60 Years of WRAL History Came Together at State Fair

2016 WRAL-TV State Fair tent

The WRAL-TV tent at the 2016 State Fair featured a pop-up history display in honor of the station’s 60th anniversary.

Thousands of visitors walked through the WRAL-TV tent at the 2016 North Carolina State Fair and were treated to a history lesson about the Big 5.  WRAL-TV Promotion & Event Coordinator Debbie Tullos talked to Capcom about how the idea for the pop-up mini-museum arose and then how the station’s creative team made it happen:

The idea for a history display at the State Fair tent came up way back in January when the WRAL Creative Department was brainstorming ideas for a Super Bowl commercial. One of many ideas that were sparked by the fact that this year is WRAL’s 60th anniversary.

To make it happen, we took several trips out to the transmitter site, scavenging for objects to tell the story of our 60 years of technology innovation. John Harris (Corp Director of Special Projects) and Bill Burch (WRAL Lead Print/Online Designer) made the initial search at the transmitter, then Jay Jennings (WRAL Documentary Photographer) and I met Matt Brandes (WRAL Transmitter Supervisor) out there to round out the collection. I came up with a rough timeline of history highlights and then brought in Pam Allen (Corp History Project Research Assistant) to flesh out the content and fact check. She provided all the photos used in the display and a wealth of information, plus helped gather specifics about the equipment. She even allowed us to borrow the Grass Valley switcher from her personal collection to display.

Shan Zhong (WRAL Lead Designer – Animation Specialist) designed the graphics, presenting all of the photos and information in an irresistible, beautiful format to remind loyal viewers of the journey WRAL has taken with them in this community through the decades.

We saw so many people take photos in front of the display. They reminisced, asked us about Captain 5, Uncle Paul, and Charlie Gaddy, and admired the old equipment. It was like watching people flip through an old family photo album.

Having the 60 years of history on display at the State Fair turned out to be a perfect way to celebrate the achievements of the Big 5, because two of those major milestones took place at the State Fair.  Check out the Capcom story we ran during the State Fair to find out what:

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Debbie Tullos for this capcom story & to WRAL-TV’s Bill Burch for these capcom photos.

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