Jim Babb began his career in journalism as editor of the Dilworth Highlights and Headlines, the school newspaper at his Charlotte elementary school. In high school, he was a sports correspondent for The Charlotte News and The Charlotte Observer.
He attended Newberry College on a football scholarship for one semester, then switched to UNC Chapel Hill to study journalism. Unable to afford tuition, he left after two years and joined the U.S. Army.
After completing his military obligation, Babb earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Belmont Abbey College in 1959. His first job at Charlotte’s WBTV required him to write promotional articles about TV personalities. He met his wife, Mary Lou, while hand-delivering the stories to The Charlotte Observer, where she wrote for the “women’s pages.”
He spent the next three decades with WBTV and its owner, Greensboro-based Jefferson-Pilot Broadcasting becoming the station’s general manager in the mid-1970s and then CEO in 1988.
In 1991 he became president of Outlet Communications later to return as VP of Charlotte-based Bahakel Communications. in Charlotte.
Jim’s many achievements include an Emmy Award for lifetime achievement from the National Academy of Television and induction into the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Babb is past president of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters and chaired boards connected to the National Association of Broadcasters, CBS Television Network Affiliates Advisory Board and YMCA of Central Carolinas.
Jim has been a trustee at Appalachian State, UNC Charlotte and Belmont Abbey, and is a former member of the Board of Governors of the UNC System.
Babb and wife Mary Lou have been married more than 60 years with five children and six grandchildren.