As the nation gears up for the November election, WRAL-TV and the North Carolina Bankers Association (NCBA) hosted a highly anticipated debate in a race that demands national attention. Incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers and Democratic challenger Clay Aiken are vying for the opportunity to represent the 2nd Congressional District. The first and only debate between the candidates, moderated by WRAL anchor David Crabtree, took place in front of a live audience at the NCBA’s Management Team Conference at the Pinehurst Resort. It was open to delegates attending the Management Team Conference and the media, but not to the general public.
“It is gratifying to know that when the North Carolina Bankers Association wanted a top notch debate produced, they turned to us,’ said WRAL-TV Vice President & General Manager Steve Hammel. “Our Team provided our viewers with just that: a well-produced debate that was both informative and dare I say entertaining!. I am proud of the many people involved.”
The one-hour debate took place at 11:30AM on Monday, October 6 and was recorded live-to-tape for playback on WRAL and WILM at 7PM the same night. It was also streamed on WRAL.com and aired at 11PM on WRAZ. CSPAN took the satellite feed provided by WRAL to air the debate at 8PM on Tuesday, October 7.
It takes a lot of dedicated employees to produce a program of this nature off-site and we were fortunate to have the partnership of UNC-TV who supplied their HD production truck and auxiliary personnel. Set-up began Sunday morning and WRAL and UNC-TV staffed worked into the early evening to ensure everything was ready to go Monday morning.
From graphics, to engineering, to set design, and food and lodging for the crew, no detail can be overlooked and every component of the plan must be well-executed.
The debate went off without a hitch and the end result was a “spirited” discussion of the issues affecting the people of North Carolina. Both content and production were solid and the program garnered significant numbers in the ratings.
David Crabtree summed it up nicely after the debate.
“I am privileged to work with some of the best people in the business. The dedication, professionalism and respect to others shown by the crew and everyone involved was top-notch. It seems with each new challenge the result is the bar set even higher for the next time…and of course, there will be a next time!”
That’s the WRAL way.
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Leesa Moore for this capcom story & for these capcom photos.