Broadcast Public Service

June 2020

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Radio and television broadcasters serve local communities every day. Submit your station's stories to Suzie Raven.

Local Broadcasters Provide Trusted News and Information

In times of emergency, Americans turn to their local radio and television stations for the most trusted and reliable information. The COVID-19 pandemic and the extreme civil unrest following the unconscionable death of George Floyd are no different. Dedicated journalists in local communities across the country are once again putting themselves in harm's way to cover the news and to shine a light on our nation's challenges. Broadcasters do not shy away from reporting the news in the face of danger and are committed to providing critical information, comfort and entertainment for those at home. Beyond the many examples featured below of local stations supporting their communities, additional stories can be found here.

Broadcasters Raise Millions for Nonprofits and Food Banks

WBAL-TV Raises $1.3 Million for Maryland Food Bank

Hearst’s NBC affiliate WBAL-TV Baltimore raised $1.3 million for the Maryland Food Bank during the “Project CommUNITY Virtual Food Drive,” which began on April 13. Baseball Hall of Famer and Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr. and Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews appeared in television spots encouraging viewers to donate.

Giving Tuesday in Dallas Raises $21 Million

CBS-owned KTVT-TV Dallas partnered with the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Dallas Cowboys, and musician Caroline Kraddick to present the “Concert for North Texas Giving Tuesday Now” on May 5. The “living room concert” featured performances by Josh Abbott, Ryan Cabrera, Jaret Reddick, Jason Castro and Michael Castro, Caroline Kraddick, Leighton Fields, and Abraham Alexander. The program encouraged viewers to support any of more than 3,000 nonprofits with a donation to the organization of their choice. "Concert for Giving Tuesday Now” raised $21.76 million.

Entercom Houston Helps Raise $14 Million for COVID-19 Relief

Entercom Houston joined forces with the United Way of Greater Houston and the Greater Houston Community Foundation through April and May to help support the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund. The fund raised more than $14 million by May 19. Stations throughout Houston aired more than 1,000 promotional announcements and promoted the fundraiser on their social media and websites. In total, stations donated $555,000 worth of air time.

Gray Raises $12.6 Million for Relief Efforts

Gray Television announced on May 5 that during March and April 2020, its local television stations collectively raised $12.6 million to benefit their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts included telethons, on-air and online fundraisers, and virtual concerts. Many stations launched their campaigns after learning about the difficulties that local food banks and other non-profits were facing due to the cancelation of their normal fundraising activities, just as they experienced dramatic increased need for their services. Read about efforts in local communities across the country here.

KNUC-FM Helps Distribute 200,000 Pounds of Potatoes

Hubbard’s KNUC-FM Seattle morning show "98.9 The Bull’s Fitz In The Morning" partnered with the National Guard, the Washington State Potato Commission and the Farmers of Washington to give away 200,000 pounds of potatoes in the Tacoma Dome North Parking Lot on May 14.

KFNW-FM Provides 2,000 Meals

Northwestern College’s KFNW-FM Fargo, N.D., provided more than 2,000 meals in a drive held April 21-24 in partnership with the New Life Center. The meals will feed families experiencing homelessness in the Red River Valley affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"East Texas Giving Day" Raises $2.2 Million

Nexstar’s NBC affiliate KETK-TV and Fox affiliate KFXK-TV Tyler, Tx., broadcast and livestreamed three hours of special programming on April 21 for “East Texas Giving Day” to encourage donations to local nonprofits and charities. The KETK/KFXK effort helped raise a record $2.2 million. In all, 5,726 separate donations were received and will be used to support 196 different organizations.

More stories

Local Stations Provide Resources and Thank Heroes

Broadcasters Donate $126 Million in Airtime to Fight COVID-19

Broadcasters have donated over $126 million worth of airtime to NAB-produced COVID-19 spots since NAB launched a public service announcement campaign on March 12. The more than 558,000 PSA airings help educate on preventing the spread of the virus. Many radio and TV stations have also developed and aired their own PSAs featuring on-air talent.

Woodward Radio Stations Provide Pandemic Relief Initiatives

Woodward Communications’ radio stations in Appleton and Green Bay, Wis., launched several initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WAPL-FM's “Get a Little, Give a Little” provided listeners with a chance to win a WAPL T-shirt, which includes a $50 station donation to Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin. In the “Corona Cash Sweepstakes” on WKSZ-FM, listeners could win $100 to help with bills, groceries, home schooling, or home office supplies. All Woodward stations aired “Senior Shout Outs” featuring photos and messages submitted by families and friends to congratulate and support graduating students.

WZOR-FM is marking Mental Health Awareness Month by hosting a live Instagram mental health check in for listeners. The station also created a mental health page on its website with local and national resources.

WKMG-TV Launches "Make Ends Meet"

Graham Media Group’s CBS affiliate WKMG-TV Orlando recently launched the "Make Ends Meet" initiative, a budget guidance plan for viewers looking to cut back on spending during the COVID-19 crisis. The station is working with a certified financial planner and lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, to help communities deal with economic challenges during the pandemic. The “Make Ends Meet” initiative has yielded immediate dividends and motivated viewers to donate thousands of dollars to help others in the community after seeing profiles aired on the local station.

KPRC Educates Kids and Adults During Pandemic

Graham’s NBC affiliate KPRC-TV Houston has made education their mission. Their KPRC 2 Kids page contains activities for kids of all ages, from art assignments to story time to a Texas wildlife special in partnership with the Houston Zoo. The page also serves as a resource for parents, with ideas for family-friendly activities.

KPRC also aired the "Ask 2 Town Hall: Coronavirus and Your Money." The special featured a panel of experts answering viewer questions about stimulus checks, unemployment, stocks, and small business help. The station’s health reporter and consumer expert are now also doing regular Facebook Live sessions to answer viewer questions.

Wisconsin Radio and TV Stations Celebrate Hometown Heroes

Midwest Communications radio stations in central Wisconsin and Quincy Media’s ABC affiliate WAOW-TV Wausau are running a “Hometown Hero” campaign to honor and celebrate frontline workers. The stations are offering a prize package to winners to help them cover food, expenses, and entertainment. The Midwest Communications stations involved in the campaign are WIFC-FM, WDEZ-FM, WSAU-AM/FM, WOZZ-FM and WRIG-FM.

KFOR Tracks Unemployment and Honors Heroes

Nexstar’s NBC affiliate KFOR-TV Oklahoma City investigated the long delays people were facing in receiving their unemployment benefits due to computer and technical issues. For example, one of the questions on the state of Oklahoma’s website for unemployment asked about the work week ending 12/26/1899. KFOR has highlighted these issues as viewers have turned to the station for help. In addition, KFOR has launched a campaign to honor frontline heroes during this pandemic.