Broadcasters' Public Service
Licensed to Serve – October 2014
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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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Local Radio and TV Stations Support Youth, Families and Communities
WTMX Chicago Raises $1.4 Million for Children's Hospital
Hubbard Radio Group's WTMX-FM Chicago raised more than $1.4 million through the 15th Annual Eric & Kathy Radiothon for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital. Morning show hosts Eric & Kathy broadcast live from Lurie Children's with stories of children battling critical or fatal conditions. Since 2000, The Eric and Kathy Radiothon has raised $26 million for Lurie Children's.
WIP-FM Raises Record Funds for Eagles Youth Partnership
CBS Radio's WIP-FM Philadelphia's 2014 Eagles Radiothon raised a record $290,000 ($100,000 more than 2013). Proceeds benefit Eagles Youth Partnership, which provides education and health programs to 50,000 low-income children each year. "The kindness and generosity of WIP listeners and Eagles fans never fails to astonish me. Radiothon is a source of pride among everybody at WIP," said WIP-FM's Marc Rayfield.
NFL Domestic Violence Issues Spark Local TV Initiatives
Broadcasters ramping up domestic violence initiatives through special news reports, telethons and tributes to victims following recent NFL incidents include E. W. Scripps' WEWS Cleveland, WFTS Tampa and Raycom's Honolulu stations, CBS affiliate KGMB and NBC affiliate KHNL, according to Broadcasting & Cable. In addition, Capitol Broadcasting launched the "eNOughNC" campaign, with WRAL-TV and WRAZ-TV Raleigh, NC producing two PSAs that debuted during an NFL game featuring Ray Rice's former team, the Ravens, and ran on WILM Wilmington and Capitol radio stations. "eNOughNC" provides education on how to break the domestic violence cycle.
KNIX-FM and KZZP-FM Phoenix Respond to Record Rainfall
iHeartMedia's KNIX-FM and KZZP-FM Phoenix went live and local to keep residents informed during a record-breaking five-inch rainfall. The rain submerged vehicles and flooded major freeways, forcing some to close. Approximately 10,000 residents lost power. "The reminder for the staff is that in moments like these, our brands are never more relevant," VP/Programming Steve Goefferies told All Access. The storm stranded KZZP-FM morning personality JohnJay, who did part of his show via cellphone. After two hours, he escaped through his car window.
WFTS Tampa Reunites Missing Boy With Family
Scripps' ABC affiliate WFTS Tampa reunited a missing boy with his family. Paul Ezekiel Fagan, who has a mild learning disability, was last seen playing in his front yard on September 25. WFTS anchor Cameron Polom saw a child fitting his description after a press conference on his disappearance the next day. After confirming the child was Paul, Polom brought him home. Click here to watch Paul's emotional reunion with his grandmother and father.
WMGQ-FM, WCTC-AM Golf Event Supports Hospital Renovations
Greater Media's WMGQ-FM and WCTC-AM New Brunswick, N.J., hosted their second annual Charity Golf Tournament in July at Royce Brook Golf Club-West. Proceeds went to Saint Peter's University Hospital's campaign to renovate and expand its emergency department. The event raised more than $3,000 through the raffle and $150,000 in sponsorships for the hospital.
WBRZ Kicks off 19th Annual Fans' Choice Awards
Manship Station's ABC affiliate WBRZ Baton Rouge, La., kicked off the 19th year of The Fans' Choice Awards, which recognize outstanding high school athletes. Every Friday, coaches, players and fans nominate an athlete on After viewers vote for the finalists on Tuesday, the high school athlete of the week is announced on that night's newscasts. Click here to view the 2013 Fans' Choice winners.
Broadcasters Commit to Debates in Advance of November Elections
Telemundo Hosts Spanish-Language Gubernatorial Debates in Several States
Telemundo is hosting a series of Spanish-language debates in September and October leading up to gubernatorial elections in several states. "We believe it is fundamentally important for our Spanish-language viewers and the Hispanic communities we serve across the country to be actively involved in the discussions that are taking place this election season," said Telemundo Station Group President Manuel Martinez. The debate series and other initiatives on Telemundo-owned stations include:
  • California, September 4: KVEA Burbank, PBS affiliate KQED San Francisco and the Los Angeles Times hosted a debate between incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown and challenger Neel Kashkari, which also aired on KNSO Fresno, KSTS San Jose and KUNA Palm Springs.
