WRAL announced on Wednesday that longtime anchor David Crabtree will retire in late 2018.
Crabtree has been in TV news for 35 years, taking over as the lead anchor at WRAL when Charlie Gaddy retired in 1994. He is a native of Tennessee who has lived in Raleigh since 1994.
According to WRAL, Crabtree, an ordained deacon, will take a permanent role in the Episcopal Church when he leaves the station. He is currently affiliated with St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh and is on track to earn a master’s degree in theological studies from Duke Divinity School in the spring of 2018.
Crabtree is an award-winning journalist who has interviewed presidents and has reported from the Vatican, political conventions and from the funerals of Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II and Nelson Mandela.
Crabtree, 67, is quoted by WRAL as saying, “This is 100 percent my decision.”
WRAL vice president and general manager Steve Hammel said via email that this has been on Crabtree’s mind for a while.
“David and I have been discussing this for a couple of years,” Hammel said. “We very much wanted David to remain as long as he wanted. David wanted to stay through November of 2018. So we are thrilled that he will be with us for well more than another year. I am professionally happy that David will continue to be a significant contributor during that time. I am personally happy for David that he will be starting another chapter in his life beginning December of 2018 and that he, in turn, will be happy.”