Broadcasters' Public Service
April 2017

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.

Local Stations Save Lives During Weather Emergencies
KFVS Provides Life-Saving Tornado Coverage

KFVS Provides Life-Saving Tornado Coverage

Raycom's CBS affiliate KFVS-TV Cape Girardeau, MO, provided wall-to-wall coverage of a tornado that touched down on February 28. KFVS also provided community support in the aftermath. Damage occurred in the Missouri Bootheel and in Southern Illinois, with the worst damage occurring in Perryville, MO. Twelve people were injured. Approximately 40 homes were completely destroyed, and more than 100 more were heavily damaged.

The next morning, KFVS began airing PSAs featuring their meteorologists on-location to promote Red Cross donations. KFVS also promoted the Heartland Cares Food Drive on March 3 - 5. More than six tons of food filled 25 pallets for the Southeast Missouri Foodbank and Salvation Army in Southern Illinois. "The immediate response was overwhelming, that our detailed and accurate coverage was the main reason there were no more injuries or deaths," said Director of Marketing Paul Keener.

Vieweres thanked the station for its life-saving coverage:

"…Your pinpoint accuracy of the devastating storm that hit Perry County saved lives. Families have told us your broadcast gave them the warning and time needed to seek shelter. Well done!"
--Ken Baer, Perryville Mayor

"I would like to give a huge shout out to KFVS12…Grant Dade and Brian McCormick did an outstanding job for many hours. Grant Dade was superb and the early warnings and predictions no doubt saved many lives! Thank you for your care, concern, and passion. As a public servant myself…I greatly appreciate your dedication to saving lives and taking your profession very serious!! Because of your excellent coverage my department and I were better able to protect our community, follow the coverage, and be ready for an immediate response. Kudos!"
--Chief James Humphreys, Jackson Police Department

"KFVS, you possibly saved my 15 year old son's life. He received your weather alerts on his phone which prompted him to turn on KFVS weather. After seeing the tornado tracking, he sought shelter in a neighbor's basement. Just as he reached their storm shelter, the tornado hit. Here is the 'after' picture of his dad's home that he was in just minutes before the tornado blew through Perryville. Thank you KFVS!!!"
--Amy Hager, Perryville

Radio Serves Kansas During Wildfire

Radio Serves Kansas During Wildfire

Ad Astra Per Aspera Broadcasting's KSKU-FM, KXKU-FM, KNZS-FM and KWHK-FM Hutchinson, KS, served its community as two large wildfires burned five thousand acres in two counties over nine days, beginning March 4. The fires caused 10,000 residents to evacuate, destroyed 11 homes, significantly damaged many more and burned nearly all vegetation in a state park. Ad Astra Radio's continuous coverage included several live updates as firefighters stopped the flames from jumping a major highway. This would have threatened many more homes and an emergency shelter. In addition to regularly scheduled local news, the stations covered multiple press briefings live and provided hourly updates on the fire. They also promoted fundraising efforts coordinated by the United Way of Reno County, Hutchinson Community Foundation and two local school districts. The stations provided this crucial emergency information with only four station staff members.

Radio and Television Serve Atlanta During Wildfires

Radio and Television Serve Atlanta During Wildfires

Atlanta broadcasters, including Cox Media's ABC affiliate WSB-TV, TEGNA's NBC affiliate WXIA-TV, Meredith's CBS affiliate WGCL-TV, Fox-owned WAGA-TV and Cox Media's WSB-AM/FM, provided crucial coverage of a rush hour wildfire on March 30. The rush-hour fire caused a portion of one of the busiest sections of I-85 to collapse.

Radio and Television Raise Millions; Support Young Patients

KYW-TV Philly Raises $1.2 Million for Ronald McDonald

KYW-TV Philly $1.2 Million for Ronald McDonald

CBS-owned KYW-TV and CW affiliate WPSG-TV Philadelphia raised $1.2 million in the eighth annual "Ronald McDonald House Charities Telethon" on March 28. This year's event brings the eight-year total to $7.4 million. Funds support four Ronald McDonald Houses, 16 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms and $130,000 in college scholarships.

