• Anniversary



    • Remembering 9/11: WRAL-TV Staffers Reflect

      As the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11 approaches, WRAL-TV Reporter Amanda Lamb spoke to two WRAL Photojournalist Ed Wilson and WRAL-TV Reporter Scott Mason who vividly remember driving north to cover the aftermath in New York City
    • Bulls Unveil 2020 Promotional Schedule

      Season highlights DBAP 25th Anniversary Celebration, 22 fireworks shows The Durham Bulls unveiled their 2020 promotional schedule, featuring the 25th anniversary celebration of Durham Bulls Athletic Park. On April 6, 1995, the DBAP opened its gates for its inaugural season
    • MIX 101.5 25th Annual Radiothon Raises Over Half-Million for Duke Children’s Hospital

      The MIX 101.5 Radiothon for Duke Children’s Hospital marked the 25th anniversary in a big way, raising $604,606.84!  MIX staffers unveiled the total at the end of the two-day event, broadcasting live from the lobby of Duke Children’s hospital on
    • SKY 50 Turns 40!

      This week SKY 5 is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a part of the WRAL-TV fleet.  SKY 5 was the first helicopter in North Carolina devoted to fulltime television newsgathering when it went into service on July 31, 1979.  Over
    • Durham CBC’ers Featured in New “Bulls of Durham” Book

      Durham is spending 2019 celebrating the city’s 150th anniversary, which turned out to be the perfect time for the launch of new project by one of its citizens, Sheila Amir. Several Durham CBC’ers have been featured in her new coffee
  • Awards



  • Captain 5



    • Capn Five

      Herb Marks as Cap’n Five with kids at Raleigh’s Pullen Park

  • Celebration



  • Charity Events



    • WRAL FM anchors with Coach K at Duke fundraiser

      Sheri Logan and Bill Jordan join Duke Coach K to raise funds for Duke Childrens Hospital.

    • Mix 101.5 Best of the Birthday Calls 1998

      Check out this assortment of wild and crazy on-the-air phone calls made to unsuspecting listeners. The prank turns into a happy birthday phone call. Proceeds of the cassette went to Duke Children’s Hospital.

    • First Radiothon Montage

      Listen to the voices of children, parents, and those who made a donation to Duke Children’s Hospital.

    • Tears in Heaven

      Listen to this very moving story told by a nurse at Duke Children’s Hospital.

    • Pediatric patient named Alan on Mix 101.5

      Alan is a boy who received a lung transplant. He reads his letter of sincere gratitude to the donor, someone he will never meet, but feels a strong connection to thanks to the lung transplant.

  • Children's Programming



  • Dedication Ceremony



    • WRAL 60th Groundbreaking Retrospective by The Tar Heel Traveler

      In recognition of WRAL’s 60th Anniversary, Scott Mason – better known as The Tar Heel Traveler – took viewers back to October 17, 1956 for the groundbreaking ceremonies of the studios on Western Boulevard in Raleigh. WRAL would sign on two months later on December 15, 1956 using a temporary studio in the garage of the transmitter building near Garner.

      Scott Mason interviewed Wesley Williams, former President of Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, for his recollection of that rainy day in October. Also interviewed is CEO Jim Goodmon, grandson of founder A.J. Fletcher and nephew of Fred Fletcher.

      WRAL-FM carried the dedication ceremonies LIVE with Fred Fletcher, VP of Capitol Broadcasting introducing the guest speakers and providing commentary. George Geoghegan, VP of Wachovia Bank and Trust served as Master of Ceremonies. Other speakers included Charles Campbell, President of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and Wesley Williams, at the time Secretary of the Raleigh Merchants Association.

      The highlight of the event was Dorothy Collins, star of the NBC television program “Your Hit Parade,” joining CBC Founder and President AJ Fletcher to turn the soil with a gold color shovel. The day was rainy and gray, but everyone beamed with excitement. Dorothy Collins said, “I hope this station goes on forever and ever.”

