I’m happy to share with you the February 2018 edition of NAB’s Licensed to Serve, highlighting broadcasters’ recent community service efforts. I would also like to remind broadcasters that entries will be accepted through March 9 for the NAB Education Foundation Service to America Awards. Stations will be recognized for their community service on June 12 in Washington, D.C.


Suzie Raven
Senior Manager, Public Service

Broadcasters' Public Service
February 2018

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.

Broadcasters Spur Civic Dialogue
WCIU-TV Celebrates Black History Month WCIU-TV Celebrates Black History Month

Weigel Broadcasting-owned WCIU-TV Chicago collaborated with hip-hop artist Che "Rhymefest" Smith to honor Black History Month on "Black History: The Movement." The series launched February 4 and focuses on the conversation of being Black in America. A series of in-depth interviews between Smith and leaders from Ghanaian, Mexican, Haitian and local Black communities spotlight the individual struggle for independence in each of their native lands, and the correlations to the experience in America.

"We’re taking a non-traditional approach to celebrating Black History Month this year, showcasing the different walks of life and perspectives of the community," said Steve Bailey, head of local programming and creative. "Our goal is to create a forum where we can all learn, understand and move forward as one."

WRAL Documentary Examines Hispanic Immigration Impact WRAL Documentary Examines Hispanic Immigration

Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired and streamed a documentary on January 18 titled "Land of Opportunity" about the impact of Hispanic immigrants in North Carolina. "Land of Opportunity" profiles Hispanic immigrants, highlighting their contributions to North Carolina’s economy and communities. Hispanic immigrants make up nearly 30 percent of North Carolina’s workforce in farming, fishing and forestry, and 20 percent of its construction workforce. They contribute more than $10 billion to the state’s economy annually, and nearly $500 million in state and local tax revenue.

RTDNF Announces 2018 First Amendment Award Honorees

RTDNF Announces 2018 First Amendment Award Honorees

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) announced on January 16 its First Amendment Awards winners, who will be honored on March 8. "Through our First Amendment Awards, we shine a light on individuals and news organizations who seek and report the truth ethically and responsibly," said RTDNF Executive Director Dan Shelley. The 2018 honorees include:

  • First Amendment Award – NBC’s Meet the Press
  • First Amendment Service Award – David Rhodes, CBS News
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Robin Roberts, ABC News
Read more.

WMAQ and WSNS Host Democratic Gubernatorial Forum

WMAQ-WSNS Host Democratic Gubernatorial Forum

NBC-owned WMAQ-TV and Telemundo-owned WSNS-TV Chicago partnered with the Union League Club of Chicago and the Chicago Urban League to host the first televised 2018 Illinois Democratic Gubernatorial Forum on January 23. Both stations aired and streamed the hour-long forum live, with WSNS also providing Spanish-language captioning.

"Our main priority is to keep our Spanish-speaking viewers informed about news that affects their lives," said WSNS Vice President of News Diana Maldonado. "The broadcast of this gubernatorial forum is certainly part of our commitment to the community we serve."

WNBC-TV New York Tracks Down ‘Gold Bucket Bandit’

WNBC-TV New York Tracks down ‘Gold Bucket Bandit’

NBC-owned WNBC-TV New York City aired on February 4 the first interview with a man who grabbed $1.6 million of gold in an 86-pound bucket from the back of an armored truck in Manhattan in 2016 and disappeared. WNBC tracked him down in Ecuador and provides an inside look at the robbery and his escape to South America.

Watch video.

Submit Your Entry Now for a Service to America Award
Local Stations Help Neighbors in Need
KGTV ‘Million Meals’ Campaign Raises $1 Million

KGTV ‘Million Meals’ Campaign Raises Over $1 Million

Scripps’ ABC affiliate KGTV-TV San Diego raised more than $1 million, enough for more than four million meals, in a month-long drive held last December. KGTV’s fifth annual "Month of a Million Meals" was held in partnership with Feeding San Diego. "We are so impressed with the generosity of San Diegans," said General Manager Joel Davis. "They gave so much we more than quadrupled the original goal."

