NCAB Awards

WRAL-TV News, Anchors, WRAL-FM Morning Team Honored by NC Association of Broadcasters

NCAB Awards
WRAL-TV’s Rick Gall (l to r), Renee Chou, Elizabeth Gardner, Brian Shrader, Lena Tillett, Dan Haggerty, Jeremy Spearman, Ashley Talley & Bill Leslie at the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Awards Luncheon at the Angus Barn Pavilion in Raleigh on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

WRAL-TV and MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM took home major awards from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters (NCAB) this week, including Anchor of the Year for WRAL-TV’s Lena Tillett and Large Market Radio Personality/Team of the Year for MIX Mornings’ Kyle, Bryan and Sarah.  WRAL alumni Bill Leslie received induction into the NCAB Hall of Fame, and the TV station took home several awards for news coverage as well. 

WRAL-TV and WRAL-FM received the honors at the NCAB Annual awards luncheon on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at the Angus Barn Pavilion in Raleigh, the first in-person awards since 2019.

“It was a great event and a nice reminder of what local broadcasting does for our communities,” said WRAL-TV Anchor Reporter Brian Shrader.

WRAL-TV Anchors, Past and Present, Honored Alongside News Coverage
WRAL-TV News Streaming Executive Producer Jeremy Spearman and WRAL-TV Anchor/Reporter Dan Haggerty accepted the “Outstanding Newscast” award on behalf of the entire team for the newscast of the day of the shooting at the Streets of Southpoint Mall.

WRAL-TV News Executive Producer Nightside Courtney Gartman and WRAL-TV Enterprise Executive Producer Ashley Talley accept the “Breaking Story Coverage” award for the same topic.

WRAL-TV Anchor/Reporter Lena Tillett accepted the Anchor of the Year honors with her husband and mother in the audience. 

A group of WRAL staffers, both past and present, were on hand to honor Leslie on his induction into the NCAB Hall of Fame.  Leslie said is he “deeply honored” by the prestigious award.  He joins a distinguished list of CBC legends who have been inducted since the NCAB Hall of Fame inception in 1970: Ray Reeve (1971), A.J. Fletcher (1975), Fred Fletcher (1982), Frank Fletcher (1984), Floyd Fletcher (1989), Ray Wilkinson (1990), Charlie Gaddy (1984), Jim Goodmon (2003), John Greene (2007), Tom Suiter (2014), Stuart Scott (2015), Greg Fishel (2017).

WRAL-FM Morning Team Wins Big
The MIX Mornings team of Air Personalities Kyle Smelser, Bryan Lord and Sarah King were named the Large Market: Radio Personality/Team of the Year.

“MIX Mornings set a big vision last year to win this award and generate #1 ratings with our core demo of Adults/Women 25 to 54 consistently,” said WRAL-FM Radio Brand/Content Manager Sammy Simpson. “I’m so proud today to celebrate the team being at the top of the market for well over a year now and accepting this big accomplishment and recognition from the industry. Mission accomplished!! But they are just getting started with a clear focus to drive more ideas, accelerate their passion, and create powerful content daily to soar even higher.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Brian Shrader & WRAL-TV’s Leesa Moore for these Capcom photos.

Durham Bulls Heading to Vegas for Triple-A Championship

Durham Bulls - IL East Division Champs

The Durham Bulls have won the final three games of the season on the road, becoming International League East Division Champions! The win on Tuesday at the Charlotte Knights clinched their spot in the Triple-A Championship in Las Vegas this weekend.  Then the Bulls officially finished the season with a final win in Charlotte on Wednesday.

The defending Triple-A National Champion Bulls will travel to Las Vegas to participate in the Triple-A Triple Championship Weekend at Las Vegas Ballpark between September 30 through October 2. The Bulls will face the Nashville Sounds on Saturday, October 1 in a one-game playoff for the International League title, with first pitch set for 9:05pm ET. The winner of that game will play in a one-game playoff the next day for the Triple-A National Championship.

Fans can watch all games for free on &, with Sunday’s National Championship Game on @MLBNetwork

Let’s Go Bulls!

Durham Bulls - Las Vegas Bound

Durham begins their 2023 season at home on Friday, March 31 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park to start a three-game set versus Norfolk. Season ticket packages, including 919 Club Memberships and Mini Plans are now available, and can be purchased by contacting the Durham Bulls Ticket Department at 919-956-BULL.

Aysu Basaran

WRAL-TV’s Basaran Shares Knowledge, Experience with Future Leaders

Aysu Basaran
WRAL-TV Assistant News Director Aysu Basaran

WRAL-TV Assistant News Director Aysu Basaran is known for her positive mentorship of others, and she recently proved that again by agreeing to share her experience and expertise on two different platforms.

