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Radio and television broadcasters serve local communities every day. Stations provide lifeline emergency information, support our military, raise millions for hospitals and cancer research, collect food, clothes and toys, devote air time to election coverage, and promote education. Submit your station's stories to Suzie Raven.


Broadcasters: A Lifeline During Hurricane Michael

Broadcasters in Florida and across the U.S. provided lifeline coverage before, during and after Hurricane Michael landed on October 10. According to the Associated Press, the storm killed 26 people, including 16 in Florida alone. Stations aired countless reports on Hurricane Michael, routinely breaking into scheduled programming and covering the storm despite downed power grids and severe damage to newsrooms.

Nexstar’s ABC affiliate WMBB Panama City and Gray’s NBC affiliate WJHG Panama City were knocked off air but continued to provide local citizens with safety information via social media. WMBB reporters delivered news from the parking lot after their newsroom was severely damaged. Gulf Coast State College’s WKGC-FM Panama City evacuated to a remote studio at the Bay County Emergency Operation Center. They remained there for at least two weeks, providing cleanup information and food and water locations.

Read more about how radio prepared for the storm and how networks covered Hurricane Michael.

“... [L]ocal radio and TV broadcasters were unsung heroes in their first informer roles and in the aftermath,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

WVTM Hosts Hurricane Relief Drive

Hearst’s NBC affiliate WVTM-TV Birmingham and the Central Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross raised $21,000 in a 14-hour telethon on October 12 for Hurricane Michael relief. Wells Fargo donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross during the 5 p.m. newscast.

WFLA-TV Telethon Exceeds $100,000 for Michael Recovery

Nexstar’s NBC affiliate WFLA-TV Tampa raised more than $100,000 for Hurricane Michael relief on October 15. “Our station has been constantly on air supporting the relief efforts,” said Vice President and General Manager Skip Valet. “This is a catastrophic event for Florida and we’re fortunate to be in the position to help.”

WAAO-FM Collects Supplies

Three Notch Communication’s WAAO-FM Andalusia, Ala., collected supplies in October for Hurricane Michael relief efforts. Items delivered to rural Florida included emergency and cleaning supplies, toiletries, non-perishable food, water, coolers, charcoal, clothes, first aid kits, diapers, baby wipes, blankets, pillows, paper products, batteries, radios and cell phone chargers.

WXIX Raises $45,000 for Hurricane Michael Relief

WDSU Raises $45,000 for Hurricane Relief

Hearst’s NBC affiliate WDSU New Orleans and the Second Harvest Food Bank raised $45,000 in the “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” telethon on October 12. The donations collected will provide food, water and cleaning supplies for those affected by Hurricane Michael.

Benefit Concert Raises $7,000 for Disaster Relief

Curtis Media Group’s WPLW-FM and WWPL-FM Raleigh raised $7,000 during its “Carolina Cares: A Benefit Concert” on October 20.

Nebraska Broadcasters Assoc. Donate $5,000 to Hurricane Relief


WFOR-TV Hosts Florida Gubernatorial Debate

CBS-owned WFOR-TV Miami produced a Florida gubernatorial debate between Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum on October 24. Television stations that aired the debate include: Waterman Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WBBH Fort Myers, Gray Television’s ABC affiliate WCJB Gainsville, TEGNA’s ABC affiliate WJXX Jacksonville, CBS-owned WFOR Miami, Nexstar’s ABC affiliate WMBB Panama City, Sinclair’s ABC affiliate WEAR Pensacola, Hearst’s NBC affiliate WESH Orlando, Gray’s WCTV Tallahassee, Nexstar’s NBC affiliate WFLA Tampa, and Hearst’s ABC affiliate WPBF West Palm Beach.

WXYZ Detroit Examines Michigan’s African American Vote

Scripps’ ABC affiliate WXYZ produced a one-hour special, “Spotlight on the News: Inside Michigan’s African American Vote” that explores how African American voters in Michigan impact local, state and national elections. WXYZ aired it on October 2, 7, 10 and 12.

Read more here.

WLWT Broadcasts U.S. Senate Debate in Ohio

Hearst’s NBC affiliate WLWT Cincinnati hosted, aired and streamed an hour-long debate with U.S. Senate candidates Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Jim Renacci on October 26. “This debate represents WLWT News 5’s commitment to voters, to have their questions answered by the candidates, live and unedited,” said News Director Jeff Benscoter.

