Broadcasters' Public Service
December 2014
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NAB's Licensed to Serve newsletter provides a sample of stories that illustrate the public service activities broadcasters organize across the U.S. From arranging record-breaking toy and food drives to providing free air time for political campaign coverage, Licensed to Serve showcases broadcasters' continual commitment to their communities.


Send details on your station's great public service initiatives to Suzie Raven: sraven@nab.org or publicservice@nab.org.

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BUFFALO BROADCASTERS: A LIFELINE DURING RECORD SNOW FALL

Last month, a lake-effect storm hit Buffalo, N.Y., with more than 60 inches of snow accumulation in one day. By the time the snow stopped falling, more than seven feet blanketed the area. Reports show that more than 140 people were trapped in vehicles and stranded for up to 30 hours on a 100 mile stretch of closed road. The storm claimed at least 12 lives.

During its fall, local radio and television broadcasters provided wall-to-wall coverage, delivering critical updates on weather patterns, road closures and emergency information to local residents.

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, a Buffalo native, praised area radio and TV stations for their coverage. "They kept powering through the storm, committing umpteen hours of airtime, and bringing in teams from other parts of the country, making sure they had troops to get out the information," he said. "I was very impressed also with their use of social media — not only were people listening and watching their broadcasts, they were also getting their information out as fast as they could on different media as best they could."

NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said, "Time and again, broadcasters devote countless resources to provide vital emergency information that can't be matched by any other communications service. Broadcasters' response to the unprecedented snow storms that hit upstate New York is yet another example of the dedication of local radio and television stations to serve their communities during times of need."

Radio Connects Buffalo During Massive Snow Storm
According to Inside Radio, Entercom Communication's WBEN-AM Buffalo pre-empted programming for wall-to-wall coverage, critical information and community support. "This is a dangerous situation for people south of Buffalo," host Larry Hunter said. "That's why we're going to be here all night for you." A woman named Liza and her 12-year-old daughter had been stranded in their car for 18 hours. They were cold, hungry and afraid. After host David Bellavia asked nearby listeners with snowmobiles to help, the two were rescued. "This is what talk radio is supposed to be about," Bellavia said. "Helping people." Another call came from a man trapped at a gas station with 30 others in an area unreachable for emergency vehicles.

Other radio stations with expanded coverage include Western NY Public Broadcasting Association's WBFO-FM Buffalo. WBEN-AM sister station WLKK-FM carried WBEN-AM updates on-air and on social media. WBEN-AM's social media posts included galleries of listeners' storm pictures. One aerial photograph had 10,000 shares and 740,000 views. "It's the old storm spotter thing taken to the social media level," Entercom-Buffalo operations manager Tim Wenger said. "It's amazing the ways we reach people and they reach us."
Residents Tune-in to Local Television
The Buffalo Broadcasters Association reports that Gannett's NBC WGRZ-TV provided non-stop coverage during the storm, pre-empting its schedule beginning early on Nov. 18. Morning hosts John Beard and Melissa Holmes were on-air for more than nine straight hours. LIN Television's CBS affiliate WIVB-TV and E.W. Scripps' ABC affiliate WKBW-TV aired storm coverage in place of regular morning news shows, and offered expanded news programming throughout the day. TV and radio stations also aired live news conferences featuring Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

Ratings soared for the early evening newscasts in Buffalo. WGRZ-TV, WIVB-TV and WKBW-TV had a combined rating of 37.9, which is equal to or greater than the ratings for many Buffalo Bills games this season. FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly said later, "I think when all broadcasters are put to the challenge, they step up and meet their obligations and the community needs. This time it was Buffalo that was challenged but I see that throughout the country through all kinds of crises that they face."