Helping Celebrate the First Amendment
On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, Basaran participated in First Amendment Day at UNC Chapel Hill.  She sat on the Get 1A Smart: Having Your Say & Staying Out of Court panel, which focused on libel cases in the courts and headlines.

Open to students, faculty and staff, the campus-wide daylong event was designed to celebrate the 1st Amendment and explore its role in the lives of UNC students. 

“We discussed everything from high-profile celebrity libel cases to cases that have impacted local media,” Basaran said of her panel.

Basaran explained how she got involved in the event.

“Over the years, I’ve worked closely with our attorneys from Stevens Martin Vaughn & Tadych during the script review process,” she said.  “One of those attorneys, Amanda Martin, reached out and asked if I could attend on behalf of WRAL. She wanted local journalists on the panel to talk about the editorial process, what we decide to say, and how we say it.”  

Martin, a senior lecturing fellow and supervising attorney at Duke Law’s First Amendment Clinic, co-moderated the panel with Ben Rossi, a First Amendment Clinic intern.

“We touched upon how to cover stories such as #MeToo allegations or when we decide a trending video on social media is newsworthy,” said Basaran.  “We even talked about trickier stories which oftentimes aren’t supported by public documents. The purpose was to share our knowledge about how to protect journalists so they don’t end up in front of a jury.”

Basaran was joined on the panel by Erica Beshears Perel, Director of the UNC Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media; John Drescher, Contributing Editor at The Assembly; and Hugh Stevens, nationally-known media lawyer and experienced litigator.

Aysu Basaran
WRAL-TV Asst News Director Aysu Basaran (right) sat on the panel “Get 1A Smart: Having Your Say & Staying Out of Court” for First Amendment Day at UNC Chapel Hill on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Helping Celebrate Leadership Triangle
Basaran also shared some of her personal story and newsroom experience for a feature for Leadership Triangle (LT), a local nonprofit educating leaders and promoting regionalism across the Triangle.

To celebrate the organization’s 30th anniversary, LT is telling the stories of 30 of its Goodmon Fellows from its 30 years of programs.  LT interviewed Basaran to represent 2009, the year she became a Fellow through the Regional Program.

“The most important skill I’ve developed over time is the ability to listen,” Basaran told LT.  “It allows me to make thoughtful decisions. I could have this huge voice and talk all the time, but in my opinion, that has little value if I haven’t truly heard from the people in the room.”

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Aysu Basaran for these Capcom photos.

Aysu Basaran
WRAL-TV Asst News Director Aysu Basaran (2nd from right) sat on the panel “Get 1A Smart: Having Your Say & Staying Out of Court” for First Amendment Day at UNC Chapel Hill on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.
WRAL Nights of Lights

WRAL Nights of Lights returns to Dix Park, Tickets on sale Friday

New elements this year include additional large-scale light displays, in-person activations like a personal igloo rental or holiday outpost experience, multiple bike-only nights and a 5K Nights of Lights run/walk.

WRAL Nights of Lights

WRAL Nights of Lights at Dorothea Dix Park is back this holiday season and bigger than ever! The downtown Raleigh drive-thru holiday light event, presented by WRAL-TV in partnership with the City of Raleigh is back for a third holiday season. New elements this year include additional large-scale light displays, in-person activations like a personal igloo rental or holiday outpost experience, multiple bike-only nights and a 5K Nights of Lights run/walk.

WRAL Nights of Lights is the only downtown Raleigh drive-thru holiday light experience. Taking place inside Dorothea Dix Park, the event aims to provide an opportunity for the community to celebrate the holidays with a family friendly event. Attendees will enjoy five themed sections along a 1.3-mile route:

  • CBC Village returns with WRAL/FOX 50, MIX 101.5, That Station, and 99.9 The Fan American Tobacco Campus, Rocky Mount Mills, and the Durham Bulls ALL in attendance
  • Toyland with a 25-ft gingerbread house
  • North Pole Neon made up of more than 500 ft of custom neon from local artist Nate Sheaffer
  • Wild Lights includes a 30-ft dinosaur
  • Winter Wonderland has Old Man Winter standing guard

Santa’s Workshop features Mr. and Mrs. Claus and an animated 250-ft tunnel.

For a look at the route and event information, visit

Reduced car counts and a separate entrance for Fast Lane ticket holders will keep wait times and traffic back-ups to a minimum.

The success of 2021 Nights of Lights made it possible for us to present the Dix Park Conservancy with this $100,000 donation. And thanks to the generosity of the over 125,000 Nights of Lights attendees, over $19,000 was also donated to Inter-faith Food Shuttle.

