NAB Licensed to Serve

November 2019

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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.


Audiences across California turned to local television and radio broadcasts over all other news sources for updates as wildfires spread across the state in late October. As of November 4, fires burned more than 80,000 acres with thousands of people evacuated from their homes. Stations aired safety information, evacuation instructions and interviews with local officials.

Broadcasters Airs Up-to-the-Minute News on California Fires

Entercom’s Los Angeles stations, including KNX-AM, saw a sharp uptick in listenership due to their extensive wildfire coverage. The stations ramped up their coverage to ensure that critical safety information and evacuation instructions reached their listeners. Radio Ink spoke with KNX Program Director Ken Charles about the station’s around-the-clock coverage.

Cumulus’ KABC-AM deployed their resources, including TV news partner coverage and social media, to provide timely information for listeners in or near the fires, and to provide context for those in unaffected areas. Read Radio Ink’s interview with KABC-AM’s General Manager Drew Hayes.

Bilingual Broadcasting Foundation’s KBBF-FM Santa Rosa, Calif., kept Spanish-speaking listeners informed, fed and safe as the Kincade Fire ravaged California wine country. The station’s marathon coverage included evacuation instructions, information regarding relief shelters and in-language safety updates from county officials, with additional coverage in indigenous languages. With the assistance of the Redwood Empire Food Bank, KBBF-FM also collected food donations and served meals from the station’s parking lot.

Television and radio stations in Sonoma County, Calif., provided critical information that helped prevent fatalies in the Kincade Fire. Stations across Northern California covered the blaze from the very beginning, using enhanced meteorology modeling technology to inform the public of severe weather and the fire’s potential path before it began. As the fire burned, stations increased their coverage and amplified their efforts on social media to highlight resource centers, relief shelters and fire containment efforts.

Three Eagles Radio Covers Wildfire

Three Eagles Communications’ KBVC-FM Buena Vista, Colo., provided wall-to-wall coverage of the Decker wildfire in Salida, Colo., that began in September and burned for more than five weeks. The Decker fire spread over 8,118 acres. KBVC provided lifeline coverage, even as the fire forced three of the station’s four transmitters to alternate broadcast sites.


TEGNA Earns Emmy for Investigative Report

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KING-TV Seattle received a national Emmy award in the Outstanding Regional News Story: Investigative Report category for “Sick and Forgotten in Hanford.” Investigative Reporter Susannah Frame and Photojournalist Steve Douglas exposed the federal government for denying worker compensation claims related to the Hanford Nuclear Site, which is cited as the most toxic worksite in America. The report led to passage of the first state law to help Hanford workers made sick from exposure to chemicals and radiation, obtain medical care and compensation.

Graham’s KPRC Investigates Alleged Corruption

Graham’s NBC affiliate KPRC Houston aired on September 30 an investigation by reporter Mario Diaz into a $95,000 publicly funded internship for the City of Houston, created to allow a former intern to sidestep a hiring freeze. Diaz looked at 8,000 emails between city officials and found that Mayor Sylvester Turner signed off on the position for Marvin Agumagu at the request of Houston’s Chief Development Officer Andy Icken. Turner later denied having met Agumagu, even though they have been photographed together at multiple events. Read the full story, including the mayor’s response.

ABC and Hearst Examine Earthquake Impacts

ABC-owned KGO San Francisco and Hearst’s KSBW-TV Salinas, Calif., aired special programs on October 17 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. The 6.9 magnitude earthquake killed 63 people, caused billions of dollars in damage and altered California’s coastline.

KGO’s commercial-free documentary, “The Earthquake Effect,” featured a never-before-seen aerial view of the entire Hayward Fault using exclusive mapping technology. Experts discussed the impact that a similar earthquake would have today and urged viewers to be prepared.

KSBW’s special newscast, “Loma Prieta: 30 Years Later,” featured seldom-seen footage from that day, including video of KSBW’s live coverage. It also included new interviews from survivors and the stories of first responders.

N.Y. Governor Recognizes Nexstar Station

Nexstar’s CBS affiliate WROC Rochester, N.Y., celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by producing and airing special stories each Monday during its 5:30 p.m. newscast. Coverage included the half-hour special, “Hidden History: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage,” in addition to other stories. Governor Andrew Cuomo presented WROC with a proclamation for its coverage of Hispanic Heritage Month and its commitment to fair representation. “It is fitting that all New Yorkers share in the events that highlight the extensive legacy of accomplishment, success, and abundantly rich Latino customs and traditions,” he said.


Televised Debates in Kentucky Governor Race

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and Democratic challenger Andy Beshear participated in five televised debates in October that aired on:

  • October 3: Paxton Media Group’s NBC affiliate WPSD and Bristol Broadcasting’s WKYX-FM Paducah. Watch here.
  • October 15: Gray’s CBS affiliate WKYT Lexington
  • October 26: Hearst’s CBS affiliate WLKY Louisville
  • October 28: Kentucky Educational Television’s KET Lexington
  • October 29: Hearst’s NBC affiliate WLWT Cincinnati

Hearst Stations Expand Election Coverage

Hearst Television, as part of its “Commitment 2020” initiative, is extending its television and digital coverage of the 2020 election season to provide election news coverage that affects every state. Journalists from around the country and at the recently expanded Washington, D.C., bureau will conduct deep reporting on election security and other issues. Hearst is also collaborating with, a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, to identify misinformation.


iHeart Seattle Raises Over $100,000

iHeartMedia's KZOK-FM Seattle raised over $101,000 during its 22nd annual Rock the Harvest radiothon on October 17. The money benefits Northwest Harvest, a hunger relief agency in the state of Washington, which supports a statewide network of 375 food banks, meal programs, and high-needs schools. Over the last 22 years, KZOK raised over $1.2 million to benefit Northwest Harvest.

Seton Hall Radio Collects 3,200 Bottles of Water

Seton Hall University’s WSOU-FM South Orange, N.J., collected 3,200 bottles of water for residents exposed to lead-contaminated drinking water. Pregnant women and children under six years old are advised to avoid drinking city water, even if it has been filtered. The City of Newark has only two free bottled water distribution centers for 285,000 people and limits families to two cases of water every two weeks, regardless of household size. WSOU delivered the water on October 17 to the Women and Children’s Center at St. John’s Soup Kitchen.

Scripps’ WMAR Holds "Fill the House" Event

Scripps’ ABC affiliate WMAR-TV Baltimore hosted its “Fill the House” event on October 16 to benefit House of Ruth Maryland, which provides services to victims of intimate partner abuse. Listeners donated enough supplies to fill a truck with items such as diapers, wipes, new women and children’s underwear, comforters, sheets and pillows. They also received $3,500 in donations and $2,000 in gift cards.

Act Now: NAB Congressional PSA Campaign

There are two months left to air NAB Congressional PSAs. PSAs are available to radio and television stations via Extreme Reach. Broadcasters can air the PSAs until December 31, 2019. This year, 303 members of Congress and their family members participated in the program. The six topics for the :30 spots are support for veterans, support for small businesses, opioid abuse prevention, mental health awareness, cancer prevention, and encouraging blood donations.