Broadcast executive John Greene served Capitol Broadcasting Company for more than three decades – steering WRAL-TV through the pivotal 1980’s when the CBC flagship gained national recognition as one of the most dominant and decorated local television stations in the country.
Greene grew up in Shelby, NC and paid his way through UNC-Chapel Hill working in radio news. After graduation in 1966 he joined WBTV-TV in Charlotte as a News Reporter. He was promoted through the ranks as Producer, Managing Editor and News and Information Manager for WBT Radio and WBTV.
In 1973, Greene moved into station management as Station Operations Manager for WWBT-TV, the Jefferson-Pilot Broadcasting facility in Richmond. Three years later he received a job offer from longtime colleague Fred Barber, who had just been hired to lead WRAL’s management team. Greene accepted the offer and joined WRAL-TV in 1976 as Station Operations Manager. For the next three years he teamed with Barber to put a lasting imprint on the WRAL operation.
Greene brought new standards of excellence to WRAL and helped propel the news operation to unprecedented ratings success. He also instilled a spirit of creativity that led the station to many industry firsts. In 1979 Greene was instrumental in the launch of SKY5, which made WRAL the first station in North Carolina with a fulltime helicopter dedicated to newsgathering. The station also broke new ground in 1984 with the acquisition of LiveStar 5 – the state’s first KU-band transportable uplink vehicle.
Greene was named WRAL-TV’s Vice President and General Manager in late 1979. In 1984 he took on corporate responsibilities when he was promoted to Senior Vice President of the company. In that expanded role Greene continued direct management of WRAL-TV, but oversaw CBC’s three other television stations as well.
In 1990 Greene left WRAL-TV to become a lecturer at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication. However he maintained ties to Capitol Broadcasting as a consultant to CBC President Jim Goodmon.
In 1994 Greene rejoined the company fulltime as CBC’s Vice President of Special Projects. His assignments included new business development, consulting and lobbying at the state and federal levels. One of his primary missions was to help shape the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Over the next decade John Greene also played an integral role in CBC’s groundbreaking efforts with digital television (DTV) and High Definition Television (HDTV). He supervised the completion of WRAL-HD, the nation’s first commercial digital television station.
John Greene retired from CBC in 2009, not long after WRAL and the rest of the nation’s television stations made the historic transition from analog to digital transmission. His career with Capitol Broadcasting spanned more than three decades.
Greene earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1966 and graduated at the top of his class in the School of Journalism. He has served as a member of the Board of Visitors and Journalism Board of Visitors at UNC. Greene has also served on the boards of North Carolina Central University and Gardner-Webb University.
In 2007 John Greene was honored by industry colleagues who inducted him into the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. The honor recognized his career-long contributions to the broadcast industry in North Carolina. Greene is a Past President of the NCAB and received the 1993 Distinguished Service Award from the organization.
Greene founded and chaired “Save Our Sounds, Inc.” – a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to coastal preservation. In 1994 he was named by Governor Jim Hunt to chair the “Year of the Coast” committee to develop a long-range environmental plan for the North Carolina coast. He has also served on a number of other state coastal planning committees.
Greene is married and the father of two children. He lives in Raleigh and enjoys sailing, fishing and tennis.