WJZY Helps Freezing Vietnam Veteran

WJZY Helps Freezing Vietnam Veteran

Fox-owned WJZY-TV Charlotte shared the story of a Vietnam War Marine veteran with a Purple Heart who nearly froze to death in his house when the temperatures dipped into the teens. After the story aired, a viewer paid the oil company enough to keep his heat on throughout the winter and a local grocery store donated a refrigerator full of food and supplies because his was empty. WJZY focuses on "getting results" and has dedicated a webpage to stories like this.

WSB Photographer Helps Police Locate Missing Child

WWSB Photographer Helps Police Locate Missing Child

Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSB-TV Atlanta photographer Brian Ferguson helped police locate a missing infant on January 19 after the Clayton County police reported two children, a four-year-old and one month old, missing. The kids’ mother left them in the car with the keys in the ignition, and someone stole the car. WSB photographer Brian Ferguson later alerted the police to an object he spotted on the side of the road. Police found the infant in her car seat and later found the four-year-old and the abandoned car.

Alpha Media Hosts St. Jude Fundraisers

Alpha Media Hosts St. Jude Fundraisers

Alpha Media’s KBRJ-FM Anchorage raised $83,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in its 22nd annual radiothon, held January 25-26. Over the past 22 years, Alaskans have contributed over $1.9 million dollars to support life-saving research and care.

WCEN-FM Hemlock, Mich. held a simultaneous radiothon, raising $75,000 for St. Jude. In 15 years, the station has raised over $1 million in the radiothon.

"We’re always humbled by the generosity of Moose listeners, said Program Director Joby Phillips. "We always call this the two most important days each year at the station and our listener family has never let us down."

Broadcasters Promote Health and Safety
Beasley’s Fayetteville Radio Stations Address Opioid Epidemic

Beasley’s Fayetteville Radio Stations Address Opioid Epidemic

Beasley’s WKML-FM, WZFX-FM, WFLB-FM and WUKS-FM Fayetteville, N.C., partnered with Cape Fear Valley Health on an hour-long, commercial-free simulcast, "Fayetteville Fights Back," on January 30 to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic. On-air personalities moderated the panel of physicians, law enforcement officials, behavioral health experts, addiction specialists and local and state leaders, including Governor Roy Cooper (via recorded message) and Attorney General Josh Stein (in studio).

"Fayetteville Fights Back" provided facts on opioids and their proper usage, identified the signs of addiction and included information on seeking help. The stations listed resources on their websites and featured frequently asked questions from listeners onair and using Facebook Live. This event is part of Beasley’s nationwide "Community of Caring" initiative.

"It's our job as broadcasters to inform our local community and with the high rate of opioid abuse in North Carolina, we felt very strongly about being involved in this cause," said Erika Beasley, vice president and market manager of Beasley’s Fayetteville cluster.

WLNE-TV Launches ‘Opioid Crisis: Addiction Hitting Home’

WLNE-TV Launches ‘Opioid Crisis: Addiction Hitting Home’

Citadel Communications’ ABC affiliate WLNE-TV New Bedford, Mass., launched “Opioid Crisis: Addiction Hitting Home” to address the prescription drug abuse epidemic. The two-week series began February 5 with a report on opioid use in the local community. Nightly segments examine different aspects of the issue, including facts about addiction, where the drugs come from, how they devastate families from every income bracket and community, and existing resources.

WLNE’s series culminates February 20 with a prime-time Town Hall special featuring parents, students, mental health and addiction experts, law enforcement and addicts from across Southern New England. The hour-long special will raise awareness, generate ideas and combat stigmas.

“We need to address the Opioid Epidemic and provide the community with critical information on how to seek support, and I am proud of the ABC6 team for shining a light on this urgent public health crisis,” said General Manager Tina Marie Castano.

