NAB Licensed to Serve

September 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.


Broadcasters Play Critical Safety Role Ahead of Hurricane

Hurricane Dorian slammed the Bahamas as a Category 5 (later 4) hurricane on September 1 and 2, causing catastrophic damage and taking lives. Television networks, local affiliates and radio stations provided up-to-the-minute, potentially life-saving coverage as Hurricane Dorian approached Florida.

The broadcast networks, including CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, Univision and Telemundo devoted enormous resources to covering Dorian. They sent reporters to the Bahamas to cover the damage, while also watching on Dorian’s approach towards the Southeastern U.S. Read more in Deadline. In addition, local TV affiliates and radio stations from Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas provided wall-to-wall coverage and updates. Inside Radio provides extensive details on how iHeartRadio, Cox Media Group, Hubbard and Salem Media prepared for Hurricane Dorian. Radio Ink also lists Entercom and JVC among the many radio groups delivering emergency information to their local communities. The Raleigh News & Observer also provided details on how Sunrise Broadcasting’s six radio stations in Wilmington prepared to provide at least 37 hours of continuous coverage.

The Orlando Sentinel highlighted local television’s role as Hurricane Dorian approached Florida.

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InvestigateTV Debuts ‘Measure of Hate’ Documentary

Gray’s InvestigateTV launched a half-hour documentary, “Measure of Hate,” that focuses on the undercounting of hate crimes throughout the country and issues with laws related to tracking and punishing hate crimes. The program, which aired on all Gray television stations throughout August, showed that dozens of high-profile hate crimes investigated and prosecuted by the FBI and DOJ are not counted in the FBI federal database.

KARE-TV Investigates Untested Criminal Evidence

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KARE-TV Minneapolis aired on August 15 an investigative report that revealed the state left several thousand rape kits untested and partially tested. KARE’s investigation showed that the number of untested kits may be twice what Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) initially stated. Even when kits were sent to the BCA for testing, DNA evidence was not collected or submitted to the nationwide suspect database. The investigation also uncovered evidence that the BCA knew of the inaccuracy and was concerned about the public discovering the issue.


WXYZ Honored With NABJ "Salute to Excellence"

Scripps’ ABC affiliate WXYZ Detroit won the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) 2019 Salute to Excellence Award for its special, “Spotlight on the News: Inside Michigan’s African American Vote.” WXYZ’s winning program aired last October and explored the issues constituents faced in the election and how the African American vote impacts Michigan’s future. It included conversations with political experts, journalists, civil rights activists, religious leaders and prominent members of Michigan’s Democratic and Republican parties.

NBC Unveils Classes for Diversity Programs

NBC recently unveiled the 2019-2020 classes for Female Forward and the Emerging Director Program, two initiatives that aim to increase the representation of female and ethnically diverse directors in scripted television. Participating directors will direct at least one episode in season.

The new class of Female Forward directors and the NBC series they will direct include Kris Lefcoe (Superstore), Brenna Malloy (Chicago Fire), SJ Main Muñoz (Chicago Med), Kim Nguyen (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Sara Zandieh (Good Girls). This is the 10th year for the Emerging Director Program, NBC’s first pipeline program for ethnically diverse male and gender non-binary directors. The new class includes Mahesh Pailoor who will direct an episode of The Blacklist and Dinh Thai who will lead New Amsterdam.

Univision Airs Special on El Paso Shooting

Univision aired on August 5 an hour-long news special, “Univision News Presents: Hispanics in the Crosshairs,” on the El Paso shooting in which 22 people were killed at a local Walmart by a shooter reportedly targeting recent immigrants. Jorge Ramos and Patricia Janoit hosted the special, which focused on the victim’s stories and examined issues such as gun control and immigration. The program was also live streamed on Facebook, Periscope and YouTube.

Telemundo Launches #LATINOSTRONG

Telemundo launched on August 8 “#LatinoStrong, Unidos Contra el Odio,” an on-air and digital initiative dedicated to supporting the Hispanic community in the U.S. following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, on August 3. It includes “Profiles of Courage,” which shares stories and contributions of Hispanics across the country. Telemundo has partnered with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Communities Against Hate (CAH), The Leadership Conference Education Fund and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. CAH is a national initiative that encourages people to share stories of hate and provides access to legal and social services.


NBC and Telemundo Find Homes for 135,000 Pets

NBC and Telemundo helped find permanent homes for 135,000 pets during the 2019 "Clear the Shelters" initiative, held July 27 – August 17. A total of 98 NBC and Telemundo stations and nearly 2,000 animal shelters participated. The event has helped find homes for more than 395,000 animals since 2015.

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WISN-TV, WKLH-FM Provide Supplies for Thousands of Students

Hearst’s ABC affiliate WISN-TV Milwaukee raised more than $46,000 on August 14 in its seventh annual “WISN 12 Class Act School Supply Drive.” WISN, The Salvation Army and Saga Communication’s WKLH-FM partnered on the campaign involving a live, on-air phone bank, online fundraising and in-person donations. The “Stuff the Bus” initiative filled a school bus with backpacks, notebooks and other supplies. In all, the campaign will provide more than 3,000 backpacks full of supplies for students at five local schools.

KTIV Supports Its Community

Quincy Media’s NBC affiliate KTIV Sioux City, IA, recently released a report on their community service in the second quarter of 2019. Three events KTIV sponsored raised nearly $1 million combined. The Alzheimer’s Association’s “Wine and Chocolate Festival” raised $292,500 on April 5th. On April 6th, The Bishop Heelan Auction generated $372,000 for educational programs. Also on April 6, The Symphony’s Gala Auction raised $300,000 to support programs including the “Link Up” program, through which thousands of third through fifth grade students play along with the Symphony for a performance.

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Cromwell Radio Supports St. Jude

Cromwell Radio Group’s WMCI-FM, WWGO-FM and WCBH-FM, serving central Illinois and Western Indiana, recently raised $300,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. On August 2 - 3, 115 runners and volunteers participated in a 148-mile relay run as part of the “Mattoon to Peoria St. Jude Run.” The run raised over $188,000 and a concurrent radiothon brought the total to over $300,000. In nine years, they have raised $1.1 million.

KTVT Honored for Successful Telethon

The Texas Association of Broadcasters honored CBS-owned KTVT Dallas with a 2019 Bonner McLane Public Service Award in recognition of the station’s inaugural “Pulling Together" event. The “Texas-sized tug-of-war” held in August 2018 raised over $200,000 for Children’s Cancer Fund.

Nexstar Hosts Town Hall With Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Nexstar hosted an hour-long, live town hall meeting with Texas Governor Greg Abbott on August 15 that was broadcast and streamed on 14 Nexstar stations across Texas. Moderators from NBC affiliates KETK-TV Tyler and KXAN-TV Austin hosted a ten-minute question and answer session with Governor Abbott, who spent the remainder of the program answering questions from the live audience. Local stations provided additional opportunities for voters to ask questions. KXAN produced pre- and post-Town Hall specials that stations streamed digitally.

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The NAB Congressional PSA Campaign

The NAB Congressional PSAs are now available to radio and television stations via Extreme Reach. Broadcasters can air the PSAs between now and 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, prescription drug abuse prevention, mental health awareness, cancer prevention, and encouraging blood donations.