Broadcasters' Public Service
June 2015
 

Local television and radio broadcasters constantly perfom public service in their communities. Stations disseminate critical information during weather emergencies; support our troops; raise millions of dollars for cancer research and children's hospitals; collect tons of food, clothing and toys for families in need; provide free air time for political campaign coverage; and promote education and health.

Send details on your station's public service to Suzie Raven
sraven@nab.org | publicservice@nab.org

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: @BroadlyServing
Click here to learn more about broadcasters' public service.

Local Broadcasters Provide Lifeline Disaster Information
Central Texas and Oklahoma City Residents Rely on Broadcasters During Flood

After years of drought, parts of Texas and Oklahoma experienced historic rainfall that caused flooding, property destruction and power outages. More than 20 people died, as thousands of others evacuated their homes, were stranded in cars or slept in the Toyota Center after a Houston Rockets game. Local radio and television station staff braved the storm to provide lifeline news and weather to the community, raised money for flood relief and encouraged listeners and viewers to support the Red Cross.

iHeartMedia's KASE-FM Austin, Texas, hosted a concert on June 3 featuring nationally syndicated radio talent Bobby Bones and his Raging Idiots band to raise money for the Central Texas Chapter of the Red Cross. "Bobby's heart has always been in Austin, where The Bobby Bones Show got its start," said KASE-FM Program Director JT Bosch. "He wants to do anything and everything possible to help his friends and family here in the area rebuild their lives." Sinclair Broadcasting's CBS affiliate KEYE-TV Austin raised more than $14,000 on May 27 for the American Red Cross of Central Texas.

Stations that aired wall-to-wall coverage included Gannett Broadcasting's CBS affiliate KHOU-TV, CBS Radio's KILT-AM/FM, iHeartMedia's KTBZ-FM and KASE-FM Austin, Tyler Media Group's KJKE-FM Oklahoma City, Cumulus Media's WBAP-AM Houston and KLIF-AM Dallas, Graham Media's NBC affiliate KPRC-TV Houston, Tribune Media's CW affiliate KIAH-TV Houston, and Fox owned-and-operated KRIV-TV Houston. Click here to view video from KHOU-TV.

"Radio people get it," KTBZ-FM Program Director Elliot Wood told All Access. "In times like these, they shine. It is a great reminder that radio is an important part of the community."

KWTV-TV Crucial in Oklahoma City Tornado

Griffin Communication's CBS affiliate KWTV-TV Oklahoma City went to wall-to-wall coverage from 2:35 - 11 p.m. on May 6, as a deadly tornado hit the area. KWTV-TV's life-saving, severe weather information was also carried on Tyler Radio Group's eight stations. At the height of the storm, almost 90 percent of households in the Oklahoma City market tuned in to weather coverage. "What could have turned into an unspeakable tragedy was partially avoided due to the warnings seen and heard from KWTV and other broadcast media in Oklahoma City," said Houston Hunt of Griffin Communications.

Radio and TV Aid Texas Tornado Vicitms

Gannett Broadcasting's CBS affiliate KYTX-TV Tyler, Texas, partnered with Alpha Media's four-station cluster in Tyler to help the victims of a tornado in Van, Texas, on May 10 that killed two people and injured dozens more. The stations become a dropoff point for food, clothing and cash donations. During power outages, local residents had relied heavily on radio for news and information about the storm. After the tornado passed, Alpha Media stations aired information about the dropoff points and told listeners: "We are asking you once again to help our fellow neighbors."

Stations Host Debates and Political Forums
Florida Association of Broadcasters Makes Presidential Forum Available

The Florida Association of Broadcasters provided a satellite uplink for local and national stations to cover the Economic Summit on June 2. During the event, Florida Gov. Rick Scott hosted prospective 2016 Republican Presidential candidates, who each had 30 minutes to discuss their views on jobs and economic growth. Morning speakers included Scott, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The afternoon program featured New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul declined the invitation.