This holiday season, attendees will have the opportunity to donate to the following non-profit organizations and events:

The event will run from Saturday, Nov. 19, through Saturday, Dec. 24. Special themed nights include the Nights of Lights 5k and two bikes only nights. A portion of available tickets will be given to Triangle area non-profits over the course of the event.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that WRAL Nights of Lights is back for year 3,” said Joel Davis, vice president and general manager of WRAL/FOX 50. “Every year this event gets bigger, better and more exciting. This year attendees will see a huge addition of lights and options for in-person experiences. Along with our partner, the City of Raleigh, we will continue to build this new holiday tradition for area families.”

Buy tickets for WRAL Nights of Lights

Nights of Lights tickets will go on sale Sept. 30, 2022. For more information:

Two new packages will be available for purchase:

Visit the Holiday Outpost or reserve your Igloo Experience

Holiday Outpost – We’ve got a little bit of the North Pole at Dix Park! Start your Nights of Lights evening with a stop by our Holiday Outpost at All Faiths Chapel.

Igloo Experience – Become part of the Nights of Lights experience! Enjoy festive food and drinks inside your very own cozy igloo, lit with holiday spirit. When your time at the North Pole is over, you’ll rejoin the route and enjoy the lights in all their splendor!

For special ticket updates and announcements regarding WRAL Nights of Lights become a “Nights of Lights Insider” at

About the WRAL Nights of Lights light installation

The light installations are managed by Southern Outdoor Restoration (formerly Vortex), a local Raleigh-based property services company that has been serving our community since 2001.

Thanks to for this Capcom story.

Recruiting at CBC

Lori Grant & Armenta Pierre
Corp’s Lori Grant (center) & Armenta Pierre (right) represent Capitol Broadcasting, interacting with students, at a Career Fair at Duke University on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.

Capitol Broadcasting Company’s Recruiting Team is hard at work finding the best new employees to join our many divisions.  Corp Talent Acquisition Specialist Lori Grant, Corp Recruiting & Benefits Specialist Armenta Pierre & Corp HR Recruiter/Generalist Na’Tasia Robinson.

Robinson and Grant visited Elon University on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, taking part in the Meet and Greet.  Future Journalists studying at Elon stopped by the CBC/WRAL booth at the communications-focused career fair to learn about the incredible opportunities for journalists as they navigate their studies ahead of graduation.

The following day all three staffers attended the Career Fair at Duke University.  They spoke with future engineers, journalists and digital marketers about their career goals and opportunities with CBC across all divisions on Wednesday, September 21.

Find out about the latest Job Openings at CBC:

Thanks to Corp’s Lori Grant & Corp’s Na’Tasia Robinson for these Capcom photos.

Now Available: That Station T-Shirts with Winning Design

Margaret Edmunds Evans & Chris Edge
That Station’s Chris Edge presents a check to Margaret Edmunds Evans for her winning design for That Station’s new t-shirt. She received $500 for herself and $500 for her chosen nonprofit, SAFEchild.

Just in time for the IBMAs, That Station has newly designed t-shirts thanks to a talented listener!  That Station conducted a contest for a new design during the last two weeks of August.  Margaret Edmunds Evans created the winning design, winning $500 for herself and $500 for the nonprofit of her choice.  She selected SAFEchild to share her big win.

Over a dozen submissions were submitted by listening artists. 

“We floated the designs around the building and got some great feedback,” said That Station Program Director & Integrated Marketing Director Chris Edge.  “This one was a clear winner!”

You can purchase the new T-shirt right now in That Station’s Merch store for just $15.

Thanks to That Station for these Capcom photos.

That Station t-shirt design
The winning design for That Station’s new t-shirt. Margaret Edmunds Evans created the design, winning $500 for herself and $500 for her chosen nonprofit, SAFEchild.

New WRAL Documentary “Critical Term” Debuts September 22nd

New WRAL Documentary investigates why black mothers and babies are dying from pregnancy-related complications and the local groundbreaking programs working to save their lives.

WRAL Documentary - Critical Term

Black mothers and babies are dying from pregnancy-related complications at a rate alarmingly higher than other races.

​​Black mothers are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth compared to white mothers who are similarly positioned according to the Centers for Disease Control. According to researchers, 60% of these deaths are preventable. 

The latest WRAL Documentary, Critical Term: Why are Black Mothers and Babies Dying, shines a light on the maternal and infant health crisis and what local programs are working to lower this rate. WRAL Investigative Documentary Reporter and Producer Cristin Severance and WRAL Anchor and Reporter Julian Grace set out to understand why this is happening in the Black community. Their investigation uncovered startling instances of systemic racism leading to misconceptions about Black women and myths about their pain tolerance still taught to healthcare providers in the modern era.

The maternal death rate in the US is higher than all other wealthy countries. North Carolina ranks as the 10th worst state for infant deaths. “As a longtime investigative reporter and mom of twins, I was aware this was a problem. But I had no idea it was this bad until we started digging into the numbers,” Severance said.

