Longtime TV host Ackland dies at 84
Mar. 15—HIGH POINT — Longtime WGHP on-air personality Roy Ackland, the folksy weatherman and genial host of the station's popular "Roy's Folks" segment, died Tuesday, his family announced.
He was 84.
Ackland, whose broadcasting career began in 1958 in Waco, Texas, arrived at WGHP in 1987, and he became an institution there over the next 30 years.
Ackland initially came to the station as a weekend meteorologist, but he would become much better-known for "Roy's Folks," the Emmy Award-winning series in which he and videographer David Weatherly traveled across North Carolina, introducing viewers to some of the state's most interesting and unusual people, from artists and musicians to farmers and collectors.
Ackland especially enjoyed showcasing artisans and their creations. That affinity for craftspersons eventually led to the Roy's Folks Crafts Fair, an annual craft show that featured artisans who had been featured on "Roy's Folks." The fair also raised tens of thousands of dollars for WGHP's charitable "Gifts For Kids" project.
In addition to introducing viewers to interesting characters, Ackland was a bit of a character himself, occasionally entertaining viewers with his willingness to try new things on the air, such as bungee jumping and hang gliding. He also covered some historic moments in North Carolina, including the 1999 relocation of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
When Ackland retired in 2017, he moved to the eastern part of the state, and his "Roy's Folks" segment is now hosted by WGHP's Chad Tucker.
Ackland is survived by his wife, a sister and his three daughters. A celebration of life service for Ackland will be held at a later date, according to his family.