Radio One Raises $1.5 Million for St. Jude

Radio One Raises $1.5 Million for St. Jude

Radio One's national network raised $1.5 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital during the "Radio Cares for St. Jude Kids" radiothon held March 9. Radio One's top fundraisers were WPZE-FM Atlanta, WPRS-FM Washington, D.C., and the Detroit cluster, WCHB-AM, WPRZ-FM, WDMK-FM and WGPR-FM. Programs like this ensure that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food. Since 2008, the event has raised nearly $12 million.

Sioux Falls Radiothon Raises $325,000 for Sanford Children's

Radiothon Raises $325,000

Townsquare Media's KKLS-FM, KMXC-FM, KYBB-FM, KIKN-FM and KSOO-AM Sioux Falls, S.D., raised $325,000 in their 10th annual "Cure Kids Cancer Radiothon" at the Sanford Children's Hospital, held March 2 – 3. All funds support programs for children at the hospital.

WLIB Raises $124,000 for St. Jude

WLIB Raises $124,000 for St. Jude

Emmis' WLIB-AM New York City raised more than $124,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in a radiothon held March 12 – 13. Since its inception, WLIB has raised over $1.5 million for St. Jude. Watch video from the event here.

Radiothon for Baystate Children's Hospital Raises Over $200,000

Radiothon for Baystate Children’s Hospital raises over $200,000

Cumulus Radio's WMAS-FM Springfield, Mass., raised $233,000 in its 16th annual radiothon at Baystate Children's Hospital on March 8. All money raised directly benefits programs and services at the hospital. The event has raised nearly $4 million since 2002.

KFSH-FM LA Supports Heart Transplant Patient

KFSH-FM LA supports Heart Transplant Patient

Salem Media Group's KFSH-FM Los Angeles recently received information about Lexi, a local girl in need of a heart transplant. KFSH shared Lexi's story on air and via social media. KFSH's "The Fish Cares Team" also participated in a community event to raise money and support Lexi. Station personnel were thrilled to find out that Lexi will receive a new heart.

Broadcasters Continue to Address Opioid Crisis

WMUR Hosts Youth Summit on Opioid Abuse

WMUR Hosts Youth Summit on Opioid Abuse

Hearst's ABC affiliate WMUR-TV Manchester, N.H., hosted a summit on March 14 to address the opioid crisis ravaging the community. Thousands of students attended the event to hear from actors, athletes and parents about the epidemic. Following the event, WMUR received phone calls from viewers saying the effort is assisting them with getting help.

WBAL Fights Heroin Epidemic

WBAL Fights Heroin Epidemic

Hearst's NBC affiliate WBAL-TV Baltimore continues to extensively cover the opioid crisis affecting the community. On March 9, WBAL aired "3 Dead After 16 other Opioid Overdoses in Anne Arundel County." WBAL has covered local government action through "Maryland Governor Declares State of Emergency for Heroin Epidemic" on March 1 and "Legislators Hear Slew of Bills on Opioid Misuse" on March 8.

KTAR Airs Special Report on Opioids

KTAR Airs Special Report on Opioids

Bonneville's KTAR-FM Phoenix aired a special report March 30 on Arizona's Morning News about the dangers of opioids . Reporter Corbin Carson interviewed Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to shed light on this critical issue.

WTAE Chronicles Pennsylvania's Addiction Crises

WTAE Chronicles Pennsylvania’s State of Addiction

Hearst's ABC affiliate WTAE-TV Pittsburgh aired "Chronicle: State of Addiction" on March 22. The program featured accounts from a former college athlete, a computer software developer and an Olympian who are in recovery. Immediately following the program, viewers participated in an hour-long Facebook Live discussion with experts. "We are proud that WTAE Channel 4 and our parent company Hearst Television have embarked on a year-long project aimed at combating the opioid crisis," said General Manager Charles W. Wolfertz III.

WJLP Airs Town Hall Meeting on Heroin

WJLP Airing Town Hall Meeting On Heroin

PMCM TV's Me TV affiliate WJLP-TV Middletown, N.J., aired "A Jersey Matters Town Hall: The Heroin Crisis" on March 24 to shed light on New Jersey's growing heroin and prescription drug crisis. PMCM's Me TV affiliate KJWP-TV Wilmington, Del., which serves viewers in the Philadelphia metro area, also aired the special. Panelists included politicians, medical experts, actress Mackenzie Phillips and New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino.

