WRAL-TV Lights Tower for 47th Time

WRAL-TV logo WRAL-TV Lights Tower for 47th Time
Half-Hour Special Includes Memories from WRAL’s 50 Years on the Air
WRAL-TV Tower Lighting
WRAL-TV lit its 300-foot tower for the holidays, beginning with a special lighting ceremony on Friday, December 1, 2006.

WRAL-TV continued an annual tradition by lighting the 300-foot tower above its studios for the holidays. The flip switched on almost 3,000 lights at the 47th Annual WRAL Tower Lighting event on Friday, December 1, 2006. WRAL-TV hosted a half-hour special at 7:30pm to countdown to the lighting.

The special included holiday musical performances by The Capitol Ambassadors and former CBC employee Waltye Rasulala.  The Capital Ambassadors is a choir comprised of 20 students from 14 different Wake County high schools.  Rasulala, a former Broadway performer, worked at WRAL-TV and CBC in a variety of capacities over her career.

WRAL-TV Anchors
WRAL-TV Anchors David Crabtree (l to r), Pam Saulsby, Debra Morgan & Gerald Owens join forces to host the half-hour special.
Capital Ambassadors
The twenty students in the Capital Ambassadors offer several carols throughout the 47th WRAL-TV Tower Lighting Special.

WRAL-TV Anchors David Crabtree, Pam Saulsby, Debra Morgan and Gerald Owens hosted the event.  The rainy weather moved the musical entertainment broadcast indoors, but a dedicated crowd gathered out front to see the tower light up.  The annual tradition comes during the month of WRAL-TV’s 50th anniversary; the station first flipped a switch, going on the air, on December 15, 1956. 

Waltye Rasulala Ed Stephenson
WRAL Alum Waltye Rasulala (left) sings “Silent Night” as guitarist Ed Stephenson accompanies.

In honor of that anniversary, WRAL-TV highlighted moments from the station’s history during the tower lighting broadcast.  The broadcast included a Christmas story reading from CBC and WRAL founder A.J. Fletcher from 1974.  Fletcher’s readings became an integral part of the tower lighting celebration telecasts.  He died in 1979, leaving his grandson, Jim Goodmon, as President & CEO of the broadcast empire he founded.

The crowd outside anxiously awaits the countdown for the tower lighting.
Christmas tree
The trees inside the WRAL studios are decked for the holidays.
Capital Ambassadors
The Capital Ambassadors add Christmas cheer through song.
WRAL-TV sign
The WRAL-TV Studios welcome viewers.

1st WRAL Tower Lighting - 1959 WRAL-TV began the tradition of lighting its broadcast tower in 1959. WRAL Alum David Langley took this photo of the first event. This tower has since been replaced, but it lights up for Christmas each year just the same.

Thanks to WRAL.com’s Rachel Shockley for these capcom photos. Thanks to WRAL alum David Langley for the photo of the tower from 1959. And thanks to WRAL.com’s Nathan Clendenin for his assistance in obtaining these photos.

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