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New vice president and general manager named for WRAL and WRAZ (Fox 50)

Joel Davis will be the new vice president and general manager of WRAL-TV and WRAZ-TV (Fox 50) effective July 16, 2018.
Joel Davis will be the new vice president and general manager of WRAL-TV and WRAZ-TV (Fox 50) effective July 16, 2018. Courtesy of WRAL

WRAL has named the vice president and general manager who will take over for retiring Steve Hammel next month.

Joel Davis, vice president and general manager of KGTV-TV in San Diego, will take over duties for WRAL-TV and WRAZ-TV (Fox 50) effective July 16.

Davis has spent the last nine years at San Diego's ABC affiliate, a No. 28 market owned by the E.W. Scripps Company (Raleigh-Durham has a DMA ranking of 25). Davis is a graduate of Iowa State University and began his broadcasting career at stations in Iowa and Ohio. He has also worked at Bakersfield and Fresno in California, and at WFTV in Orlando, Fla.

According to a news release from Capitol Broadcasting Company's vice president and chief operating officer, James F. Goodmon, Jr., KGTV 10News experienced year-over-year ratings and revenue share increases and won 59 Emmy Awards under Davis' tenure.

“His experience, leadership and integrity will help lead us into the future while maintaining the WRAL journalistic standards and ideals for which WRAL is known and respected,” Goodmon said.

Davis said in the same release that he looks forward to working for Capitol Broadcasting.

“Their commitment to the community, quality journalism, and the station staff is well known in the industry," Davis said. "I look forward to getting deeply involved in the local community and helping lead the team to even more success.”

He and his wife Sarah have two college-aged children, Luke and Olivia.

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Changes at WRAL

Hammel announced his pending retirement in March but left his departure date open to accommodate the company's search for his replacement.

Hammel has spent nearly 10 years at CBC, overseeing WRAL's affiliation switch from CBS to NBC in February 2016, and the expansion of the local news footprint of both WRAL and Fox 50, adding 4:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. newscasts.

Steve Hammel, former WRAL general manager, will lead UNC-TV on an interim basis. Courtesy of WRAL

Hammel lives in Cary with his wife and two golden retrievers, and said at the time of his announcement that he plans to remain in North Carolina.

There have been other high profile departures from WRAL in the past year. WRAL station manager Jim Rothschild retired in April. Anchors Bill Leslie and David Crabtree both plan to retire this year, Leslie this month and Crabtree toward the end of the year. Anchor Lynda Loveland left in December for a Farm Bureau job with more family-friendly hours, and longtime reporter Julia Sims took a communications job with the City of Raleigh.