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Host - Deborah Holt Noel
Deborah Holt Noel enjoys the dual role of host and producer for multiple UNC-TV original productions including North Carolina Weekend and Black Issues Forum. She is a graduate of Saint Augustine's College (University) and earned her Master of Arts degree from the University of Maryland at College Park. As part of her Master's requirement, Deborah produced an historical 37-minute documentary titled Exhausted Remedies: The Joe Holt Story, about her family’s pioneering effort to integrate Raleigh Public Schools. This documentary won a prestigious CINE Eagle award and was featured in the Visions series on UNC-TV. Her professional career began in Raleigh as a production assistant for an industrial company and continued after graduate studies with an independent film production company in Northern Virginia. She enjoys life in the Triangle as a wife and mother, and when she's not out discovering fun and beautiful places across the state, she likes to visit with local family and friends.
For more than 25 years, Derek has been chasing down stories about interesting people and intriguing places across the Old North State. "But," says Long, "It's a good size state and there are so many people to meet and cool places to discover."
Derek first came to UNC-TV in 1983, covering the state for programs like StateLine, Legislative Week In Review and many more, as well as traveling the world for shows like GlobeWatch. In 2000, Derek left UNC-TV to work as a freelancer and to be a stay at home dad until his son started school. Now Derek is back in the saddle again, traversing the state each week searching for off-the-beaten-path places to share, more things to do and people to meet. "It's a tough job" jokes Long. "No, I mean it. It's a tough job!" But he concedes, "I love it."
Derek Lives with his family of three humans, a dog, and two cats in Carrboro.
Bob Garner is the author of “Bob Garner’s Book of Barbecue,” as well as two previous books about North Carolina’s favorite food: “North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time” and “Bob Garner’s Guide to North Carolina Barbecue.” He has written extensively for Our State magazine, including the September 2012 article “Classic ‘Cue” and an earlier 10-part series on traditional foods entitled “Bob Garner Eats.”
Bob has appeared on Food Network with Paula Deen (“Paula’s Home Cookin”) and with Bobby Flay (“Food Nation”); on ABC’s “Good Morning America;” and on the Travel Channel’s “Road Trip.”
He has been a long-time contributor to UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Now” and has produced several hour-long specials on North Carolina “down home” restaurants, as well as producing a UNC-TV series on rural life in the Tar Heel state entitled “Carolina Countryside,” which was later broadcast on Discovery.
Rick Sullivan joined the UNC-TV crew as a freelance producer/reporter in the spring of 2003 after 25 years as a television sportscaster. Rick was weeknight sports anchor at WLFL-TV (1995-2003). He covered such events as Super Bowls, Final Fours and the Carolina Hurricanes. Before joining WLFL Rick worked as weekend sports anchor at WRAL-TV in Raleigh (1985-95). His pre-North Carolina days included stints at TV stations WCIA in Champaign, Illinois (1984-85), WOWT in Omaha, Nebraska (1980-84), and KOLN-TV in Lincoln, Nebraska (1979-80).
Rick holds a Bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism with minors in film and political science from the University of Nebraska. He spent one year trying to play college football at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska before realizing he was receiving more injuries than playing time. Cycling and triathloning have turned out to be his activities of choice in recent years.
Rick lives in Cary with his wife Lisa, his children Erin and Ryan, his dogs Chloe and Billy and his Siamese cat, Leo.
Julia has been a volunteer with UNC-TV since 1996. She started pitching on camera during ‘Festival’ pledge breaks and has been a regular ever since. As a past UNC-TV Board member from 2000 – 2010, she chaired the documentary “North Carolina's World War II Experience,” and has received many community service awards. Her passion for public television comes from her love of the programming. "Where else can I learn about my state and country, watch incredible arts performances and my favorite British programs?" Trained at the Royal Ballet Lower School and Arts Educational in London, Julia has a love of the arts and history: "I have my dream job, traveling across our fascinating state and telling stories about the thriving arts community all around us."
Clay Johnson is an award-winning television producer, writer and journalist. He’s currently the documentary producer for Raleigh’s WRAL-TV and Capitol Broadcasting Company in addition to his role as contributing producer for UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Weekend” and “North Carolina Now” programs. Clay is also an adjunct faculty member and visiting lecturer at Duke University.
Clay began his television career as a news reporter and producer at network-affiliated stations, where he produced news stories, special series and documentary programs. He’s operated his own production company, producing a wide variety of programs for UNC-TV, including the acclaimed documentary on teaching, “No Greater Calling,” which was hosted by Edward James Olmos. At Duke he teaches a course in television journalism at the Sanford School of Public Policy, instructing his students in the art of shooting, writing, and editing.
In his documentary work Clay has been honored with Columbia University’s Alfred I. duPont Award, broadcast journalism’s Pulitzer Prize, and the Society of Professional Journalists’ national Sigma Delta Chi Award. He’s also won multiple Emmy, AP, and regional Edward R. Murrow awards.
After chasing tornadoes, withstanding the winds and rain of hurricanes and floods, and the flames of brush fires, Stephanie Bourland now enjoys telling stories from the comfort of luxury B & B’s and fabulous restaurants. Stephanie graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Working as a news anchor and reporter in Amarillo, Texas, she judged dozens of chili cook-offs and learned how to two-step. She then packed up her cowboy boots and headed to the Tar Heel State, where she was a television news anchor and reporter at WFMY and WGHP in the Piedmont-Triad. Stephanie was chosen among a select group of journalists to travel throughout Germany as a RTDNF/RIAS fellow. She’s also had the opportunity to interview such dignitaries as German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, President George W. Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell during her career.
After several years as a Vice President of Communications and Public Relations for Citigroup, a position which enabled Stephanie to inform the public about thousands of new jobs being brought to the Carolinas, she was thrilled to return to her story telling roots when she joined UNC-TV. Stephanie has produced stories for North Carolina NOW in addition to her work for North Carolina Weekend. She was recently honored with an Emmy Award for producing “Bike to the Future,” a story about a Durham-based company which creates solar/pedal powered electric vehicles.
Traveling throughout the state with her husband Seth and daughter Gracie is one of Stephanie’s favorite ways to uncover gems she can’t wait to share with North Carolina Weekend viewers.