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Taking a look at some of Steve Ohnesorge’s memorable moments with WBTV

Here’s a look at some of the great, emotional and memorable moments from 45 years of Steve Ohnesorge with WBTV.
Steve Ohnesorge has been with WBTV for 45 years.
Steve Ohnesorge has been with WBTV for 45 years.(Steve Ohnesorge/WBTV)
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 5:49 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Steve Ohnesorge began his career at WBTV as a photographer/live truck operator and desk assistant In Feb. 1976. He quickly transitioned to a photographer/reporter/editor’s role and in January 1980 was selected to lead the team when the Western newsroom was opened in Morganton.

Later in 1980, he went to work with CBS News in the New York and Chicago bureaus in various capacities. Steve returned to the Carolinas the next year as the Western Bureau Chief. He was brought back to Charlotte in 1982 as a reporter and in 1984 served as Executive Assignment Editor to oversee local, state and national election coverage - handling daily news content and planning.

In the summer of 1985, he once again was assigned to the Western Newsroom and has been there ever since covering stories from the mountains and foothills and anywhere the assignment desk sends him.

Here’s a look at some of the great, emotional and memorable moments from the career of Steve Ohnesorge with WBTV.

In 1983, Steve did a three-part series on the 20th Anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Steve was able to get the only known interview of Secret Service Agent Bill Greer, who was the driver of the Kennedy car in Dallas.

In 2010, Steve went to Haiti after a deadly 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the country, causing widespread destruction and killing thousands of people. Steve spent a week with the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army, sleeping on the ground and/or concrete and covering the stories of the people impacted by the disaster.

Steve has also covered the heartbreaking and tragic stories in the community.

In the fall of 2010, Steve covered the tragic case of Zahra Baker, a 10-year-old girl who was killed and dismembered in Oct. 2010. Parts of her body were found in multiple sites around Catawba and Caldwell counties months after her disappearance. Zahra’s story gripped the nation, and tugged at heartstrings in the Carolinas.

Whenever possible, Steve would ask those charged in crimes if they did it and if they had anything to say. Many stayed silent, some denied everything but talked, and there were still others who confessed.

In 2013, Steve captured the moments when a man, accused of the murder of a homeless man, detailed exactly what happened. He later pleaded guilty to the killing.

Over the years, Steve has been in almost two-dozen hurricanes, countless blizzards, floods, and has been across the country and even to Haiti reporting on major disasters. Steve covered the blizzard of 1993, as well as numerous other snowstorms over the years.

Images from major flooding in Boone in 2017.
Images from major flooding in Boone in 2017.(Steve Ohnesorge/WBTV)
Images from major flooding in Boone in 2017.
Images from major flooding in Boone in 2017.(Steve Ohnesorge/WBTV)

Steve has also captured moments of nature over the years with his unique artistic eye and photography skills.

Steve Ohnesorge captured this photo of the 2017 total eclipse of the sun. Ohnesorge says he got...
Steve Ohnesorge captured this photo of the 2017 total eclipse of the sun. Ohnesorge says he got the shot while in Travelers Rest, South Carolina.(Steve Ohnesorge/WBTV)

He also traveled to military bases across the nation to report. Steve says people still come up to him and ask about the convoys, the conflict, close calls and the heroes in uniform he traveled with.

In 1983, Steve traveled to Israel to follow the Charlotte mayor before spending time on the West Bank and traveling to the border with Lebanon to interview Saad Haddad. In 1990, Steve went to Saudia Arabia for Desert Shield to meet up with North Carolina National Guard soldiers.

A month after the tragic attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Steve went to the Persian Gulf country of Bahrain. He was alongside those in uniform on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the Arabian Sea as they launched combat air strikes into Afghanistan. Steve had a week-long series on this story in Nov. 2001.

In Jan. 2002, Steve went with a North Carolina National Guard unit into Kandahar, Afghanistan. This was the first guard unit in the USA to be involved in ground operations in Afghanistan.

Steve Ohnesorge In Kandahar, Afghanistan January/February 2004.
Steve Ohnesorge In Kandahar, Afghanistan January/February 2004.(Steve Ohnesorge/WBTV)

In Feb/March 2003, Steve went to Kuwait with the Marines to the border and also tracked down North Carolina National Guard units out in the desert. Steve did a series on the guard units as well and won an Emmy for it.

In June/July 2004, Steve went to Iraq and was embedded with North Carolina Guard soldiers where he brought back 20 news stories and an hour-long special.

In June/July 2004, Steve went to Iraq and embedded with North Carolina Guard soldiers where he...
In June/July 2004, Steve went to Iraq and embedded with North Carolina Guard soldiers where he brought back 20 stories and an hour-long special.(Steve Ohnesorge/WBTV)

In Nov. 2004, Steve spent a couple of weeks again in Iraq. While there, he actually slept in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces for a night in Tikrit.

In Nov. 2004, Steve Ohnesorge spent a couple of weeks in Iraq. While there, he actually slept...
In Nov. 2004, Steve Ohnesorge spent a couple of weeks in Iraq. While there, he actually slept in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces for a night in Tikrit.(Steve Ohnesorge/WBTV)

When the Carolina Panthers went to their first Super Bowl in 2004 in Houston, Steve was there. He also spent a day in then-Panthers starting quarterback Jake Delhomme’s hometown of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana - talking to Delhomme’s little league coaches, some of his friends and family.

In Aug. 2004, Steve spent a week in Williamsport, Pennsylvania with the Morganton Little League team that not only made it to the Little League World Series, but made the final four on the USA side.

After 45 years of unforgettable memories with WBTV, Steve Ohnesorge’s last day on the air will be Oct. 22, 2021.

The veteran reporter looks forward to spending more time with his 18-month-old grandson, further exploring his passion for still photography and getting back to traveling the world with his wife once the pandemic calms down even more.

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