WHP-TV Harrisburg Encourages Politicians to "Face the State" Each Week

Sinclair Broadcasting's CBS affiliate WHP-TV Harrisburg, Pa., hosts "Face the State," a weekly political show that airs every Sunday at 11:30 a.m. following "Face the Nation." The show features guest interviews, group conversations and a roundtable discussion among a weekly guest journalist, anchor Robb Hanrahan, WHP-TV Democratic Strategist Tony May and WHP-TV Republican Strategist Charlie Gerow. Guests have included policy makers and state leaders such as former Gov. Tom Corbett, Sen. Bob Casey and Rep. Scott Perry. Issues explored include educational funding, pension reform, medical marijuana, liquor privatization and the state budget. Past episodes are available here.

Mayoral Debate Airs on WCMH-TV Columbus

Media General's NBC affiliate WCMH-TV Columbus hosted a debate on April 22 between the candidates for Columbus mayor: Terry Boyd (R), Andrew Ginther (D), James Ragland (D) and Zach Scott (D). The "Ohio Votes 2015 Mayoral Debate" broadcast live on air and online, and was replayed in its entirety on April 25. The public was invited to attend the event or submit questions via Facebook.

WPVI-TV Philadelphia Hosts Six Candidates

ABC owned-and-operated WPVI-TV Philadelphia hosted a debate for the six Democratic candidates for Philadelphia mayor on May 5: Lynne Abraham, Nelson Diaz, Jim Kenney, Doug Oliver, Milton Street and Anthony Williams.

Jacksonville Debate Airs on Radio, TV

Bayshore Television's CBS affiliate WJAX-TV Jacksonville hosted a debate on May 6 between candidates for Jacksonville mayor, incumbent Alvin Brown and Republican challenger Lenny Curry. Cox Media Group's WOKV-FM Jacksonville also broadcast the event.

Radio and TV Thank Our Troops and Their Families
KSFO-AM Raises $135K for Fisher House

Cumulus Media's KSFO-AM San Francisco raised $136,000 over Memorial Day weekend for the Fisher House Foundation, which provides no-cost housing and support for families of wounded warriors while they receive treatment at military and VA hospitals. The KSFO Morning Show's live broadcast from the Palo Alto Fisher House on May 22 featured interviews with soldiers and their families who have used Fisher House services. In the past five years, KSFO has raised more than $600,000 for Fisher House.

Stations Air 'A Hero's Best Medicine'

Cumulus Media's KARN-AM Little Rock personality Doc Washburn hosted a three-hour special, "A Hero's Best Medicine," to raise awareness of the Fisher House Foundation. Radio stations that aired the program over Memorial Day weekend included WMAL-AM Washington, D.C.; CBS Radio's WCCO-AM Minneapolis, Minn.; Cumulus Media's WBAP-AM and KLIF-AM Dallas, iHeartMedia's KHOW-AM Denver; WHAS-AM Louisville, Ky. and KSTE-AM Sacramento, Calif.; Cox Media Group's WSB-AM Atlanta; Bonneville's KTAR-AM Phoenix, Ariz.; Greater Media's WBT-AM Charlotte; E.W. Scripps' KQTH-AM Tucson, Ariz.; Midwest Communications WHBL-AM Sheboygan, Wis.; and Townsquare Media's KPEL-AM Lafayette, La.

KVVU-TV Surprise Squad Impacts Community and Veterans

Meredith Corporation's Fox affiliate KVVU-TV Las Vegas launched the Surprise Squad in December 2013. The Surprise Squad travels around Las Vegas performing random acts of kindness for local residents. The surprises have included providing people in need with groceries, gas and furniture. Over Memorial Day weekend, the Surprise Squad personally delivered flowers to four families who lost a loved one to military service. KVVU-TV donated money in honor of each family to provide care packages for troops or lay wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery through the Wreaths Across America organization. Click here to watch videos of more of their work.

Award-Winning Investigative Reporting
KLTV-TV Story Leads to New Law in Texas

Raycom Media's ABC affiliate KLTV-TV Tyler, Texas, aired investigative stories on the murder of Kari Hunt, a mother of two, who was killed by her estranged husband in a hotel room. Hunt's children witnessed the crime, while one tried unsuccessfully to dial 9-1-1, not knowing she had to dial 9 first to get an outside line. KLTV-TV's story helped bring this to the attention of State Senator Kevin Eltife, who sponsored a bill requiring direct access to 9-1-1 from certain telephone systems. Representative Chris Paddie introduced Texas Statehouse SB 788 (aka Kari's Law) in the House. It is now ready for the Governor's signature. Other states are now working on passing this law or variations. Read more here.

