Broadcasters' Public Service
December 2016
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Radio and television broadcasters constantly serve local communities. Stations air lifeline emergency information; support our military; raise millions for hospitals and cancer research; collect food, clothes and toys; devote free air time to election coverage; and promote education.

Submit your station's public service to Suzie Raven.

Broadcasters Host Successful Community Fundraisers Ahead of Holidays

Alpha North Dallas Hosts Coat Drive

Alpha North Dallas Hosts Get Their Coat-Drive On

Alpha Media Dallas collected more than 3,000 coats in its fourth annual "Share the Warmth Coat Drive," held October 3 - November 4. Texas Laundry and Dry Cleaning cleaned the coats in advance of delivery on November 10 to hundreds of families. A special pick-up time was set aside for veterans. "We are proud and thrilled with the continued growth of our Share the Warmth Coat Drive and the number of people we're now able to help," said Alpha Media Market Manager David Smith.

WFXG Collects 438 Coats

WFXG Collects 438 Coats

Raycom's Fox affiliate WFXG Augusta, Ga., collected 438 coats for the Salvation Army in the "Coats for Our Children" drive held October 20 - 31. WFXG had two all-day live shot locations to highlight six drop-off locations in the market.

WBAL Collects 816 Coats for Kids

WBAL Collects 816 Coats for Kids

Hearst's WBAL-AM Baltimore collected 816 coats for local kids during the "Warm Coats & Warm Hearts Coat Drive," held in partnership with Burlington Coat Factory on November 15. "If I don't have a coat, I'm going to be very cold, and if I do, I'm going to be very happy, because I won't be cold and I'll stay warm for the whole winter," said nine-year-old Tristan Jenkins.

Cumulus Des Moines Hosts Record-Setting Benefit

Cumulus Media Des Moines hosted a world-record-setting "FriendsGiving" on November 6 to bring awareness and donations of food and clothes for local people in need. More than 600 people participated in the Guinness World Record for the "Largest Number of People Breaking Bread" and enjoyed a traditional holiday meal. The event benefited Hope Ministries, which feeds about 450 people per day. "We tried to come up with a fun way to get people talking about it and engaged in the conversation of how they can help people right in their community with clothes and food donations," said event organizer, Elizabeth Stewart.

KPLM Provides Bikes for 400 Kids

WBAL Collects 816 Coats for Kids

RM Broadcasting's KPLM-FM Palm Springs, Calif., raised more than $77,000 during its two-day Radiothon on November 1 - 2 for Coachella Valley fourth-graders. The money wil go toward thel purchase of 400 bicycles, which will be distributed to local students on December 11 along with 400 helmets purchased by Walter Clark Legal Group. Local schools nominated students to receive a bike based on the student's needs, efforts, sportsmanship, and respect for self, family, teachers and community.

WBQB-FM Raises $118,000 for Children's Hospital

WBQB-FM Raises $118,000 for Children’s Hospital

Centennial Broadcasting's WBQB-FM Fredericksburg, Va., raised $118,000 to benefit Children's National Health System in a radiothon held November 3 - 4. "On behalf of Children's National Health System, we are grateful to B101.5 for leading the "care-athon" and inspiring their listeners and local community to generously support children and families in Fredericksburg and across the Washington, D.C., region," said Children's Hospital Foundation Associate Director of Corporate Sponsorships Erin Stoker. "Because of these critical donations, we are able to develop therapies, improve treatments, find cures, and care for every child in need, regardless of their ability to pay."

WOIO/WUAB Partners with Local Law Firm to Help Area Families

WOIO/WUAB Partners With Local Law Firm to Help Area Families

Raycom Media's WOIO/WUAB-TV Cleveland again partnered with law firm Kisling, Nestico & Redick (KNR) on the fourth annual "KNR Coats & Cans for Kids Turkey Giveaway" on November 18. WOIO broadcast live during their noon and evening newscasts, along with Facebook Live and social media engagement, as they handed out 1,000 Thanksgiving turkeys in exchange for a canned good to benefit the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank or a gently used coat for The Salvation Army and Volunteers of America. Twenty-thousand pounds of non-perishable food was collected, which will serve over 16,000 meals – plus hundreds of coats were collected for local needy families in Northeast Ohio.

