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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Remembering Adele Arakawa

Posted January 27, 2010

How many of you remember the woman in this picture? WRAL photographer Keith Baker stopped by my desk with this vintage photo. My best guess is 1986.   I look very happy sitting next to Adele Arakawa.

Adele was an extremely popular evening news anchor for WRAL during the 1980s. Adele worked mostly with Charlie Gaddy, Bob DeBardelaben and Tom Suiter. I used to fill in for Charlie on the anchor desk and had the pleasure of working with Adele.

Eventually, Adele moved on to Chicago where she worked for the CBS affiliate for five years. Her co-anchor in the Windy City was Bill Kurtis. In 1993, Adele landed in Denver where she became the top-rated female anchor. Adele continues to work at KUSA. If you travel to Colorado, you can watch her on local TV there. You can also hear her at the airport. Adele is the voice of the airport train system in Denver.

What are your memories of Adele Arakawa? Please share your thoughts.

My funniest story about Adele goes back to my first tour of duty at WRAL's State Fair tent. During a meet and greet session a friendly farmer from Sampson County approached me and said: "I sure do like that pretty anchor lady Ar-dell Okinawa."

16 Comments

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  • noahscdad Jan 29, 3:52 p.m.

    i remember adele very well........i was in college then and had a huge crush on her......wish she was still here.. i miss her......

  • reader1974 Jan 29, 12:42 p.m.

    I was in 3rd grade and I sat down and wrote a letter to Adele. Along the lines of .. "you are my favorite news lady, I love you, you are my hero". I was amazed that she wrote me a letter back with a photo. WOW !! Now, I'm 35 years old and remember how special she made me feel by doing something so sweet. I'm glad to hear that Adele is well and being the best as she always has been. Go Adele!

  • jpittard2 Jan 28, 8:12 a.m.

    I remember her well! I worked with an 8 year old who was half Native American and half Mexican. She watched Adele on the TV for a few minutes and said: "She looks like me! Maybe I can be on TV someday!" That young lady is in the Army and does news reports for them so she is like Adele now!

  • RowdyFriend Jan 27, 7:51 p.m.

    I remember Adele, and I knew she had gone to Chicago, but that was the last I heard of her. I sometimes think of her when I think of the 80s, my teenage years. It seems like such a simpler time now, and I miss those days. Reading her name again reminds me of how much a part of my life WRAL has been. I remember the night Brent Musberger did the sports for an ailing Tom Suiter. I think of John Hudson, and Nina Schlosberg (sp?), and good ol' Ray with the Farm Report. We can't go back, can we?

    At any rate, it is good to hear Adele is doing well. Thanks, Bill.

  • racinjunki Jan 27, 4:07 p.m.

    Vintage WRAL,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4UMiQWAsHY

  • marywag Jan 27, 3:47 p.m.

    We remember Adele so well, and you are soooo cute in that photo, thanks for letting all of us remember a good newscaster from the past!!! You need to post more of your younger days too....Cuz

  • Baba Booey Jan 27, 1:37 p.m.

    "Remembering Adele Arakawa"... made we think she had died.

    Glad to hear she's alive and well!

  • delanoindurham Jan 27, 12:26 p.m.

    I remember Adele Arakawa fondly. I was in the 8th grade and assigned a project to do something related to media and communications. I wrote to Adele and asked her for a chance to come to the station, meet her and interview her. She not only agreed to give me her time, but set up a tour of the station. For me, having the chance to see the station up close - not to mention see the "real, live" people of Charlie Gaddy, Tom Suiter and Adele (all of whom were local heroes to me in eastern NC) - it was all a grand experience for a young teenager - for sure! I also recall the day she left WRAL as a day of deep depression for me as I'm sure that little teenaged boy felt something like, "the woman of my dreams" was leaving me. Ha ha!

  • anggiet Jan 27, 12:21 p.m.

    I remember Adele's jewelry! She wore a style of necklace that had a V in it. My friend wanted and "Adele" necklace way back when. I'm so glad she is doing well, what a great start she had a WRAL.

  • luvcanes Jan 27, 10:44 a.m.

    I remember her from when I was younger....during the coverage of the tragedy at Columbine, imagine my surprise when I saw her covering the story from her station in CO.

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