      Feature edited by WRAL Tar Heel Traveler photographer Bob Meikle.

    • Ground Breaking of WRAL-TV Studios Oct 17 1956

      October 17, 1956 was ground breaking day for construction of the WRAL-TV studios and offices located at 2619 Western Boulevard in Raleigh, North Carolina. WRAL-FM carried the dedication ceremonies LIVE with Fred Fletcher, VP of Capitol Broadcasting introducing the guest speakers and providing commentary. George Geoghegan, VP of Wachovia Bank and Trust served as Master of Ceremonies. Other speakers included Charles Campbell, President of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and Wesley Williams, Secretary of the Raleigh Merchants Association.

      The highlight of the event was Dorothy Collins, star of the NBC television program “Your Hit Parade,” joining CBC Founder and President AJ Fletcher to turn the soil with a gold color shovel. The day was rainy and gray, but everyone beamed with excitement. Dorothy Collins said, “I hope this station goes on forever and ever.”

      The construction seen in the video occurred in the weeks and months after the dedication ceremony. WRAL-TV signed on the air December 15, 1956 and initially broadcasted from the transmitter building until the completion of the building on Western Boulevard.

    • Senator Jesse Helms and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at Helms Center 2001

      The friendship between British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and NC Senator Jesse Helms was special. Both fought for conservative principles in their countries. Helms stood by Thatcher and President Reagan as they fought to bring down the Iron Curtain. In April, 2001 Lady Margaret Thatcher served as the guest speaker at the grand opening the A.J. Fletcher Building, a 23,000 square-foot interactive museum that now serves as the headquarters for the Jesse Helms Center in Wingate, North Carolina. In his 2005 memoir “Here’s Where I Stand” Helms wrote, “From the beginning I knew she would be a leader like few the world has seen.”

      The video features a meet and greet time with Thatcher and a Question and Answer session that took place April 27, 2001 at Quail Hollow Country Club, Charlotte, N.C. On April 28, 2001 Helms and Thatcher cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the Jesse Helms Center, followed by a speech by Prime Minister Thatcher.

      The Right Honorable Margaret Thatcher ends her speech by quoting poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
      “Sail on, O Ship of State!
      Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
      Humanity with all its fears,
      With all the hopes of future years,
      is hanging breathless on thy fate!”
      May God always bless America!

    • WRAL Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

      Silent film footage of the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony of the WRAL-TV studios on Western Boulevard in Raleigh, NC. Robert Sarnoff, president NBC television network, cut the ribbon.

      WRAL became an ABC affiliate in 1962 and then in 1985 switched to CBS. On February 29, 2016 WRAL once again became an NBC affiliate.

    • WRAL-TV is born – December 15, 1956

      WRAL-TV signed on the air the evening of December 15, 1956. In a small studio beneath the station’s 1100-foot transmission tower, CBC Founder A.J. Fletcher welcomed viewers to Channel 5 and its first program: Miracle on 34th Street.

  • Demonstration



    • Model HDTV Station dedication

      Margita White, President of the Model HDTV Project, presides over the first on-air demonstration of broadcast and reception of live and tape HD television. At 13 minutes, 29 seconds into this video, Ms White acknowledged that WRAL-TV (an HDTV model station) was the first station to transmit HD TV.

    • WRAL Weather Cruiser

      WRAL-TV’s specially equipped weather vehicle drawing a crowd at the NC State Fairgrounds

    • Jimmy Goodmon Speaks at the MEAS Demo

      Jimmy Goodmon speaks at demo of Mobile EAS

    • Early videotape technology demonstration

      Fred Fletcher addresses audience of sales representatives to explain and demonstrate new videotape technology in use at WRAL-TV.

    • Early demonstration of videotape

      WRAL-TV with AJ Fletcher demonstrates new technology of videotape to invited guests.

  • DTV Transition



    • Historic DTV transition on September 8, 2008 in Wilmington, NC

      Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin throw the symbolic switch making local TV stations the first in the country to go digital. WILM was the first CBC affiliate to make the change.

