Local News

Former WRAL anchor, CNN veteran Bobbie Battista dies after cancer battle

Posted March 3, 2020 3:16 p.m. EST
Updated March 3, 2020 6:11 p.m. EST

— Longtime WRAL-TV viewers will know this name, Bobbie Battista. You might even remember her from 20 years on CNN.

Battista died of cervical cancer Tuesday morning. She was 67.

Fresh out of Northwestern University in Chicago in 1974, Battista came to Raleigh and started as a secretary at WRAL. By 1976, she was on the air, producing and hosting the station's morning news show.

In 1977, WRAL promoted her to join Charlie Gaddy as co-anchor of the evening news. They were the Triangle's first male-female anchor team.

"That was the advent of adding a woman to anchor a nightly newscast," Gaddy said.

In 2006, Battista talked with David Crabtree about her time on Action News 5.

"We just clicked. and we had the highest-rated local newscast in the country during the late 70s," Battista said.

A lot of that success stemmed from the chemistry between Battista and Gaddy. She became a household name in this part of the state. In 1981, Battista's talent took her to a new start-up cable network called CNN.

Over the next 20 years, she anchored many newscasts and shows on CNN. In 2006, she returned to Raleigh to celebrate WRAL-TV's 50th anniversary, reuniting with Gaddy on a special reunion newscast.

Battista said even after 20 years on CNN, reaching audiences around the world, she'd always remember the people of North Carolina.

"I will never get beyond the loyalty that I felt from the folks in this community," Battista said. "It really was overwhelming, and still is."

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