Local Stations Address Opioid Abuse Epidemic

WBAL Addresses Opioid Crisis, Encourages Civic Engagement

WBAL Addresses Opioid Crisis and Civic Engagement

Hearst's NBC affiliate WBAL-TV Baltimore Investigative Team aired a report on November 1 on a new implant that fights opioid addiction. The report is part of WBAL's commitment to educate viewers on the prescription drug abuse crisis.

In addition, WBAL education reporter Dr. Tim Tooten interviewed students at a local elementary school as they participated in a mock election for the "Every Kid Votes" campaign. Watch video.

WPSD-TV Covers Opioid Crisis

WPSD-TV Covers Opioid Crisis

Paxton Media's NBC affiliate WPSD-TV Paducah, Ky., addressed the opioid crisis that is affecting the community by highlighting the story of 28-year-old Douglas Koon, who has been struggling with addiction for 11 years. WPSD-TV shared the message that people should not be scared to ask for help. Watch video here.

Broadcasters Focus on Their Communities

Hawaii News Now Fights Homelessness

Hawaii News Now Fights Homelessness

Raycom Media's Hawaii News Now (HNN) Honolulu produced and aired a documentary addressing Hawaii's homeless crisis that debuted commercial-free on October 19. The 90-minute film aired four times: October 19, October 30, November 5 and November 13. It follows two families for more than a year, showing how they became homeless, plus their struggles on the street and in securing subsidized housing. It touches on a variety of facets of the homeless, including veterans, the incarcerated, the elderly and transplants from other states and countries, with information on how mental health and addiction impact the problem. The initial Facebook post, featuring a two-minute trailer, reached almost 2.3 million people, with more than 9,000 likes and 11,000 shares. Viewer feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Residents shared their feelings and expressed a desire to help, showing that HNN achieved the goal of engaging the community in a conversation on an important issue.

Radio Positively Impacts Young Boy

Radio Positively Impacts Young Boy

iHeartMedia's KFI-AM Los Angeles radio talk show host Tim Conway Jr. touched the life of 11-year-old caller Jack Chavez. Jack, who lost his father three years ago, called the show because his dad listened when he went in for dialysis. When Jack mentioned spending his birthday with his mom in the hospital because of his congenital heart disease, Conway set up a GoFundMe page to send him to Disney World for his birthday. Within a week, the station raised more than $34,000. In addition to providing the birthday of a lifetime, the money will help pay off bills and help Jack go to college, which is something his father always wanted for him.

Univision Arizona’s ‘Véndeme tu Sueño’ Competition Empowers Local Entrepreneur

Univision Arizona's ‘Véndeme tu Sueño' Competition Empowers Local Entrepreneur

Univision Arizona and a panel of judges selected Vanessa Nielsen as the winner of "Véndeme tu Sueño" (Pitch Me Your Dream) season 2 on November 17 at Univision Arizona Studios. "Véndeme tu Sueño" seeks to promote original ideas and startup ventures from Hispanic entrepreneurs in Arizona. Sol Book Box, the winning business idea, is a female-founded subscription-based service that provides culturally appropriate books and items to children of bilingual families to encourage Spanish-language literacy and cultural preservation. Nielsen will be awarded $30,000 in media support from Univision Arizona and SEED SPOT, one of the top social impact incubators in the United States for entrepreneurs.

Radio and Television Stations Honor America's Veterans
WCSH Raises Nearly $100,000 for Maine Veterans

WCSH Raises Nearly $100,000 for Maine Veterans

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate WCSH Portland, ME, raised $96,000 in its first-ever telethon to help local veterans go to Washington, D.C. to see the war memorials through the Honor Flight program. The money will provide at least 138 veterans with an all-expenses paid trip to visit the memorials created in their honor. Priority is given to seniors, World War ll veterans and those who may be terminally ill. “I always felt like a nobody, but after the trip in June 2016, I felt like a very special somebody” said WWII veteran Theodore Perry.

KIOA Raises Over $112,000 for American Legion

KIOA/Des Moines Raises Over $112,000 For American Legion In Radiothon

Saga Communications' KIOA-FM Des Moines raised over $112,000 for the American Legion of Iowa with its "Vets of Valor" radiothon on November 11. All money raised directly benefits the legion and local veterans in need. "Iowans never fail to leave me stunned by their generosity," said KIOA Brand Manager Alan White. "With the help of our loyal listeners, we vastly outraised last year's total."

WRKO-FM Raises $71,000 for Disabled Veterans

 Radio Doing Good Deeds

Entercom's WRKO-FM Boston raised $71,000 for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) during a nine-hour marathon broadcast held November 11. The money raised supports DAV's efforts to provide disabled veterans resources, including assistance with benefits, medical attention and employment opportunities.