Broadcasters Support Overseas Troops and Veterans
Iowa Radio Host Supports Service Dogs for Troops
WHO-AM Des Moines, Iowa, host Simon Conway held a drive-thru BBQ for the Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires, raises and trains service dogs for wounded military veterans. In two hours, WHO-AM served 800 sandwiches and raised more than $4,000. "Also on hand were dogs - lots of them - including the first dog to have been given to a veteran, Puppy Jake himself ..." Conway said.
iHeartMedia Stations Broadcast Veterans Day Concert for Valor
Seventy iHeartMedia radio stations broadcast The Concert for Valor, held on Veterans Day at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. More than 100,000 people attended the free concert to honor the courage and sacrifice of veterans and their families. Performers included Jack Black, The Black Keys, Bryan Cranston, Eminem, Jamie Foxx, Dave Grohl, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J., George Lopez, Metallica, John Oliver, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen and Carrie Underwood.
KLAC-AM Fundraises for Paralyzed Veterans
iHeartMedia's KLAC-AM Los Angeles raised over $170,000 in under 10 hours during its 7th annual Paralyzed Veterans of America Radiothon. Since its inception, the event has raised close to $1 million.
KQTH Hosts Fisher House
Journal Broadcast Group's KQTH-FM Tucson, Ariz., raised over $121,000 on Oct. 29 to build a Fisher House at the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care Center. Fisher House provides locations for military and veterans' families to stay at no cost while a loved one receives medical treatment.
Local Radio and Television Stations Promote Healthy Communities
Alpha Media Louisville Raised Almost $1 Million
Alpha Media's Louisville, Ken., stations - WGZB-FM, WDJX-FM, WMJM-FM, WXMA-FM and WGHL-FM - raised $945,000 during its 6th Annual Kosair Children's Hospital Radiothon on Nov. 20 and 21. In the past five years, the stations raised over $1 million. This year, they far exceeded their goal of $300,000, raising almost as much as the past five years combined. "This wonderful event has driven our team for six years and we look to do many more in the future," said Alpha Media Louisville Market Manager Dale Schaefer.
WKLB-FM Boston Honored for Support of Children's Hospital
Greater Media's WKLB-FM Boston was recognized for its support of Tufts Floating Hospital for Children when the hospital opened The Country 102.5 Healing Garden, named in honor of WKLB-FM. The Country 102.5 Healing Garden is an outoor space designed to provide relief for pediatric patients and their families during hospital stays. Country music artists, including Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts, have performed in the garden to lift the spirits of patients and families, as well as raise funds for the hospital. Hunter Hayes' recent performance raised $40,000. "We are so proud and humbled to have the Healing Garden named after Country 102.5," said WKLB-FM Program Director Mike Brophey. "Funds we helped raise were used to reconstruct and beautify the area for patients and their families to enjoy..."
The Bobby Bones Show Supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Premiere Networks' The Bobby Bones Show helped raised more than $150,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in honor of cast member Amy Brown's mother Judy, who inspired the program's Pimpin Joy campaign. The Pimpin Joy campaign encouraged listeners to perform random acts of kindness. After Judy lost her battle with cancer in October, her family asked that donations be made in her name to St. Jude. Initially, the Bobby Jones Show set a fundraising goal of $20,000. The final tally of $150,000 far surpassed this goal. The Bobby Bones Show raised an additional $60,000 for St. Jude during a benefit concert held on Nov. 18, bringing the November 2014 total raised for St. Jude to $210,000.
iHeartMedia Stations Support St. Jude
iHeartMedia's Memphis, Tenn. stations, WHRK-FM, KJMS-FM, WHAL-FM and WDIA-AM, raised $201,000 to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital during their annual two-day radio broadcast in October. This year's event nearly doubled the amount the stations raised in 2013.

