WRAL-TV Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Reunion Newscast

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WRAL-TV Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Reunion Newscast

Veteran news team returns one night only to anchor 6pm news Friday, November 17

Old WRAL Newscast
WRAL-TV’s newsdesk featured Bobbie Battista (l to r), Charlie Gaddy & Bob DeBardelaben for several years during the station’s 50-year history. The trio will reunite for a special reunion newscast on Friday, Nov 17th at 6pm.

The past will meet the present when former WRAL-TV anchors Charlie Gaddy, Bobbie Battista and Bob DeBardelaben return to TV-5 to host a special reunion newscast.   Gaddy, Battista and DeBardelaben will reunite to anchor WRAL-TV’s 6pm News on Friday, November 17. 

The reunion newscast is part of WRAL-TV’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration which culminates next month.  WRAL-TV Vice President and General Manager Jim Hefner says  “I’m personally thrilled about this reunion because — having worked with Charlie, Bobbie and Bob several decades ago — it will be a special treat to see them back on WRAL-TV, even if it’s just for one night.”

Rehearsing for the Reunion:
Charlie Gaddy
Charlie Gaddy
Bobbie Battista
Bobbie Battista
Bob DeBardelaben
Bob DeBardelaben

Gaddy and Battista formed the Triangle’s first male/female anchor team and — along with weathercaster DeBardelaben — led WRAL-TV to ratings dominance in the early 1980s.  The three broadcast veterans will join longtime WRAL sports anchor Tom Suiter to report the day’s news, weather and sports on November 17th. 

Battista says “I can’t think of anything I would rather do to mark WRAL’s 50th anniversary than to come back home and share the anchor desk with three people I love and respect.  I’m thrilled Channel 5 has asked me to do this.”
 
Gaddy retired from WRAL-TV in 1994 following an award-winning 24-year career that saw him report stories ranging from hurricanes and elections to the fun and games of the NC State Fair.  Recently he has hosted a series of “WRAL Listens” outreach programs in various North Carolina counties.

Bobbie Battista Charlie Gaddy Bob DeBardelaben
Battista (left) spent seven years at WRAL-TV, Gaddy (center) for 24, and DeBardelaben for three decades.

Battista spent seven years at WRAL, leaving in 1981 to become one of the original newscasters at CNN in Atlanta.  She became one of the network’s most recognizable anchors before leaving in 2001 to found Atamira Communications—a communications strategy firm for corporate clients. 

DeBardelaben became known as “The Biggest Name in Weather” during a WRAL career that spanned three decades.  DeBardelaben gained early popularity hosting “Dialing for Dollars” call-in programs before moving into his role as WRAL-TV’s fulltime weather anchor.  He retired in 1989.

Charlie Gaddy & Bobbie Battista
Charlie Gaddy (left) & Bobbie Battista were the first male/female anchor team in the Triangle.
Bob DeBardelaben
Bob DeBardelaben earned the moniker “The Biggest Name in Weather” at WRAL-TV.

Following the WRAL Reunion newscast, Gaddy, Battista and DeBardelaben will serve as Grand Marshals of the “WRAL-TV Raleigh Christmas Parade” on November 18th.  The parade can be seen on WRAL-TV from 10am—noon.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Debbie Strange for this capcom story & these capcom photos.

 

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