons, broadcast from the United Way’s hot air balloon, did charity “Walkathons” and made countless appearances and speeches at festivals, parades and meetings. His tireless community spirit won him a permanent place in the heart of the Triangle community.

    In the late 1980s Inskeep felt the urge to help others in need of personal counseling. He began taking courses at Duke University Divinity School to gain practical knowledge, but before long he felt a deeper calling that pulled him toward the ministry. Bob acted on that call and enrolled in pastoral classes that set the stage for the next phase of his career. He completed fifteen courses at Duke Divinity School between 1979 and 1986.

    Bob remained on the air at MIX-101.5 for the next three years, but left morning radio behind and moved into a corporate role at CBC in late 1989. The next year he left the company for good and headed north to Richmond where he enrolled at Union Presbyterian Seminary. He earned his Masters of Divinity at Union in 1994 and was ordained a Presbyterian minister.

    Today Bob Inskeep is Associate Minister at Raleigh’s First Presbyterian Church.

     

    • FBI, Zoot and Rowell Gormon

      Famous Bob Inskeep enjoying a moment with his sidekick puppet Zoot and voice actor Rowell Gormon.

    • One Man; Many Voices

      Rowell Gormon created “theater of the mind” through various characters conjured up in his creative cranial recesses. In 1975, he was recruited from a radio station in Winston-Salem to WRAL-FM by Bob Inskeep, better known to listeners as “FBI,” or
    • WRAL-FM promotion contest in 1984

      Famous Bob Inskeep – aka FBI – shown in contest promotion mailing that urged listeners to tune in 101.5 in the morning.

    • FBI and Zoot

      WRAL-FM Morning Man Bob Inskeep in photo with Zoot, a puppet character who was popular on the show. Zoot was a creation of voice actor Rowell Gormon.

    • MIX 101.5 team in 1989

      MIX programming team: Standing L-R: Ned Attayek, Kathy Walston, Marty Callaghan, Bob Inskeep, Jami Elizondo, Mike Urben, David Wood. Sitting L-R: Bruce Mulder, Lori Rentsch.

  • Bob Knapp

     

    Bob Knapp was WRAL-TV’s first weathercaster, joining the staff on December 13, 1956. That was two days before the station signed on the air.

    Knapp came to WRAL from Richmond, where he got early experience in radio and television. Knapp not only handled weather, he also reported and anchored sports and filled in for Ray Reeve when necessary.

    Knapp was best known for the “Atlantic Weatherman” segments where he would deliver the forecast wearing the full uniform of a service station attendant. Atlantic Oil Company sponsored weathercasts at more than 40 television stations along the east coast in the late 1950s and early 60s. WRAL-TV adopted the “Atlantic style” and Knapp would appear each night wearing a tan-colored service station attendant’s uniform, bow tie and black-visored cap.

    The WRAL weather background included an Atlantic logo on the left and North Carolina regional map on the right. Each night it would be rolled into the studio on wheels and positioned in front of the single camera that was used for the production. Knapp stored his Atlantic caps on a shelf above the map—just out of camera range and out of sight of viewers.

    Bob Knapp also covered sports most days and he became known as an “active” reporter, taking part in individual competitions and showing particular skill at golf. In 1957 Bob won the Press-Radio-TV division of the Atlantic Coast College football roundup golf tournament, shooting a 77 over the Finley golf course in Chapel Hill. He repeated the feat the next year with an even par 72, which garnered him the A.E. Finley Trophy for overall low score.

    Bob Knapp left WRAL-TV in 1965, but came back to the station for another year in 1967. He was the first of three WRAL-TV chief weather anchors named Bob; Knapp would be followed by Bob Caudle and later by the biggest name in weather—Bob DeBardelaben.

     

    • Bob Knapp

      PR photo for early WRAL-TV weatherman and sports reporter

    • Bob Knapp at work

      Knapp was weatherman and sports reporter in the early days of WRAL-TV

    • Crazy Things

      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
    • Bob Knapp wins tournament

      WRAL-TV weather and sports announcer Bob Knapp accepting trophy after winning a media golf tournament. Knapp shot an even-par 72 at the Finley course in Chapel Hill to take the crown.

    • Bob Knapp

      Atlantic Weatherman Bob Knapp in a 1960 PR photo. Knapp would don his gas station uniform to give the nightly forecast.

  • Bobbie Battista

    Bobbie Battista

    Barbara Ann “Bobbie” Battista was a producer, on-air host and primary evening news anchor at WRAL-TV from 1974 to 1981.

    Battista graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film production. Not long afterward, she began her broadcast career as a DJ at WAKS Radio – a country music station in Fuquay-Varina. Her on-air name was “Bobbie Ann.”

    Battista joined WRAL-TV in 1974 as a secretary, but she quickly convinced station management to put her on the air in 1976. She produced and anchored the WRAL morning news and other special programming until 1977, when she joined Charlie Gaddy on the station’s 6:00 and 11:00 o’clock news. Gaddy and Battista formed the first male-female anchor team in the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville television market.

