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Broadcasters' Public Service
January 2015
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NAB's Licensed to Serve presents a sample of the public service activities regularly organized by radio and television broadcasters across the country. Local stations constantly show a commitment to their communities in a variety of ways, from hosting record-breaking food, clothing and toy drives to providing free air time for political campaign coverage.

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Click here to learn more about broadcasters' public service.

Arizona Broadcasters Unite to Air Report on Heroin Epidemic
"Hooked: Tracking Heroin's Hold on Arizona"
On Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m., all Arizona television stations and most radio stations will air "Hooked: Tracking Heroin's Hold on Arizona," an investigative report produced in English and Spanish by students at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in partnership with the Arizona Broadcasters Association (ABA). The program focuses on the growing perils of heroin and opioid use in Arizona.

Art Brooks, president and chief executive officer of the ABA, developed the idea after learning of the seriousness of the issue and organized the backing of the state’s broadcast industry.

“The scourge of heroin and opioid addiction is killing hundreds of Arizonans, and the growing problem is reaching epidemic levels,” Brooks said. “Broadcast stations are fiercely competitive, but our industry leaders are bonding together on this public danger in order to save lives.”

Student journalists analyzed data on more than 10 million Arizona hospital emergency room cases, including more than 2,000 heroin overdoses, and studied census information to find patterns in heroin abuse. The ABA has sponsored a call center that will be available during and after the broadcast.

"It is nothing short of extraordinary to have every TV broadcaster in a state come together and jointly agree to air – commercial free in a widely viewed time slot – an important piece of public service journalism," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "It is a testament to the greater leadership of the Arizona Broadcasters Association and the general managers across the state and their tremendous commitment to their communities. I have no doubt that the Cronkite heroin project will make a real impact on this critical public health issue and save lives."
Broadcasters Bring Holiday Cheer to Local Families
Cumulus Nashville Builds Field of Toys
Cumulus Radio's Nashville stations WNFN-FM, WKDF-FM, WSM-FM, WGFX-FM, WWTN-FM and WQQK-FM collected 5,000 toys for the Salvation Army's Forgotten Angel Program. On Dec. 9, the stations formed a "field of toys" at LP Field. The Salvation Army in Nashville reached more than 9,000 "angels" during the 2014 holiday season.
KSBW Holiday Drive Breaks Records
Hearst Television-owned NBC affiliate KSBW Salinas, Calif. hosted its annual Share Your Holiday drive to benefit the Salvation Army. KSBW collected $161,000 (30 percent more than in 2013), in addition to 10,000 pounds of food and 1,000 toys. "We are humbled by the generosity of our viewers," said KSBW General Manager Joseph Heston. "It's one thing to profess to want to help others and it's quite another to step up and actually get it done.”

WCSX-FM Donates Van to Detroit Family
Greater Media's WCSX-FM Detroit morning personalities Trudi and Jim hosted the Drive Home the Holiday Spirit campaign in December. Listeners nominated families in dire need of a "Santa Van." This year's van went to Paul, a single man who works three jobs while raising his four nieces and nephews on his own. After Paul mentioned that the four kids sleep on the floor because he cannot afford beds, Trudi and Jim contacted an area furniture store, which donated beds. "It's yet another shining example of how WCSX-FM, its clients and listeners come together to help bring joy to those during their time of need in the Motor City," said Heidi Raphael, vice president of Corporate Communication at Greater Media. Click here to view the video.
WRAL-TV Raises $100,000 for the Salvation Army
Capitol Broadcasting Company's CBS affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh collected winter clothes, money and toys for the Salvation Army. Of the $100,000 collected this year, WRAL-TV raised $87,600 in a one-day telethon on Dec. 12. Each year, WRAL-TV helps the Salvation Army achieve its goal of providing two new toys for each family that signs up for the December "Toy Shop," a program that has seen a huge increase in participation in recent years. Since 1989, WRAL-TV has collected more than 150,000 coats and $1.5 million to provide winter clothing for families assisted by the Salvation Army.
San Antonio Listeners Wrap 5,000 Gifts
Alpha Media's KTSA-AM San Antonio hosted its 16th annual Wrappin With Jack campaign. During the event, 700 volunteers wrapped over 5,000 gifts that had been donated to benefit the Family Service Association of San Antonio. Host Jack Riccardi wanted to ensure that no child was told that Santa couldn't come this year because the family is going through tough times.
Baltimore Station Collects 50,000 Toys
E.W. Scripps' ABC affiliate WMAR Baltimore collected 50,000 toys in the annual ABC2 It's Kindertime Toy Drive. This year's drive benefited needy families and kids of fallen firefighters and police officers. WMAR has helped distribute more than 400,000 toys in 16 years.