    • Digital TV transmitter testing

      WRAL Director of Engineering Peter Sockett tests WILM-TV’s new digital transmitter before the historic DTV transition. WILM was the first CBS affiliate to make the switch on September 8, 2008

  • Election



    • WRAL Partners with PolitiFact NC to Fact Check Political Stories

      As the hotly contested 2020 election season nears, our country and our state appear more divided than ever. While the political left and right seem to disagree over truth itself, WRAL is committed to cutting through the noise and bringing
    • Back in the USSR

      To quote the title of an ol’ Beatles’ song, we are going “Back to the USSR” in this and the next Throwback Thursday articles. What prompted this revisit to the land of the bear? Since the presidential election, the land
    • WILM-TV Uses Digital Signage to Display Election Results

      Travelers along Wilmington’s busiest thoroughfares kept an eye on North Carolina’s gubernatorial race on Election Day powered by Capitol Broadcasting Company’s WILM-TV and New Media Group. On November 8, Fairway digital billboards in six Wilmington locations displayed the percentage of
    • WRAL to Host Third McCrory, Cooper Debate

      Gov. Pat McCrory and challengers Roy Cooper and Lon Cecil have agreed to a final debate before the Nov. 8 election. WRAL News will host the hour-long debate, which will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 18. Anchor David Crabtree
    • Bowles vs Dole Debate

      Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Elizabeth Dole debated the pressing issues of 2002 in hope of garnering votes in the upcoming election to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate. The debate was held at Jones Hall on the campus of Meredith College in Raleigh on October 14, 2002. The moderators were WRAL News Anchor David Crabtree and WTVD News Anchor Larry Stogner.

  • Femme Fare



  • Gatherings



  • General Assembly

  • Inauguration



    • You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

      The premiere history-in-the-making event to cover is the Inauguration of the President of the United State of America. It is the ultimate visual of democracy on display. The people have spoken, by way of vote, and a peaceful transfer of
    • Inauguration of NC Governor Jim Martin

      “Passing the Torch” The Inauguration of North Carolina Governor Jim Martin on January 5, 1985. WRAL-TV produced the live coverage of the inauguration for the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters and was carried by television stations across the state. WRAL-TV Station Manager Neil Kuvin served as Executive Producer. Directed and produced by WRAL-TV director/producer Pam Parris Allen. WRAL-TV News Anchor Bill Leslie served as primary anchor. Other on-air reporters were provided by stations in North Carolina. Technical set-up provided by WRAL-TV.

  • Local Program



    • WRAL’s Premiere of “Education Matters” Ready to Air Sunday, Oct 2nd

      WRAL-TV has the first episode of the new local program “Education Matters” ready for debut.  Taping for the first broadcast took place on Thursday, September 29, 2016, in WRAL-TV’s Studio A.  The brand new program, launched the Public School Forum
    • Fred Fletcher sings My Two Front Teeth

      Fred Fletcher, son of A.J. Fletcher – founder of Capitol Broadcasting Company, served as WRAL-TV’s first general manager. Fred was known as an entertainer and savvy broadcaster. After his retirement, Fred still loved to entertain an audience. Here Fred and jazz pianist Paul Montgomery, also known to viewers as “Uncle Paul,” perform the Christmas classic “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” The venue is the annual Golden Years gathering, sometimes known as Golden Agers, that was held in downtown Raleigh.

    • Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast 2012

      The 32nd annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Breakfast took place January 16, 2012.
      The gathering celebrated many of the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy which include: respect, equality, opportunity, diversity and a commitment to peace, justice, and non-violent solutions to conflict. All of these principles at the heart of the civil rights movement are equally as relevant to our lives today as we seek to address and solve present-day social issues in our community.

    • Radio remote

      Kay Fletcher does WRAL-FM radio remote from a pool. Remote broadcasts were common in the 1940s and 50s.

    • Football Friday planning session

      Tom Suiter huddles with staff in preparation for another Football Friday show. With Richard Adkins, Clarence Williams and Jay Jennings.

