Broadcasters' Public Service
May 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: A Community Lifeline During Wildfires and Tornadoes
KWTV Provides Lifeline Coverage During Oklahoma Wildfires KWTV Provides Lifeline Coverage During Oklahoma Wildfires

Griffin Communication's CBS affiliate KWTV Oklahoma City aired extensive coverage of deadly wildfires in April that burned close to 300,000 acres, destroying more than 100 homes and impacting thousands of families. "Our storm trackers and helicopter team were on the front lines, warning and helping residents while our weather and news teams provided countless hours of updates on air and online to assist with firefighting, evacuations and recovery," said KWTV Vice President of Marketing Houston Hunt. "Through the power of television, we were able to tell stories and show video that explained just how horrible the situation was in Northwest Oklahoma with the rest of the state."

KWTV produced and aired a telethon, "Healing the Heartland," that raised more than $160,000 to support American Red Cross relief efforts. The April 24 telethon featured stories that showcased the fire's impact and celebrated those who helped the community. KWTV utilized on air, online, social, radio and digital platforms to promote the fundraiser.

WGHP Raises Over $70,000 for Tornado Victims

WGHP Raises Over $70K for Tornado Victims

Tribune's Fox affiliate WGHP-TV High Point, N.C., raised $70,000 for tornado relief efforts in a telethon held April 18. The tornado on April 15 devastated Guilford and Rockingham counties, damaging or destroying 1,000 homes and businesses. All money raised will be distributed by local Salvation Army chapters.

"We really appreciate what a great community citizen FOX8 is on an ongoing basis, but especially in this time of such great hurting in our community," said Major Don Vick of the Salvation Army of Greensboro.

WFMY Telethons Raise $100,000 For Tornado Victims

WFMY Telethons Raise $100K For Tornado Victims

TEGNA's CBS affiliate WFMY-TV Greensboro, N.C., raised more than $100,000 for United Way tornado relief efforts with telethons held April 17 and 19. The EF-2 tornado that killed one person and destroyed homes touched down in the neighborhood of WFMY's studios. Following the storm, WFMY continued to share stories of its impact and encouraged donations of needed items.

"We're humbled to be part of something bigger than us and all about our neighbors," said General Manager Larry Audas.

Local Stations Produce and Air Political Debates

WTVT Airs Democratic Gubernatorial Debate

WTVT Aired Democratic Gubernatorial Debate

Fox-owned WTVT Tampa hosted a debate on April 18 between all four leading Democratic candidates for Florida governor. The debate covered topics important to the Tampa community, such as school safety, crime, mental health services and hurricane preparedness.

Hosted by Mark Wilson and Kelly Ring, and moderated by Craig Patrick, the participants of the hour-long debate included Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and businessman Chris King.

Statewide Debates to Air on CBS Miami

Statewide Debates to Air on CBS Miami

CBS Television Stations' WFOR-TV Miami will host statewide Florida gubernatorial debates. The Republican and Democratic primary debates will be held on August 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. The one-hour debates will be broadcast statewide through a consortium of TV stations in Florida's 10 major media markets.

"These high-profile events will attract a significant and diverse viewership," said Vice President and General Manager Adam Levy. "Our commitment is to produce an excellent exchange among the candidates in both the Republican and Democratic primaries."

Debates Air in Indiana Debates Aired in Indiana

Three debates between GOP candidates in the Indiana Senate race aired on broadcast stations:

  • Nexstar's CW affiliate WISH-TV Indianapolis hosted a debate on April 15 that was aired on stations across the state.
  • On April 23, the Allen County Republican Party hosted a debate that was broadcast on six TV stations and three radio stations, reaching markets in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Merrillville, Lafayette, Indianapolis, Muncie and Evansville.
  • Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting's PBS affiliate WFYI-TV aired a debate on April 30.

KCCI-TV to Host Debates

KCCI-TV to Host Debates

Hearst's CBS affiliate KCCI-TV and The Des Moines Register will sponsor two live debates in the Democratic primary races for Iowa governor and the 3rd Congressional District. Both debates will air on KCCI-TV and be live-streamed on the Register's and KCCI's websites and mobile apps on May 30 and 31 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Debates Set for Florida Governor, U.S. Senate Races

Debates Set for Candidates Running for Florida Governor, U.S. Senate

Hearst's ABC affiliate WPBF-TV Tequesta, Fla., will produce debates between the Democratic and Republican nominees for Florida governor and U.S. Senate, organized by Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association. Debates are scheduled for October 23 and 24 at 7 p.m. and will be carried across all of Florida's 10 media markets.

Televised Debates in Michigan

Televised Debates Scheduled in Michigan

Nexstar's NBC affiliate WOOD-TV Grand Rapids, Mich., will host and broadcast a debate on May 9 between candidates in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Graham Media's NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Detroit will host and broadcast a debate on June 28, also featuring GOP gubernatorial primary candidates.

Broadcasters Produce Award-Winning Journalism
RTDNA Announces Regional Award Winners

RTDNA Announces Regional Award Winners

The Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced the 2018 Regional Award winners. The 54 investigative reporting winners include submissions for uncovering water contamination, holding local and federal agencies accountable for spending, and exposing sexual assault in statehouses and schools. Stations were also honored for their innovative use of video and fact-checking projects.

Raycom Media Investigations Unit Wins Awards

Raycom Media Investigations Unit Wins Awards

Raycom's Fox affiliate WVUE-TV New Orleans story "State of Unrest" won in the Broadcast / Video Division IV category of the Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. (IRE) Awards. WVUE's examination of Louisiana State Police travel records found payroll fraud, falsified documents, fixed tickets and padded expenses. "This was a great example of how journalists can bring video, public records and key interviews together to produce a bulletproof accountability story," judges said.