KLUC-FM Las Vegas Fills
29 Trucks With Toys

CBS Radio's KLUC-FM Las Vegas broke records with the 16th Annual Chet Buchanan & The Morning Zoo Toy Drive. The station raised $323,000 and filled 29 trailers with new toys, including 5,146 bikes, to benefit HELP of Southern Nevada. HELP assisted 3,000 local families this holiday season.
WIBC-FM Indianapolis Raises $253,000
Emmis Communications' WIBC-FM Indianapolis raised $253,000 for the Salvation Army during its radiothon. The radiothon, held Dec. 5-6, broke a station record and surpassed the $250,000 goal. WIBC-FM listeners have donated more than $2 million over the last 20 years.
iHeartMedia Little Rock Collects 20,000 Toys
iHeartMedia stations KMJX-FM and KSSN-FM Little Rock, Ark. held their 2014 Toy Hill Toy Drive from Dec. 5-7. During the 72-hour toy drive, KMJX-FM and KSSN-FM collected $24,000 and filled three 18-wheel trucks with 20,000 new toys. The donations benefitted the Marine Corp's Toys for Tots Program.
WTNH Hosts Holiday Giving Competition
LIN Media's ABC affiliate WTNH-TV New Haven, Conn. collected more than 1,000 toys for Toys for Tots during the station's GR8 Holiday Give. WTNH-TV turned the toy drive into a fun competition between the station's news and weather teams by asking participants to choose a "team tag" of news or weather when donating a toy. The station tracked each team's progress online using a bar graph.
WBAP-AM Aids Supported Living Center
Cumulus Media's WBAP-AM Dallas collected 1,000 gifts during a week-long fundraiser to benefit the physically and mentally challenged adults at the Denton State Supported Living Center. Santa delivered the gifts during a holiday party. WBAP-AM also collected money for necessary medical equipment and supplies.
Television and Radio Stations Collect Tons of Food, Winter Clothes
WRAT-FM Fills Truck With 15,000 Meals and 9,000 Pounds of Clothes
Greater Media's WRAT-FM Lake Como, N.J. provided roughly 15,000 meals to local residents through its 16th annual food drive. WRAT-FM filled a 48-foot tractor trailer with donations for three charities: food for the Food Bank of Ocean and Monmouth counties, clothing for Family Resource Associates, and toiletries for Holiday Express. This included 2,000 tooth brushes and 350 tubes of tooth paste, more than 9,000 pounds of clothes (up from 7,000 pounds in 2013), more than 15,000 pounds of food and 268 turkeys. Donations came in many forms: one donor brought a food-filled shopping cart on the back of his tow truck. A high school sent a school bus filled with donations.
WBRZ Baton Rouge Collects 7,500 Coats for Kids
Manship Stations' ABC affiliate WBRZ Baton Rouge, La. raised more than $111,000 to distribute 7,500 coats to children in 171 schools. Since its inception 26 years ago, Pat's Coats for Kids has distributed more than 200,000 winter coats to local children in need.
WHO-AM Passes out 5,000 Pork Loins
iHeartMedia's WHO-AM Des Moines, Iowa morning hosts Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas gave away 5,000 packaged pork loins on Dec. 17 for those in need this holiday season. The drive-through giveaway, held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, attracted thousands. Watch the video here.
KXKT-FM Omaha Raises Nearly $1 Million for School Lunches
iHeartMedia's KXKT-FM Omaha, Neb. raised $900,000 during The Woodhouse Challenge 2014. The Woodhouse Auto Family challenged morning personality Gina to not eat for 24 hours to better appreciate the daily plight of children who do not have enough food. The Woodhouse Auto Family contributed $400,000 and challenged listeners to match this amount. KXKT-FM listeners stepped up, more than doubling the contribution. The money KXKT-FM raised will provide meals to 5,600 local children through the Food Bank for the Heartland's school lunch program.
Radio Supports Veterans and Their Families During the Holidays
D.C. Station Raises $350,000 for Fisher House
Cumulus Media's WMAL-AM Washington, D.C. raised a record $350,000 to benefit Fisher House during its two-day radiothon. Over the last 11 years, WMAL-AM has raised more than $4.5 million to support the families of local veterans who are recovering from illness and injury. Fisher House has more than 50 group homes across America that provide a comfortable place for families to live while staying close to their recovering veterans.
Emmis Austin Serves Families and Troops