Broadcasters Investigate Critical Issues
Local Broadcasters Win Cronkite Awards

Local Broadcasters Win Cronkite Awards

Local broadcast stations owned by Hearst, Scripps, TEGNA and Nexstar won 2017 Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Television for their political coverage.
  • TEGNA's NBC affiliate KUSA-TV Denver won its third consecutive local fact-checking award. Also, KUSA's political reporter Brandon Rittiman earned his second Cronkite award for his reporting on local judicial elections that judges said gives voice to "real people."
  • The E.W. Scripps Company won the national fact-checking award for its local stations' national impact.
  • Nexstar's NBC affiliate KXAN-TV Austin covered the government's effort to stop drug smugglers coming from Mexico. KXAN-TV held elected officials accountable and featured people directly impacted by federal and state policies.
  • TEGNA's ABC affiliate WXIA Atlanta won for its five-part investigation of a military policy stripping benefits and veteran status from service members suffering from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. The story demonstrated the issue's human impact and prompted legislative action.
  • Nexstar's ABC affiliate WOI-TV Des Moines reporter Sabrina Ahmed won for her reporting on medical cannabis, "combining emotion with policy and medicine."
  • Hearst Television and The E.W. Scripps Company were honored for "top-down commitment" to political coverage across all their stations.
  • Marshall Zelinger with Scripps' ABC affiliate KMGH-TV Denver won for the story of a signature forgery scandal in a U.S. Senate race, triggering an official investigation and policy change.
  • Independently owned KCET-TV Los Angeles was recognized for its online and on-air initiative, "Props in a Minute." The 60-second videos explain 17 propositions on California's ballot, including school bonds, criminal sentencing and prescription drug prices.

Raycom Launches National Investigative Unit

Raycom Launches National Investigative Unit

Raycom Media launched a national investigative unit to be led by investigative reporter Lee Zurik from Fox affiliate WVUE-TV New Orleans. The unit will produce investigative reports focusing on the local impact of national issues. Raycom will tackle abuses in government spending, consumer protection, public safety, tax policy, job creation, health care, infrastructure and immigration. "We are going to make a difference in our communities," Zurik said. "We will be taking subjects outside of the 'Beltway of Washington' mentality of the national news networks and answering the viewers' biggest concern: how does this affect me and my family here in Cleveland, Baton Rouge, Cape Girardeau or Charleston?"

Local Stations Support Communities
WVUE Exposes Fishing Entitlement Program

WCVB Supports Community Activities

Hearst's ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston supported the Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign, which invites men and boys to help end violence against women. WCVB's Mike Lynch joined sports directors from Cox's Fox affiliate WFXT-TV, Sunbeam-owned WHDH-TV and CBS-owned WBZ-TV to shoot a PSA titled "Reimagine Manhood" to promote the campaign. All four stations debuted the PSA during the March 1 evening news. During the 10th anniversary celebration of White Ribbon Day, the sports directors publicly pledged to be part of the solution in ending gender-based violence.

In addition, WCVB has been the annual media sponsor of the Ellie Fund Red Carpet Gala for close to 20 years. The exclusive viewing of the 89th Annual Academy Awards on February 26 raised $300,000 for breast cancer support services. WCVB anchors Ed Harding, Maria Stephanos, Emily Riemer and Ben Simmoneau emceed the event and posed on the red carpet with guests.

Univision Sparks 'M.A.G.I.C.' Partnership With Miami Dade College

Univision Sparks “M.A.G.I.C.” Partnership with Miami Dade College

Univision Communications Inc. established the Univision MAGIC Scholarship Fund with a $100,000 donation to the Miami Dade College (MDC). The scholarship supports a fellowship and internship program for students currently attending MDC's Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex (MAGIC), the region's premier animation and gaming educational facility.

Univision Arizona and Cronkite School Air 'Cronkite Noticias'

Univision Arizona and Cronkite School Air ‘Cronkite Noticias’

Univision Arizona and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication have partnered on a regular 30-minute news program. "Cronkite Noticias" launched February 17 and airs on KFPH-TV Flagstaff every other Friday during the academic year. Bilingual students in the Cronkite School report on the economy, education, sustainability, immigration and other issues important to the region's Latino communities.

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