Rich Brenner ready to step down

Posted by Andy Durham on March 4, 2008 at 3:58 pm under Professional | 12 Comments to Read

On the same day that Brett Farve says “no mas” we have received word from several different outlets that Rich Brenner the Sports Director/Anchor at FOX8 WGHP in High Point has decided to step down at the end of this month. Brenner like Farve is going to call it quits. Brenner has been a good one and with his decision to no longer do sports, I guess that makes me, “The Dean of the Triad Sportscasters”. Charlie Harville, Add Penfield, Gene Overby, Bob Licht, and now Rich Brenner; they are all gone. I used to watch Rich on TV13 WSET in Lynchburg back when I was in college and that was his first full-time job.

Good job Rich and I hope you enjoy your retirement.

Now who will replace Rich and take over the desk and run the WGHP FOX8 Sports? Will it be Kevin Connelly or Danny Harnden? Something’s gotta give here…..Who will take the FOX8 Sports into the new HD Universe?

Here’s some background on Rich that I gathered from the FOX8 Web site as tribute to Mr. Brenner’s efforts:

Rich Brenner spent the summer of 1967, between sophomore and junior years of college, in Vietnam as a fully accredited news correspondent representing the collegiate point of view. He is a former Captain in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

Rich broadcast his first football game over the radio with play-by-play reports in October of 1965. He began full-time television sportscasting at WLVA (now WSET) in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1975. Since then, Rich has worked in Portsmouth, Virginia; Raleigh-Durham; and Chicago, Illinois. He came to FOX8 in 1987 as sports anchor. He currently anchors The FOX8 5,6 and 10:00 News. A member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science prestigious Silver Circle, Rich has won three Southeast Region Emmys and a National Iris Award.

Rich and his wife, Judy, have been married for 30 years and live in Greensboro. He enjoys sports of all kinds and motorcycle riding, including six cross country rides with Kyle Petty’s Charity Ride Across America. Judy Brenner is a crime analyst with the Greensboro Police Department. Their son Shawn is an aspiring country music drummer and lives in Nashville, while daughter Lesley lives in Greensboro.


  • Tom said,

    Maybe they will bring back Dan McReynolds or Steve Cashell?

    What ever became of Jay Shurling and Jim McSorley?

  • Rodney said,

    FOX 8 could bring back Mike Hogewood. He was at WGHPiedmont before Rich Brenner came in and took over when Mike went to Channel 2.

  • Don said,

    Fortunately, our TV market is a stepping stone for major league talent. WGHP is still owned by FOX (for the time being) which gives them access to more than a few dozen qualified individuals. At the same time, I suspect that WGHP would be best served by hiring someone who either lives here or plans to remain in the area. It would destroy the FOX8 chemistry to hire a short-termer (or someone already near retirement age as Hogwood).

    It’s hard to say if either of WGHP’s sports reporters are ready to step up. There is a certain amount of personal interaction and knowledge that the Sports Director has, plus there is a certain amount of community involvement required – the candidate must often spend their days off still working with the local sports organizations and teams, if only as a fan, in order to win acceptance of the viewers.

    I worked with Charlie Harville at WFMY. He understood the sports was more than just reading the scores. He built relationships not contact lists. I believe Rich operated like that. He successor should do the same.

  • Gary Curtis said,

    I think FOX8 needs to go with a younger more versatile man in the sports anchor chair.

    Why not Charles Ewing?

    I think he would do a fine job. He had done a great job with the weather on the weekends.

  • mark said,

    Rich will be missed. He was one of the good guys. I happened to find him standing behind me in a long line one day at Sam’s Club. We talked sports in general the whole time and it felt more like I was talking to an old buddy not just a TV guy. I wish him luck.

  • Bill O'Neil said,

    I’m sorry to hear Rich is leaving. He did a great job for WGHP. Off the air he was just as impressive. A gracious and classy guy who will no doubt be missed.

  • Chad said,

    You people don’t know what you are talking about. Mike Solarte is the best sportscaster on local TV these days and he would be the perfect anchor choice to replace Brenner.

    Solarte has made NEWS 14 the most watched sports in the Triad. Just check the numbers.

    I have and I know what I am talking about.

    Time Warner Cable News 14 and Solarte are the best.

  • Marty Walsh said,

    Rich Brenner was a credit to our community and I wish he could be talked into sticking around. It won’t be the same without Rich, especially on NASCAR. He was the best. He was sort of like a redneck from Chicago.

    Thanks for the sports memories, Rich Brenner and your crew at FOX8.

  • ryan perdue said,

    Rich will be missed big time.
    I ran in to him a year ago at a fitness place and he spoke to my wife and I for quite a bit about sports and life and he’d never met us before.
    Rich also got this market and understood what interested us.
    I must admit, after Rich, it would be very hard to go back to Hogwood.

  • mike said,

    Solarte is a likable guy, but isn’t even the best on his own station, let alone the Triad. Brenner is miles ahead of him. I’ve enjoyed Rich’s commentary segments, and applaud WGHP for allowing him to do so — it’s nice to see a sportscaster that’s not afraid to take risks and give you the story behind the story.

    As far as replacements, they already have a great one in Kevin Connolly. I don’t think FOX8 misses a beat, but Rich will definitely be missed.

  • Andy said,

    Who is better than Solarte at 14? I tend to agree with Chad that Solarte is the best and he was really good at 850 the BUZZ when he was in Raleigh. Now I believe he is in Charlotte.

    I’m taking Solarte and I sort of remember another guy at 14 that used to be at 45. Was his name Jim Conners or something like that? He did not make much of an impact but Mike Solarte sure did.

  • Steve said,

    I worked with both Rich Brenner and Kevin Connolly during the late 80’s and early 90’s at WGHPiedmont 8 in the sports department as Rich’s weekend anchor. Rich is truly a great man. I first interned for him at Channel 5 in Chicago (the NBC Affiliate) and he helped me get my first TV job in Wilmington, NC. I wish Rich and wife Judy all the best, forever! Kevin Connolly is hard working and gets it. I wish Kevin all the best as well. Steve Kashul (Radio Host of the Chicago Bulls)