WTNH Hosts ‘Vets Rock’ Concert and Expo

WTNH Hosts ‘Vets Rock' Concert and Expo

Media General's ABC affiliate WTNH-TV New Haven, Conn., partnered with Til Duty is Done and Mohegan Sun on the second annual "Vets Rock" expo and concert held on Veteran's Day. Over 3,000 veterans and their family members attended the free expo, which included an employment fair, professional attire fitting and 50 veteran service organizations. This number of attendees is nearly triple that of the 2015 debut. The event included a concert featuring Godsmack, the Dropkick Murphys, Tony Orlando and Madison Rising, and raised $20,000 for local veteran's organization Til Duty is Done. Throughout October, WTNH celebrated local veterans, sharing stories of sacrifice and achievement.

Broadcasters Go In-Depth With Investigative Reporting

WJZY Exposes Dealership Selling Salvage Cars

WJZY Exposes Dealership Selling Salvage Cars

Fox owned-and-operated WJZY-TV Charlotte exposed a car dealership for knowingly selling salvaged and flooded cars, some with the titles doctored as "clean" despite having serious damage. The dealer's listing with the Better Business Bureau is an "F." After the report aired, a North Carolina Department of Transportation inspector opened up an active investigation into the dealer, Auto City.

WCAU and WWSI Respond to Consumers

Often Consumers’ Last Hope, WCAU Responds

NBC owned-and-operated WCAU-TV and Telemundo's WWSI Philadelphia encourage viewers to share their consumer complaints with the NBC10 Responds and Telemundo62 Responde units. The stations launched the consumer investigative units last year to address claims when viewers feel they have run out of options.

WFLA Reunites Residents With $2.3 Million

WFLA Reunites Residents With $2.3 Million

Media General's NBC affiliate WFLA Tampa Consumer Reporter Shannon Behnken hosted a six-and-a-half hour phone bank on November 14 that netted residents more than $2.3 million of unclaimed cash. The money is often from dormant accounts in financial institutions, insurance and utility companies, and securities and trust holdings. "The volume of calls we received was unbelievable, proving once again that News Channel 8 is truly ‘On Your Side'," said WFLA General Manager Andy Alford.

WJXT Investigation Leads to Senate Investigation

WJXT Investigation Leads to Senate Investigation

Graham Media Group's WJXT-TV Jacksonville, Fla., aired an investigation into Housing and Urban Development (HUD) shortcomings, resulting in a U.S. Senate committee demanding answers. WJXT exposed deplorable living conditions at some HUD facilities in a series of investigative reports about Jacksonville housing complexes, including Eureka Gardens.

Stations Keep Communities Informed About Local Politics
KAAL Hosts Weekly Debates

KAAL Hosts Weekly Debates

Hubbard's ABC affiliate KAAL Austin, Minn., produced and aired the live, local "Super Tuesday Debates" series every Tuesday from September 13 - November 1 at 6:30 p.m. KAAL re-aired all of the debates on its digital channel for 24 hours on November 7 in order to inform the electorate about local races in advance of the election. The series covered every race from U.S. Congress to City Council.

Chicago Radio Stations Road Block for Rahm Emanuel Town Hall

Chicago Radio Stations Go Wall-to-Wall with Rahm Town Hall  The Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) and Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland spearheaded a 30-minute, commercial-free "roadblock" for more than 40 radio stations to air the "Chicago Radio Town Hall Meeting" featuring Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. Listeners submitted questions in advance online and via social media with the hashtag #ChicagoRadio. The program was the result of a year's worth of planning. "I recently asked the leaders of Chicago-area radio stations to utilize their powerful platforms and tremendous reach to motivate Chicagoans to take a more active role in making our city stronger," Emanuel said. "They answered the call with this unique broadcast opportunity."

"Radio stations have a unique ability to create a meaningful conversation because of the intimate relationship the medium has with its audience," said Univision Chicago General Manager Doug Levy. "I am proud that we are leading the dialogue about how to solve some of our biggest problems and take full advantage of some of our greatest strengths."

Dennis Lyle, president and CEO of the IBA, said in a statement: "The fact that the most popular radio stations in Chicago are willing to set aside regular programming and commercial inventory to air this 30-minute conversation with the mayor is a prime example of local broadcasters doing what they do best — serving the needs of their listeners within their communities of license."

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