    Over the next four years WRAL achieved ratings dominance and in late 1981 Bobbie answered Ted Turner’s call to join a start-up cable network known as CNN. She was hired as one of the original anchors on CNN Headline News, but by 1986 Battista moved to CNN’s flagship cable channel where she became one of the network’s most recognizable stars.

    During this time at CNN Battista also anchored a daily program for CNN International, making her the only anchor in CNN history to work at all three CNN networks. In 1998 Battista was chosen to host television’s first daily interactive talk show – Talkback Live.

    Battista left CNN after the company merged with America Online in 2001. In 2002 she became a principal in the Atamira Communications firm in Atlanta, where she provided communications consulting for corporate clients.

    In 2009, she began making periodic appearances on the Onion News Network (ONN), a satirical news organization. And in early 2014, Battista was named host of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s new nightly news program On the Story.

    Among Battista’s many honors is the prestigious George Foster Peabody award for a documentary on juvenile crime.

     

    • Battista and Gaddy chat with Goodmon

      Legendary anchors Bobbie Battista and Charlie Gaddy with CBC President Jim Goodmon before the WRAL 50th Anniversary newscast in 2006.

    • WRAL anchors old and new at 50th reuncion newscast

      Bob DeBardelaben, Bobbie Battista, Charlie Gaddy and Tom Suiter are joined by successors at reunion in 2006

    • WRAL 60th Anniversary “The Early Years” by The Tar Heel Traveler

      WRAL celebrated 60 years of broadcasting on December 15, 2016. In recognition of that anniversary, Scott Mason – better known as The Tar Heel Traveler – took viewers on a time travel, via black and white film footage, to witness several news events covered by WRAL during the early years.

      A few of the highlights include President John F. Kennedy’s visit to the campus of UNC to WRAL News Director Bill Armstrong’s interview with NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong while he was training at the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill. Meet Marlene Carole, WRAL’s first female weatherperson who used a chalkboard to write the high and low temperatures – with an eye-wink. Later we see WRAL transition to color and then lead the nation in HD technology.

      Feature edited by WRAL Tar Heel Traveler photographer Bob Meikle.

    • WRAL Bobbie Battista promo Nightside Reporter (1978)

      This 1978 news promo shows Bobbie Battista when she was a nightside reporter for WRAL News. At that time, news was referred to as Action News 5.

      Bobbie Battista was a legendary news anchor at WRAL. She started at the station in November, 1974. She started int the news department as a producer and then a reporter before becoming co-anchor with Charlie Gaddy during the late 70’s. Bobbie was recruited to CNN in Atlanta in 1981 and anchored CNN Headlines News before moving over to the main network, CNN, in 1988. For more information about Bobbie Battista, check out her bio on this website.

    • Bobbie Battista WRAL News anchor

      Barbara Ann “Bobbie” Battista was a producer, on-air host and primary evening news anchor at WRAL-TV from 1974 to 1981.

      Battista joined WRAL-TV in 1974 as a secretary, but she quickly convinced station management to put her on the air in 1976. She produced and anchored the WRAL morning news and other special programming until 1977, when she joined Charlie Gaddy on the station’s 6:00 and 11:00 o’clock news. Gaddy and Battista formed the first male-female anchor team in the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville television market.

      Over the next four years WRAL achieved ratings dominance and in late 1981 Bobbie answered Ted Turner’s call to join a start-up cable network known as CNN. She was hired as one of the original anchors on CNN Headline News, but by 1986 Battista moved to CNN’s flagship cable channel where she became one of the network’s most recognizable stars.

      During this time at CNN Battista also anchored a daily program for CNN International, making her the only anchor in CNN history to work at all three CNN networks. In 1998 Battista was chosen to host television’s first daily interactive talk show – Talkback Live.

      Bobbie was interviewed by WRAL News anchor David Crabtree in 2006 for the 50th Anniversary of WRAL-TV. The video is “raw footage” from one camera angle and had not been edited showing the other camera angles. That is why you will see quick camera adjustments.

  • Bret Baier

     

    FOX News Anchor Bret Baier was a General Assignment Reporter for WRAL-TV News from 1996 to 1998.

    Baier’s broadcast career started in Beaufort, SC, where he worked for WJWJ-TV, the PBS affiliate. From there he moved to WREX-TV, the NBC affiliate in Rockford, IL. In 1996, Baier came to Raleigh to join the WRAL reporting team.

    Bret’s WRAL reporting career got off to a memorable start as he spent his first day on the job covering a tornado that hit parts of Eastern Wake County. Bret’s live reporting topped the Channel 5 newscasts that evening and set the tone for what would be a short, but impressive two-year stint covering news in Central North Carolina.

    In 1998 Fox News hired Baier as the first reporter in the network’s new Atlanta Bureau. Ever since, Baier has steadily risen through the ranks, covering Washington as the Fox Pentagon correspondent and later as Chief White House correspondent.

    In 2009, Baier was promoted to the position of Chief Political Anchor and anchor of the nightly news program “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

    To read Bret’s Fox News biography, click here: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/personalities/bret-baier/bio/#s=a-d

    Baier grew up in Atlanta and is a graduate of DePauw University, where he earned a BA in Political Science and English.

