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A Look Back On 40 Years Of Charlotte News To Celebrate WFAE’s 40th Anniversary

Erin Keever
From left to right: Mike Collins, Steve Crump, Larry Sprinkle, Mary Newsom and Tom Hanchett

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Watch the conversation on Facebook video.

WFAE signed on the air 40 years ago this week. Charlotte has changed considerably since then. In fact, newcomers today wouldn’t recognize the Queen City back in 1981.

Legend has it the streets in uptown rolled up after 5 p.m. and you couldn’t even buy a candy bar. To help celebrate our anniversary and recognize just how far Charlotte has come over the last four decades, we’re looking back at some of the most impactful events, ideas and people that have shaped the city over the past 40 years.

Here are just a few major events we've seen: Hurricane Hugo, the fall of PTL, a population boom, the expansion of the uptown skyline, our transformation into "Bank Town," infrastructure galore, becoming a sports city and playing host to two political conventions. And then there's Charlotte’s never-ending quest to become “world-class.”

We'll take a quick stroll down memory lane.


Mary Newsom, lifelong newspaper journalist, retired from the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, now a freelance writer in Charlotte.

Tom Hanchett, community historian, formerly staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South

Steve Crump, reporter at WBTV

Larry Sprinkle, weather forecaster at WCNC

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.