About North Carolina Now

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Every weeknight, North Carolina Now examines the most pressing issues of the day, talks with the most knowledgable and important people, visits the most interesting places in the state, and celebrates our artistic and cultural diversity. Covering a wide array of topics ranging from the environment, politics and government, to statewide education on all levels, the farming community and coastal and rural development issues, North Carolina Now is there, bringing you the information you need. From the mountains to the coast, the State Fair to the state line, North Carolina Now covers local stories and brings them home to you.



Heather Burgiss
Heather BurgissHeather first joined UNC-TV in June 2000 as a contract reporter covering education, the economy, and human interest stories. She became a full-time member of the North Carolina Now team in May 2011, continuing to cover the state she now calls her "second home." Heather grew up near Chattanooga, Tennessee and is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in political science. She came to North Carolina from WVLT-CBS in Knoxville where she covered such stories as the hunt for the Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph, wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains, and an ongoing series investigating education reform for which she won a School Bell Award for excellence in education reporting. Heather has worked as an anchor/reporter at television stations in Johnson City, TN, and Augusta, GA. Additionally, she taught broadcast journalism at Central Carolina Community College. When she is not covering the state searching out the people, places, and things that make North Carolina unique, Heather enjoys the outdoors and visiting the mountains with her husband and their three sons.



Frank Graff
Frank GraffFrank is an award winning reporter who joined the North Carolina Now staff as a contract reporter in October 2012. He moved to Raleigh in 2004 to work for the NBC-owned station and agrees wholeheartedly with the song, "Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina."

Frank brings almost 25 years of TV experience to UNC-TV. He began his career in Presque Isle, Maine and has worked at stations in Clarksburg, W.Va, Lynchburg, Va., Norfolk, Baltimore and Cincinnati. Frank won a regional and national Emmy award for his coverage of riots in Cincinnati and a regional Emmy for a story on Raleigh's new downtown wayfinding system. His work has also been recognized by the Communicator awards, the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. Frank took a four year break from reporting to work with a Triangle Public Relations firm. While there, his PR and Marketing work won a Davey Award for a series of radio and television spots, as well as the social media campaign to rebrand a regional drug store chain.

Frank grew up in Toledo, Ohio and graduated from Ohio University with a degree a journalism and a Master's degree in Political Science. Frank's true love is spending time with his wife and two children and his friends. He also enjoys photography, golfing and running (he's completed 3 half marathons with his wife). 



Mitchell Lewis, Host and Managing Producer
Mitch LewisMitchell Lewis has been with UNC-TV since November 1993. A native of Louisiana, Mitchell graduated Magna Cum Laude from Grambling State University in 1984. He started his broadcast career as a general assignment reporter in Texarkana, Texas.

He moved to Raleigh in 1990 where he worked for local NBC affiliate, WPTF/WRDC, as a news anchor. From there he joined the staff of North Carolina Now at UNC-TV. Mitchell likes admiring exotic automobiles (although he does not own one), martial arts, and meeting people.





Kelly McCullen
Kelly McCullenKelly McCullen was born and raised in Clinton, NC. After starting his career, in radio, at Clinton's WRRZ-AM, he attended North Carolina State University and launched his television career at UNC-TV as an intern in the audio department.

His on-camera career started in Greenville, Mississippi, with WXVT-TV's news department where Kelly eventually became nightly news anchor and assistant news director for four years. The journey returns him to UNC-TV, Legislative Week in Review and to his North Carolina roots.

When the legislature isn't in session, Kelly reports for the nightly newsmagazine "North Carolina Now." He enjoys picking his guitar, reading, small-scale home improvement projects and spending time with family and friends.



Jeff Smith
Jeff SmithJeff Smith joined UNC-TV in 2003 and has been on the North Carolina Now staff since March 2007. Jeff has produced multiple series and specials for UNC-TV including the Emmy-nominated inside look at Breast Cancer in one North Carolina family, a look at the US Navy's USS North Carolina Submarine, China's science and technology education compared to our state, and the North Carolina Weekend series, The Weekend Golfer.

Jeff is a native North Carolinian. He was born in Greensboro and has lived in many parts of the state growing up and again as an adult. He met his wife, Amy in High Point and they have been married since 2001. They now live in Apex and have one son and one daughter.

Jeff brings many years of TV experience to UNC-TV. He began studying and working in TV in Raleigh in 1990. He has also worked at stations in Wilmington, High Point, Winston Salem, Richmond, VA, and Fort Myers, FL. While at those stations, Jeff did photojournalism, news and sports reporting and anchoring. He earned an Associated Press award for best Sports Feature in 1999 while working at WGHP. He studied Radio and Television Production at Campbell University and Central Carolina Community College. Besides television, Jeff's true love is playing sports. While he played baseball growing up, his adult passion is golf.



Shannon Vickery, Host and Director of Productions
Shannon Vickery Shannon Vickery is an award-winning correspondent and producer. She has been working for UNC-TV since October 1995. She came to UNC-TV after working as a news anchor and reporter at KDRV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Medford, Oregon. Shannon is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with bachelor's degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. She also has a Master's of Arts Degree (with an emphasis in Health Policy) from Duke University. Her recent investigative efforts include Reflections for Recovery, which examined the aftermath of flooding in North Dakota and Minnesota communities, Season of Change, where she followed a Tar Heel tobacco family through a tumultuous growing season and most recently, A Building Crisis, in which she documented the state of North Carolina's University and community college systems.



To contact the staff of North Carolina NOW, email ncnow@unctv.org.
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