KING Broadcasts Senate and Congressional Debates

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KING-TV Seattle aired three live debates in October that were open to the public. U.S. Senate debates featuring Sen. Maria Cantwell and challenger Susan Hutchison were held October 8 and October 20. The broadcast of the October 17 debate between Pediatrician Kim Scrier and former state Sen. Dino Rossi, candidates for the WA-8 U.S. Congressional District included 30 minutes of post-debate analysis.

More Than 80 Wisconsin Radio and TV Stations Air Debates

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) Foundation sponsored two recent debates. The October 19 debate featured gubernatorial candidates Gov. Scott Walker and State Superintendent Tony Evers. On October 13, U.S. Senate candidates Sen. Tammy Baldwin and State Sen. Leah Vukmir discussed health care, marijuana legalization, immigration, tariffs and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Viewers submitted questions on climate change and abortion using #wbadebate. Gray’s CBS affiliate WSAW Wausau produced the debate with panelists from Wausau stations including WSAW; Midwest Communication’s WSAU-AM/FM; Quincy’s ABC affiliate WAOW; and Rockfleet Communications’ NBC affiliate WJFW. More than 80 radio and television stations aired each debate.

WSCV-TV Miami Hosts Debates

Telemundo’s WSCV-TV Miami hosted a one-hour debate on October 2 between U.S. Senate candidates Senator Bill Nelson and Florida Governor Rick Scott. Topics included immigration, Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and President Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria. The debate aired in Spanish on Telemundo’s WSCV, WTMO Orlando, WWDT Fort Myers and WRMD Tampa; in English on NBC’s WTVJ Miami; and on mobile apps.

WSCV also hosted a one-hour Spanish-language debate on October 13 between candidates for the Florida-27 U.S. Congressional district seat: Former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, Broadcast Journalist Maria Elvira Salazar and immigration attorney Mayra Joli.

Telemundo’s “Decision 2018” campaign includes a weekly public affairs show, local town hall meetings, exclusive “Hispanic Opinion Polls” and the “Tu Vota Cuenta” (Your Vote Counts) campaign.

Telemundo Orlando Hosts Debate in Spanish

Telemundo-owned WTMO Orlando produced and aired the first scheduled televised Florida gubernatorial debate between candidates Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis. Telemundo’s WSCV-TV Miami, WTMO-TV Orlando, WWDT-TV Fort Myers and WRMD-TV Tampa aired the debate in Spanish on October 16.

Connecticut Broadcasters Association Hosts Debate

The Connecticut Broadcasters Association (CBA) held a gubernatorial debate on October 18. Hartford / New Haven television stations that aired the debate included Meredith’s CBS affiliate WFSB, Tribune’s Fox affiliate WTIC-TV, NBC-owned WVIT, Nexstar’s ABC affiliate WTNH, Entravision’s Univision affiliate WUVN, and Telemundo’s WRDM. Entercom, iHeartMedia, Hall Communications, Connoisseur, Cumulus, and Townsquare stations provided radio coverage.

“The CBA has a long history of producing political debates,” said CBA Chair Steve Rabb. “It’s part of our mission as broadcasters to provide voters with information about candidates running for public office.”

AM Radio in LA Hosts 'Ask the Candidates'

Salem Media’s KTIE-AM Los Angeles hosted an “Ask the Candidates” forum on October 10, featuring candidates running for local and national offices. Participants included Secretary of State Mark Meuser, Controller Kostantantinos Roditis, Treasurer Candidate Greg Conlon, U.S. Congressional Candidates Sean Flynn and Kimberlin Brown Pelzer, U.S. Congressional candidate Tim Donnelly, Assembly candidates Bill Essayli and Henry Nickel, and Chad Bianco.

Univision Launches "Get Out The Vote" Campaign

Univision-owned KMEX-TV Los Angeles interns created the “Vota Conmigo” (Vote with Me) campaign to increase nonpartisan voter participation in the midterm elections. Univision has adopted the message that voting together can foster a greater sense of engagement and community as part of its national campaign to increase Hispanic voter participation.