Veteran newscaster Larry Stogner announced at the end of his 6 p.m. broadcast on Friday that he has ALS, a disease for which there is no cure. Stogner will take a break to vacation with his wife, Bobbi, and return to ABC11 in two weeks to say a personal goodbye to colleagues.
“My career in broadcast journalism is coming to an end,” Stogner said on air. “I am blessed to have had the best job in the world, working for ABC11 and the Walt Disney Company.”
Stogner acknowledged that his voice has been affected by the illness, something he says viewers had noticed and written to him about. Stogner took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge last summer, before he knew he had the illness.
The station tweeted shortly after Friday’s announcement that Stogner had anchored his “last regular broadcast.”
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Stogner has worked at WTVD, the local ABC affiliate, since 1976, joining as a reporter and moving to the anchor spot – a spot he has never left – in 1982. The Burlington native, who graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill, is also a Vietnam veteran and he traveled back there in 1995 to report on the 20th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Stogner made a documentary of the trip, “Back to Nam,” which was nominated for an Emmy.
Stogner is a member of both the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame and the N.C. Broadcasters Hall of Fame.