More Highlights for Bill Armstrong
First News Director 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 MoonIn 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