Broadcasters' Public Service
March 2017
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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 Inform Communities, Protect Citizens
KARE-TV Wins Award for Investigative Reporting

KARE-TV Wins Award for Investigative Reporting

TEGNA's NBC affiliate KARE-TV Minneapolis won a George Polk Award for television reporting for its investigative series "Invisible Wounds." The George Polk Awards, established in 1949 by Long Island University, honor special achievement in journalism, with emphasis on investigative and enterprising reporting that achieves results. KARE's year-long investigation showed that the Department of Veterans Affairs used unqualified medical personnel to perform examinations and deny benefits for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) at the Minneapolis VA Medical center. KARE examined hundreds of cases from 2010 to 2014. "Their reporting is a testament to the power of local news and the positive impact we have on our communities," said TEGNA Media President Dave Lougee.

KARK Launches Anti-Violence Campaign

KARK Launches Anti-Violence Campaign

Nexstar's NBC affiliate KARK-TV and Mission Broadcasting's Fox affiliate KLRT Little Rock launched the "Victory Over Violence" campaign in early February in response to the shooting of a local toddler. The campaign's goal is to cover crime in a responsible manner and to be a resource for issues including education, jobs, mentoring and hunger. "We decided we needed to be part of the solution," said KARK News Director Austin Kellerman.

WBLS Celebrates Black History Month

WBLS Celebrates Black History Month

Emmis' WBLS-FM New York City released an original content series, "Living Black History," beginning February 1 in honor of Black History Month. The series focuses on African Americans making history today, including Tamika Mallory, Arva Rice, Rev. Al Sharpton, Imhotep Gary Byrd, and Rev. Jesse Jackson. View the episode featuring Tamika Mallory here.

WINS-AM Addresses Cyberbullying

WINS-AM Addresses Cyberbullying     CBS Radio's WINS-AM New York City has produced an eight-part series, "Living in Live Time," and a related campaign called "I Decide Today," to address cyberbullying. The New York Education Department reports a 19 percent increase in bullying in the city's public schools and a 31 percent increase in charter schools. The series includes dozens of interviews with experts, kids and celebrities. It also featured two young women who had plastic surgery because they didn't like how they looked in selfies.

"Part of our mission is to explore important issues, but we also want to improve the lives and the communities we serve," News Director Ben Mevorach told Radio Ink. "The response to our last series on the heroin epidemic and the heroin summit we co-hosted (more than 600 people attended) was so overwhelming, it confirmed for us that we were connecting in a meaningful and powerful way. We believe 'Living in Live Time' can be used as part of the curriculum in schools across America and as a discussion starter in every family that has teens and tweens."

Stations Raise Money for Communities in Need
Raycom Stations Raise $587,000 for Tornado Relief

Raycom Stations Raise $587,000 for Tornado Relief

Raycom's NBC affiliates WALB-TV Albany, Ga., and WDAM-TV Hattiesburg, Miss., raised $587,000 for tornado relief. On January 21 and 22, EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes killed 16 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. WALB and the American Red Cross raised $202,000 through the "Rise Up for Recovery – Give for South Georgia Tornado Relief" telethon on February 2. WDAM and the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation raised $385,000 in the "Pine Belt Strong" telethon on February 1. NBC affiliate WLBT-TV Jackson, Miss., ABC affiliate WLOX-TV Biloxi, Miss., and NBC affiliate WMC-TV Memphis also participated. "When our communities are in need, Raycom Media stations respond," said Raycom Media President and CEO Pat LaPlatney. "Thanks to our amazing viewers and local partners, the people of Albany and Hattiesburg will rebuild, and WALB and WDAM will continue to serve those communities throughout the recovery."