    Bret and his wife Amy have two sons.

     

    • Bret Baier

      Former WRAL-TV reporter Bret Baier working the phone in the Raleigh newsroom. Baier now anchors for FOX News.

    • Bret Baier

      Former WRAL-TV reporter Bret Baier in his new role as a FOX News anchor.

  • Donna Gregory

     

    Donna Gregory was a weekday news anchor at WRAL-TV from 1988 until 1996.

    Gregory grew up in Atlanta and earned her college degree at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She worked as a news anchor-reporter at WMBD-TV in Peoria and KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City before joining the WRAL-TV Action News team in 1988.

    Donna co-anchored the 5:30pm and 11:00pm newscasts during much of her WRAL tenure. She also hosted the station’s coverage of the annual Raleigh Christmas Parade and frequently traveled to NCAA Final Four tournaments to co-anchor WRAL sports specials.

    Gregory also hosted “Kids Having Kids,” a WRAL-TV news special which examined the issue of teen pregnancy in North Carolina.

    In 1996 Gregory was hired to anchor a brand new newscast for six major-market stations affiliated with the UPN network. The job took her to KMSP-TV in Minneapolis, where she anchored the midday newscast until March 1997.

    Gregory returned to the Triangle where she was hired by WNCN-TV as a primary weekday anchor. She worked at WNCN until 2001, when she left the station to form her own communications company.

    A year later, Donna began working as a correspondent and anchor for NBC News and MSNBC. She held those positions until 2008.

    In 2012 Donna founded Coastal Health Innovations and began a new career as a Professional Integrative Health Coach. She works with clients to help them achieve their health, fitness and lifestyle goals.

     

    • Jay Jennings and Russian “Strangers in the Night”

      We conclude our TBT Russian theme with another news trip to the “land of the bear.” It is 1992 and our intrepid international correspondents are WRAL News anchor Donna Gregory and photographer Jay Jennings. The name of the country has
    • Vladimir Comes to America

      WRAL News anchor Donna Gregory and news photographer Jay Jennings first met Vladimir Koslov in 1992 in Moscow. Vladimir and his family graciously served as one of several hosts to the NC Friendship Force during their visit to Russia.

      The favor was returned a few months later when Vladimir traveled to America. He split his time staying with Jay and his family, and with Donna and her family. The Jennings took him grocery shopping and to a hockey game. Donna showed Vladimir around the mall in Cary and the local schools and universities.

      Watch and listen to Vladimir share his insights into the differences between life in Russia vs life in America. Hint. There are more smiles in America.

    • 1992 NC Friendship Force Trip to Moscow Final report of 11 Elle Lysova

      The USSR ceased to exist on December 26, 1991. A few weeks later, WRAL News anchor Donna Gregory and WRAL photographer Jay Jennings accompanied the NC Friendship Force on a trip to Russia, now formerly the USSR, in mid-January 1992.

      Meet Elle Lyosa, a physical therapist who works at Moscow State University. She is paid the equivalent of three dollars of month. She is a single mother with a four year old son. Their home is an apartment that is 9‘ X 15’. Her outlook is positive as she seeks to better her life.

      This is the last of 11 reports that aired on WRAL News.

    • 1992 NC Friendship Force Trip to Moscow Report #10 Religion in Russia

      The USSR ceased to exist on December 26, 1991. A few weeks later, WRAL News anchor Donna Gregory and WRAL photographer Jay Jennings accompanied the NC Friendship Force on a trip to Russia, now formerly the USSR, in mid-January 1992.

      WRAL photographer Jay Jennings visited a Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow where parishioners were able to openly worship again. During the years of communist rule, religion was prohibited.

      This is the tenth of 11 reports that aired on WRAL News.

    • 1992 NC Friendship Force Trip to Moscow Report #9 Black Market

      The USSR ceased to exist on December 26, 1991. A few weeks later, WRAL News anchor Donna Gregory and WRAL photographer Jay Jennings accompanied the NC Friendship Force on a trip to Russia, now formerly the USSR, in mid-January 1992.

      The expression, “money talks” rings true when it comes to haggling over price. In the black market of Moscow, American cigarettes and American money “talks” as well. The Russian interpreter, Mary Ann, showed Donna and Jay how to navigate the streets filled with vendors and come out with a bargain.

      This is the ninth of 11 reports that aired on WRAL News.

  • Herb Marks

    Herb Marks

    Herb Marks was a staff announcer at WRAL-TV who gained fame as “Cap’n Five,” the sub-mariner host of the station’s popular cartoon show in the late 1950s.

    Marks grew up in Pennsylvania and broke into broadcasting at a station in Tennessee. He was hired as one of WRAL-TV’s original employees, joining Channel 5 shortly before the station signed on the air in December 1956.

    Marks handled various announcing duties until 1958 – when WRAL managers decided they needed an entertaining host for the station’s daily cartoon show. Cap’n Five was born and Marks’ career changed almost overnight.

    The Cap’n Five show was produced in front of a studio audience of energetic children who would arrive at WRAL each day ready for a voyage into the world of television make-believe. As a longtime student of dramatics, Marks would don his skipper’s cap and perform with a cast of puppets—telling stories and jokes to keep the children entertained and under control.

