Glenn Counts, who spent 28 years at WCNC (Channel 36) before taking a buyout one year ago, will return to the airwaves in May on WSOC (Channel 9).
Counts brings with him a rich trove of sources and his trademark fedora hat to the new job, where he’ll be reporting again and backing up WSOC’s longtime police and courts reporter, Mark Becker.
At No. 3 WCNC, Counts spent decades battling market leader WSOC, and he says the change may feel a bit odd at first.
“I’ve been fighting them forever,” Counts said Wednesday. “When you’re fighting uphill, beating and toppling Channel 9 had always been the goal. … They do things the right way.
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“When there was a big story, when I was on the other side, you could always count on being outgunned by Channel 9. I’ve got a ton of respect for them.”
Counts, 60, comes aboard with the title “senior reporter,” replacing WSOC veteran Jim Bradley, who retired in January after 33 years at the station.
When he left WCNC last year, Counts was the fourth longest-serving TV reporter in Charlotte behind Bradley. Becker is in his 33rd year at WSOC and Steve Crump is in his 31st at WBTV (Channel 3). Steve Ohnesorge, who covers Western North Carolina from Morganton, has 40 years at WBTV.
Counts has spent the last year as prime caregiver for his mother, who is 95, and said he is grateful to WCNC for giving him the buyout and the opportunity to do that – though they’re going to be competitors now.
“I guess it will be interesting when I see them on the field of battle, so to speak,” Counts said. “I’ll be wanting to go all Steve Smith on them, though.”