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WRAL's Explorer Post 5 Expands to Holly Springs Salamanders for Second Year


Capitol Broadcasting's Explorer Post members are expanding their baseball broadcasting skills for a second year in a row. Students from WRAL's Post 5, with assistance from Post 50 members from the Durham Bulls, are operating cameras for the Holly Springs Salamanders.

Post 5 and Post 50 began their Salamanders live-stream broadcasts on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at Ting Stadium for the team's home opener. The Holly Springs team is part of the Coastal Plain League (CPL), which has a streaming agreement with FloSport, a subscription service.

When CBC purchased the CPL and the Holly Springs Salamanders, and we learned they streamed their games, partnering WRAL Explorer Post 5 members with the Salamanders was a natural fit, said Ken Bland, long-time Post 5 and Post 50 Advisor. This collaboration provides our members with hands-on experience and the opportunity to participate in live baseball game broadcasts, allowing them to hone their skills.

Post 5 member and producer Skylar Perra works a camera for the livestream at the Holly Springs Salamanders on Thursday, March 23, 2024.

Both Post 5 and Post 50 members that live in Holly Springs and the surrounding area are offered the opportunity to work on the Salamanders broadcasts.

We started the program last year and it has been great, said HSS General Manager Shari Massengill. Ken Bland and Chris Cormier helped bring the program to Holly Springs. We are fortunate that these young adults want to gain experience in the production world, and they are able to obtain real time experience working as part of our production team. It's a win-win on both sides.

Chris Cormier, WRAL-TV Maintenance Engineer 2, is also a long-time advisor for Post 5 and Post 50.

Shari Massengill has seen the value in having Explorer Post 5 as a resource from last year and has already started tapping into this pool for actual paid positions during game days, Cormier told CapCom.

Post 5 Advisor Ken Bland helps Post 5 member and producer Skylar Perra as she prepares to staff a camera for the livestream at the Holly Springs Salamanders on Thursday, March 23, 2024.

Bland oversees the scheduling as an advisor. When Massengill saw the benefit of the program during its inaugural year last season, she stepped up to become an official advisor, too.

We are slowly attempting to elevate the production value of the CPL as a whole and introducing Explorer Post 5 at Holly Springs is an experiment to see how these young people can elevate the broadcast using tools that they might be more familiar with than a traditional full production facility, said Cormier. They serve a variety of roles, and this is likely to expand and evolve over time.

Both Post 5 and Post 50 members are staffing this summer's Salamanders games. Eventually advisors hope to make these games a Post 5 project. WRAL-TV Programming Coordinator Melissa Heilicser, a former Post 50 alum and current Post 5 advisor, hopes to continue making learning opportunities open for all.

I'm hoping to have future training sessions focused on sports broadcasting and camera operations during baseball games, she said.

The Salamanders return to Ting Park for their next home game on Thursday, June 6. Find out details promotions, purchase tickets and see the remaining season schedule at

And check out the latest from the ballpark on WRAL Post 5's Instagram: @wral_post5

Thanks to WRAL-TV's Melissa Heilicser for these CapCom photos.

Post 5 member and producer Skylar Perra works a camera for the livestream at the Holly Springs Salamanders on Thursday, March 23, 2024.
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