    In its early days the Cap’n Five set featured a huge submarine prop that docked in the TV fantasyland known as “Happy Harbor.” Eventually the submarine prop disappeared and Marks—who was an amateur ventriloquist and master of many voices–became the central feature of the program.

    Marks would entertain the kids and then introduce cartoon favorites like Popeye, Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw.

    The Cap’n Five Show came to an end in 1961, but not before blazing a trail as one of the first locally-produced children’s shows on Channel 5.

    After the show ended its run, Marks stayed on with WRAL-TV as an announcer and employee of the Promotion Department. He left the station in 1967.

     

    • WRAL performer Herb Marks

      Marks dressed as cowboy character. Marks was best known for portraying Capn 5, a cartoon show in the late 50s.

    • Capn 5 contest winner

      Donald Wayne Adams of Raleigh receives set of Encyclopaedia Britannica as winner of the Spotluck contest. Herb Marks, who portrayed Capn 5, presents the books.

    • Herb Marks

      Capn 5 star Herb Marks in one of the last photos taken before his death in 2015

    • Capn 5 show in studio

      Herb Marks and Paul Montgomery entertain the kids during a Capn 5 show

    • Capn 5 w tiny fans

      Herb Marks portraying Capn 5 as he mingles with enthralled youngsters

  • Jim Axelrod

     

    CBS Anchor/Correspondent Jim Axelrod was a General Assignment and Political Reporter at WRAL-TV from 1993 to 1996. He covered the NC General Assembly and reported on a broad range of local issues during his tenure in Raleigh.

    Prior to WRAL, Axelrod worked at WSTM-TV Syracuse, NY and WUTR-TV Utica, NY. He began his career at WVII-TV Bangor, ME in 1989.

    At CBS, Jim is the anchor of the Saturday edition of the “CBS Evening News.” He joined CBS News as a Miami-based correspondent and later worked in the network’s Dallas and New York bureaus. He served as CBS News Chief White House Correspondent from 2006-2009 and was named National Correspondent in 2009.

    At CBS News Jim has covered a wide range of stories, most notably as a reporter “embedded” with the military during the war in Iraq. Axelrod was the first to report live from Baghdad’s Saddam International Airport after it fell to U.S. troops in 2003. He was also the last reporter to leave with the military in December 2011.

    Axelrod has won several major awards, including the duPont-Columbia Silver Baton for reporting on the recession’s effects on children. He was also honored with a national Emmy Award for coverage of the Washington, D.C. sniper siege.

    Axelrod is a native of New Jersey who graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in 1985. He earned an M.A. from Brown University in 1989.

    Axelrod is the author of “In The Long Run: A Father, A Son, And Unintentional Lessons In Happiness”, which was published in 2011.

    He and his wife, Christina, live in New Jersey with their three children.

     

    • WRAL news reporter Jim Axelrod on Yitzhak Rabin’s NC connection

      WRAL News reporter Jim Axelrod, now with CBS News, reported on Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s connection with North Carolina. Yitzhak Rabin was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995. Yitzhak’s son worked in Cary at Sapiens, a leading global provider of software solutions for the insurance industry. Michael, a grandson of Yitzhak Rabin, attended Ravenscroft High School for three years in the early 90’s. Axelrod explains more about the North Carolina connection in this WRAL news report from November, 1995.

    • Jim Axelrod reporting for WRAL-TV

      CBS News anchor and correspondent Jim Axelrod during his reporting days at WRAL-TV.

    • Jim Axelrod

      Jim Axelrod in CBS photo

    • The Politics of Preschool

      WRAL News Anchors Pam Saulsby and David Crabtree, with WRAL News Reporter Jim Axelrod look into the controversy over “Smart Start” an early childhood education program in North Carolina. It became a political lightning rod between Democrat Governor Jim Hunt and the Republican control House of Representatives. The question was posed as to whether or not Smart Start was a solid investment for the future of North Carolina.

    • Roberts, Axelrod and Crabtree

      Mark Roberts, Jim Axelrod and David Crabtree in the WRAL-TV break room.

  • Ray Reeve

    Ray Reeve

    Ray Reeve was a pioneering sports broadcaster who worked for WRAL-AM and FM, the Tobacco Sports Network and WRAL-TV during a career that spanned five decades.

    He is best known as the first voice of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball over the Tobacco Sports Network—a radio network formed by Capitol Broadcasting Company in 1948 to carry the region’s collegiate games.

    Reeve’s distinct play-by-play style and raspy voice endeared him to listeners throughout the ACC region. Sports historians credit the early growth of the league in part to Reeve’s compelling basketball broadcasts.

    As the ACC evolved, Reeve narrowed his broadcasts to NC State athletics. He gained widespread popularity as the voice of Wolfpack basketball and football during the eras of Coaches Everett Case and Earle Edwards.

    When WRAL-TV signed on the air in 1956, Reeve was its first Sports Director and Sports Anchor – roles he maintained until his retirement in 1973.