Emmis Communications' Austin, Texas stations KLBJ-AM/FM, KBPA-FM, KLZT-FM and KGSR-FM participated in Chuy's Parade, which collected thousands of toys. KLBJ-AM's "Operation Thank You" raised $19,000 for the Texas National Guard Family Support Foundation, which assists families with a household member deployed during the holidays. KLZT-FM raised $146,000 for Dell Children's Medical Center during and also helped distribute more than 1,000 Thanksgiving meals through El Buen Samaritano's "Hands for Hope" mission.
WLEN-FM Aids Local Veterans
Lenawee Broadcasting Company's WLEN-FM Adrian, Mich. raised $20,000 for the "Veterans Dire Needs Fund" at the Housing Help of Lenawee during its annual Thank a Vet Day. The money will be distributed over the course of the year to assist veterans with rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, storage rentals, and transportation stipends. More than $80,000 has been raised in the event's history to support Lenawee County veterans.
Radio Stations Care for Local Children
Country Radio Raises Millions for St. Jude
Country radio across the U.S. raised millions for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in 2014. Stations include:
  • CBS Radio's WUSN-FM Chicago ($1.2 million)
  • iHeartMedia's KEEY-FM Minneapolis ($1,009,452)
  • iHeartMedia's WPOC-FM Baltimore ($330,355)
  • Beasley's WQYK-FM Tampa ($252,828)
  • Lincoln Financial Media's KSON-FM San Diego ($251,050)
  • iHeartMedia's WAMZ-FM Louisville, Ky. ($245,000)
  • Max Media's  WGH-FM Norfolk, Va ($202,945)
  • iHeartMedia's WGAR-FM Cleveland, Ohio ($200,331)
  • iHeartMedia's WTQR-FM Greensboro, N.C. ($189,870)
  • CBS Radio's KNCI-FM Sacramento, Calif. ($113,542)
  • CBS Radio's WDSY-FM Pittsburgh, Pa. ($102,870)
  • iHeartMedia's WUSY-FM Chattanooga, Tenn. ($143,000)
KOIL-AM Omaha Raises $73,000 for Children
NRG Media's KOIL-AM Omaha, Neb. raised $73,000 for the Child Saving Institute during a radiothon on Dec. 12. The Child Saving Institute serves children and teens facing difficult situations by providing emergency shelter, adoption, foster care, therapy and day care assistance. KOIL-AM beat its goal of $60,000 by nearly 25 percent.
‘Markathon' Supports Grieving Children
Townsquare Media's WCYY-FM Portland, Maine raised $50,000 for the Center for Grieving Children during "The Markathon." Host Mark Curdo stayed on air for 102 hours, playing requests from people who donated. The Center for Grieving Children helps 4,000 youth annualy who have lost a family member or who came to Maine from areas facing war and genocide.
WPLJ Makes a Girl's Wish Come True
Cumulus Media's WPLJ-FM New York City partnered with Make-A-Wish to grant 13-year-old Olivia's wish to be a pop star for a day. Olivia, who has a life threatening brain tumor, visited WPLJ-FM's Madison Square Garden studio for an interview with Ralphie, host of Ralphie Tonight, to talk about her album release and life as a pop star. Her superstar treatment included a Green Room stocked with her favorite foods, drinks and presents.
Broadcasters Win Awards for Investigative Reporting, Public Service
Local Stations Win Investigative Reporting Awards
Four stations received Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for investigative reporting.
  • The E.W. Scripps Company's ABC affiliate WFTS Tampa program "Incapacitated: Florida's Guardianship Program," exposed fraud by court appointed guardians and led to legislative changes.
  • Gannett Broadcasting's CBS affiliate WTSP Tampa's year-long investigation, "Short Yellows and the Red Light Fight," showed that local governments manipulate technology to make yellow lights shorter, increasing the number of tickets given to safe drivers.
  • Gannett's CBS Affiliate WLTX Columbia, S.C. was honored for "DDS: When the System Fails," an investigation into failures in South Carolina's Department of Social Services.
  • Gannett's NBC affiliate KPNX-TV Phoenix, Ariz. was honored for "Raked Over the Coals," which examined the Phoenix Fire Department's arson squad.
New York Stations Show Commitment to Public Service
The New York State Broadcasters Association (NYSBA) recently presented "Serving New York" awards to local broadcast radio and television stations across the state for their public service campaigns. The dozens of award-winning initiatives include awareness campaigns for mental health issues and suicide prevention; fundraisers for breast cancer research, Lupus treatments and bone marrow transplants; anti-bullying campaigns; education fairs; food, winter clothing and school supply drives; and hours of air time donated to cover the Special Olympics. Click on the city names to read more about how broadcasters serve their communities in the regions surrounding New York City, Albany, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.