A Special Digital Transition Thank You List

A Special HD Transition Thank You List
Television history once again. WRAL launched its new digital newsroom and HD newsgathering capabilities, and showed the world that life is indeed good on the leading edge. The timing of the launch on the day after we won yet another Emmy for News Excellence is somewhat serendipitous-great things go together. There are many, many people to thank for making the launch a success, but a few deserve singling out:
Craig Turner & Fred Kelly
Craig Turner & Fred Kelly spent so many days and nights here that their wives asked to be reintroduced. Their energy was unbelievable, but beyond that-they solved problems and invented solutions on the fly. The entire Engineering department deserves huge praise-we are fortunate to have so much expertise under one roof.
Richard Adkins
Richard led us through the transition to become the world’s first HD newsgathering organization.
There are dozens of variables and potential pitfalls in this HD news process-yet Richard thought his way through them all. He was our chief troubleshooter who uncovered problems and helped find solutions. He never lost his cool, either, which speaks volumes. Richard never forgets what matters most-it’s the HD pictures, stupid!!!!
Leesa Moore-Craigie
No-one was affected more by the launch than our directors. The new switcher, the new still
store and digital disc recorders forced our directors to transfer their finely-honed skills into a completely new working environment. Leesa displayed leadership at its best throughout the process-urging us on, asking the tough questions, pushing for training and expert help, and through it all-remembering that all the questions are never answered on the leading edge. Leesa accepted the risk of leadership, and success was the reward.
Tom Beauchamp
After physically slamming together the wires and widgets of our
new facility during recent months, it would be very easy to forget that much of the technical vision for our new showplace came from Tom. He dreamed up the systems and demanded a level of quality from the contractors to ensure that our new facility lasts well into the future. As we all know-this was no rush job-but the end result is going to be worth it. Tom should not be forgotten in all our celebration now, for he did the unseen, non-glamorous infrastructure work that creates the space for us to do our jobs better than ever.
Bill Reeves, Steve Loyd & Diana Alston
Bill, Steve & Diana took a totally new graphics concept and tweaked,
experimented and pushed until it came alive on our air. This was no small task, for we not only changed the entire “look”-we changed the way we get it to air. This group also endured the scariest moment of the entire process when the Chyron system decided to lock us out two hours from launch. When you look up the words “Successful Work-Around” in the dictionary-you’ll see the smiling face of Bill Reeves next to them as an illustration.
Paul Hetzel
This guy makes it look too easy, and it would be easy to overlook the silky smooth
computer-oriented transition we made between newsrooms. But think about this-our newsroom computer system is now handling multiple rundowns, prompting multiple newscasts, and running multiple super lists simultaneously. The people at DCM say they’ve never done this before (of course), yet our IT people take it in stride and just push it through until things are re-engineered. Paul leads that effort every day. We are the lucky ones as a result.

Thanks to all WRAL-TV employees, friends & supporters for making a digital newscast a reality.

As we all know, there is much tweaking and fine-tuning to do before we get everything right. But we now have a new facility that puts us back where we belong-first in the world. Thanks to all.


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