  • March Madness



    • 1992 NCAA Basketball Final Four tournament Compilation of WRAL Sports Coverage

      Enjoy watching a compilation of newscasts featuring coverage of the 1992 NCAA Basketball Final Four and championship game. Spoiler alert! Duke University won the championship.

      WRAL sent a news and sports team to cover the excitement of the event. You’ll meet the student who was the Duke Blue Devil in 1992.

    • WRAL Sports anchor Tom Suiter tosses hat like Mary Tyler Moore

      The 1992 NCAA Basketball Final Four tournament was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Duke University won the championship game. WRAL Sports anchor Tom Suiter was part of team coverage of all the festivities that surrounded the sporting event and of course the game itself.

      This short clip shows Tom having fun imitating the iconic hat toss by Mary Tyler Moore as seen during the open of her highly acclaimed weekly CBS comedy show during the ’70s.

    • Ray Reeve calls UNC vs USC 1957 ACC Championship

      AUDIO ONLY – Radio broadcast taped “live” onto a home recorder by Ray Reeve, Jr. – audio level will be low for 90 seconds starting at the 4 minute point into the broadcast. Legendary WRAL sportscaster, Ray Reeve calls the play-by-play action of this classic basketball game pitting UNC (Tar Heels) against USC (Gamecocks) for the 1957 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. The game was played March 9, 1957. UNC won the game 95-75, and advanced to win the NCAA Basketball Championship to cap off a flawless season. Sportscaster Bill Currie provides post game coverage.

    • Reception for NC State wins 1974 NCAA Basketball Championship

      WRAL’s LIVE coverage of the victorious NC State basketball team returning to campus after winning the NCAA Basketball Championship in 1974. NC State Wolfpack beat Marquette with the score 76-64. NC State was coached by Norm Sloan and Marquette was coached by Al McGuire. WRAL Sports Anchor Nick Pond provides the commentary.
      All of the NC State basketball players are featured in the video including 7’4” Tommy Burleson, David Thompson, Monte Towe and others.

    • Hoops Headquarters logo

  • NC Olympic Festival



    • Dreams of Gold NC Olympic Festival 1987

      After several years of dreaming, North Carolina landed the Olympic Festival for 1987. The opening ceremonies took place on July 17, 1987 in Carter-Finley stadium in Raleigh. Athletic events were held in nearby cities. Greensboro hosted figure and speed skating. Durham was the site for track and field, soccer and wrestling. Chapel Hill hosted basketball, gymnastics, and swimming. Cary was home base for archery. Raleigh was tapped to host diving, boxing, and equestrian. Kerr Lake was the site for yachting.

      WRAL Sports anchors Tom Suiter and Bob Holliday host this special broadcast, Dreams of Gold, leading up to the festival.

      Capitol Broadcasting Company was a Grand Patron sponsor of the Festival.

      Aired: July 11, 1987

  • Opera



    • Excavation for WRAL Opera Auditorium

      Work underway for constrcution of auditorium dedicated to opera performances. Photo taken June 18, 1965.

    • Auditorum excavation at WRAL-TV

      Early excavation at WRAL-TV to add opera auditorium in June 1965

    • National Opera Showcase

      WRAL-TV News Director Sam Beard introduces the program and CEO and Founder of Capitol Broadcasting Company AJ Fletcher explains the purpose of the National Opera Company.
      Fletcher believed that opera belonged to everyone and wanted the performances in English so everyone could appreciate the entire presentation.

      The National Opera Company provided opportunities for singers/performers to further their professional careers.
      In 1965, the National Opera Company gave 55 performances in NC and other Southeastern states.

    • Children enjoying opera

      School children enjoy the Grass Roots Opera performance on October 1, 1951

    • Grass Roots Opera performance

      The opera company founded by AJ Fletcher performs at a NC school. Mr. Fletcher is in the cast, 3rd from the left.

