Longtime Raleigh Anchor David Crabtree Leaving WRAL for Job at Local PBS Station

By Kevin Eck 

Longtime WRAL anchor David Crabtree has announced that he is leaving the Raleigh NBC affiliate in late May to take a leadership role at PBSNC.

The station said this is the second time he’s announced his retirement. Crabtree’s first go was scheduled for late 2018 but was postponed. He’s anchored and reported for WRAL since 1994.

Crabtree will work as the interim chief executive officer of PBS North Carolina beginning in April. He’ll stay at WRAL through the end of May.


“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 has consistently portrayed an exceptional ability to capture the essence of the moment and to add meaningful perspective, thereby distinguishing our coverage,” said WRAL news director Rick Gall. “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.”