One of Rocky Mount’s finest and perhaps the most liked local media personalities of our generation is stepping back from his responsibilities.
On Dec. 18, longtime WRAL sports anchor Tom Suiter will emerge from the sports office in the back of the newsroom. As he briskly walks to the set, he will take time to greet fellow employees as he always does. He will likely sing a song or two as he passes producers and directors preparing the next newscast. Like any other day, Suiter will make people smile before he ever appears on television.
Unlike any other day, when Suiter delivers the sports report with his energetic style and unending passion, it will be his last 6 p.m. sportscast.
After that, Suiter will transition into a new role at the station. In the coming year, he will continue to bring viewers the scores, highlights and excitement from high school football games on his Football Friday show. He will still honor outstanding high school athletes with the Extra Effort Award and will take on some special assignments including work for WRAL.com and radio station 99.9 FM The Fan.
It is hard to find anyone to say bad things about Tom Suiter as a person or as a local sports anchor.
IMHO, Suiter and the entire WRAL-TV5 sports department have always done a fantastic job of representing the ‘home team’ perspective without crossing the line towards ‘homerism’.
Anyone old enough to remember NC State’s run to the 1983 National Championship run cannot help but eternally link Suiter and WRAL’s great coverage of the time.
Speaking of Suiter and 1983 —
Over the years, one of the most exciting stories Suiter covered was N.C. State’s run to the 1983 NCAA basketball championship.
“Nobody thought State could win, and when they did, it was so surprising. I think everyone was happy even if they weren’t a State fan,” he said.
Suiter’s appreciation of State’s upset win came from his tendency to root for the underdog.