Severance teamed up with Grace, a father of four, to tell this important story. “My wife and I have been through this four times,” said Grace. “But I just didn’t realize the information that was out there and what women go through each day. Specifically, women who look like my wife.”

The WRAL Documentary Team will also highlight the groundbreaking programs happening in North Carolina working to save moms and babies.

When and How to Watch the Documentary

Premieres on WRAL-TV on Thursday, September 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Rebroadcast on WILM-TV in Wilmington on Sunday, September 25 at 8:30a.m.

Rebroadcast on WRAZ FOX50 on Sunday, September 25 at 6 p.m.

Available for on-demand viewing on, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Samsung Smart TV beginning Thursday, September 22 at 7:30 p.m.

The documentary will premiere on WRAL’s YouTube on Thursday, September 22 at 8 p.m.

Social Media
Follow Critical Term on social media using #wraldoc.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Catherine Fitzhenry for this Capcom story & graphic.

Durham Night Market

September Durham Night Market This Thursday at American Tobacco

Durham Night Market

The Durham Night Market returns at the American Tobacco this Thursday, September 22, 2022. The open-air, free family friendly event showcasing Durham’s creativity , featured local Triangle area artisans, live music, food and drinks. The market will be open 5-9pm.

Find a list of this month’s vendors HERE

The remaining 2022 dates are: 

  • Sept. 22nd
  • Oct. 27th
  • Nov. 11th
  • Dec. 8th

The Durham Night Market is brought to you by the founders of the Raleigh Night Market.

Stranger Things Night, Fan Appreciation, Fireworks Highlight Final Homestand of 2022

Durham Bulls Final Homestand 2022

Kids Eat Free, Kids Run The Bases also scheduled as Bulls finish 2022 campaign

The first-place Bulls return to Durham Bulls Athletic Park for their final homestand of the 2022 season starting Tuesday, September 20th. Durham faces off against the Baltimore Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate Norfolk Tides, with Two-For-Twosday, Kids Eat Free Wednesday, Stranger Things Night with Post-Game Fireworks and Afforda-BULL Eats, Friday Night and Saturday Night Fireworks, and Kids Run The Bases among the festivities planned.

Tuesday, September 20th vs Norfolk (6:35pm) – Presented by Lenovo

  • Lowes Foods Two for Twosday: Fans can purchase two Field Reserve tickets for a total of just $22 for Tuesday evening home dates thanks to Lowes Foods!
  • Small Business Night: Join us to help support local Triangle businesses as part of Small Business Night presented by Lenovo.

Wednesday, September 21st vs Norfolk (6:35pm)

  • Kids Eat Free Wednesday: It’s the final Kids Eat Free Wednesday of the season! Kids ages 12 & under can get their hand stamped and pick up their meal voucher (good for a Sahlen’s Hot Dog, bag of chips & small drink) at Lowes Foods Guest Services when they arrive at the game.

Thursday, September 22nd vs Norfolk (6:35pm)

  • Stranger Things Night: The Bulls return to Hawkins for their fourth annual Stranger Things Night at the DBAP, featuring games and references to the show created by Durham’s own, the Duffer Brothers.
  • Stranger Things Night Jersey Auction: Bulls players and coaches will wear specialty themed jerseys referencing the Hellfire Club, with all net proceeds benefitting United Way.
  • Post-Game Fireworks Show: Join us after the game for a special post-game fireworks show!
  • Afforda-BULL Eats: Enjoy a night of discounted food and beverages at the DBAP, including $2 hot dogs and $2 fountain drinks! 

Friday, September 23rd vs Norfolk (6:35pm)

  • Friday Night Fireworks presented by bioMerieux: The skies will ignite for the final Friday Night Fireworks show of the season at the DBAP, presented by bioMerieux.
  • Ripken The Bat Dog: Ripken the Bat Dog will be fetching bats throughout the game for the last time in 2022 in partnership with Sit Means Sit Apex.

Saturday, September 24th vs Norfolk (6:35pm) – Presented by Opendoor

  • Saturday Night Fireworks: Stick around after the game for the last Saturday Night Fireworks show of the year, presented by Window World. 

 Sunday, September 25th vs Norfolk (1:05 pm) presented by Mako Medical

  • Fan Appreciation Night: The Bulls salute the best fans in Minor League Baseball, with giveaways and more throughout the night.
  • Kids Run the Bases presented by Nature’s Twist: Kids aged 12 & under for the last time in 2022 will be able to run the bases after the game thanks to Nature’s Twist.

Tickets for all six games are still available, and can be purchased at, or by calling 919.956.BULL.

Thanks to DBBC’s Andrew Green for this Capcom story & graphic.