  • Parade



  • Sports



  • State Fair



    • Visit WRAL-TV in a Whole New Way at the State Fair

      The North Carolina State Fair is currently underway, after a year off due to the pandemic.  WRAL-TV came up with a creative way to have a presence at the beloved NC event during a time when the pandemic is still
    • 60 Years of WRAL History Came Together at State Fair

      Thousands of visitors walked through the WRAL-TV tent at the 2016 North Carolina State Fair and were treated to a history lesson about the Big 5.  WRAL-TV Promotion & Event Coordinator Debbie Tullos talked to Capcom about how the idea
    • Color. HD. State Fair.

      Many people associate the annual North Carolina State Fair with sticky cotton candy, gut wrenching deep fried food, vertigo-inducing rides, pettable goats, and parking madness. But, each year they come back for more. Capitol Broadcasting Company CEO Jim Goodmon delights
    • First LIVE HD Newscast from State Fair October 13 2000 (Short Version)

      This is a short version showing behind the scenes activity of the first HD Newscast by WRAL, the leader in HD broadcasting. On October 13, 2000 WRAL made history by broadcasting the entire 5:00 PM newscast LIVE in HD from the State Fair. The historic newscast was broadcast from a special stage at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. The broadcast came just days after WRAL announced it was purchasing equipment from Panasonic to allow the station to gather all of its news stories in the 1080i format. WRAL was the first in the country to convert its entire news operation into HD. This video documents the historic moment from a behind-the-scenes perspective.

      In 1996, WRAL was the first station in the nation to start broadcasting in HD even though most viewers did not have an HD television set.

      The complete 30 minute HD broadcast is available for viewing on this website.

    • The State Fair and WRAL Through the Years

      The North Carolina State Fair has been around since 1853. WRAL joined the fun shortly after the station signed-on the air in the mid 1950s. Viewers have come to count on The Big 5 to cover horse shows, pig races,
  • Tower Lighting



  • WRAL Tower Lighting



    • Making the Season Merry, Festive and Safe: Behind the Scenes of the WRAL Tower Lighting Special

      “Producing the WRAL Tower Lighting is my favorite assignment every year. Every year, it’s amazing how many people from various departments come together for this project.” – WRAL-TV News Producer Kelly Riner WRAL-TV supersized the tower lighting for 2020, combining
    • WRAL-TV Tower Now Aglow for Holidays

      WRAL-TV’s tower became a beacon for the holidays as is annual tradition on Thursday, December 1, 2016.  The first day of December always marks the WRAL Tower Lighting.  WRAL-TV Anchors Debra Morgan & David Crabtree hosted the event alongside WRAL-TV
    • Light Up That Tower!

      Today, December 1, we celebrate the annual WRAL tower lighting for Christmas. During the evening newscast, that giant metal structure behind the building will be transformed into a dazzling tower of power Christmas tree. Over the years, elements of entertainment
    • WRAL Tower Lighting 1982 with music

      The annual tradition of “lighting the tower” on December 1, started in 1959. Over 3000 colorful lightbulbs attached to the tower are turned on near the end of the newscast. This 1982 video shows the moment the lights are turned on. SKY 5 circled the tower in spectacular fashion revealing how magnificent the lights look from the air. Flying SKY5 was pilot Mike Allen.

    • 1981 Tower Lighting for Christmas and a look back by Charlie Gaddy

      The annual lighting of the tower for Christmas happens on December 1. It is a special time of the year when WRAL spreads Christmas cheer by providing a visual Christmas greeting to the viewers by lighting the tower with more than 3,000 multi-color bulbs. The result is a spectacular Christmas tree. The tradition started in 1959.

      This particular tower lighting on December 1, 1981 was extra special. For the first time, WRAL was able to give viewers a bird’s eye viewer LIVE via SKY 5 – WRAL’s news helicopter – during the ceremony. WRAL News anchor, Charlie Gaddy, shares his memory watching the magnificent images that SKY 5 provided that evening.

      Flying SKY 5 was pilot Randy Watkins.

  • WRAL-TV Network Change