Charlie Graham: The Auto Guy

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Jim Champion is well-known throughout the Omaha area, albeit by a different name: The Auto Guy.

What started as occasional appearances as an auto expert evolved into regular appearances on Omaha’s WOWT television station every other Sunday morning.

“They would come down for interviews when they were doing auto-related stories,” Champion remembers.

An Omaha television mainstay

It was in 2001 when he asked the WOWT news director if it would be good for him to do regular segments on auto-related topics.

That’s how The Auto Guy was born.

Champion admits speaking to a camera took some getting used to, especially for someone unaccustomed to being in being in the spotlight.

“I think you just learn over time how to ignore the camera and speak directly to people through the lens,” he says.

Sixteen years and more than 300 episodes later, Champion is still going strong. He tries to keep the segments fun and lighthearted while he answers questions the average driver might have. Sometimes viewers send topic suggestions or recognize him in public and offer ideas.

The secret behind the Auto Guy – Charlie Graham’s mechanics

Champion like to bridge the gap between auto expertise and everyday drivers. He has a real knack for explaining the mechanics of how vehicles work. That makes him easy to understand, which is part of why viewers respond so positively to him.

Yet he modestly points to the mechanics he works with at Charlie Graham as the real experts.

“The techs working on the vehicles have incredible amounts of experience and knowledge,” he says. “And it’s important for people like me to convey how much it takes to repair a vehicle properly and safely.”

Making auto technology accessible

The Auto Guy helps people understand complicated car topics in a simple way. Champion enjoys bridging the gap between auto expertise and everyday drivers.

“Showing the auto repair world in a positive light is good for our industry, and with technology changing so quickly, it’s important to keep the public informed,” he says

Watch The Auto Guy on WOWT’s morning newscast on alternating Sundays.