Also, Raycom's CBS affiliate WAFB Baton Rouge was a finalist for "The BRAVE Fallout." WAFB exposed questionable distribution of federal money earmarked for the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project (BRAVE). The story resulted in canceled contracts, a mayoral aide's resignation and the return of over $1 million to taxpayers.

NBC Stations Awarded for Investigative Reporting

NBC Stations Awarded for Investigative Reporting

NBC-owned WNBC-TV New York City earned 15 regional Emmy Awards, including top Investigative Report for "The Rape Table: Extreme Hazing at Newark Airport."

"They follow the story wherever it leads, ask the questions our viewers want answered and generate change in our local communities," said News Director Amy Morris.

Also, NBC-owned KXAS-TV Dallas won a Peabody Award for "Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Taxpayers Taken for a Ride." KXAS exposed questionable real estate deals by the Dallas County Schools involving a school bus camera-system investment. The Texas government subsequently took action to address the extensive corruption and financial mismanagement that KXAS uncovered.

WCVB Honored With Eight National Headliner Awards

WCVB Honored with Eight National Headliner Awards

Hearst's ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston won eight National Headliner Awards for outstanding journalism, including breaking news, consumer reporting and public service. WCVB took first and second place for "Broadcast or Cable Television Newscast" and won first place in the "Public Service" and "Health/Science Reporting" categories. WCVB also earned second and third place in "Breaking News," second place in "Business/Consumer Reporting," and third in "Health/Science Reporting." Winning stories explored topics such as the opioid crisis, cancer treatments, plane crashes, and breaking news for car crashes.

Univision N.Y. Honored With Multiple Regional Emmys

Univision NY Honored with Multiple Regional Emmys (

Univision-owned WXTV-TV New York City, received multiple regional Emmys across eight categories. Notable wins include Emmys for Continuing Coverage and for "Tu Gente. Tu Voz.," the campaign highlighting the deep connection between its local news team and the community. The Continuing Coverage award recognizes journalism led by News Reporter Yisel Tejeda and Cameraman/Editor Cesar Serra following the Jersey City incident in which police officers beat an innocent man who was engulfed in flames after escaping a car crash. Tejeda and Serra also received an award for Journalistic Enterprise.

Local Television Stations Investigate Critical Issues

WRAL Airs Documentary on Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

WRAL Airs Documentary on Child Sex Victims

Capitol Broadcasting's NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired on April 12 a documentary, "Speaking the Unspeakable," that tells the story of two men who experienced sexual abuse as children in North Carolina. "Speaking the Unspeakable" covered common themes in child sexual abuse, the guilt and shame many survivors feel, the fear of speaking out, and manipulation from abusers. Knight Chamberlain was nine years old when a stranger sexually assaulted him. A Catholic priest sexually assaulted his stepbrother, Michael, when he was 11. Speaking about their experiences has helped them heal.

KXAN Investigation Uncovers Police Loophole

KXAN Investigation Uncovers Police Loophole

Nexstar's NBC affiliate KXAN-TV Austin produced a five-part investigative series, "Denied," on a loophole in Texas law allowing police to withhold crucial information when a person dies in prison. KXAN began investigating after a police department denied KXAN reporters access to video captured during a high-profile in-custody death. KXAN's series features interviews with families and explores the efforts to close the legal loophole without hindering active police investigations. "Denied" launched April 22 on Facebook and and broadcast on KXAN at 10 p.m. on April 26 and 27.

Local Stations Give Back
Alpha Media Watertown Raises $115,000 for Children’s Miracle Network

Alpha Media Watertown Raises $115,000 for Children's Miracle Network

Alpha Media's KDLO-FM and KSDR-FM Watertown, S.D., raised over $115,000 for Children's Miracle Network in a radiothon held April 12 - 13. The stations broadcast live each day for 12 hours and received promotional support from sister stations KIXX-FM and KWAT-FM.

Beasley Fort Myers Supports Habitat for Humanity

Beasley Fort Myers Supports Habitat for Humanity

Beasley Media Group announced on April 17 that 30 employees from the Fort Myers, Fla., cluster and corporate staff recently volunteered at Habitat for Humanity's home sites in Collier County. As part of Beasley's "Community of Caring" initiative, team members nailed siding on the exterior of a house, installed windows and put roofing paper on two homes for local families in need. "This is what radio is all about…serving as a lifeline to help our local community," said Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley.

Memphis Radio Stations Roadblock for Food Bank

Memphis Radio Stations Roadblock for Food Bank

Twenty-one Memphis radio stations aired a "roadblock" announcement on April 2 to promote the Mid-South Food Bank's "Hunger to Hope" campaign, encouraging listeners to donate towards the construction of a new food distribution center. "Food insecurity is a real issue across the Mid-South and this unprecedented effort by our local radio stations and Kroger gives everyone a chance to contribute to help build our new distribution center. We cannot thank them enough," said Mid-South Food Bank President and CEO Estella Mayhue-Greer.

 WMMR-FM Makes Wigs for Sick Kids in Philadelphia

WMMR-FM Makes Wigs for Sick Kids in Philadelphia

Beasley Media Group's WMMR-FM Philadelphia personality Kathy Romano hosted her 11th annual "Kathy's Cuts" on April 13 to benefit Wigs for Kids. The event produced over 123 wigs to benefit Wigs for Kids, a nonprofit organization that helps sick children achieve a sense of normalcy. "The radio station is a voice to get the word out, and the listeners step up to make the donation," said Promotion Director Eric Simon. "It's a proud moment for WMMR to be a part of something very special."