“It is important that we let viewers know in Durham and other places that we are really interested in what is happening there, we are committed to covering what is making news where they live and work,” says Rick Gall, WRAL’s news director.
WRAL, Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., has a new place to set up shop for those news crews dedicated to covering Durham, about 30 miles from Raleigh.
Although WRAL has long had a newsroom in Durham, on May 11, WRAL debuted its new facility there next to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, just in time for the Durham Bulls home opener.
The new newsroom windows are outfitted with a news ticker and TVs set up for the public to watch and listen to newscasts, with picnic tables outside.
“We also have a newsroom down in Fayetteville and another one over in Rocky Mount in the eastern part of the market,” says Rick Gall, WRAL’s news director.
Gall says WRAL covers markets like Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, as well as Raleigh and Fayetteville.
“It is important that we let viewers know in Durham, and other places, that we are really interested in what is happening there,” Gall says.
Prior to moving to the new location, WRAL did have a physical presence in Durham, but it didn’t have significant signage or visibility, Gall says, while this new location is a storefront on a busy street.
“There is signage, there is a ticker in the window, you look through the window, there is a news set,” Gall says.
“It is a functional newsroom and we have got three people focused on covering Durham who work out of that space. You can’t help but know it is WRAL.”
“Having reporters living and working across our viewing area in the communities they cover makes it possible for WRAL News to cover more stories that are relevant in those communities and all that makes them special,” says Joel Davis, WRAL’s GM.
“We want to be clear and visible in saying to people in the market, we live and work where you are and this is a visible sign of that,” Gall says. “It is important that we let viewers know in Durham and other places that we are really interested in what is happening there, we are committed to covering what is making news where they live and work.”
NOTE: In one TV market where I worked, the coverage area was broad, some 4,000 square miles, the seventh largest in the southeastern United States. The station had a bureau in an important county, Brevard, home to Cape Canaveral, and provided regular and consistent coverage of the county. But research told us we weren’t getting any credit for it. The problem was that our main competitor had a very visible bureau with lots of signage on a busy street. We created a promo that only aired on the Brevard cable system to tout our coverage in Brevard County, and the next year, research told us our scores covering Brevard County went way up.
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