  • Texas, September 19: KTLM and CBS affiliate KGBT produced a debate between Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, which KTMD Houston and KVDA San Antonio also televised. Dallas stations KXTX, KERA and NBC affiliate KXAS co-hosted an Abbott and Davis debate on September 30.
  • Florida, October 10: WSCV Miami is hosting a Spanish-language debate between Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist.
  • Enfoque, a public affairs program: Airs on stations in Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, San Jose, Phoenix and Tucson and provides in-depth analysis of relevant local, regional and statewide topics.
Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Airs Gubernatorial Debate
The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation (WBA) will sponsor debates on October 10 and 17 between Governor Scott Walker and challenger Mary Burke. "We are very excited about our new debate plan and the changes that have been made to the program and believe the end result will be beneficial to our viewers, listeners, members and the gubernatorial campaigns," said WBAF President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind in a statement.
WMUR-TV Airs Three Debates in State-Wide Races
Hearst Television's Commitment 2014 campaign continues. ABC affiliate WMUR-TV Manchester, N.H aired debates for U.S. House, U.S. Senate and New Hampshire governor on September 3, 4 and 5, respectively. Hearst's ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston and Sunbeam Television's NBC affiliate WHDH-TV Boston aired a debate on September 3 with gubernatorial candidates Martha Coakley, Donald Berwick and Steve Grossman.
CBS Philadelphia Hosts Breakfast with the Candidates
CBS Philadelphia's October 1 "Breakfast With the Candidates," featuring Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and challenger Tom Wolf, aired on KYW-AM, CW affiliate WPSG-TV and KYW-TV will re-air the program on October 5. "We are pleased to give the candidates the opportunity to present their positions on the critical political issues that affect our state and provide this vital information to the public," said Jon Hitchcock, president and general manager of KYW-TV and WPSG-TV.
KPNX-TV Airs Arizona Gubernatorial Debate
Gannett Broadcasting's NBC affiliate KPNX-TV Phoenix hosted gubernatorial candidates Doug Ducey and Fred DuVal in a debate on September 10. KPNX-TV encouraged viewers to tune in to see candidates "answering questions and giving opinions that you can't see in those commercials."
Ratings Victory for KCAL-TV Gubernatorial Debate
CBS-owned and operated KCAL-TV Los Angeles aired a debate on September 4 between Gov. Jerry Brown and challenger Neel Kashkari. Ratings data indicated it had 83,000 total viewers, surpassing popular shows "Modern Family," "The Simpsons" and "Two and a Half Men."
Arkansas Stations Host Gubernatorial, U.S. Senate Debates
Nexstar Broadcasting's NBC affiliate KARK-TV Little Rock hosted a September 19 gubernatorial debate that also aired live on Nextar's KNWA-TV Fayetteville and KTAL-TV Texarkana. Also in Arkansas, Sinclair-owned KATV Little Rock will host U.S. Senate candidates on October 14 in a debate that will also air live on Raycom Media's ABC affiliate KAIT-TV Jonesboro and Hearst's affiliates in Fort Smith, KHBS and KHOG-TV.
Candidates Decline Televised Debates
Candidate Indecision Cancels WOOD-TV Debate
Lin Media Group's NBC affiliate WOOD-TV Grand Rapids cancelled debates in gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races after the campaigns could not agree. "WOOD TV8 is committed to bringing the voters of West Michigan the best coverage of Decision 2014. We believe debates are an important part of that process," said a station spokesperson. "We remain hopeful that both sides of the governor and U.S. Senate races will come together and allow us to offer voters a real, televised, live debate. Our viewers have important choices ahead and they deserve the opportunity to compare candidates' views on critical issues facing our state and country."
Candidates in Three Arizona Races Decline Debates
The Tuscon League of Women Voters cancelled plans for three televised October debates in races for secretary of state, attorney general and superintendent of public instruction after candidates declined invitations. "When candidates decline to participate in a televised debate in Tucson, it shows disrespect for Pima County and its voters," said the League's Sue DeArmond in a statement.
Broadcasters Serve the Public Interest as Candidates Waffle on Debates
Despite a trend among incumbents to skip debates offered by broadcasters, radio and television stations stepped up their efforts to educate voters this election season. Reid Wilson of The Washington Post offers several examples of incumbents nationwide who have refused to engage their challengers. Radio Business Report noted, "The proud broadcast tradition of providing face-to-face platforms for candidates is a perfect example of both localism and serving the public interest."