Broadcasters' Public Service
Licensed to Serve –
Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

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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.

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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 Initiatives or call (202) 429-5448 with details.
Follow NAB Public Service Initiatives
on Twitter: @BroadlyServing.

Listeners relied on radio and television for critical news coverage during Hurricane Sandy, and after the storm passed, broadcast stations used their airwaves, digital resources and manpower to collect food and clothing, raise money, disseminate vital information and run PSAs asking for donations for victims. Radio World Editor Paul McLane noted in an op-ed that "My parents' experience is a ringing reminder to me that pronouncements from NAB and others about radio's role – as a 'first informer' and listener friend in times of crisis – are not just PR talking points. They highlight a fundamental truth."
New York Times: After Hurricane Sandy, People Flock to Radio for Information
People living in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy tuned in to radio. Arbitron reported that from 7 p.m. to midnight on October 29, when Sandy first hit New Jersey, an average of more than one million people in the New York metro area were listening to the radio during any 15 minute period, a 70 percent increase over the same period in the week prior. The area in the Arbitron report consists of New York City, five counties in New York, nine counties in New Jersey and part of one county in Connecticut. Coastal area listenership exploded, with an increase of 367 percent in Stamford and Norwalk, Conn., 247 percent in Monmouth County and 195 percent in New Jersey's Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties. The extensive storm coverage on a variety of formats highlights broadcast radio's service to local communities. Sean Ross, a radio analyst in New Jersey, noted that "radio still has an authority that not every tweet has."
Midwest Broadcasters Aide Sandy Victims
CBS's Chicago Stations Make a Difference in Sandy's Wake
CBS Chicago hosted a 13-hour radio-telethon to raise funds for the American Red Cross relief efforts. Red Cross volunteers joined CBS's Chicago personalities at a phone bank at the downtown Chicago broadcast center. Participating stations included WBBM-AM, WCFS-FM, WSCR-AM, WXRT-FM, WBBM-FM, WUSN-FM, WJMK-FM and CBS affiliate WBBM-TV. Market Manager Rod Zimmerman noted, "It is our civic responsibility as broadcasters to do everything we can to help make a difference."
Canton Radio Cares Auction Raises Money and Donations
Five Canton, Ohio, stations held a joint radiothon and auction to aid Hurricane Sandy relief efforts: D A Peterson's WDJQ-FM and WDPN-AM, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment's WYNT-FM and Next Media Group's WHBC-FM/AM. According to Radio World, the stations raised over $17,000 for the Red Cross and collected five U-Haul trucks full of donations including clothing, diapers, blankets and food. After the radiothon, the five trucks caravanned to Long Island, where the National Guard unloaded and distributed the goods.
Illinois Broadcasters Association Launches "Giving Tuesday"
The Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) launched "Giving Tuesday," an effort supported by more than 200 radio and television stations across Illinois to benefit the American Red Cross' Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and "future needs." The IBA Board of Directors passed a resolution to make November 27, "Giving Tuesday," a day of donations to support continued Red Cross relief efforts across Illinois.
CBS Minnesota Collects $185,000+ for Red Cross Efforts
CBS-owned Minneapolis, Minn., stations WCCO-TV, WCCO-AM, KMNB-FM and KZJK-FM held a 13-hour fundraiser at the Mall of America on November 8 to support victims of Hurricane Sandy. All donations benefited the relief efforts coordinated by the America Red Cross. In total, the fundraiser raised more than $185,700. Click here to listen to audio from the event.
East Coast Broadcasters Persevere in Support of Communities
WVIT-TV Hartford Collects Donations for Local Organizations
NBC-owned WVIT-TV Hartford, Conn., held a storm relief drive on November 4 to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. WVIT-TV solicited donations of non-perishable food, personal care items, warm coats and cash during the drive. The items were distributed through the Connecticut Food Bank, Salvation Army and the American Red Cross.
New Jersey Station Aids Governor's Hurricane Relief Fund
Townsquare Media's WKXW-FM Trenton, N.J., is collaborating with Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat on the couple's Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief fund. The station is promoting the fund on-air and working with Christie and his wife to collect donations for the charity, which will help rebuild hard hit areas and aims to keep the money raised within the state.
ABC-owned WPVI-TV Charges Phones, Gadets and Spirits in Sandy's Wake
ABC's WPVI-TV Philadelphia sent a two-person team and a mobile generator to five Philadelphia and South Jersey towns without power. The "POWER by 6abc STATION" had a 500-amp generator with 60,000 watts of power with 25 20-amp circuits. This type of generator is generally used on movie and television production sets. "The POWER by 6abc STATIONS gave phones and laptops a charge, but more importantly, it boosted morale," WPVI-TV's Michael Monsell told TVNewsCheck. "One young boy came out to play guitar for his neighbors while others just exchanged stories about their week. The sense of community that came from our charging stations was overwhelming." WPVI-TV also held a fundraiser to benefit the American Red Cross.
New Jersey's WAWZ-FM Supports Local Families and Churches
Pillar of Fire-owned WAWZ-FM Zarephath, New Jersey's employees joined local churches in their ongoing relief efforts on Staten Island. Led by Business Manager Nancy Walter, the team was on-site on November 19 to serve food, sort and distribute clothing donations and offer encouragement to residents of hard-hit Midland Beach. Walter said, "We were shocked by the level of widespread devastation in the area and ongoing need...we were privileged to serve." WAWZ-FM has been receiving gift cards which it will distribute to its network of churches in hard-hit communities between Thanksgiving and Christmas to help families replace what they lost.
