For nearly 30 years, FOX8/WGHP’s Roy Ackland has introduced viewers to some of the most interesting and talented characters from the Piedmont Triad and beyond. From artists, to collectors, to farmers and musicians, his weekly series, “Roy’s Folks” has shined a spotlight on thousands of the region’s most remarkable, if not well-known, local treasures. This September, Roy will tell the final tale in his legendary television career, announcing his retirement.
According to Ackland, the old saying really is true that, “time sure does fly when you’re having fun.”
Ackland’s broadcasting career began in 1958 in Waco, Texas, where he graduated from Baylor University. He arrived at WGHP in 1987, and “Roy’s Folks” was born soon after. The series (and Roy) have become local institutions, giving way to the annual “Roy’s Folks Crafts Fair” a gathering of local artisans that have been featured on the series. The annual crafts fair draws thousands of visitors and raises tens of thousands of dollars for another FOX8/WGHP charitable effort, “Gifts for Kids.”
As for the series that bears his name, “Roy’s Folks” will continue on. Producer/Photojournalist David Weatherly, who created the series along with Ackland, will continue featuring interesting, off-the-beaten path locals. Stepping in to help tell their stories will be a face familiar to FOX8/WGHP viewers, Chad Tucker. He grew up north of King in Stokes County, graduating from South Stokes High School. Tucker started his broadcasting career at the age of 12 at WKTE-AM in King. He hopes to continue the spirit of “Roy’s Folks,” while adding his own touch.
“I grew up watching “Roy’s Folks,” Tucker said. “I’m honored that they asked me to help carry on the legacy. “Roy’s Folks” has always highlighted the cornerstone of the community, the people, their hearts and their creative passions.”
Ackland added, “Chad’s a great guy. I couldn’t think of anyone better to carry on the tradition.”
“Roy’s Folks” can be seen Mondays and Wednesdays on FOX8/WGHP. A special one-hour “Roy’s Folks Special” will air Wednesday, September 13 at 7 p.m.