Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Bob Caudle: The Voice of Weather at WRAL TV in Raleigh

Bob Caudle reviews information on the AP (Associated Press) wire station
at WRAL TV Studios in Raleigh.
Photo from the CBC History website. (LINK)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Bob Caudle's "day job" (before stepping into a phone booth and changing into our favorite Mid-Atlantic wrestling announcer superhero) was as a newscaster and weatherman for WRAL-TV 5 in Raleigh NC. Bob is seen in this archival CBC photo reviewing information from the AP wire.

Bob hosted wrestling for Jim Crockett Promotions for the better part of three decades, first at WRAL TV-5 studio-A beginning in the early 1960s. His show was called All-Star Wrestling and was syndicated to several TV markets all across the "Charlotte territory" which included cities in the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Ironically, Bob wasn't actually seen in the Raleigh market hosting wrestling until around 1973. Prior to that, the Raleigh-onlyshow version of the show, which was a shared-simulcast with the syndicated show, was hosted by Nick Pond and then briefly by Elliot Murnick, a son of Raleigh area promoter Joe Murnick. When the Charlotte (WBTV) and High Point (WGHP) TV tapings were consolidated into the Raleigh taping in 1973, WRAL began taping two separate hours of wrestling, both titled Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling at that point in time. One was hosted by Les Thatcher, the other by Caudle. It wasn't until then that Bob's wrestling broadcast (the "A" show) was seen as the main show in the Raleigh market. The "B" show hosted by Thatcher then became the secondary show that aired in some of the larger territory TV markets alongside the "A" show. Parenthetically, Thatcher was learning his chops as a TV announcer at this time, and would later become the legendary voice of Southeastern Championship Wrestling for promoter Ron Fuller in Knoxville, TN.

In 1981, Jim Crockett Promotions moved their TV tapings to the studios of WPCQ-36 in Charlotte, and in that same year Bob Caudle left WRAL to work full time in the constituency office of U.S. Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina. But he continued as Jim Crockett's lead play-by-play announcer for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling until the company was sold to Turner Broadcasting in 1988. He transitioned to Turner Broadcasting and continued to host NWA Pro Wrestling for the company until leaving in 1992. He was co-host of several Turner/WCW pay-per-view events and Clash of Champions specials on WTBS.

For more posts about Bob Caudle at WRAL, click his link in the "Crockett On-Air Talent" section on the upper-right side of this webpage.

And so long for now!