A Blast from the Past: An Update on Two WRAL Alums

WRAL-TV Director/Producer Clarence Williams caught up with two former CBC employees and wrote the following story for capcom.

WRAL-TV has graduated hundreds of outstanding alumni over the years. It’s always interesting to check on where they go and what they are doing now.

Pam Parris Allen
Pam Parris Allen once sat in the control room at WRAL-TV, where she worked for several years.

Pam Parris was a Producer/Director for a number of years and left to work at KSEE-TV in Fresno, CA. She won an Emmy for spot news coverage of an Air National Guard plane crash in downtown Fresno. In 1998, she decided to change careers and worked for Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia, CA, as Director of Marketing and Public Relations. In 2001, KDH won the coveted Foster McGaw prize for community outreach awarded annually by the American Hospital Association. Parris produced the video documenting the hospital’s efforts and her department won numerous Addy’s and PR awards during her tenure. She “retired” in 2002 after she and her husband “made a conscious decision to leave our jobs early in order to dedicate the rest of our lives full-time to studying and working with the church.”

Mike Allen & Sky5
Mike Allen once traveled the air as pilot of WRAL-TV’s SKY5.

Parris’ husband is none other than former Sky 5 pilot, Mike Allen. Many will remember this exciting period for the TV station with a helicopter. WRAL was first in our market to secure one. Only three stations in the nation took their new helicopters outside the box of traffic reporting and aerials. KPNX in Phoenix had Jerry Foster, WXIA in Atlanta had Bruce Erion, and WRAL had Allen. These stations personified their helicopters with their pilots. Quite a concept!

Pam & Mike Allen
Former WRAL-TV employees Mike & Pam Allen now work at the New Lebanon Presbyterian Church in Lebanon, GA. Mike is working on his Master of Divinity.

Allen retired from the California Department of Corrections in 2002. He was District Liaison in the parole division. Allen and Parris are with the New Lebanon Presbyterian Church in Jasper GA. Allen holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. He will start work in a few weeks on his Master of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. By the way, when he was flying Sky5, he already had a B.A. in Theology.

Allen and Parris said that WRAL-TV is never from their minds. In fact, Allen recently showed one of his old news stories to a group at church. (He was flying an ultralight plane.) Whenever he sees a newscast that is not up to snuff, he will comment “John Greene would never stand for that!” (Greene was General Manager and Vice President at WRAL-TV during Allen’s tenure at the station.)

It’s clear that WRAL and SKY5 are never far from this couple.

WRAL-TV has long been recognized nationally for its strong community service and commitment to news excellence. The primary method of achieving this is hiring great people.

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