Snowbound 1959

Throwback Thursday: CBC History

Let’s face it – snow is fun, as well as a pain in the derriere. It is beautiful to look at but treacherous to trek through. But regardless of our age, snow brings out the suppressed child in all of us. The first thing we do is check the consistency of the snow. Is it dry and flakey or wet and compact? Ya know – it makes a difference when it comes to making a good snow ball!

On a Thursday in January 1959 it snowed in Raleigh. Many of the WRAL staffers bailed out of their offices and headed outdoors, just like kids do when released from school. The snow was perfect for making snowballs! In John Belushi fashion, you can almost hear someone yell “SNOWBALL FIGHT.”

According to the January 1959 edition of Tele-News Letter (forerunner of CapCom), ‘…most of the Channel Five’s intrepid staff mushed, fishtailed and skidded their way to the studios to carry on. General Manager Fred Fletcher took the popular TEMPUS FUGIT show out-of-doors for a snowball battle with the help of Herb Marks, Bill Currie, Bette Benjamin, and other members of the staff.’

Pictured below is the snowball melee that aired live during TEMPUS FUGIT. Check out the studio camera in the center of the picture. The camera and camera operator were covered to weather the elements. Another camera can be seen just inside the roll-up door.


A snowball fight ensued during the ‘Tempus Fugit’ show when a snowstorm covered WRAL-TV during the winter of 1959. Note the logo on the side of the WRAL studios…NBC!

Through the years, we’ve rolled a studio camera out the back door quite a few times to get a quick shot of the snow. Now we are “wired for weather” through-out the building. Below is a shot of Stuart Todd standing-by for a weather live shot with Meteorologist Nate Johnson. You can almost bet your socks that a snowball was made and probably tossed at some point during the broadcast!

Stuart Todd & Nate Johnson

WRAL-TV’s Stuart Todd and meteorologist Nate Johnson ready to go live.

It is January, 2017 and guess what is in the forecast later this week. Yep. SNOWBALL FIGHT!

Thanks to Corp’s Pam Allen for this capcom story. Pam Parris Allen is a former WRAL newscast producer/director who now works as a researcher and producer on the CBC History Project.

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