Get to know your local Birmingham news morning team at WVTM 13

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Rick Karle, Carla Wade and Stephanie Walker are part of WVTM 13’s morning news team. Photo via WVTM 13

What can we say? The city is hoppin’ and someone’s got to jump on the local Birmingham news and weather. Learn more about WVTM 13 and the team behind the screen.

About WVTM 13 🌟

WVTM 13, Birmingham’s local NBC affiliate, has served Birmingham for over 70 years. The team is community-focused, providing its audience with breaking news, traffic reports and navigating Alabama’s finicky weather updates.

Besides giving us the buzz on Bham, WVTM 13 has a killer team backing the 24/7 coverage. We caught up with three anchors to learn more about them and their experience reporting local Birmingham news and weather.

Meet your local Birmingham news morning team

Carla Wade | Morning Anchor

Carla Wade, local Birmingham news reporter
Carla Wade is a morning anchor at WVTM 13. Photo via WVTM 13

What inspired you to become involved in the news industry? 📰

My high school debate teacher encouraged me to look into news after her husband, a radio news director, heard me speak at a tournament.

Do you have any mentors in the news industry, real or fictional, that inspire you?

I was always a huge fan of Allison Payne at Chicago’s WGN, CNN’s Robin Meade, Soledad O’Brien, Diane Sawyer and, of course, Oprah!

In local news, my inspirations were WSB Atlanta’s Monica Kaufmann and Shon Gables at WGCL in Atlanta.

I began watching Shon Gables as a college student at the University of Oklahoma when she worked in Oklahoma City. I started emailing Shon for resume reel critiques. Later, I ended up working with her at WFAA in Dallas.

When was a time where you really loved your job?

The most fun I ever had as a reporter was while working in Oklahoma City during the OKC Thunder’s Championship run in 2012. It such an exciting time! 

We had such a small sports department that I not only did community reaction and economic impact stories, but I got to attend games, practices and do locker room interviews. 

It really energized the community and brought people together in a positive way that it really needed after years of trying to rebuild after the bombing of the federal building and deadly tornado outbreaks.

Favorite Birmingham spot?  

Thanks to the pandemic I don’t have a clue! (Carla started reporting local Birmingham news with WVTM at the beginning of the pandemic.)

What are you currently binging? 📺

  • The Crown
  • Insecure
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Shameless
  • Big Little Lies
  • Euphoria
  • Cobra Kai
  • Schitt’s Creek

What is your favorite Christmas/holiday movie?

It’s a tie between Elf and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Most memorable Christmas?

The year my grandmother made me a Little House on The Prairie dress because I was obsessed with the book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Rick Karle | Morning Anchor 

Rick Karle, local Birmingham news reporter
Rick Karle getting a jump-start to the day. Photo via WVTM 13

What inspired you to become involved in the news industry?

My dad was a huge news enthusiast and he loved the thrill you get in the TV business. Live TV tests your will and your wit, but I still love it today. Also, I love profiling real people and telling their stories.

Do you have any mentors in the news industry, real or fictional, that inspire you?

I always loved the traditional news anchors like Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather. I’ve admired Bob Costas, too. The bottom line? I take my wife’s advice, “Be yourself.”

Rick has worked in news for 41 years. Photo via WVTM 13

When was a time where you really loved your job?

I love covering life and breaking events. National championship football games, NCAA basketball, politics and stories that touch the heartstrings.

I have been lucky to interview people like Muhammad Ali, Nick Saban, Michael Jordan Charles Barkley and others. My real thrill was being presented an Edward R. Murrow national award by Walter Cronkite. Also, I’ve enjoyed interviewing many politicians.

I have loved my job for 40 years.

Favorite Birmingham spots?

Oak Mountain State Park, any college football stadium, any bass lake—Lake Guntersville, Lake Martin, Smith Lake.

My favorite restaurants are Ocean, Hot And Hot Fish Club and Full Moon BBQ

What are you currently binging?

Nothing now, but I loved Ozark, Bloodline, The Morning Show, Breaking Bad and Mad Men.

What is your favorite Christmas/holiday movie?

Christmas movies would be It’s A Wonderful Life and Diehard. Now those are opposites, eh? I’ll throw in Home Alone, too.

Most memorable Christmas?

Sneaking down from my bedroom when I was 5 years old and seeing Santa Claus delivering gifts to my living room at about 11PM. It ended up being my neighbor Eddie Ryback dressed in a Santa suit. 🎅

Stephanie Walker | Morning Meteorologist ⛅️

local Birmingham news reporter Stephanie Walker
Stephanie Walker, WVTM 13. Photo via WVTM 13

What inspired you to become involved in the news industry?

Stephanie has worked at WVTM 13 for around 20 years. Photo via WVTM 13

Becoming a private pilot when I was 18 got me interested in meteorology, which led to a career in television. I’ve worked in news for 22 years in local Birmingham news at WVTM 13 for 20.

Do you have any mentors in the news industry, real or fictional, that inspire you?

Jerry Tracey is definitely my mentor.  He’s taught me everything I know about forecasting weather in central Alabama. He is one of the most patient and positive people I know.

When was a time where you really loved your job?

Children's of Alabama
Every Halloween, Children’s of Alabama hosts a costume contest. Photo via Cameron Balentine for Bham Now.

For many years, I helped Children’s of Alabama at Halloween, judging costume contests. It was such a treat to bring a little bit of joy to the tiniest of patients and their families during a very difficult time.

Favorite Birmingham spots?

On the trails at Oak Mountain State Park.

What are you currently binging?

WVTM 13 News 😉  and also Blue Bloods or Chicago PD.

What is your favorite Christmas/holiday movie?

This is hard because there are so many good classics, but I’m going to go with a newer movie, Noelle. It’s a super cute family movie!

Most memorable Christmas?

A family vacation in Guam. As a kid originally from Pennsylvania, spending Christmas somewhere warm and tropical was different and memorable.

Learn more about the team reporting local Birmingham news by checking out their website and following them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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