    During his early years at WRAL-TV Reeve was the original host of “All-Star Wrestling,” which later became “Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.” He hosted the wildly popular shows in the late 50s and early 60s as they were recorded before a live audience in WRAL-TV’s Studio A. Reeve later turned the hosting duties over to an up-and-coming WRAL sportscaster–Nick Pond.

    In its on-air and print promotion, WRAL-TV referred to Ray Reeve as the “Dean of Sportscasters,” and it turns out his contemporaries agreed. In 1967 Reeve was elected to the NC Sports Hall of Fame—becoming the first broadcaster to be so honored.

    Reeve was a graduate of Dartmouth College. He died in 1980.

     

    • Ray Reeve having fun

      Famed sports anchor Ray Reeve posing as an inmate in company photo gag

    • Vanity License Plate

      Can you guess who had this license plate (right) on his car in 1961?  A.J. Fletcher, Founder of WRAL “Channel 5” Herb Marks, AKA “Captain 5” Art Anderson, Assistant Promotion Director/artist at Channel 5 Ray Reeve, Sportscaster   (Scroll down for
    • Ray Reeve calls USC vs Maryland Basketball Game March 1971

      *AUDIO ONLY* Legendary WRAL sportscaster Ray Reeve calls the play-by-play basketball action between the USC Gamecocks and the University of Maryland Terrapins during the 1971 ACC tournament in Greensboro, N.C. The audio recording is missing part of the game, but hearing Ray Reeve call the game and question the actions of Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell makes this a classic. Final Score: USC 71 and Maryland 63. Many thanks to Ray Reeve, Jr. for sharing this home recording with us. Yes, the baby heard in the background is Ray’s 3 month old granddaughter. (Recorded March 11, 1971)

    • Ray Reeve calls UNC vs USC 1957 ACC Championship

      AUDIO ONLY – Radio broadcast taped “live” onto a home recorder by Ray Reeve, Jr. – audio level will be low for 90 seconds starting at the 4 minute point into the broadcast. Legendary WRAL sportscaster, Ray Reeve calls the play-by-play action of this classic basketball game pitting UNC (Tar Heels) against USC (Gamecocks) for the 1957 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. The game was played March 9, 1957. UNC won the game 95-75, and advanced to win the NCAA Basketball Championship to cap off a flawless season. Sportscaster Bill Currie provides post game coverage.

    • WRAL sportscasting legends

      Mouth of the South Bill Currie and The Squire Ray Reeve catch up on old times.

  • Rich Brenner

    Rich Brenner

    Rich Brenner was WRAL-TV’s primary sports anchor from 1978 to 1981.

    Brenner got his career start at WLVA-TV (now WSET-TV) in Lynchburg, Virginia. He also worked at WAVY-TV in Portsmouth before joining the WRAL staff.

    Brenner reported on all sports for WRAL, but his passion was NASCAR, and he pushed the station to cover the burgeoning sport long before other local sports teams in the region. According to former WRAL Sports Anchor Tom Suiter, Brenner’s philosophy of sports coverage was simple: “Be there” at the games and events so you can report the story first-hand. Suiter credits Brenner for teaching him more about television than anyone else.

    Brenner left WRAL in 1981 to join WMAQ-TV in Chicago, but he soon returned to North Carolina. Following a stint at WTVD-TV, Brenner joined WGHP-TV in High Point, where he spent the last 21 years of his career. He retired in 2008 after winning numerous awards, including three regional Emmys.

    The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences inducted Brenner into the prestigious Silver Circle for the MidSouth region. The honor is reserved for broadcasters with at least 25 years in the business who have made significant contributions to the community and to television in the region.

    Rich Brenner died February 27, 2012 after suffering a heart attack at a speaking engagement. He was 65.

    To see Jeff Gravely’s tribute to Rich Brenner, go here: http://www.wralsportsfan.com/voices/video/10791192/

    And Tom Suiter looks back on his time working with Rick in this interview: http://www.wralsportsfan.com/voices/video/10791216/

     

    • WRAL Action News 5 newscast Dec 12 1978

      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.

    • Action News 5 anchor team

      Late 70s – early 80s WRAL anchor team of Bob DeBardelaben, Rich Brenner, Charlie Gaddy and Bobbie Battista.

    • Rich Brenner on air at WRAL-TV

      Former WRAL-TV Sports Director and anchor Rich Brenner during his days at the station.

    • Sports coverage 1980 Golf Hall of Fame Classic

      WRAL Sports Anchors Tom Suiter and Rich Brenner provide coverage of the 1980 Hall of Fame Classic from Pinehurst, North Carolina.

    • Action News 5 newscast

      Early newscast featuring Charlie Gaddy, Bobbie Battista, Bob DeBardelaben and sports with Rich Brenner. JD Lewis provides an editorial.

  • Sam Beard

    Sam Beard

    Sam Beard was WRAL-TV’s second News Director, following Bill Armstrong as the chief anchorman and director of the television station’s news efforts.

    Beard joined WRAL in September 1961 and rose to the position of Vice President of News. He was a veteran broadcaster who got into radio in his late teens and worked his way into a prominent role at WPTF-AM, where he served as a news announcer in the 40s and 50s.

