Broadcasters' Public Service
October 2017

Radio and television broadcasters constantly serve local communities. Stations air lifeline emergency information; support our military; raise millions for hospitals and cancer research; collect food, clothes and toys; devote free air time to election coverage; and promote education.

Submit your station's public service to Suzie Raven.

Stations Support Disaster Relief Efforts
Television and Radio Broadcasters Raise $45 Million for Hurricane Relief

Television Broadcasters Raise $45 Million for Hurricane Relief

Television broadcasters have raised at least $45 million through on-air campaigns and direct donations for relief efforts supporting victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. This amount is based on publicly available fundraising totals, social media and information provided to NAB. In addition to fundraisers, broadcasters have collected food, bottles of water, clothing, hygiene products and other supplies. The estimate does not include fundraising totals for Hurricane Maria relief efforts, as many efforts are ongoing.

The September 2017 issue of Licensed to Serve features examples of the outstanding life-line reporting and disaster relief efforts that broadcasters performed. Several fundraisers have since concluded, bringing the total raised by Nexstar to $4.4 million and $2.2 million from Cox-owned radio stations.

"Local broadcasters served as 'first informers' and saved countless lives as Harvey and Irma tore through Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and the Southeast," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "Now, our attention turns to the long recovery ahead. I'm so proud of the generosity and compassion shown by broadcasters who are helping rebuild and restore hurricane-ravaged communities."

Univision Helps Raise $6.8 Million for Disaster Relief

Univision Helps Raise to $6.8 Million for Disaster Relief

Univision's awareness campaign "Unidos por los Nuestros" raised $6.8 million to help those impacted by the recent natural disasters in Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Florida and Texas. Funds support efforts by the American Red Cross and other non-profit organizations. The two-day joint telecast of Liga MX soccer action across several networks raised $1.3 million out of the $6.8 million total.

WRAL-TV Collects 40,000 Pounds of Food

WRAL-TV Collects 40,000 Pounds of Food

Capitol Broadcasting's NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina collected 42,000 pounds of food, cleaning and hygiene supplies on September 20 to support hurricane relief efforts at the Feeding Northeast Florida Food Bank in Jacksonville. "Helping people in need is in the DNA of Capitol Broadcasting," said Vice President and General Manager Steven D. Hammel.

Beasley Supports Las Vegas After Shooting

Beasley Supports Victims of Las Vegas Shooting and Hurricane Maria

Beasley Media Group set up a GoFundMe page to provide financial support to the victims and families of the shooting at the Route 91Harvest Festival on October 1 in Las Vegas. During the shooting, 59 were killed and more than 500 injured. Beasley's "Community of Caring" donated $5,000 and set the goal for the page at $1 million. KCYE-FM Las Vegas Morning Personality Mike West took this video at the event.

Beasley Media Group's WYUU-FM Tampa partnered with Walmart for a Hurricane Relief Drive, held September 24 – 25 to support Hurricane Maria relief efforts. provided cargo planes to deliver supplies directly to Puerto Rico.

WKAQ-FM Provides Lifeline Coverage During Hurricane Maria

WKAQ-AM Provides Lifeline Coverage During Hurricane Maria

NAB recently received a Facebook message applauding Univision's WKAQ-AM San Juan, P.R., for its lifesaving reporting and service to its community during Hurricane Maria. Jose M. Moret wrote, "Dear NAB, the island of Puerto Rico, my homeland, is currently surviving the horrific impact of hurricane Maria. As a Puertorrican residing in NJ, I feel powerless not knowing about my parents, siblings and extended family members. Through this difficult time, the live Facebook news streams from Jay Fonseca (@jayfonsecapr) and the WKAQ580 AM team are providing a truly significant contribution to the relief and coordination efforts in the island, as well as distributing the latest news from the island to its population in and out of Puerto Rico. Please allow me via this note to send my public appreciation to the NAB and Jay Fonseca, an extraordinary broadcaster and humanitarian."

Broadcasters Raise Millions for Hospitals
WEEK-TV Raises $10 Million for St. Jude

WEEK-TV Raises $10 Million for St. Jude

Quincy Media's NBC affiliate WEEK-TV Peoria, Ill. raised $10 million in its annual telethon for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, held August 5. The station has raised more than $118 million for St. Jude in 40 years.

WEEI-AM/FM Raises $4 Million

WEEI-AM/FM Raises $4 Million

Entercom's WEEI-AM/FM Boston raised $4 million for cancer research in the 16th annual "Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon," hosted August 15 – 16 in partnership with cable network NESN. The event featured appearances from WEEI on-air talent, local politicians and Boston sports stars, including Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox.

