CBC Employees See Their Shadows on February 2nd

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CBC Employees See Their Shadows on February 2nd

Newsroom Tour
WRAL-TV’s Clarence Williams gives several students a tour of the control room.

Each February 2nd Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his burrow in front of a waiting crowd that hopes he will not see his shadow. On the same day each year at CBC, employees at WRAL-TV and WRAL-FM look forward to seeing many shadows at the stations.

CBC once again hosted students from Harnett, Johnston & Wake Counties for Groundhog Shadow Day for 2006. Thirty students came from 15 Middle & High Schools and had expressed an interest in a career in broadcasting.

A number of employees spoke to the students to help these middle and high schoolers, introducing them to what we do here at WRAL-TV and WRAL-FM. The presenters helped the students understand exactly what their jobs are and what it took for them to get in the positions they are in now.

Keith Harrison
WRAL-FM’s Keith Harrison tells the students about radio engineering.
Jan Sharp presentation
CBC VP of HR Jan Sharp talks to the students about how to pursue a job in the broadcasting field in general.
Newsroom Tour
Students listen intensely as they are escorted into the WRAL-TV newsroom.

The students heard from a variety of TV and radio departments including engineering, promotions, news and Human Resources, to name a few. They were also treated to a station tour at WRAL-TV and a trip inside the studio at WRAL-FM & NCNN.

WRAL-TV Director/Producer Clarence Williams coordinated the Groundhog Job Shadow Day for WRAL-TV.

Maibeth Pena
Maibeth Pena from East Wake High School learns about what education she needs for a broadcasting career.
Clarence Williams
WRAL-TV’s Clarence Williams talks about a typical newscast while taking students through the newsroom.
Lawrence White
Lawrence White, an 11th grade student at Knightdale HS, dresses the part of an anchor.
Ken Smith
WRAL-TV’s Ken Smith is passionate about sharing his job with the students.
Jim Hefner
WRAL-TV’s Jim Hefner outlines his job running a TV station.
Natasha Cupeles & Whitney Harwell
Natasha Cupeles from Cary High School (left) & Whitley Harwell from Garner Magnet High School learn about work at a TV station.

“I was impressed because of their commitment to these kids,” said Williams of the presenters. “They were so willing to share their knowledge and advice.”

So, what were a few of the tips these students received?

Angie Emerline
Corp’s Angie Emerline talked about a career in broadcasting from a Human Resources perspective.

Corp. HR Manager Angie Emerline gave the nuts and bolts of getting into broadcasting. She talked about educational requirements for the various positions. And, she discussed how to get your first job in broadcasting. Here’s what she said:

  • While in school try to get internships in broadcasting. Or, volunteer for your school radio and television station or local public access station. The key here is to obtain as much experience as possible prior to graduation.
  • Recognize that you will not come out of school and be Dan Rather, David Crabtree or Greg Fishel. You will need to begin working in small markets and work your way up to a WRAL-TV.
  • Recognize that you will not be highly paid right out of school.
  • Be flexible!
  • Be willing to take jobs that are not exactly what you want, just to get your foot in the door. Once your foot is in the door, learn as much as you possibly can about all facets of broadcasting.
  • Be willing to work the overnight, weekend and holiday shifts that no one else wants.
So What Else Did The Student Job Shadows Learn?  
John Harris WRAL-TV Director of Programming John Harris
“I basically explained to the students the differences between the various kinds of programming that WRAL airs – locally produced, network, and syndicated.  I also explained how we are trying to put programming on our digital channels now instead of preempting it when we have ACC ballgames, etc.  I explained how we deal with those dilemmas when we need to preempt a network program.”
Quinn Koontz WRAL-TV General Sales Manager Quinn Koontz explained “the difference between Network/Spot/ and Local, the need to examine the needs of the client, to be a business consultant, and that we are honest and straightforward with our clients.”   
Ken Smith WRAL-TV Anchor/Reporter Ken Smith
told the students “to trust their instincts when it comes to news reporting. I also stressed the importance of being accurate and truthful in their reporting.” Smith & News Photographer Chad Flowers told the group about the two months they spent in Kuwait and Iraq. “We talked about the dangers of TV news, particularly covering stories like the Battle in Iraq.”
Jan Sharp Corp. Vice President of Human Resources Jan Sharp talked about “the history of the company and the importance of discovering what you have a passion for and working hard to fulfill that passion.”   
Brandon Alexander WRAL-FM Promotion Director Brandon Alexander said of his experience with Job Shadow Day, “It was nice getting a fresh perspective from people who aren’t here everyday. The kids had some really good ideas. I could see some future Promotions people in the group.”
David Crabtree & Clayton Middle School Students
WRAL-TV Anchor David Crabtree with “shadows” from Clayton Middle School: (l to r) teacher Christian Stephenson & students Michelle Burdette &
Morgan Muir.
WRAL-TV Anchor David Crabtree
“wanted to encourage the students to follow their dreams…their heart… if they have a passion and commitment to do something…it can happen. One day one of them may have my job!”

So What Did the Students Think of Their Day?
Check out the school blog from Clayton Middle School student Michelle Burdette. And visit the entire Clayton Middle School Web site…they’ll soon have up news report with photos about their day at WRAL-TV.

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