    In the late 1950s Beard was appointed Public Relations Director for the North Carolina Highway Commission, but it wasn’t long before he was lured back into broadcasting in the state capitol.

    Beard was the consummate anchorman with a baritone voice and on-air presence that made him one of the most respected newscasters of his time. He anchored news coverage of the 1968 North Carolina primary for a six-station statewide network headquartered at WRAL. It was the first such network in North Carolina political history and Beard was the glue who held the broadcasts together.

    Beard majored in History and Economics as he earned Bachelor’s degree at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He joined the Navy and served during World War II, but upon discharge he returned to his job at WPTF-AM in Raleigh.

    Sam Beard left WRAL-TV in September 1972 to work fulltime for former WRAL colleague Jesse Helms, who was campaigning for the U.S. Senate.

    Sam Beard died on August 13, 1973 at age 50.

     

    • 1964 Election coverage on WRAL-TV

      Bill Armstrong, Sam Beard and Scottie Stephenson on set election night at WRAL-TV.

    • Dateline News in progress

      Crew member Jack Stokes, Sam Beard, Bob DeBardelaben and Russell Capps during live Dateline newscast.

    • WRAL-TV newscast

      WRAL-TV anchorman Sam Beard, Bob Debardelaben, Bill Johnston and camera operator Bill Greene take part in newscast.

    • Sam Beard

      Former WRAL-TV News VP Sam Beard working the phone in the newsroom.

    • National Opera Showcase

      WRAL-TV News Director Sam Beard introduces the program and CEO and Founder of Capitol Broadcasting Company AJ Fletcher explains the purpose of the National Opera Company.
      Fletcher believed that opera belonged to everyone and wanted the performances in English so everyone could appreciate the entire presentation.

      The National Opera Company provided opportunities for singers/performers to further their professional careers.
      In 1965, the National Opera Company gave 55 performances in NC and other Southeastern states.

  • Sister Gary

     

    Mabel Gary Philpot – or “Sister Gary” as she was known in the pulpit and on the air, came to WRAL-AM in the 1940s to host a gospel music program on Sunday evenings. She was the first African-American to host a regularly-scheduled radio show in Raleigh.

    A native of Abingdon, Virginia, Sister Gary studied at and graduated from Knoxville College seminary in Tennessee. She preached her first sermon at age 17 before being ordained as a deacon and elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

    Sister Gary came to Raleigh in 1936 to preach at Grace Chapel AME Zion Church in Raleigh. Though Mabel Gary was only four-feet-eleven-inches tall—she gained a reputation as a powerful speaker who could move congregations and radio audiences alike.

    Sister Gary was hired by then-WRAL-AM General Manager Fred Fletcher, who recalled in his book “Tempus Fugit” that she was not only an effective minister—she attracted radio listeners in large numbers: “One bit of worldly evidence about the power of Sister Gary’s program was in the ratings. They were usually good, and one period she beat WDNC’s Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.”

    After more than two decades on radio, “The Sister Gary Spiritual Program” changed venues and moved to WRAL-TV in 1969. The new television program aired every Sunday morning from 7:30 – 8:00 and featured Gary’s sister Sandra Byrd and the Wesleyan TV Choir. The transition to television introduced Sister Gary to a larger audience and firmly established her place in the history of gospel music in North Carolina.

    Following her death, Sister Gary’s television program evolved into WRAL-TV’s award-winning “Spiritual Awakening.” That gospel music program carries on to this day and is a weekly reminder of the trail blazed by Sister Gary. Sister Mabel Gary was recognized with numerous honors; she received a Certificate of Merit from St. Augustine’s College for outstanding work in the Community and in 1975 the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority honored her as Woman of the Year.

    In June 1977 one of Sister Gary’s legs was amputated due to health reasons. A mere two weeks later she was back on the air hosting her Sunday morning program–a testament to her undying spirit and determination.

    Sister Mabel Gary Philpot died July 8, 1978 following a bout of pneumonia. She was 72.

     

    • Random CBC History Trivia Questions

      1. Many well-known preachers had their programs produced in the studios of WRAL and/or WRAL radio. Which person did NOT broadcast from the studios of WRAL and/or WRAL radio? A) Sister Gary B) Oral Roberts C) Billy Graham D) Jimmy
    • Sister Gary

      Very early photo of Sister Mabel Gary, who hosted gospel programs on WRAL Radio and Television.

    • Sister Mabel Gary

      Sister Gary advertisement for her radio program on WRAL-AM and FM. Sister Garys program led to the current WRAL gospel program Spiritual Awakening.

    • Sandra Byrd and the Weslyan choir

      Sister Garys sister Sandra Byrd leads the Weslyan TV choir. Byrd and the choir performed weekly on the Sister Gary Spiritual program and later she hosted Spiritual Awakenings.

    • Spiritual Awakenings host

      Bishop Terence Jenkins is the current host of the gospel music program that grew out of the Sister Gary Spiritual program.

  • Stuart Scott

     

    Stuart Scott was a General Assignment News Reporter at WRAL-TV who went on to stardom as one of ESPN’s most popular and influential sports anchors.

