WCCB-18 Charlotte, NC



Related Features:

The Birth of Mid-Atlantic TV Wrestling


When I first published the feature on studio wrestling for WRAL-5 in Raleigh NC in January 2006, I erroneously listed the short-lived Best of NWA Championship Wrestling program as having been taped there. I have since learned through a conversation with legendary wrestler and announcer Johnny Weaver that this program was actually taped in a small studio at UHF station in Charlotte NC right next door to the old Charlotte Coliseum, WCCB channel 18.

The program only lasted 13 weeks, and aired only in a few markets.  Johnny Weaver was the host, with David Crockett conducting some of the interviews. Weaver had a different co-host each week, and they would review tape and film of matches both from the arena and also from previous broadcasts of Mid-Atlantic and World Wide Wrestling. Occasionally, tapes would be shown of matches from other NWA territories, usually from Florida or Georgia.

The studio was very small, and there was no ring set up for wrestling. There was a desk-set with an NWA logo behind it, and a separate interview set as well.

As a matter of trivia, WCCB was the original choice location for the weekly TV tapings when Crockett moved them from WRAL in Raleigh to Charlotte in 1981. That deal fell through, and the decision was made to move to the tiny confines of WPCQ-36 in Charlotte.

WCCB was located right next door to the old Charlotte Coliseum (now the Independence Arena/Cricket Arena).


Call Letters: WCCB
Channel Number: 18
Network Affiliate: ABC / Independent
Began Taping: Fall 1978
Ceased Taping: Winter 1978
Host: Johnny Weaver
Interviews: David Crockett
Ring Announcers: None (No live wrestling)
Night Taped: Monday

Show name:

Best of NWA Championship Wrestling

Host Johnny Weaver with Blackjack Mulligan on the set of The Best of NWA Championship Wrestling



(L) David Crockett interviews US Champion Ric Flair. (R) Host Johnny Weaver talks with Ken Patera.



(L) NWA TV Champion Paul Jones talks with David Crockett. (R) Johnny Weaver closes the show with Mid-Atlantic Champion Tony Atlas, Dick Murdoch, and Blackjack Mulligan.


Mid-Atlantic Champion Tony Atlas and host Johnny Weaver review tape of

Tony Atlas's win over Ken Patera for that championship.




Special thanks to the one and only Johnny Weaver for his assistance with this feature. Published February 2006.

Photos from WCCB studio were taken between 9/17/78 and 10/15/78, the dates Tony Atlas won and lost the Mid-Atlantic title respectively. They appeared in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine.




WCCB signed on in 1964 as an ABC affiliate, making it North Carolina's oldest surviving UHF station. Fourteen years later, ABC had become the nation's most watched network and wanted a stronger outlet than WCCB. ABC took its programming to the longtime NBC affiliate, WSOC-TV. Conventional wisdom suggested WCCB would simply take the NBC affiliation. But Ted Turner, owner of WRET (now WCNC-TV), a station that had been on the verge of closing down a few years earlier, swooped in from out of nowhere and took the NBC affiliation, leaving WCCB out in the cold as an independent station. Shortly afterwards, it acquired most of the cartoons WRET no longer had time to air since becoming an NBC affiliate, along with some older sitcoms.

WCCB carried on for almost a decade as a typical UHF general entertainment independent station until it joined the newly launched Fox network as an affiliate. Since then, WCCB has been one of the strongest Fox stations in the country. After being known as "TV18" since sign-on, it was rebranded as "Fox 18" in 1988, and as "Fox Charlotte" in 2002.

Since sign-on, the station has been owned by Charlotte businessman Cy Bahakel, who owns several television and radio stations across the country. Bahakel was an original partner in the Charlotte Hornets, and WCCB was the flagship station of the Hornets television network for the team's first four seasons. He was a Democratic candidate for Congress in 1970, losing to longtime incumbent Charles Jonas, but has since been identified with right-wing causes. He is reportedly a member of the Council for National Policy, a secret right-wing group. Despite Bahakel's apparent far-right ties, there are no known significant instances where Fox's racier programming was ever preempted for content in Charlotte. Furthermore, local Democratic politician and former Congressional candidate Beth Troutman was hired in 2005 to host an morning news show called "FOX News Rising." (Credit - Answers.com)

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