Broadcasters' Public Service
March 2012

Licensed to Serve

NAB's Licensed to Serve newsletter provides a sample of noteworthy stories that illustrate the many public service activities broadcasters organize on any given day across the country. From arranging record-breaking toy and food drives to providing free air time for political campaign coverage, broadcasters' continual commitment to their communities is showcased in Licensed to Serve.

Learn More
Click here to learn more about broadcasters' community service initiatives and nonprofit partnerships.

Send Us Your Stories
If your station has a great public service campaign that should be recognized, email Allison Kreutzjans, manager, Public Service,
or call (202) 429-5448 with details.
Follow NAB Public Service Initiatives
on Twitter: @BroadlyServing.

Special Edition: Tornado Coverage and Relief Efforts

On Wednesday, February 29, an outbreak of tornadoes ripped through Kentucky. At least 22 lives were lost and hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged. Just two days later, a second round of tornadoes swept through Southern Indiana and part of Kentucky, resulting in more lives lost and destroyed homes and businesses.

During these tornadoes, radio and television broadcasters provided wall-to-wall storm coverage. Stations served as lifelines of information for residents who were in the tornadoes’ path. Once the weather calmed, broadcasters were some of the first on the scene, capturing images of the damage, reconnecting loved ones and organizing fundraisers to support the relief effort.

We take this opportunity to highlight the outstanding work of broadcasters in the aftermath of the tornadoes.

LIN-Owned WISH-TV Raises $220K in Less Than 24 Hours
LIN Media's WISH-TV Indianapolis covered the devastating tornadoes that swept through Southern Indiana on Friday, March 2. "The pictures and video in our Friday newscasts demonstrated something needed to be done to help Hoosiers in Southern Indiana," said Jeff White, WISH-TV president and general manager. Saturday morning WISH-TV went into action, launching the "Hoosiers Helping Hoosiers" on-air fund drive during the evening newscast. In less than 24 hours after the storm, viewers raised more than $200,000 for relief efforts.
Pledge Breaks Help Tribune's WXIN-TV Raise $236K for Tornado
Tribune Broadcasting’s WXIN-TV Indianapolis inserted numerous tornado relief pledge breaks between programming on March 5. Throughout the day station talent and others encouraged viewers to donate to the Salvation Army with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels lending his support to the cause. The telethon was a success, raising more than $236,000. Lee Rosenthal, WXIN-TV’s news director said the response was attributable to “the Hoosier spirit of compassion. We're 90 miles away, but you wouldn't have known it from the response." Click here to watch a video summary of the telethon.
WIBC-FM and WRTV-TV Sponsor Drive-Through Donation Event
Emmis Communications-owned WIBC-FM Indianapolis joined Scripps' WRTV-TV Indianapolis to raise money for the Salvation Army Indiana division for tornado victims. On March 6, viewers and listeners donated nearly $46,000 during the 12-hour WIBC/RTV 6 Tornado Relief Drive.

Nexstar's WTWO-TV Holds Day-Long Fundraiser
Nextstar Broadcasting's WTWO-TV Terre Haute, Ind., aired a day-long telethon to raise funds for the Red Cross' tornado relief effort. "This hit kind of close to home," said Tim Sanders, promotions director for WTWO-TV. "It could have been us." The telethon ran from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6 and raised more than $32,000. Wabash Valley Red Cross Executive Director Carol Stevens said the money raised will go to good use. "It really is going to help us to continue to do our sheltering operations and feeding and providing [tornado victims] with the kind of supplies they need for the cleanup efforts in their individual homes." A summary video of the telethon is available here.
WTHR-TV Finds Creative Ways to Raise Over Half a Million Dollars for Relief Efforts
Dispatch Broadcasting Group's WTHR-TV Indianapolis headed a multipronged response to benefit those affected by the tornadoes. WTHR-TV opened a phone bank to accept donations thanks to the help of station volunteers and partners from the Red Cross, Kroger Grocery stores and St. Vincent Health. WTHR-TV turned the station parking lot into a collection point for commuters to drop off donations while Cumulus Media's WFMS-FM Indianapolis broadcast live from the parking lot, encouraging listeners to come by the TV station and drop off donations. WTHR-TV also provided extended news coverage, hosted an Eyewitness News Tornado Special and held an event with the Indiana Pacers. In total, WTHR-TV's efforts helped raise more than $575,660 as of the middle of March.
Emmis Radio Stations and WTHI-TV Employees Collect Cash for Storm Victims
Emmis Communication's WTHI-FM and WWVR-FM Terre Haute, Ind., joined LIN Media's WTHI-TV Terre Haute, Ind. for "Neighbors Helping Neighbors," a day dedicated to raising money for tornado relief. On March 6, employees from each station stood in front of their studios from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., collecting money from people traveling by. The three stations raised $17,560 for the Red Cross.

Belo's WHAS-TV Airs Storm Aid Telethon
Belo's WHAS-TV Louisville broadcast a four-hour "Storm Aid Telethon" on March 5 to raise money for storm victims living in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. According to one of WHAS-TV's anchors, "The phones were ringing so rapidly. In fact, each time we put the receiver down, someone else was ringing in." In total, WHAS-TV viewers raised $85,125 during the live broadcast. All relief funds were donated to the Red Cross. Click here to watch clips from WHAS-TV's Storm Aid Telethon.
Raycom's WAVE-TV Hosts Relief Fundraiser
Employees at Raycom Media's WAVE-TV Louisville manned the phones during the "WAVE 3 Call to Help" telethon for families impacted by the tornadoes. Viewers generously responded to the call, pledging $431,300 during the drive. Additionally, WAVE-TV partnered with the local A. Arnold Moving Company who set up a large truck outside the station's studios. Viewers were encouraged to drop off non-perishable food, paper products, toiletries, cleaning and first-aid supplies and volunteers from the local Salvation Army staffed the truck to collect the goods. Click here to watch how viewers hit the road and delivered their donations to WAVE-TV.
WKYT-TV, Clear Channel and Others Team Up for Kentucky Cares Telethon
Gray Television's WKYT-TV Lexington joined a team of organizations including Clear Channel Radio, The Lexington-Herald Ledger, the American Red Cross and UK IMG Sports Marketing, among others, in hosting the "Kentucky Cares Telethon" for tornado victims. WKYT-TV opened its doors for volunteers to come in and answer donation calls. In total, the event raised $404,682 on March 5.