iHeartMedia's WKKT-FM Charlotte, N.C., raised more than $30,000 for St. Jude during its annual Kat Country Jam concert. Held Nov. 19, the concert featured performances by Maddie & Tae, Dustin Lynch, Hunter Hayes and Montgomery Gentry. Since its inception, the Kat Country Jam has raised more than $250,000 for St. Jude.
30-hour ‘Radio-A-Thon' Fundraiser Far Surpasses $10,000 Goal
Inland Northwest Broadcasting's KZZL-FM Moscow, Idaho, raised $13,595 for the United Way in the 3rd annual Bull Country Community Cares Radio-A-Thon, held Oct. 9-10. Volunteers from 34 local nonprofit organizations pitched in during the 30-hour event, helping KZZL-FM exceed the station's $10,000 goal.
CBS Radio Hosts Radiothon for Children's Healthcare Atlanta
CBS Radio's WAOK-AM/FM and WVEE-FM Atlanta raised over $73,000 for Children's Healthcare Atlanta during its Nov. 6 Radiothon. This includes a $10,000 donation from filmmaker and comedian Tyler Perry. The funds will purchase critical supplies for the clinic, which is one of the country's largest pediatric care centers.
Broadcasters Raise Money and Awareness for Breast Cancer
KYW-TV Philadelphia Lights the Skyline Pink for Breast Cancer
CBS owned-and-operated KYW-TV Philadelphia helped turn the city skyline pink in October for the 13th year, as part of its Lights for the Cure campaign during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Beyond the pink skyline, KYW-TV and CBS's CW affiliate WPSG aired segments to generate awareness of breast cancer, including the importance of mammograms. "Our stations have a powerful voice in this region and we are honored to use it to inform our viewers about such a critical issue," said KYW-TV President and General Manager Jon Hitchcock.
Connecticut Radio Station Raises $15,000 for Breast Cancer
Connoisseur Media's WPLR-FM New Haven, Conn., raised $14,749 for The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center at Bridgeport Hospital. WPLR's annual Golf Classic, hosted by afternoon personality Mike Lapitino, has raised nearly $200,000 in support of the center over 14 years. "If I made any difference in someone's life concerning breast cancer at the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, then that's a legacy I am proud of," Lapitino said.
Local Stations Collect Thousands of Thanksgiving Meals, Toys and Coats
San Antonio Radio Raises $128,000 for Thanksgiving Dinner
Alpha Media's KTSA-AM San Antonio, Texas, and its five sister stations raised $128,000 during the 7th annual Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner Radiothon to support San Antonio's A Feast of the Heart. The program started 35 years ago, when late restaurant owner Raul Jimenez served free Thanksgiving dinners to more than 200 needy people. This year, the event served more than 25,000 people. "We associate our stations with so many wonderful organizations, but this one is one of the most genuine," said Operations Manager Greg Martin.
WBRZ Collects Thousands of Meals and Coats for Families
Manship Station's ABC affiliate WBRZ Baton Rouge, La., held its 30th annual Feed-A-Family food drive in October. Volunteers delivered the donations to a local food bank, where they were stored before distribution. On Oct. 24, Feed-A-Family Friday, the station raised over $25,000 and almost 69,000 pounds of food. This will provide 186,000 meals. WBRZ also held its Pat's Coats for Kids Coat Drive in November. So far, WBRZ raised more than $33,000.
WMGK-FM's John DeBella Turkey Drop Provides More Than 10,000 Thanksgiving Turkeys
Greater Media's WMGK-FM Bala Cynwyd, Pa., hosted its 13th Annual John DeBella Turkey Drop on Nov. 25. During morning host John DeBella's live broadcast at Philadelphia's Love Park, WMGK-FM accepted monetary and turkey donations. The John DeBella Turkey Drop benefits City Team Philadelphia, which provides food and services to individuals, families and shelters. In 2013, the event raised over 9,000 turkeys. The 2014 Turkey Drop raised 10,685 turkeys for needy individuals and families. City Team Philadelphia provides holiday meals for more than 70 organizations and has seen a record number of sign-ups for holiday meal assistance in 2014.
KTVK-TV Phoenix Fights Childhood Hunger