Radiothon Raises $551,886 for Children's Hospital

Radiothon Raises $551,886 for Children’s Hospital

iHeartMedia's WKDD-FM Akron raised $551,886 during its 18th annual "Have a Heart, Do Your Part" radiothon that ended on February 11 to benefit Akron Children's Hospital. This year's fundraiser netted almost $100,000 more than what was raised in 2016. Akron Children's Hospital uses the money raised for child-size medical equipment, patient care, community outreach and research.

KBRJ-FM Anchorage Raises $82,000 for St. Jude

KBRJ-FM Anchorages Raises $82,000 for St. Jude

Alpha Media's KBRJ-FM Anchorage, AK, raised $81,910 during their 20th annual "Country Cares for St. Jude Kids" radiothon, held January 26 - 27. "Despite a soft economy, listeners donated by the hundreds during the event," said Alpha Media, Alaska Market Manager, Scott Smith. "K-Bear's link to this community is undeniable."

WNCY Raises $300,000 St. Jude

WNCY Raises $300,000 for St. Jude

Midwest Communication's WNCY-FM Appleton, Wis., raised a record $300,000 in its 20th annual "St. Jude Radiothon," held February 9-10. This brings the 20-year total to $4.6 million.

Arkansas Stations Raise $351,000 for Make-A-Wish

Arkansas Stations Raises $351,000 for Make-A-Wish

Saga Communications' six station cluster in Jonesboro, Arkansas teamed with Raycom Media's ABC affiliate KAIT-TV Jonesboro to raise $351,123 for the Make-A-Wish foundation at the 19th annual "Have-A-Heart Wishathon." The event was held February 17.

Zimmer Radio Raises $250,000 for Local Hospital

Zimmer Radio Raises $250,000 for Local Hospital

Zimmer Radio's KCLR-FM, KTXY-FM, KATI-FM and KSSZ-FM Columbia, Mo., raised $250,000 in its "Miracles For Kids Radiothon," held February 16 – 17 for the University of Missouri's Women's and Children's Hospital. This is a 25 percent increase over 2016 and brings the 11-year total to $2 million.

Broadcasters Investigate Critical Issues
WVUE Exposes Fishing Entitlement Program

WVUE Exposes Fishing Entitlement Program

Raycom's Fox affiliate WVUE-TV New Orleans investigated fishermen who make millions through a federal entitlement program in a five-part investigation titled "Hooked Up" that aired February 16. Recreational and commercial fishing is worth billions in Louisiana, but 50 businesses and fishermen control 81 percent of the commercial red snapper allocation. WVUE's probe uncovered the fact that millions of dollars are going to "snapper barons" who are not actually fishing.

WTXF Investigation Prompts Action

WTFX Investigation Prompts Action

Fox owned-and-operated WTXF-TV Philadelphia investigated a sexual harassment scandal at ASPIRA, a local charter school operator. Reporter Jeff Cole questioned ASPIRA's CEO in the parking lot of his office regarding a related $350,000 payoff. The payoff was confirmed through ASPIRA's insurance company, yet the CEO remained in his position. The story aired in September 2016, but has prompted on-going action from the state of Pennsylvania.

Cleveland Anchor Helps Locate Missing People

Cleveland Anchor Helps Locate Missing People

Tribune's Fox affiliate WJW-TV Cleveland anchor Amanda Berry hosts a new daily segment to help locate missing people and support their families. Berry had escaped a home where she and two others were held captive for a decade. On the segment, Berry shares details of a different northeastern Ohio missing-person case each day and talks about how viewers can help. "My wish is that this segment will not only help find those who are missing but offer hope for the loved ones who are looking for them," Berry said.

ABC News Radio Investigates Fentanyl Crisis  ABC News Radio Investigates Fentanyl Crisis

ABC News Radio launched a new five-part series "America's Fentanyl Crisis" in February. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic pain killer and popular street drug. CDC data shows that deaths caused by Fentanyl have nearly doubled in the last year. During the series, Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas visits a Drug Enforcement Administration drug lab, participates in law enforcement ride-alongs and meets with survivors trying to stay clean. Listen to part one here.

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