Broadcasters' Public Service
Licensed to Serve – Election 2013
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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.

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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.
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During the 2013 election season, radio and television broadcasters played an important role in informing the electorate about the candidates running for office across America. Through live debates broadcast over-the-air, streamed online and through mobile apps, broadcasters helped voters ask critical questions about issues that impact their communities. Viewers and listeners were able to learn more about their future elected officials and make more informed decisions at the polls. Below are just a few examples of the many ways broadcasters contributed to their community this election season.
Stations Across the Country Host Debates Before Local Elections
Local Stations Air Debate for New Jersey's U.S. Senate Seat
NBC-owned WCAU-TV and Telemundo-owned WWSI-TV Philadelphia aired a debate between Cory Booker and Steve Lonegan, U.S. Senate candidates in New Jersey. Held October 9th at Rowan University, WCAU-TV anchor Jim Rosenfield moderated a panel that included NBC's WNBC-TV New York anchor David Ushery and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tamari. Viewers were invited to submit questions for the debate via WCAU-TV’s live stream.
New Jersey Gubernatorial Debate Airs on Local CBS TV, Radio
CBS-owned WCBS-TV New York broadcast two debates in October between Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic challenger New Jersey state Sen. Barbara Buono. CBS radio and TV affiliates in New York and Philadelphia, the Asbury Park Press, The Record and William Paterson University sponsored the debates. "People are interested in seeing both candidates on the same stage together for the first time," David Turner, Buono’s campaign spokesman, told the Asbury Park Press.
WABC-TV Broadcasts Debate for New York City Mayor
ABC-owned WABC-TV New York sponsored a televised New York City mayoral debate between candidates Bill de Blasio and Joseph J. Lhota. The hour-long debate was held live at the WABC-TV studio and was moderated by WABC-TV news anchor Bill Ritter. Several other groups co-sponsored the debate, including Univision’s WXTV-TV New York, the New York League of Women Voters and the New York Daily News. Video of the debate is available here.
CBS Radio and TV Stations Air Live Mayoral Debate in Boston
CBS-owned WBZ-TV and WBZ-AM Boston partnered with The Boston Globe to host the first televised debate between Massachusetts state Representative Marin Walsh and Council at-Large John Connolly, who were running for Boston’s mayoral seat. The live debate was broadcast from the WBZ-TV studios and moderated by the station’s political analyst Jon Keller and the Globe’s reporter Akilah Johnson. The debate aired on WBZ-TV and WBZ-AM,, and
Several Boston Stations Air Two More Mayoral Debates
Later in the campaign season PBS’s WGBH-TV Boston hosted a debate between Walsh and Connolly. Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan moderated the debate, which can be viewed here. A third televised debate was hosted by a consortium of stations that included Boston University's NPR affiliate WBUR-FM, WGBH Educational Foundation's WGBH-TV and Hearst Television's ABC affiliate WCVB-TV.
WDBJ-TV Broadcasts Debate between Virginia’s Gubernatorial Candidates
Shurz Communication's WDBJ-TV Roanoke and Virginia Tech sponsored a debate between the candidates running for Virginia governor. WDBJ-TV broadcast the debate between Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Democratic businessman Terry McAullife live from the state university in Blacksburg, Va. Click here to watch video from the debate.
WLWT-TV Sponsors Debate for Cincinnati Mayoral Candidates
Hearst’s NBC affiliate WLWT-TV Cincinnati sponsored a debate between the Cincinnati mayoral candidates Roxanne Qualls and John Cranley. The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Business Courier also sponsored the event, which was held at the local Rotary Club. WLWT-TV’s anchor Mike Dardis moderated the debate, which was televised live on WLWT-TV and streamed online at and on the station's mobile app.
WNWO-TV and WSPD-AM Host First Toledo Mayoral Debate
Barrington Broadcasting's WNWO-TV Toledo and Clear Channel’s WSPD-AM Toledo partnered to host a televised debate between Toledo’s mayoral candidates, incumbent Mike Bell and Councilman D. Michael Collins. The candidates discussed issues of transparency in government, job creation and crime. The debate was broadcast on WNWO-TV and WSPD-AM.
KUHT-TV Houston Airs a Two-Hour Debate Before Mayoral Election
The University of Houston’s PBS station KUHT-TV broadcast a two-hour forum-style debate with candidates in Houston's mayoral race. Incumbent Annise Parker faced her five challengers: Ben Hall, Don Cook, Eric Dick, Keryl Burgess Douglas and Michael Fitzsimmons in the event hosted by the League of Women Voters. The candidates discussed crime, transportation and economic development in Houston.
Belo's KING-TV Seattle Hosts Mayoral Debate
Belo Broadcasting-owned KING-TV Seattle broadcast a debate between candidates in Seattle’s mayoral race. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and State Senator Ed Murray discussed issues including complaints regarding Seattle's police department, increasing the minimum wage and gun control. KING-TV news anchor Dennis Bounds moderated the debate, while a panel of reporters including KING-TV’s Linda Brill and Dave Ross of Bonneville International’s KIRO-FM Seattle also asked the candidates questions.
Detroit's Mayoral Candidates Debate on Local Affiliate Stations
CBS-owned WWJ-TV Detroit aired the first of three debates between mayoral candidates Benny Napoleon and Mike Duggan. Scripps Television’s ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV broadcast the final debate. Candidates discussed their plans to reduce violent crime, revitalize local neighborhoods and create jobs in Detroit. "The debates … are a crucial part in arming Detroit voters with the accurate information before they go to the polls to choose the next mayor," candidate Napoleon told the Detroit News.