Wake County Students Get Inside Look at Broadcasting on Job Shadow Day

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Wake County Students Get Inside Look at Broadcasting on Job Shadow Day

Dave Lyles
WRAL-TV’s Dave Lyles tells students about working in television sales as part of Job Shadow Day on Friday, Feb 4th.
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Almost 30 students from area middle and high schools converged on WRAL-TV on Friday, February 4, 2011, to learn about the television news industry.   The group spent the morning hearing from different WRAL departments and then got a tour of the news operation as part of Wake County Public Schools’ Job Shadow Day.

The students learned about everything from sales and ratings to putting together a news story to the engineering and technology that keeps things going behind the scenes.

WRAL-TV Anchor/Reporter Ken Smith helped head up the day’s events along with WRAL-TV Director/Producer Clarence Williams.  Smith even came back early from a leave because he is so passionate about mentoring young people.

Becky Mennerd
Becky Mennard, an 8th grader at Durant Road Middle School, learns about a career in television broadcasting from WRAL staffers.

Smith emphasized the interconnectedness of all WRAL departments, how they all work together to put on a newscast.  He told the students that they would be best served by learning all facets of television news broadcasting so they can appreciate all roles that go into the final product.

WRAL-TV Sales Manager Dave Lyles enthusiastically told the students about sales.  His passion for sales showed in his dynamic presentation.  He emphasized the need for enthusiasm and passion in going after sales, as well as the importance of developing new business.

“The thing with this job – it’s not typical,” WRAL-TV Chief Engineer Pete Sockett told the students.  “No day is ever the same.  It’s one of the coolest jobs I could ask for.”

WRAL-TV IT Manager Jeff Ritchie said, “I get to try neat things all the time.”

Both Sockett & Ritchie told the students about new projects they get to explore and how the field is constantly changing.

Ritchie talked about how students now grow up with technology and use so much of it in schools.

Ken Smith
WRAL-TV’s Ken Smith tells the students how all the departments in a TV station are interconnected.

“With the skill set you all have right now, I would’ve hired you ten years ago,” he said.  “So the entry level bar has been raised.”

The 29 students from 12 local schools spent the morning in the basement meeting room at WRAL-TV, seeing presentations and asking many questions of the WRAL professionals.  They then enjoyed lunch and got a tour of the station and watched the live broadcast of the noon news.

“We have a unique situation here,” said Sockett.  “The station is locally owned.”

Sockett said that fact made a big difference in his work and his love of his job.

Across the board the WRAL presenters had one similar theme, they were complimentary of CBC.  Every last one said, “I love the company I work for.”

The students left knowing that loving the place of employment, as much as the career, can make a big difference.


WRAL-TV CBC Job Shadow Day

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