Gerald Owens joins Debra Morgan on anchor desk for 6 p.m. newscast,
continues to anchor 5 p.m., 7 p.m., 10 p.m. & 11 p.m. news
WRAL News, the most watched news team in the Triangle, is proud to announce a new anchor team for the highly rated WRAL News at 6 p.m.. WRAL viewers will recognize a familiar and beloved face on the news desk when journalist Gerald Owens joins Debra Morgan later this month to helm the flagship newscast.
Owens has been a part of the WRAL News team for two decades, arriving in 2002 after anchoring and reporting in Washington D.C. for WUSA and WTKR in Norfolk, VA. WRAL News at 6 p.m. co-anchor Debra Morgan has been with WRAL News since 1993. The 6 p.m. anchor role opened when longtime anchor David Crabtree announced he would be leaving WRAL News this month.
In an announcement to staff, WRAL News Director Rick Gall offered this insight:
“As we say farewell to David Crabtree, we can rest easy knowing that we’ll be in good hands moving forward. I’m excited to announce that Gerald Owens will join Debra Morgan on the 6 p.m. anchor desk after Memorial Day. They’ve made a great team on other newscasts for two decades. Gerald has certainly earned this opportunity by establishing a strong connection with our audience. He’s well-known, respected, and liked across the market. He’s long been a fixture in our biggest coverage, building a trust that’s critical in these times. He’s also engaging and personable on the air, in the community, and on social. Behind the scenes, Gerald has emerged as a leader, consistently providing support and encouragement to co-workers. It’s a real pleasure to recognize Gerald for all that he’s done and to look ahead at what’s to come.”
WRAL anchor David Crabtree, set to depart WRAL on May 25th, also lent support to the news: “Gerald Owens has earned this opportunity. His connection with the Triangle is sincere and authentic. He and Debra will continue to be the ones we can all rely on. I now echo what Charlie Gaddy said to me 28 years ago, ‘I am confident we are in good hands…’”
Owens majored in business at Guilford College in Greensboro with an eye towards corporate leadership. He pivoted to journalism, and the University of Maryland, realizing a larger calling. An internship at ABC News Nightline gave clarity to his career path. That was followed by his first “paid” TV job in 1993, as a reporter trainee at WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C. From there, he moved to WTKR-TV in Norfolk, VA as a political reporter/anchor before returning to WUSA-TV as a morning anchor.
After 3 years he made a brief switch to sports. It was fun, exciting and fulfilling, until September 11, 2001. Owens was profoundly impacted by news coverage of the September 11th attacks and returned to his news roots. In his words, “It’s what I was meant to do.” He arrived at WRAL in 2002 during an ice storm and his been part of WRAL News for the last two decades. On his move to the 6 p.m. news, Owens says, “I look forward to carrying on the tradition set forth by the two men who preceded me: providing fair, accurate and balanced coverage of the news and events that affect our community and doing it with compassion.”
The stability of the anchor team at 6 p.m. is unprecedented in the local TV landscape. Current anchor Debra Morgan has been with WRAL for almost 30 years. David Crabtree anchored WRAL evening newscasts since 1994. His predecessor, local broadcast legend Charlie Gaddy, was WRAL’s lead anchor for more than 20 years, retiring in 1994.
WRAL News anchor Debra Morgan had this to add: “For almost 20 years now I have known Gerald Owens as a fantastic journalist, compassionate community advocate, and, more recently, part-time farmer! I’m proud to call Gerald a friend. Our personal connection, along with our shared commitment to serving our neighbors, has made us a great team on the 5 p.m. & 11 p.m. news for all these years. I’m so happy to expand our partnership as Gerald joins me on the 6 o’clock news.”
WRAL Anchor Teams
Beginning Tuesday, May 31st, expect to see the following WRAL News Anchor teams:
- Weekday mornings on WRAL from 4:30 a.m.-7 a.m.: Renee Chou and Jeff Hogan, Mikaya Thurmond in the Live Center
- Weekdays at Noon: Renee Chou and Jeff Hogan, Mikaya Thurmond in the Live Center
- Weekdays 4 p.m.: Lena Tillett and Dan Haggerty, Mark Boyle in the Live Center
- Weekdays at 4:30 p.m.: Lena Tillett and Chris Lovingood, Mark Boyle in the Live Center
- Weekdays 5 p.m.: Debra Morgan and Gerald Owens, Mark Boyle in the Live Center
- Weekdays at 5:30 p.m.: Lena Tillett and Dan Haggerty, Mark Boyle in the Live Center
- Weekdays at 6 p.m.: Debra Morgan and Gerald Owens, Mark Boyle in the Live Center
- Weekdays 7 p.m.: Debra Morgan and Gerald Owens, “In-Depth” Reports with Dan Haggerty and Mark Boyle in the Live Center
- Weekdays 10 p.m.: Gerald Owens and Lena Tillett, Mark Boyle in the Live Center
- Weekdays at 10:30 p.m.: Chris Lovingood and Lena Tillett, Mark Boyle in the Live Center
- Weekdays 11 p.m.: Debra Morgan and Gerald Owens, Mark Boyle in the Live Center
Thanks to WRAL-TV for this Capcom story & for these Capcom graphics.