Entravision Raises $3.2 Million for Children's Miracle Network

Entravision Raises $3.2 Million for CMN

Entravision raised a record $3.2 million for the Children's Miracle Network in their 10th annual network-wide radiothon, "Un Million Para Los Niños" (One Million for the Children), held August 17. "Entravision continuously looks for ways to support and give back to our local communities, and we are grateful for this partnership and pleased to have surpassed last year's donation, in turn, benefiting even more families," said Entravision President and COO Jeffery Liberman.

Hubbard Raises $1 Million for Children's Hospital

Hubbard's WTMX-FM Chicago raised $1 million for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago during its 18th annual fundraising event, held during the week of August 14. WTMX wrapped up the five-day fundraiser with a live broadcast and check presentation at Lurie Children's.

Broadcasters Continue to Fight Opioid Abuse Epidemic
Graham Media Group Launches 'Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic'

Graham Media Group Launches "Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic"

Graham Media Group (GMG) launched on August 23 "Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic," a multi-platform program addressing the prescription drug abuse epidemic. During the week of September 5, all seven GMG stations aired and streamed locally-produced specials and staffed phone banks and Facebook Live sessions with substance abuse counselors. The initiative highlights people who are impacted and explores government policies with monthly investigative reports, original programming, town halls, social media, PSAs and community partnerships.

"Opioid addiction is ravaging our communities big and small and local broadcasters are uniquely positioned to tell these stories," said GMG President and CEO Emily Barr. "It is our responsibility to inform viewers and we hope that 'Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic' will not only educate the communities we serve, but help those who are affected find a path forward through this unprecedented crisis."

Hearst Hosts Live Special on Opioid Crisis   Hearst Hosts Live Special on Opioid Crisis

Hearst Television stations aired and streamed a live primetime one-hour special, "Matter of Fact: State of Addiction," on September 13 to address America's opioid epidemic as part of Hearst's year-long multi-platform news and investigative series that launched in January 2017. Award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien hosted the program, which featured live inserts from local stations addressing the crisis in their markets and field reports from around the country. Viewers used the hashtag #stateofaddiction to post pictures, videos and stories, creating a virtual "wall of remembrance" for victims of the epidemic. The special included segments with physicians, Drug Enforcement Administration Director Chuck Rosenberg, Sens. Ron Johnson and Rob Portman and Rep. Greg Walden.

Broadcasters Support Communities

Beasley Media Group Launches "Community of Caring" Initiative

Beasley Media Group launched on August 15 a "Community of Caring" initiative across its 63 radio stations. A rotating public service announcement (PSA) series and social media campaigns address opioid abuse, bullyinBeasley Media Group Launches ‘Community of Caring: Initiative’   g, racism and mental health. Beasley will also host "Day of Caring" events, allowing employees to volunteer at non-profits during work hours. "As a company, we take all of these issues very seriously," said CEO Caroline Beasley. "The rotating PSA and social media campaigns, combined with our Day of Caring events across all of our markets, underscores our company's strong commitment to making a difference in the communities we serve."

WZSR-FM Provides Accessible Van

WZSR-FM Provides Accessible Van   Alpha Media's WZSR-FM Chicago presented a wheelchair accessible van to 23-year-old listener Melissa Mayber, who has a spinal cord injury, on August 25 at a "Sock Hop" dance event hosted by the station. The van was the top item on her wish list, followed by her desire to attend a sock hop. Her family couldn't afford the van on top of medical expenses, but the wheelchair accessible van became a priority after Melissa's mom suffered a heart attack trying to lift Melissa into a vehicle for her doctor's visit. WZSR-FM on-air personalities regularly promoted their fundraising efforts for the van in the months leading up to the sock hop. Seeing the joy on Melissa's face, News Director Stew Cohen said, "I realized in that very moment why WZSR cherishes its public service work in the community."

KTVU Reveals Mental Hospital Hell

KTVU Probes "Mental Hospital Hell"

Fox-owned KTVU San Francisco's investigation "Mental Hospital Hell" exposed deplorable conditions at the John George Psychiatric Hospital. Hidden camera videos showed patients sleeping and eating on the floor, moaning and crying out for help. The 2016 investigation led to the hospital director's resignation, the hiring of more staff and a state investigation into reports of violence. Recently, KTVU Executive Producer Simone Aponte, Anchor Ken Wayne, Photographer Videographer Tony Hodrick and News Editor Ron Acker received the American Legion's Fourth Estate Award for Excellence in Journalism.