Philadelphia Stations Collect Donations for Salvation Army
Fox Television's WTXF-TV Philadelphia and Greater Media's WMMR-FM Philadelphia collected food and other supplies for Sandy victims at Xfinity Live!, a major entertainment and dining complex in Philadelphia. All donations were distributed by The Salvation Army. Collected items included bottled water, juice, snacks, wrapped snacks, batteries, toiletries and gift cards to Wal-Mart.
CBS Philadelphia Cluster Offers Tickets for Red Cross Donations
CBS Radio's Philadelphia stations, including WIP-AM/FM, WPHT-AM, KYW-AM and WOGL-FM teamed up with concert promoter Live Nation to raise money for the American Red Cross. The CBS-owned stations provided a pair of tickets to the Bob Dylan/Mark Knopfler concert on November 19 to listeners who donated at least $20 to the American Red Cross.
New York Radio Stations Reach Sandy Victims
Emmis Communication's WQHT-FM New York distributed blankets, clothing, HD Radios and health products to Hurricane Sandy victims through its Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation. Clear Channel told Inside Radio that its stations' donation drives brought in two tons of goods in New York and 200,000 pounds in Connecticut. Morning host Elvis Duran's spokesperson told All Access that he personally donated $30,000, on top of joining Clear Channel's collection efforts. Cumulus Media's WABC-AM/FM promoted drop off locations for donations, while Cumulus's WPLJ-FM held a six-day donation drive and sold #savestatenisland t-shirts to benefit victims.
Allbritton's Harrisburg Station Helps Those Affected by Tragedy
Allbritton-owned WHTM-TV Harrisburg and Mission Central joined forces in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to coordinate a drive to collect items for storm victims in New Jersey. Operation Sandy Relief raised over $30,000 in cash donations and more than 40,000 pounds of new items, including coats, blankets, socks, diapers, batteries and toys. "Viewers stepped up quickly and generously to help our neighbors in New Jersey," explained WHTM-TV President and General Manager Joe Lewin. "This is just one example of how our local community can work together to make a difference in the lives of those affected by tragedy."
Coast-to-Coast Broadcasters Provide Support
Sacramento Station Holds Sandy Disaster Relief Drive
Hearst-owned KCRA-TV and KQCA-TV Sacramento partnered with the Sacramento Sierra Chapter of the American Red Cross to host a disaster relief drive on November 2 to benefit areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The stations aired cut-ins throughout the day and solicited donations during the day's newscasts. KCRA-KQCA President and General Manager Elliott Troshinsky told TVNewsCheck, "It is important that we do all we can to provide help to the communities devastated by this storm."
Broadcast Groups and Networks Raise Millions for Sandy Relief Initiatives
Media General Stations Aid Sandy Victims
Media General stations that held telethons to raise money for the American Red Cross relief efforts included WBTW-TV Myrtle Beach, S.C.; WCMH-TV Columbus, Ohio ($27,000 raised); WFLA-TV Tampa, Fla. ($28,000 raised); WJBF-TV and WAGT-TV Augusta, Ga. ($15,000 raised); WJHL-TV Johnson City, Tenn. ($25,000 raised); WSAV-TV Savannah, Ga.; and WSPA-TV Spartanburg, S.C. WSAV-TV also ran a ticker promoting Red Cross donations throughout newscasts. WJAR-TV Providence, R.I., dedicated a 7 p.m. newscast to Sandy's aftermath. The station replayed top stories that many viewers missed due to power outages and also fielded calls from viewers who wanted to volunteer or donate money to relief efforts.
Greater Media-Owned East Coast Stations Support Locals in Need
Greater Media's WDHA-FM and WMTR-AM Cedar Knolls, N.J., held donation drives with the American Red Cross for food and clothing and the Animal Response Commission to collect pet donations. Both stations created volunteer and donation webpages, providing information about ways to donate to relief efforts. Greater Media's WJRZ-FM Manahawkin, New Jersey staff spent several days after the storm collecting donations for the Ocean County Hunger Relief and the Jersey Shore Animal Center. The Ocean County Hunger Relief coordinated with all the local shelters to deliver donated food.
ABC Raises Nearly $17 Million for Hurricane Relief
ABC's national "Day of Giving" raised nearly $17 million for Hurricane Sandy relief. Throughout the day on November 5, the network urged viewers to contribute to the American Red Cross to assist victims of the storm. Major contributors included ABC news personalities Barbara Walters and George Stephanopoulos and Dallas Mavericks owner and star of ABC's "Shark Tank" Mark Cuban.
NBC's Benefit Concert Draws $23 Million in Pledges
NBC's benefit concert for Sandy victims raised nearly $23 million in donations to the American Red Cross. The hour-long event included performances by artists native to the areas hit hardest by Sandy, including Bruce Springsteen of New Jersey and Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Joel of Long Island. Sting, Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Tina Fey and Jon Stewart also participated in the benefit concert.
Cox Media Group Donates to Sandy Relief Efforts
Cox Media Group (CMG) donated $75,000 to New York City-area charities impacted by Hurricane Sandy, including local chapters of Habitat for Humanity. In Norwalk, Conn., Cox Media's WEZN-FM, WPLR-FM and WFOX-FM donated to the Family & Children's Agency. "Our donation will support a relief fund that will help them recoup the losses due to the storm and will directly benefit the programs that have been disrupted and which are vital to many people in Fairfield County," Manager Kristin Okesson said in a statement. On Long Island, WBAB-FM and WBLI-FM supported Island Harvest, Long Island's largest hunger relief organization. Parent company Cox Enterprises gave $100,000 to the American Red Cross. Cox's employee relief fund has given $3 million in aid to more than 1,500 employees affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and other disasters since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.