WRAL Announces New Newscast, New Anchor Team, New Entertainment Lineup
Viewers of Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate Raleigh, N.C. (DMA 27), can now get more news with the permanent addition of WRAL News at 7 p.m.
With the announcement of this additional half-hour of news, WRAL also announces a new anchor team at 4 p.m., pairing Lena Tillett with Kathryn Brown on the desk. Meteorologist Kat Campbell rounds out the 4 p.m. team, a position she already holds.
Since joining WRAL in 2016, Tillett’s role has continued to evolve. She was instrumental in the debut and expansion of the WRAL Live Center and helped launch the 9 a.m. newscast on co-owned WRAZ (Fox 50) last May. Tillett will continue anchoring at 9 a.m. on WRAZ with co-anchor Ken Smith.
“Lena has demonstrated an outstanding on-air presence, in-depth news knowledge, and great versatility over the last four years,” said Rick Gall, news director of WRAL. “The 4 p.m. team of Lena and Kathryn allows WRAL News to build an even stronger arsenal of anchors while we continue to expand our news footprint.”
With Tillett’s move to 4 p.m., Ken Smith moves to join the WRAL Morning News team in the WRAL Live Center beginning each weekday at 4:30 a.m. in addition to his daily anchor duties at 9 a.m. on WRAZ.
The arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in March gave rise to the need for unprecedented, specialized news coverage. WRAL added daily 30-minute news specials under the banner of Facts not Fear at 7 p.m. to give viewers additional context and more detailed coverage of the rapidly changing story. Viewers responded positively, revealing an appetite for local news at 7 p.m.
WRAL says its new 7 p.m. newscast is a “hard news, fast-paced newscast with the ability to go in-depth on issues like coronavirus and the recent protests in ways that truly differentiate it from others.” Debra Morgan and Gerald Owens anchor the new half-hour of news, David Crabtree contributes probing interviews on special topics, and meteorologist Kat Campbell is in the WRAL Severe Weather Center.
“The response from viewers for additional news content at 7 p.m. has been very strong,” said Joel Davis, WRAL-WRAZ VP-GM. “It became clear that not only was 7 p.m. a more convenient time for many viewers, but there was also an appetite for longer form story-telling and interviews.”
With the new 7 p.m. newscast, several changes to the programming lineups on both WRAL and WRAZ were necessary.
- Inside Edition has shifted from 7 p.m. on WRAL to 7:30 p.m. on WRAL.
- Entertainment Tonight has moved from WRAL at 7:30 p.m. to WRAZ at 6 p.m and 11 p.m.
- Access Daily has moved from 5 p.m. on WRAZ to 11 a.m. on WRAZ.
- Kelly Clarkson (second runs) shifts from 6 p.m. on WRAZ to 5 p.m. on WRAZ.