KNX-AM Airs "Graduating to Broke"

CBS Radio's KNX-AM Los Angeles hosted a special series Graduating to Broke on May 14, with two reports an hour from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. KNX-AM examined the rising, often prohibitive cost of education from pre-school to advanced degrees. As the average college graduate incurs about $30,000 in loans, some experts believe student debt could cause the country's next financial crisis. Topics included: How competition to get kids into top schools raises costs, whether high-end universities are worth it, why a college education in some countries is free, how today's kids are asked to bring supplies because schools can't afford materials, and why a college degree no longer guarantees a good job.

Reporters and Stations Receive Murrow Awards for Investigative Reporting

Stations and reporters that earned regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) include:

E.W. Scripps' ABC affiliate WMAR-TV Baltimore reporter Brian Kubler won his third Murrow Award for " Ping Pong Plaza," which followed a social experiment that studied how a public ping pong table in Baltimore City brought people together. He received a Murrow Award in 2013 for "The Journey Home," and in 2012 for Road to Recovery.

Capitol Broadcasting's CBS affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh, N.C., earned two regional Murrow Awards: one in the Writing category for Scott Mason's story from the series "Tar Heel Traveler," and one for its website. WRAL.com has received a significant amount of attention, including this article in the Columbia Journalism Review.

Berkshire Hathaway's ABC affiliate WPLG-TV Pembroke Park, Fla. reporter Christina Vazquez earned a Murrow award in the Reporting Hard News category for "Dangerous Journey." The stories and Web articles explore the plight of unaccompanied children who flee Honduras, which has the world's highest murder rate, to move to America. "It's hard for us to understand how anyone can send their kids off by themselves or in the care of a smuggler on this long dangerous journey," Vazquez said. "How can anyone do that? I wanted to take our viewers to the starting point of the journey for many of them. Be on the ground, see what they're up against."

Stations Raise Awareness and Money for Health-Related Issues
iHeartMedia Awarded for Raising $6.5 Million

iHeartMedia and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals received a Silver Cause Marketing Halo Award in the Best Message-focused Campaign category at the 2015 Cause Marketing Forum Conference. In 2014, 35 iHeartMedia stations raised almost $6.5 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. "No medium is more local than radio, and the radiothon program capitalizes on iHeartMedia's unique and natural role as a community medium to drive both awareness and donations," said iHeartMedia Director of Community Engagement Jessica King.

WCMH-TV Helps Dispose of a Ton of Drugs

Media General's NBC affiliate WCMH-TV Columbus, Ohio, held a "Drug Disposal Day" on May 2. Almost 2,600 pounds of pills and drug paraphernalia were turned over to law enforcement. This equates to about 1.8 million tablets. Drug Disposal Day aims to curb teen prescription drug abuse by offering a way to safely dispose of expired and unused medication. Almost 4.5 million teens report recreational use of prescription drugs.

WKLH-FM Raises $1.3 Million for Children's Hospital

Saga Communication's WKLH-FM Milwaukee morning hosts Dave Luczak and Carole Caine raised a record $1.3 million in their annual fundraiser before the Memorial Day weekend. During the 36-hour radiothon for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, the morning show broadcast live from the hospital, speaking with patient families and hospital staff about available programs. Since its inception in 1998, the radiothon has raised over $22 million.

Orlando Radio Discusses Domestic Violence

Cox Media Group's WDBO-FM Orlando aired a one-hour special, "Awareness & Action: Domestic Violence" on May 6. The program discussed how every minute, 20 people are victims of intimate partner violence and about 25 percent of all women will experience domestic violence at some point. The panel included Belvin Perry, Former Chief Judge, who presided over the Casey Anthony murder trial; Jeff Ashton, Florida's Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney and prosecution team member in the Casey Anthony trial; and several experts from the law and social services fields. The program aired live on WDBO-FM and streamed online on Cox Media Group's five Orlando radio stations: WDBO-FM, WWKA-FM, WCFB-FM, WMMO-FM and WPYO-FM.