    Scott got his start in broadcasting at WPDE-TV in Florence, SC, where worked as a news reporter and weekend sports anchor. He joined that station in 1987 following his graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC Scott earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication and Radio, Television and Motion Pictures and was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

    In 1988, Scott came to WRAL for a two-year stint in the Channel 5 newsroom. Although he reported news stories in Raleigh, his long-term goal was a career in sports.

    In 1990, he headed south to Florida for a sports reporting position at WESH-TV in Orlando. It was there that Scott was noticed by the growing ESPN organization, and in 1993 he joined the network for the launch of ESPN2.

    Scott quickly found a loyal following and his role and visibility on ESPN’s studio shows exploded. His unique anchor style and vocabulary, including his patented catch-phrase “Boo-yow,” made him one of ESPN’s most popular and recognizable personalities.

    At ESPN Scott’s primary roles were on Sportscenter and the network’s NBA and NFL programming. Over the course of his career he interviewed top professional athletes such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods along with Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

    In late 2007 it was revealed that Scott had been diagnosed with cancer. The disease went into remission, but recurred several additional times during the next seven years. Scott fought back each time, returning to the ESPN set as an inspiration to a nationwide audience.

    In July 2014 Scott was honored with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. In accepting the award, he told the ESPY audience that “when you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.”

    On January 4, 2015, Stuart Scott died at the age of 49. He is survived by his daughters Taelor and Sydni.

    Following his death, the UNC Department of Athletics released the following statement:

    Our hearts go out to Stuart Scott’s family and friends, including his daughters Taelor and Sydni, and his colleagues at ESPN. He loved his home state and his alma mater. Stuart taught us that sports is about joy and laughter, not just achievement and results. More important, he showed us how to fight with dignity and honor. He blazed a path in broadcasting that is often imitated, but never duplicated. His legacy will live on in many ways – as a friend, a son, a father, a professional and forever, a Tar Heel….”

     

    • Stuart Scott introduces Tar Heels

      ESPN star Stuart Scott introduces UNC team at Late Night with Roy event. Scott was a WRAL-TV reporter who gained fame as a network sports anchor.

    • Scott at Late Night

      Former WRAL-TV reporter Stuart Scott hosts Late Night with Roy at UNC-Chapel Hill. Scott was a UNC grad who achieved stardom at ESPN during a 20-year career at the network.

    • Stuart Scott at WRAL-TV

      Former WRAL-TV news reporter Stuart Scott doing interview at Channel 5. Scott went on to stardom as a sports anchor at ESPN.

    • Stuart Scott with Tar Heels

      ESPN anchor Stuart Scott poses with 2007 UNC Tar Heel basketball team and coach Roy Williams. Scott graduated from UNC and always kept close ties to the university.

    • Scott hosting Late Night with Roy

      ESPN anchor Stuart Scott hosting Late Night with Roy Williams in the Smith Center October 24, 2008. Scott was a WRAL-TV News reporter from 1988-1990.

  • Susan Dahlin

    Susan Dahlin

    Susan Dahlin was best known as the popular host of PM Magazine on WRAL-TV, a role she held for the entire eight-year local run of the program.

    Dahlin came to WRAL almost by accident. In 1980 she was working in an off-camera role at WPEC-TV in West Palm Beach when she decided to make an audition tape for PM Magazine. WRAL managers saw the tape and hired her to help launch the program in Raleigh. Dahlin teamed with co-host Tom McNamara during the early years of the program.

    In 1984 Dahlin was named Producer of PM Magazine and continued hosting it until the show went off the air in 1988. At that point, she became Entertainment and Travel Editor for WRAL-TV News, travelling the state, country and world over the next year to produce feature segments for the station’s newscasts.

    In 1989 Dahlin became Executive Producer of the station with the new responsibility of producing documentaries and children’s programming. She helped create the Androgena Show, a children’s program that won several national awards. Dahlin’s documentaries included “The Blanche Taylor Moore Story,” which won a regional Emmy.

    In 1996, Dahlin was assigned to head up marketing efforts for new High Definition TV technology that WRAL was pioneering. She traveled the country spreading the word about HDTV through seminars and other public relations efforts.

    Dahlin left WRAL in 2000 to pursue her artistic hobby as a fulltime career. Raised by several generations of artists, Susan’s love of painting eventually placed her art in galleries across the South.

    In recent years Susan has moved into real estate. She is a successful agent in the Triangle.

    Susan is a graduate of Penn State University – earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979.

     

    • WRAL presents “Attack Of The Cardiac Pack” NCSU 1983 Champs

      1983 “March Madness” resulted NC State winning the NCAA National Basketball Championship. The team was tagged with the nickname “Cardiac Pack” after winning games that ended in heart-stopping, buzzer beater baskets.

      Watch this 30 minute program, complete with vintage commercials, that captures the excitement on campus and in the community. GO PACK!

    • PM Magazine full episode September 28, 1987

      PM Magazine was a weekly television program that was part local/part national. WRAL was one of many stations that participated in this story sharing cooperative made up of member stations across the country.

