Tom Suiter, a native of Rocky Mount, joined WRAL-TV as a sportscaster in 1971. He had just graduated from Erskine College located in Due West, South Carolina. The rest, as they say, is history!
Suiter was hired by his hero of sportscasters, Ray Reeve. Under Reeve, and then later Nick Pond, he honed his sports delivery and developed a unique style which included the addition of new words like, “Jamburger” and “Crunchburger.”
The first interview Tom Suiter ever did as a paid sports journalist was with legendary UCLA head coach John Wooden. The last interview he conducted as WRAL –TV sports anchor was with Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, in 2008.
Suiter is best known for “Football Friday,” a segment of the sportscast that featured video highlights of the games and final scores. The segment grew from coverage of eight games to 50+ games, and from a segment in the sportscast to a thirty minute program that aired after the late newscast.
“The Extra Effort Award” is another segment developed by Suiter to recognize high school student -athletes. Throughout the school year, he would honor one person – nominated by schools – each week who excels not only on the playing field but also in the classroom and in the community.
Suiter was elected to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2011. He has also been named the winner of the annual Media Representative of the Year by the NCHSAA and was honored by the Nashville/Midsouth Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with a place in the Silver Circle. He has been nominated for 17 regional Emmy’s, winning two, and was named the NC Sportscaster of the year in 1990 by the National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association.
This interview was produced in 2006 for the 50th Anniversary of WRAL. David Crabtree, WRAL news anchor, is the interviewer. Note that the video is in raw form, meaning that it had not been edited for final production. You will see camera adjustments that would have been covered with other camera angles.
Legendary WRAL sportscaster Tom Suiter developed the concept for Football Friday in 1981 and the show took off from there! WRAL sports photographers are deployed throughout eastern North Carolina to cover high school Friday night football games. The highlights and scores are revealed on the action packed “Football Friday” sportscast at 11:30pm. The promos and opens reflect the high energy broadcast of “Football Friday.” This video is the 2011 season of Football Friday.
Legendary WRAL sportscaster Tom Suiter developed the concept for Football Friday in 1981 and the show took off from there! WRAL sports photographers are deployed throughout eastern North Carolina to cover high school Friday night football games. The highlights and scores are revealed on the action packed “Football Friday” sportscast at 11:30pm.
WRAL Sports anchor, Tom Suiter, developed “Football Friday” in 1981. At first it was simply part of the sports segment during the 11:00 PM newscast. By 1989, the super, popular segment had grown into a program of its own. “Football Friday” airs after the 11:00PM newscast. The fast pace, high energy show continues to be very popular with viewers in Eastern North Carolina. This promo was produced in 1992.
WRAL-TV sports legend Tom Suiter in his early days at the station.
WRAL-TV’s sportscasters have always showcased high school athletics in a big way. Whether it’s Tom Suiter’s trademark “Football Friday” highlight show or the weekly “Extra Effort Award,” high school athletes get plenty of attention and support on Channel 5.