WRAL's War on Christmas
At a press conference yesterday in City Plaza, Shop Local Raleigh and ABC 11 announced a new partnership for the 44th annual Raleigh Christmas Parade, including exclusive broadcast rights for ABC 11 as part of the new agreement for 2017.
This didn't go over so well with WRAL who immediately threatened to broadcast the parade anyway undermining the agreement that the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association had made with ABC 11.
From the News & Observer...
Santa even ended up on the unemployment line over the issue. (Though event sponsors said that a new Santa would appear in the parade this year.)
The Triangle Business Journal ran an article speculating that the feud between ABC 11 and WRAL over the parade might be about larger issues involving money and an ongoing local news ratings war.
Whatever the reason, the Raleigh Christmas Parade is a Raleigh institution every bit as important to the city as any television news station's coverage. Parents and children alike are caught in the crossfire as WRAL's greed and fear of loss of prestige puts Raleigh's signature holiday event in jeopardy. Let's just hope that WRAL's heart grows a few sizes larger for Christmas this year.