Capitol Broadcasting celebrated the start of the holiday season with two big events in one night. On Monday, December 2, 2019, CBC lit the WRAL-TV Tower for the 61st year and also welcomed some special clients for a party to come see the fun up close.
An Annual Tradition Enhanced
WRAL-TV not only highlighted the impending tower lighting during the evening newscasts, the station produced a half-hour special at 7pm, lighting the tower near the end.
“The WRAL Tower Lighting is our gift to the community, so producing a half-hour special is a fitting way to showcase this holiday tradition,” said WRAL-TV Director of New Operations, Sports & Special Projects Leesa Moore, who served as the Executive Producer for the program. “It takes a team of dedicated, experienced, and talented WRAL folks to pull off a live program with a lot of moving parts. This year we opted to fill the special with a variety of music and I’m thrilled it was a successful and entertaining production done the WRAL way!”
The production paid off, with ratings for the tower lighting special as high as the #1 show in prime time, The Voice, that night.
CBC enhanced the Tower Lighting for the community behind the scenes as well.
“We did this year a little bigger and better for those who came to watch in person,” explained WRAL-TV Vice President & General Manager Joel Davis. “We had a big screen set up so they could see what was actually going out on TV and provided snacks for them.”
Crowds gathered, many saying coming out for the WRAL tower lighting is a family tradition.
The half-hour special featured a bevy of musical entertainment from Britton Buchanan, a finalist on NBC’s The Voice; Calvin Lockett, a contestant on this season of The Voice; and an a cappella choir, UNC’s Harmonyx.
Tower Lighting Tradition as Backdrop to Thank Partners
For the second year CBC invited some special clients to enjoy the evening up close and behind the scenes. The CBC 2019 Tower Lighting Partner Appreciation Social began inside the WRAL building with newsroom tours and visits with personalities from WRAL-TV and CBC Radio as well as company leaders. Clients from across TV, Radio, Digital and the Bulls were included in the fun.
For the second half of the event, family members were invited to join the clients for a dinner buffet, visits with Wool E. Bull and Santa Claus, games, a photo booth, and then watch the special from a VIP viewing area.
Corp Business Development Associate Courtney Phillips coordinated the social.
“I was thrilled to be able to create this event again for year 2,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to bring our partners together from TV, Radio, Digital, and the Bulls – not only to thank them and show our appreciation for their continued support, but also give them a chance to talk with other branches of the CBC family they may not be as familiar with. The Partner Appreciation Social is a great way to add onto an already amazing WRAL-TV tradition by helping our clients and staff get into the holiday spirit.”
As Moore referred to the WRAL Tower Lighting as a team endeavor, Phillips also said making the social happen took many hands on deck.
“This event is a huge lift and really requires a team effort from everyone but is definitely worth it at the end of the day,” said Phillips. “The Partner Appreciation Social would be a lot going on by itself, but throw in the live WRAL-TV Tower Lighting Special and it is A LOT happening in one day.”
Sales staffers, on-air talent, producers as well as leaders from various divisions came to participate and be part of the evening.
“Our clients told us they were thrilled to be able to join us for the tower lighting, but many also took the opportunity to tour the new set and the augmented reality studio,” explained Davis. “Many clients brought their kids or grandchildren. I heard from several that the 61-year tradition of the tower lighting is something they’ve long watched on TV and loved to have the opportunity to see in person.”
Bringing CBC Divisions, Clients Together
Being able to spend a social evening with clients and their families gave CBC’ers a chance to share more about the company and the broad array of projects going on at Capitol Broadcasting. The behind-the-scenes look was a special treat.
“Our sales teams across the company have done a lot of work to build stronger relationships with our advertising partners,” said Davis. “People like to do business with people they like. Events like this allow us to build bridges and ultimately be more effective partners to our clients.”
The response to the evening was overwhelmingly positive.
“From all accounts the night went as well as we had hoped,” said Corp Director of Business Development Chris Overby. “I’ve heard from several AEs that their clients had a great time and that fun was had by all. We’re always looking for ways to spend time with our best clients and make sure they feel like part of the CBC family. Inviting advertisers of our radio stations, sports teams, digital team and TV to all gather together just makes sense. They get to spend time mixing and mingling with our on-air talent, executives, and sales staff in a relaxed atmosphere that is really all about kicking off the holiday season.”
Phillips also appreciated many different employees pitching in to help and particularly to the teams who opened their office space as the backdrop for the event.
“This year we were able to utilize the new lobby and the new media building to help house our guests,” she said. “I am grateful the new media team was so helpful and let us kind of take over their space for the day. We were also able to showcase our AR Studio and the new WRAL News Set during station tours which was very exciting to our guests – and even some of our staff!”
Overby was full of praise for the huge, successful effort Philips put in to the client social.
“Courtney Phillips did a great job with executing another signature event and her attention to detail did not go unnoticed!” he said. “Pulling off an outdoor open-air event like this at the same time that our TV teams are putting on a live special is no easy feat. Throw in coordinating over a hundred guests receiving holiday gifts and handling food and beverage, rentals and more. It’s obviously a big job, but it’s rewarding to see it all come together.”
Phillips is pleased with the results of the evening, and smiles on the clients faces made her work effort more than worthwhile.
“My goal was to make this year bigger and better than last year and with the help of many others, I feel we accomplished that – now on to thinking about how we can improve for 2020!” she said.
SLIDESHOW: Photos of the CBC Tower Lighting Partner Appreciation Social (courtesy of Corp’s Courtney Phillips)