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David Crabtree moves from WRAL anchor desk to role with PBSNC


A new desk for David Crabtree: Longtime anchor leaving WRAL for leadership role with PBSNC

Longtime WRAL News anchor David Crabtree is leaving in late May to take a leadership role at PBSNC, he announced on Tuesday. This is the second time Crabtree has announced a retirement from the WRAL anchor desk.

Back in 2017, Crabtree and WRAL announced his retirement, effective late 2018. The retirement was postponed, and Crabtree has remained at the anchor desk, primarily anchoring WRAL News at 5 and 6 p.m.

While not retiring from the business, Crabtree will move into a management role, as interim chief executive officer of PBS North Carolina (PBSNC) beginning in April. WRAL News viewers will see Crabtree on the air through the end of May 2022.

Being a part of WRAL News for almost three decades has been, without a doubt, an honor, Crabtree said.

I have been privileged to work alongside the most talented, passionate, committed journalists in media and have been fortunate to work for a company that serves its community in an unprecedented way. I have covered news stories around the world, on every subject imaginable, from political conventions to papal visits, from hurricanes to hunger and I recognize how powerful and impactful local news can be. I hope to continue to use what I have learned through almost 40 years in local television journalism. Thank you to the viewers who have helped teach me how to tell stories and how, above all else, to listen.

David Crabtree's career in local news began in Tennessee David Crabtree is a native of Tennessee, graduating from Middle Tennessee State University before becoming a television reporter in Nashville for WKRN.

In 1970, a young David Crabtree was working in radio in Nashville, Tenn.

His first full-time anchor job came at WITN in Washington, NC. He then worked in Denver, CO, as a reporter and anchor for both KMGH and KCNC.

Since 1994, Crabtree has anchored and reported for WRAL News in Raleigh and currently anchors the top-rated WRAL News at 6 p.m. every weeknight. Crabtree also attended the Divinity School at Duke University and in 2019 received a master degree in Theological Studies.

Crabtree is well-known for his field reporting and anchoring traveling the state, country and world reporting for WRAL News. He was part of the WRAL team who took the first HD camera into the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Crabtree covered John Glenn's return to space, more than a dozen hurricanes, several presidential inaugurations, many political conventions and three papal visits. He went to the funerals for Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II and Nelson Mandela.

Some highlights of David Crabtree's career at WRAL

2022: VP Harris 1 on 1: David Crabtree was the only North Carolina television journalist to get an interview during Kamala Harris' visit to Durham

2018: While covering the Winter Olympics, David Crabtree visits Korea's Demilitarized Zone

2013: David Crabtree visits NC's death row

2007: Talking politics with former Gov. Jim Hunt

2001: Sen. Jesse Helms announces his retirement in an exclusive interview with David Crabtree

In the words of WRAL News Director Rick Gall, David has consistently portrayed an exceptional ability to capture the essence of the moment and to add meaningful perspective, thereby distinguishing our coverage. He has contributed to numerous topics probing issues surrounding migrant workers, obesity, repeat offenders, the death penalty and transgender individuals. He conducted the last interview with the bombardier of the Enola Gay. David has certainly been at the forefront of our political coverage, interviewing presidents on down to local officials. He's pressed many politicians for answers over the years on a series of public affairs shows, including On the Record, and during numerous debates. He is a remarkable journalist who has served our community in an important way for decades.

Crabtree has been recognized many times on the local, state, regional and national levels. He's taken home 16 regional Emmys and is a member of the Silver Circle. He's won a DuPont award, and his work has been featured in many of WRAL's Gabriel Award winning entries. The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters has honored David with awards for Distinguished Service and Best Anchor. He was North Carolina's Journalist of the Year four times and has won a long list of other awards.

Next on WRAL News Who will you see on WRAL News at 6 moving forward? A couple of very familiar faces. Debra Morgan will continue to anchor WRAL News at 6 as she has since 2011. Meteorologist Mike Maze will continue to provide the WRAL Certified Accurate Forecast, as he has done since 1994. We will make an announcement on Debra's new co-anchor in the near future after we take a moment to celebrate David's contributions.

Thanks to for this Capcom story and for these Capcom photos & videos.
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