Broadcasters' Public Service
July 2015
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Local television and radio broadcasters constantly perfom public service. Stations disseminate lifeline information about weather emergencies; support our troops; raise millions of dollars for cancer research and children's hospitals; collect and distribute tons of food, clothing and toys; devote free air time to political campaign coverage; promote education and healthy communities; and help non-profit organizations communicate critical messages.

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Stations Support Education, Residents in Need
KCMO Raises Money for Single Mom with Six Children

Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM Kansas City raised $10,000 in a two-hour donation drive on July 11 to collect monetary donations and non-perishable supplies for a woman in need. Sarah Robinson is the single mother of six who shoplifted diapers and wipes for her twin girls. Police officer Mark Engravalle attended the event. Engravalle paid for the shoplifted goods with his own money and bought her kids shoes, instead of arresting her. Residents donated cash, diapers, baby wipes, clothing, blankets, food and toiletries. Thanks to this event, Robinson’s family is no longer living on the streets and she has received a job offer at a local law firm. “This remarkable story grows legs every minute,” KCMO Program Director Steve Sutton said. “One guy pulled into the lot and handed over a $1000 check."

Canned Film Festival Feeds Hungry

Eagle Communication’s KKJO-FM St. Joseph’s MO collected almost 14,000 pounds of food in its 12th annual The Canned Film Festival. This provides more than 11,400 meals available to residents through the Northwest Missouri Food Pantry and Second Harvest Community Food Bank. The station partnered with a local movie theater, which offered free admission to a kids’ movie on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings in June and July.

WBRZ Fills Four School Buses with Supplies

Manship Station’s ABC affiliate WBRZ-TV Baton Rouge La. stuffed a total of four school buses with more than $40,000 worth of school supplies during the 8th annual Stuff the Bus Campaign on July 15. WBRZ doubled its goal of filling two school buses with donated items. The drive helps students in the East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge Parishes start the school year with the tools they need to succeed.

Broadcasters Provide Vital Information on Severe Weather
WCVB Earns National Murrow Award for Tornado Coverage

Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston won a National Murrow award for its coverage of the first tornado on record in the Boston metro area. In July 2014, an F-2 tornado with 120 mph winds tore a path two miles long and 3/8th of a mile wide through the suburbs of Revere and Chelsea. “This national Murrow award is a testament to the extraordinary talent and hard work of our NewsCenter 5 team,” said News Director Andrew Vrees. “It is the highest form of praise to be recognized in such a way by our peers and I am very proud of our entire team.” Click here to see clips from WCVB’s tornado coverage.

KFOR Emmy Finalist for Tornado Coverage

Tribune Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate KFOR-TV Oklahoma City has been named a finalist for the National News and Documentary Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for its coverage of the EF5 tornado that hit Moore, Okla. on May 20, 2013. The tornado had peak winds of 210 mph and killed 24 people, including nine children. KFOR also received a Heartland Regional Emmy Award for a weather image promo related to its coverage of the tornado. Click here to watch the video that was submitted for the Emmy.

Western Minn. Tunes In During Storms

Paradis Broadcasting’s KXRA-AM/FM Alexandria, MN provided listeners with vital information as storms hit West Central Minnesota on July 12. While tornado warnings were in affect for several hours, the storm created wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour. In total, 3.45 inches of rain fell during a storm that left 1500 residents without power and resulted in significant damage to buildings and fallen trees throughout the region. Reporter Joe Korkowski filed this story, which includes an interview with a resident who pulled off the interstate because the radio advised drivers to do so.

KUSA Denver On-Air After Lightning Strike

Tegna Media’s NBC affiliate KUSA-TV Denver persevered after lightning struck its tower on July 10, knocking the control room and other equipment offline. The station still broadcast the news, but without its normal graphics, full screen video or multiple cameras. Anchors Adele Arakawa and Kyle Clark were on air from the station’s newsroom, using a single camera format and holding up a tablet to show images. KUSA used the hashtag “#9NEWSunplugged” during the improvised newscast. Click here to watch clips.

Television and Radio Fight Cancer

WBZ Helps Pan-Mass Challenge Raise $45M

CBS owned-and-operated WBZ-TV Boston, on Aug. 1-2, partnered with the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) to raise $45 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The PMC is the largest athletic fundraising event in the country, drawing 5,500 cyclists from 36 states and eight countries. The main course spans 192 miles and 46 towns, but riders can chose from 11 other routes of varying distances. In 35 years, the PMC has raised more than $450 million. To raise awareness, WBZ invites riders to share their stories on the air. “Their stories are heartbreaking, inspiring and a reminder of the power of the human spirit,” Peter Masucci, WBZ creative services director told TVNewsCheck. “This is what local news can still provide better than any other outlet: a platform for the community, a local connection that brings people closer.”