      This particular episode aired September 29, 1987. It is one of the latter shows produced at WRAL. Susan Dahlin was the co-host along with former news reporter Rick Williams who replaced the original co-host Tom McNamara who accepted a news anchoring position in Arizona. In 1988, Rick – a native New Yorker, returned to his news roots at WPVI in Philadephia.

      Vintage commercial and promos are included in this episode.

    • WRAL PM Magazine in Norway

      PM Magazine host Susan Dahlin and the production crew decided to explore outside of North Carolina, waaaay outside and explore Norway. Susan’s family roots run deep in that Scandinavian country. One of the segments featured Susan catching up with her Uncle Arne in Oslo, the capitol of Norway. Arne Dahlin is a very gifted artist, as you will see in this story. For those who know Susan, she is an accomplished artist too!

      Enjoy this story about Susan and her uncle getting together after not seeing each other for 17 years.

      Aired in 1989.

    • Former PM Magazine host Tom McNamara sends Christmas greeting from AZ

      Former PM Magazine host Tom McNamara became a news anchor at KTVK in Phoenix, Arizona in the late ’80s. But he always remembered his friends back at WRAL-TV and the viewers in Raleigh. Tom sent this Christmas greeting and an update on what was happening in life in Arizona.

      Tom is now retired from working in television. His last position was with KVOA in Tucson, Arizona. He anchored the evening newscast for 18 years. Tom announced his retirement in December 2014.

    • Former WRAL PM Magazine host Tom McNamara shows Susan Dahlin around AZ

      Tom McNamara and Susan Dahlin were co-hosts of the daily evening program, “PM MAGAZINE” on WRAL-TV during the early ’80s. Tom eventually left WRAL in 1984 in order to pursue a career in news in Phoenix, Arizona. He became a news anchor at channel 3, KTVK.

      Susan visited Tom in Phoenix and received a quick tour of the gorgeous area. (circa 1985)

  • Tom McNamara

    Tom McNamara

    Tom McNamara was one of the original co-hosts of PM Magazine on WRAL-TV.

    Tom joined the station in July of 1980 and helped bring the new PM program format to life on Channel 5. Tom and co-host Susan Dahlin fronted the magazine show for more than four years and won legions of fans in the process. The partnership ended when Tom decided to move into the TV news business, and he left the station for an anchor position out of state.

    Tom was born and raised in New York City. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Broadcast Journalism from Fordham University, then got his first television experience as a desk assistant at WCBS-TV in New York.

    Tom next became an actor and voiceover artist for radio and television commercials. He even appeared in several daytime dramas in the late 1970s.

    In 1979 Tom got his first fulltime station job hosting PM Magazine at WNEP-TV in Scranton, PA. A year later he moved to Raleigh to join the WRAL team.

    After leaving Channel 5, Tom held on-air reporting and anchoring jobs in Oklahoma City and Phoenix before making his last move to Tucson in 1997. He was hired at KVOA-TV as that station’s 5, 6 and 10 pm anchor and that’s where he is to this day.

    Tom and his wife—the former Susan McMullen—are now the happy parents of three beautiful girls.

     

    • WRAL presents “Attack Of The Cardiac Pack” NCSU 1983 Champs

      1983 “March Madness” resulted NC State winning the NCAA National Basketball Championship. The team was tagged with the nickname “Cardiac Pack” after winning games that ended in heart-stopping, buzzer beater baskets.

      Watch this 30 minute program, complete with vintage commercials, that captures the excitement on campus and in the community. GO PACK!

    • Former PM Magazine host Tom McNamara sends Christmas greeting from AZ

      Former PM Magazine host Tom McNamara became a news anchor at KTVK in Phoenix, Arizona in the late ’80s. But he always remembered his friends back at WRAL-TV and the viewers in Raleigh. Tom sent this Christmas greeting and an update on what was happening in life in Arizona.

      Tom is now retired from working in television. His last position was with KVOA in Tucson, Arizona. He anchored the evening newscast for 18 years. Tom announced his retirement in December 2014.

    • Former WRAL PM Magazine host Tom McNamara shows Susan Dahlin around AZ

      Tom McNamara and Susan Dahlin were co-hosts of the daily evening program, “PM MAGAZINE” on WRAL-TV during the early ’80s. Tom eventually left WRAL in 1984 in order to pursue a career in news in Phoenix, Arizona. He became a news anchor at channel 3, KTVK.

      Susan visited Tom in Phoenix and received a quick tour of the gorgeous area. (circa 1985)

    • 1986 PM Magazine Bloopers Show

      PM Magazine hosts Susan Dahlin and Tom McNamara share some of their behind-the-scenes antics from 1986. You’ll enjoy these bloopers and out-takes!

    • PM Magazine Bloopers

      PM Magazine was a syndicated program with local hosts. At WRAL, the hosts were Susan Dahlin and Tom McNamara. After Tom left WRAL to pursue a career in news, Rick Williams joined the fun with Susan.
      This video is a compilation of several bloopers caught on tape. The first sequence is Susan cracking up NASCAR driver Benny Parsons.