WRAL Ice Desk A Cold Weather Hit

“I mean…if it’s going to be 7 degrees with snow, you NEED an ice desk, right?! Shoutout to the master Bill Burch for the inspired design and local ice sculptor Todd Dawson Ice-Occasions for the work of art. From idea to live TV in less than a week! ‪#‎GoBigOrGoHome
-Tweet from WRAL-TV Creative Director Shelly Leslie

Elizabeth Gardner & Bill Burch

The brain trust behind the WRAL ice desk includes Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner & WRAL Lead Designer Bill Burch.

WRAL-TV made quite a splash, albeit a frozen one, with a broadcasting desk made of ice during the recent severe cold snap and ice storm.  WRAL-TV Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner and WRAL-TV VP & GM Steve Hammel came up with the inspired idea, and WRAL-TV Lead Designer/Print & Online Bill Burch created the design.  The desk went from sparkling on-air prop to trending on twitter in now time.  Gardner penned a blog for WRAL.com to explain how the idea came about and came to fruition:

WRAL ice desk inspired by cold snap
By Elizabeth Gardner
(posted on WRAL.com, 1/30/14)

Three weeks ago arctic air blasted the eastern United States. Temperatures hadn’t been that cold in 14 years. Our low dropped to 9 degrees officially at RDU. Other cities were struggling with the cold, and some news stations north of us built ice desks to illustrated the extent of the cold.

We showed one from the D.C. area on air, and our General Manager Steve Hammel saw it and loved the idea.

In just two steps, we had our very own ice desk! Hammel asked Bill Burch, who is one of our artists here at WRAL, to design us an ice desk. A local company called Ice Occasions built the sculpture for us.

The desk features our WRAL 5 logo as well as a thermometer. It’s a beautiful piece of art!

I really enjoyed using it during our newscasts this morning.

Winter can be a season of contrasts. It is beautiful but can be dangerous. The snow across our area made for a beautiful sight this morning, but our low tied a record of seven degrees. That’s dangerously cold and not the kind of weather you want to spend a lot of time in.

The crew and I only spent about 5 minutes at a time standing out at the desk. We were all wearing a lot of layers. I had on a base layer, a fleece layer, a down layer and a shell. Be sure to dress warmly if you have to be out today. But enjoy the pretty winter scenes!

The WRAL Ice Desk In Pictures
The WRAL ice desk became a popular photography spot for CBC staffers, many of which spend countless hours at the station bringing the weather reports and traffic conditions to WRAL viewers.  Here are a few ‘insider shots.’

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