Meredith Broadcasting owned-and-operated KTVK-TV Phoenix, Ariz., raised over $290,000 in cash and food donations, four times last year's total, in its 2nd Annual Battle Against Childhood Hunger. In Arizona, one in four children struggle with hunger every day. This year, recipients included Association of Arizona Food Banks, AZBrainFood, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Kitchen on the Street and St. Mary's Food Bank.
The Dave and Chuck .5 K Race Raises 27 Bags of Toys
Dave and Chuck "The Freak" of Greater Media's WRIF-FM Detroit hosted a .5K on Nov. 22 to benefit Toys for Tots. The run was a manageable distance for the crowd, as it is about 500 yards. During the event, 27 bags stuffed with toys were collected.
Radio and Television Stations Support Local Community Initiatives and Programs
Univision Hosts Its Fourth Annual Education Week
Univision's Education Week 2014, held Oct. 4 - 11 across its 128 radio and TV stations and its multimedia platforms, included on-air segments; phone banks that answered more than 3,000 questions from viewers; and online college fairs. More than 2,000 viewers attended a free education fair in San Antonio on Oct. 4, which included exhibits and sessions on scholarships, financial aid, career planning and bilingual education. WLTV Miami's Education Week events included "Camino a la Universidad," a workshop that educated 11th grade students and their parents on the steps needed for a college education; its 13th annual "Club de Libros 23," a Parent Academy with sessions on enrollment, financial aid and scholarships; and phone banks for questions on education.
WMAR Investigative Reporting Improves VA Hospital Wait Times
Scripps Television's ABC affiliate WMAR-TV Baltimore's "In Focus" news program, which provides in-depth reporting and investigations, aired multiple reports highlighting veterans' health care issues. As of last April, Baltimore's VA Maryland Health Care System ranked in the top five longest average wait times for veterans new to the system who tried to get a primary care appointment. WMAR-TV spent six months collecting stories from local veterans and their families. During that period, the VA Chief of Staff addressed the issue twice, stating on Oct. 15 that 13 new doctors were hired to reduce wait times.
North Carolina Broadcaster Launches Anti-Bullying Campaign
Media General's CBS affiliate WNCT-TV Greenville, N.C., Anti-Bullying PSA Contest launched on Oct. 21 to encourage local students to create PSAs. WNCT-TV viewers will vote on Facebook for their favorite spot. The winning PSA will debut during a Dec. 21 NFL game and air on WNCT for several weeks. The Anti-Bullying PSA Contest was chosen as the Best of the Best local TV sales ideas at the 2014 NAB Small Market Television Exchange (SMTE).
Seattle Stations Replace Stolen Musical Instruments
Sinclair's KPLZ-FM and KVI-AM Seattle collected $14,000 to help Northwest Christian School in Puyallup replace musical instruments and other equipment stolen during a burglary. The burglars took guitars, hand bells, trumpets, other instruments, a laptop computer and a TV.
Broadcasters Promote Fire Safety
CBS Chicago Raises Almost $800,000 for Red Cross
CBS Chicago‘s local television, radio and digital media platforms, including WBBM-AM and WMVP-AM, raised nearly $800,000 during their third annual Day of Giving on Nov. 25. For 13 hours, CBS hosted a live telethon/radiothon to raise money for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago's home fire relief efforts. Each year, the Red Cross provides food, shelter and comfort to 1,400 local families whose homes are damaged or destroyed by fires. CBS and the Red Cross also distributed free smoke alarms.
WTNH-TV Connecticut Raises Fire Safety Awareness
Lin Media's ABC affiliate WTNH-TV New Haven, Conn., partnered with Kidde Fire Safety on Operation Save A Life, a program that increases awareness of fire and carbon monoxide (CO) dangers and distributes smoke alarms to low-income and elderly residents. From Sept. 15 through October, WTNH-TV aired educational vignettes to increase fire safety education and CO awareness. This year, Kidde donated 5,000 smoke alarms and 3,000 CO alarms, which local fire departments distributed throughout the state.