New York Radio Hosts Apple-a-Day Program

Cumulus Media's WPLJ-FM New York City morning show co-host Jayde Donovan surprises local pediatric cancer patients with new Apple iPads through her "Apple-a-Day" program. Donovan surprised a different local pediatric cancer patient with a new iPad each day in May on her morning show. At the "iPad Party" in Times Square, 20 children received tablets. "I've seen how this one small gesture can change a child's outlook in such a positive way. This technology offers them a bridge into the world they are not currently able to be a part of," Donovan said. "My program is not going to change the world, but it can change that child's world." More than 200 children have received an iPad through the "Apple-a-Day program" since 2011.

Broadcasters Support Local Communities
Wish Comes True for 97-year-old Woman

Fox Television's owned-and-operated WTTG-TV Washington, D.C. helped make a wish come true for 97-year-old local woman Vivian Bailey. WTTG-TV aired this story in April about Bailey's recent visit to the U.S. Capitol – the first field trip of her lifetime. Bailey, an Army veteran, grew up in the segregated South where only white kids went on field trips. For years, Bailey has raised money for field trips at the school where she volunteers in the D.C. suburb of Columbia, MD. Bailey told the children she'd like to take a trip to the White House. After the story aired, she received an invitation to visit the White House. Click here for photos and video of her visit, during which she met President Obama and Vice President Biden.

KVAL-TV Food Drive Sets Station Record

Sinclair Broadcasting's CBS affiliate KVAL-TV Eugene, Ore. raised a record 34,441 meals in the 7th annual "KVAL CanDo! Food Drive" on April 15. The two-week event culminated in a day-long telethon. "Not only does the KVAL CanDo! Food Drive consistently bring in donations during a time when reserves are low, it garners an enormous amount of attention for the very real need in our community," said Dawn Marie Woodward, media coordinator of Food for Lane County.

Thousands Celebrate Hispanic Culture

Univision Houston hosted its 36th Annual "Festival de Mayo," a one-day celebration of Hispanic culture featuring live performances by regional and Mexican artists, authentic food and cultural exhibits. Ten non-profit organizations provided information on education, training, employment services, parent education for at-risk communities and support programs to deal with alcoholism. More than 40,000 people attended the event.

Television and Radio Promote Education, Children's Initiatives
Sinclair, iHeartMedia Support the United Negro College Fund

Sinclair Broadcast Group and iHeartMedia are supporting the UNCF's (United Negro College Fund) annual show, "An Evening of Stars," which highlights 20 students and presents $500,000 in scholarships to historically black college or universities (HBCUs). In the past 36 years, UNCF's "An Evening of Stars" has raised more than $200 million and provided hundreds of thousands of scholarships. Sinclair will air the show in all of its 78 television markets beginning on June 6th and will produce a news feature on a local HBCU when applicable. iHeartMedia is promoting Sinclair's broadcast of "An Evening of Stars" on 156 radio stations.

"We are proud to broadcast this important fundraiser to almost half the country, including markets where this show has never aired before," said Sinclair VP of Programming Bill Butler. "By offering our footprint to extend UNCF's message of educational opportunity almost nationwide, we hope to open new doors for the scholarship fund, as well as future UNCF beneficiaries."

KAFE-FM Raises $32K for Kids in Foster Care

Saga Communications' KAFE-FM Bellingham, Wash.'s "Dave and Mandy in the Morning" show held a "Drive-By Giving" event on May 8 at local coffee shops to raise money for the Royal Family Kids Camps. KAFE-FM collected $31,755 during the event to support the camps in serving abused children that are now in foster care in Washington's Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Miami Station Awards High School Seniors

Univision owned-and-operated WLTV-TV Miami honored 10 local high school seniors with its "Orgullo de Nuestra Juventud" (Pride of our Youth) award and college scholarships on May 1. Six students were recognized for academic excellence and community service, while four received awards for academic growth in spite of significant personal setbacks.

 
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