WGHP-8  High Point, NC




Related Features:

The Birth of Mid-Atlantic TV Wrestling

Charlie Harville calls the action as Wahoo McDaniel and Johnny Valentine square off in an impromptu battle on Championship Wrestling on WGHP. (Edited)

1:07  2.9 MB

(WMV video file. Requires Windows Media Player)

Charlie Harville is a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame

1964 Ad for Wrestling on WGHP-8 in High Point NC.

Special Memories of a life-changing experience at WGHP

by Michael Roach

Many of the clippings on this page are courtesy of WrestlingMemories.com


In February 1964, WGHP began airing Championship Wrestling on Saturday evenings. The show was filmed (later taped) at the WGHP studios on the second floor of the Sheraton Hotel on North Main Street in High Point NC. The host was WGHP news and sports personality Charlie Harville, who became a broadcasting institution in North Carolina and would become only the second sportscaster inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. It was Harville who spoke the first words on the new station when it first went on the air four months earlier on October 14, 1963.

The studio was very small, and as a result had a smaller ring, so much so that Tex McKenzie once complained to Harville it was not large enough for him to properly and effectively execute his bulldog headlock! But the cozy atmosphere defined what made studio wrestling so special during this era. Behind Charlie Harville's desk, photos and event posters would be taped to the wall and the camera would zoom in on them when Harville would run down the card at the beginning of the show or when doing local promos.

The WGHP program was enormously popular, and supported the regular cards in Winston-Salem, Lexington, and the huge shows in Greensboro. The market area for the show was actually the three city TV market of High Point, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro, but the signal stretched northward across the Virginia border and as far east as Raleigh. During its 10 year run, it was the only Crockett Wrestling show in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro/High Point market. The Raleigh taping of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling did not begin airing there until after the IWA closed shop, and Jim Crockett took their TV time on WXII-12 out of Winston-Salem.

The early shows were shot on film and were only seen on WGHP. Later, they switched to video tape and the show was seen not only locally, but also sent to other markets. (For example, the High Point show was seen on Saturday nights in Asheville NC on WLOS-13. When they ceased tapings at WGHP, that show was replaced by the 2nd Mid-Atlantic taping out of Raleigh, hosted by Les Thatcher, and then finally the new show Wide World Wrestling with Ed Capral.)

Championship Wrestling aired at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday evenings for most of it's 10 year run on WGHP. There was a brief period of time in the fall and winter of 1966 when the show was split in to two 30 minute programs airing at 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM on Saturday. And in an odd scheduling move, the show aired at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night from September 1967 to February 1968.

Harville was loved by wrestling fans, and he also served as ring announcer for a period of time for the Greensboro shows in the Greensboro Coliseum. Wayne Brower has an excellent feature on the broadcasting legend on the Gateway. Be sure to check out Charlie Harville: Remembering His Remarkable Journey.       - Dick Bourne

Call Letters: WGHP
Channel Number: 8
Network Affiliate: ABC (now Fox)
Began Taping: Feb 1964
Ceased Taping: Summer 1974
Play-by-play hosts: Charlie Harville
Color Commentators: No regular color commentators. Different wrestlers served as color commentators throughout the run.
Ring Announcers: Wally Dusek, George Harbin
Night Taped: Tuesday

Show name:

Championship Wrestling

The Voice of Wrestling in the Piedmont

Charlie Harville

(L) Charlie Harville talks with an angry Rip Hawk on the set of Championship Wrestling at WGHP on channel 8. (R) Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson talk with Charlie Harville at ringside on Championship Wrestling. Usually when Charlie laughed like that, Rip was thanking him for being one of Rip and Swede's biggest supporters. (Hawk and Harville were close personal friends off camera.)


(L) A promotional photograph of George Becker, Charlie Harville, and Johnny Weaver at WGHP TV in High Point, NC. (R) Harville waits at his broadcast position to return to the air during a commercial break on Championship Wrestling.


(L) Charlie Harville interviews Southern Heavyweight Champion Johnny Weaver. Rip Hawk, one half of the Atlantic Coast Tag Team Champions, is over Harville's right shoulder. Wally Dusek is seen waiting to do the ring introductions in the ring. (R) Harville interviews Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods. Not sure who is in the ring.


(L) Host Charlie Harville interviews manager Homer O'Dell and his team of Bronco Lubich and Aldo Bogni.  (R) Wahoo McDaniel chops Johnny Valentine in an impromptu battle in the WGHP studios. It was Wahoo's first appearance on WGHP as he prepared to enter the territory full time in 1974.


(Top L) TV Guide ad from 1960 for the local news broadcast on WFMY TV 2. The ad features Charlie Harville who was at channel 2 before going to channel 8. (Top R) An image from a WFMY employee publication celebrating Charlie Harville's 50th anniversary in broadcasting. (Bottom L) A TV Guide ad from 1967. Notice the announcer is featured in the ad for a wrestling show. Charlie was always as big a star as the wrestlers, although he never tried to be. The fans just made him that way. (Bottom R) An news/sports ad for WFMY-2 in Greensboro from a 1959 TV Guide featuring a young Charlie Harville.

A special graphic shown on WFMY-2 television (Greensboro) during commercial breaks

following the death of Charlie Harville in 2002.

An article by Wayne Brower

Special thanks to Wayne Brower and the family of Charlie Harville who made substantial contributions to this feature. Thanks also to Carroll Hall and Brad Anderson for their assistance, support, and inspiration.



The station began operation in 1963, and it was owned by Southern Broadcast Company. It was originally the Piedmont Triad's ABC affiliate. Harte Hanks Broadcasting's purchase of Landmark Television in 1977 resulted in the company owning both WGHP and WFMY-TV, and WGHP was consequently sold to Gulf Broadcasting in 1978.

WGHP was owned by Gulf Broadcasting until 1984, when it was acquired by Taft in a group deal. Great American Broadcasting purchased other Taft properties in 1987, but Taft would keep WGHP until 1992 when Great American bought the station as well.

In 1994 it was agreed that New World would buy most of Great American Broadcasting's (now known as Citicasters) TV stations, but WGHP (along with WBRC Birmingham) would be sold directly to Fox. Fox was able to close on WGHP and WBRC in the Summer of 1995. On September 4, 1995, WGHP took the Fox affiliation and became an official Fox owned-and-operated station (O&O). The ABC affiliation went to WNRW channel 45 (now WXLV-TV).  (Credit - Wikipedia)