KSAS-TV and KMTW-TV Wichita Promote Safety

KSAS-TV and KMTW-TV Wichita Promote Safety

Sinclair’s Fox affiliate KSAS-TV and MyNetworkTV affiliate KMTW-TV Wichita partnered with local government officials for an ongoing safety campaign. They produced Fire Safety PSAs with the Wichita Fire Department and a Cyber-Safety PSA with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office. Soon, they will work with the Wichita School District and the Wichita Police Department on a bus safety spot.

Beasley’s WMGC-FM Detroit Launches Healthy Living Challenge

Beasley’s WMGC-FM Detroit Launches Healthy Living Challenge

Beasley’s WMGC-FM Detroit launched on January 16 the "105K lb. Weight Loss & Healthy Living Challenge," a 10-week program that encourages listeners to exercise and eat a healthier diet. The challenge includes free weekly workouts, Zumba classes, cooking demonstrations and advice from weight loss professionals. The final weekly workout takes place March 31.

Radio and Television Support Education

NBC Donates $500,000 to High School Theater

NBC Donates $500,000 to High School Theater

NBC has committed $500,000 to support high school theater ahead of the upcoming drama series "Rise," which follows a teacher who takes over a school’s theater program. The "R.I.S.E. (Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression) America" initiative will award 50 high schools a $10,000 grant to revitalize their theater programs. NBC partnered with the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), an organization dedicated to shaping lives through theater education. Winning schools will be announced in March.

"This program is incredibly personal to me as someone whose own life was changed by a high school theatre program," said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt. "I wholeheartedly support the work of the ETF and have seen the effect of their initiatives on thousands of students. I’m proud that ‘Rise’ will be more than just an uplifting show about a high school drama program, but, through this initiative, will also have an impact on the lives of real students in 50 high schools."

Scripps Donates 100,000 Books

Scripps Donates 100,000 Books  The Scripps Howard Foundation donated 100,000 books on National Reading Day (January 23) as part of their second "If You Give a Child a Book" campaign. The Scripps family matches employee donations and uses proceeds to buy books at cost for needy children through a partnership with Scholastic.

Scripps’ ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV and MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYD-TV Detroit donated $10,000 as part of the campaign, to be matched by members of the Scripps family. The books purchased with the donations benefited an education center for at-risk children and adults in Detroit.

"It’s an honor to work for a company that puts such a high value on giving back to the community," said Vice President and General Manager Mike Murri. "We are thrilled to be able to advance the great work that is being done at St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center through the generosity of the Scripps family."

Hearst Television Expands Political Coverage for 2018 Elections (

Hearst Television Expands Political Coverage for 2018 Elections

Hearst Television is significantly expanding and updating its pledge to devote extensive television and digital news coverage of election discourse throughout 26 television markets.

Under the group-wide “Commitment 2018” banner, Hearst Television stations have pledged to provide analysis on all their media platforms of a defined major issue each month leading up to Election Day. Hearst stations are addressing topics such as health care, immigration, infrastructure and gun rights. Hearst will also add investigative resources at its Washington, D.C., bureau as part of its efforts to track the positions and truth-checking the messages of politicians and candidates.

“Commitment 2018” includes more than 50 multiplatform events, including debates, issues-focused specials, and town halls. Hearst will also extend digital coverage of the issues to its recently launched Stitch platform.

“As local journalists, it’s our responsibility to drill down on issues of specific importance to local viewers in a relatable manner,” said Barbara Maushard, Hearst Television senior vice president, news.

Broadcasters Engage in Corporate Responsibility

Univision Creates Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory Board

Univision Announces Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory Board

Univision Communications announced on January 10 the creation of a Corporate Social Responsibility External Advisory Board, which will provide strategic advice, thought-leadership and best practices for Univision’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Internal Council. The EAB will advance community empowerment platforms to build strong minds, promote healthy habits and celebrate diversity.

Meredith’s Local Stations Give Back

Meredith’s Local Stations Give Back

Local television stations owned by Meredith Communications performed outstanding community service in 2017. Stations raised money for disaster relief efforts, scholarship initiatives, cancer research, mentoring programs and more. Details are available in this annual report.