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Celebration Honors WRAL TechWire Past, Present and Future

31/01/2023

A celebration for the 20th Anniversary of WRAL TechWire took place in the WRAL Media Buildings at CBC's Corporate Headquarters in Raleigh on Thursday, January 26, 2023. WRAL Digital's Rick Smith with one of the original staff members, Cindy Stranad, holding up a photo of the original staff.

Capitol Broadcasting marked a milestone for WRAL TechWire with a special celebration on Thursday, January 26, 2023. The technology-specific publication turned 20. Contributors both past and present came together to honor the evolution and progress of WRAL TechWire in the WRAL Media Buildings at CBC's Corporate Headquarters in Raleigh.

Speaking at the event WRAL Digital Business & Technology Manager Rick Smith hailed the partnership and synergy with the WRAL newsroom for enhancing the online entity originally established in Charlotte in 2002 and purchased by CBC in December 2005. The date for the celebration was chosen because 21 years ago to the day, the publication launched.

Last week Capcom featured WRAL TechWire and its history in honor of the event:

Capcom: WRAL TechWire Marks 20th Anniversary

Along with photos from the celebration, this Capcom piece expounds on another facet of the publication's history. Smith said WRAL Digital Director of Strategic Business Development James Amato believed in the mission of WRAL TechWire and helped bring it out from behind a paywall to a broader audience.

The future of WRAL TechWire remains bright in and of itself but also in the bold endeavors it's sparked and those of us who have embraced and contributed to its potential.

WRAL Digital's James Amato The future of WRAL TechWire remains bright in and of itself but also in the bold endeavors it's sparked and those of us who have embraced and contributed to its potential.

Amato came to CBC in December 2015, originally in sales for FOX 50. He spent over a decade in higher education, designing environments and programs that helped students thrive, and then briefly as Director of Major and Planned Giving at United Way of the Greater Triangle. Through both roles he connected with leaders and visionaries, championing causes that aligned with their passion. Through sales at CBC, he saw the potential of the digital offerings of our company.

WRAL TechWire was a natural path to embrace the opportunity while having something that I could leverage to serve Triangle regional leaders and execs who I served in nonprofit and to whom I desired to remain connected, said Amato.

A celebration for the 20th Anniversary of WRAL TechWire took place in the WRAL Media Buildings at CBC's Corporate Headquarters in Raleigh on Thursday, January 26, 2023. (l to r) WRAL Digital's Cassie Richardson, James Amato, Rick Smith, Katie Daugherty, Corp's Jim Goodmon & WRAL Digital's Quinn Novels

He credited a long list of CBC'ers who welcomed and embraced his desire to get involved with WRAL TechWire.

I credit this old guard' cohort of leaders with not only fostering my enthusiasm for sales of WRAL-TW but also my understanding of the business at large, said Amato. Why this is important is because these people not only served as my gateway to understanding the business and successfully selling it but also inspired me to consider unique ways to bridge the gap between news and sales and to leverage TW and other company assets to boldly address client and community challenges.

After Amato joined the team, the first WRAL TechWire client brought abroad was the City of Wilson, of which he said their ubiquitous, gigabit broadband is still (IMO) among the most unique of value propositions of any community in the state.

Amato continued, The City's desire to leverage TW as their regional megaphone served as an infusion paving the way for us to phase out the paywall but also the first of many logs on a fire now called Capitol B Creative Studios CBC's full service strategic and creative agency. The City of Wilson remains WRAL TW's most profound supporter and in 2020 became Capitol B's first client. The arrangement allowed us to become member number 1 of their Gig East Exchange Innovation Hub.

Since the partnership began, both WRAL TechWire and Capitol B Creative Studios have staffed an office at the facility in downtown Wilson serving the city, its innovators and entrepreneurs.

It serves as a lab for us to develop and test new service offerings and products while giving us a chance to share the thought leadership of our tremendously talented strategy, biz dev, and creative teams.

At the celebration Smith pointed out that technology is changing fast, giving WRAL TechWire much fuel for coverage. He has also added an array of contributors that give us wider voice and diversity.

Amato and Smith both see a bright digital road ahead for WRAL TechWire.

The future? said Amato. Consider this, in addition to being the state's go-to source for tech and innovation news and a place to boldly address client and community challenges, WRAL TW and its synergy with Capitol B Creative is also a source for fostering economic and workforce development the Hub of the company co-created BioJobs Campaign aimed at addressing the 15,000 person workforce shortfall facing the multi-billion dollar industry mountains to coast. My assessment? The future of WRAL TechWire remains bright in and of itself but also in the bold endeavors it's sparked and those of us who have embraced and contributed to its potential.

A celebration for the 20th Anniversary of WRAL TechWire took place in the WRAL Media Buildings at CBC's Corporate Headquarters in Raleigh on Thursday, January 26, 2023. WRAL Digital's Rick Smith with one of the original staff members, Cindy Stranad, holding up a photo of the original staff. WRAL Digital's Rick Smith shared a photo of the original staff of WRAL T
LINK: https://capitolbroadcasting.com/2023/01/31/celebration-honors-wral-tec...
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