WRCO Raises $33,000 to Eliminate Cancer

Fruit Broadcasting’s WRCO-FM Richland Center, WI raised a record $33,185 during its radio auction for GRACE (Greater Richland Area Cancer Elimination), held July 27-30. Local businesses donated practical items that would interest listeners, including two loads of hay and a dozen eggs every other week for a year. WRCO’s staff dedicates about 120 hours to the auction before the four day auction went live on-air. In 11 years, the auction has brought in $203,000. Every dollar generated from the auction goes to GRACE, with 40 percent allocated to area residents for direct financial support for cancer treatment or related expenses, 40 percent to research at UW-Carbone Cancer Center and Gundersen Health Systems and the rest to local hospitals, community education and prevention.

Radio Shows Appreciation For Our Troops
AM Radio Raises $67K for Troops

Cherry Creek Radio's KUBC-AM Montrose, CO raised $67,000 for Operation Sweet Tooth, a local non-profit that sends supplies to U.S. troops overseas. KUBC discovered Operation Sweet Tooth in 2003, when host Jim Kerschner interviewed founders Landy and Marta Taylor. In 2004, KUBC’s first radiothon raised $25,000. Kerschner told Radio Ink that the 74 year-old Marta, who spearheads the effort since Landy’s death in 2007, has shipped more than 300 tons of supplies and spends $30,000 annually on postage. KUBC has raised $550,000 since 2004. "People say AM radio is dead. I think that's a good testament that it's not," Kerschner said.

Premier Co-Sponsoring Military Concerts

iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks is co-sponsoring the Super 8 Military Appreciation Tour, a series of free, private concerts for members of the military and their families. The concerts will feature some of country music’s biggest stars. Duo Montgomery Gentry performed during the first event, which Cody Alan hosted on July 28 in Oak Grove, KY near the Fort Campbell U.S. Army Base. Additional concerts in the series will be announced this fall.

Broadcasters Cover Important Local Events

WHXT Covers Confederate Flag Removal

Alpha Media’s WHXT-FM Orangeburg, SC broadcast live as the Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina Statehouse on July 10. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley used nine pens to sign a law requiring that the flag be removed. Each pen went to the families of the nine victims of the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. “When a moment and a movement like this just captures our nation’s attention, I’m always so proud of the radio medium for being out in the community right smack in the middle of it all,” said SVP and Market Manager Mike Hartel.

Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson to Launch

Sinclair Broadcasting Group will launch Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson on Oct 4. The 30-minute investigative news program will target accountability in the public and private sectors. “We will report on untouchable topics in a fearless way with a team of award winning journalists,” Attkisson said. “We will follow the trail no matter where it leads.” In Attkisson’s 30-year career as a correspondent and anchor for CBS News and other stations, she received five Emmy Awards, seven Emmy nominations and an Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative journalism.

Local Stations Host and Air Debates

Radio and TV Stations Air GOP Voters Forum

Hearst stations in 27 cities; Tegna Media’s CBS affiliate WLTX-TV Columbia, S.C.; Cedar Rapids Television Co.’s ABC affiliate KCRG-TV Cedar Rapids, IA; iHeartMedia’s WGIR-AM Manchester, NH will broadcast a Voters First Forum for Republican presidential candidates on Aug. 3. WGIR-AM host Jack Heath will moderate the panel. “This is an opportunity for us to provide our viewers a chance to see and hear from the large majority of the GOP candidates in advance of the first national debate,” said Hearst Television VP, programming Emerson Coleman. “There are more than two million households in the cities we serve that may not otherwise have the ability to view this important event on television.”

WFXT Broadcasts Boston Olympics Debate

Cox Media Group’s Fox affiliate WFXT-TV Boston co-sponsored, aired and streamed “The Boston Olympics Debate” on July 2 to examine the issues surrounding Boston’s potential bid for the 2024 Olympics. During the debate, the chairman of the pro-Olympics group Boston 2024 and the co-chair of No Boston Olympics answered questions from WFXT and Boston Globe moderators and from the public, who submitted questions on The Boston Globe and WFXT Facebook pages and via the Twitter hashtag #OlympicsDebate. Prior to the event, WFXT VP-GM Tom Raponi said, “We hope this open, public dialogue will give viewers a clear picture about the financial viability of the Boston Olympics host city plan and its potential impact on them.” Post-debate analysis streamed live online and on WFXT’s app.

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