Broadcasters' Public Service
  April 2016
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Radio and television broadcasters constantly serve local communities. Stations air lifeline emergency information; support our troops; raise millions for cancer research and treatment; collect tons of food, clothes and toys; devote free air time to election coverage; and promote education and health.

Submit your station's public service to Suzie Raven at


Broadcasters Showcase Investigative Reporting

WDIV Exposes Police Brutality

WDIV exposes police brutalityGraham Media Group's NBC affiliate WDIV Detroit received a Michigan Press Association award for the advancement of justice. "A Journey to Justice" examined the story of Floyd Dent, an African-American man who failed to stop at a stop sign. He was pulled from his car, punched in the head 16 times and arrested for assault, resisting arrest and possession of cocaine. WDIV showed that a police officer pulled a baggie of cocaine from his own pocket. As a result, arresting officer William Melendez was fired and sentenced to 13 months in prison, two other officers were suspended and the police chief resigned. A law has been proposed to track officers who resign under investigation. The county prosecutor cited WDIV's reports for alerting her to the case.

CBS News Investigation Shakes up Wounded Warrior Project

CBS Investigates Wound Warrior

A CBS News investigation led by reporter Chip Reid led to the board of the Wounded Warrior Project firing its CEO and the COO. CBS's Scott Pelley broke the news on March 10. Reid's investigation revealed that Wounded Warrior Project spent 54 - 60 percent of the donations it received on veterans' services. Other organizations spend more than 90 percent on veterans.

WMAR Airs Special About Heroin Epidemic

WMAR Airs Special on Heroin Epidemic

Scripps' ABC affiliate WMAR-TV Baltimore aired and live-streamed an hour-long special, "Community in Crisis: Chasing The High," on February 25 to highlight the heroin epidemic in Maryland. "My hope is that moms and dads will sit down with their families to watch this, and then start a conversation about the dangers of not only heroin, but all drugs," said News Director Kelly Groft.

Radio and TV Stations Raise Millions for Children

Radio Has Raised $600 Million for St. Jude in 25 years

St. Jude Radiothon Radio World recently highlighted radio's 25-year partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is one of America's most successful fundraising programs. More than 300 stations have raised over $600 million for the hospital's lifesaving work in fighting childhood cancer. iHeartMedia has generated more than $80 million in 10 years, with $8.8 million coming from radiothons held at 56 stations in 2015.

"Flint Water Crisis: 4 Our Families" Telethon Raises $1.1 Million

Radiothon for Flint Raises $1.1 Million

Five NBC-affiliated television stations in Michigan - Graham Media Group's WDIV Detroit, Sinclair's WEYI-TV Flint, Gray Television's WILX-TV Lansing and Media General's WOOD-TV Grand Rapids raised $1.1 million in the "Flint Water Crisis: 4 Our Families" telethon on March 15. WDIV has aired extensive reports on the crisis. All proceeds will go to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund, which was established in January to help with things like education, nutrition and medical intervention.

WKBW-TV Raised $1 Million for Women and Children's Hospital

Variety TelethonE.W. Scripps' ABC affiliate WKBW-TV Buffalo raised $1 million in the "Variety Kids Telethon," held March 5 for the Women and Children's Hospital. The telethon featured Ashton Ross Smith, who battled a severe respiratory infection and pneumonia when he was six weeks old. Countless children, including Ross, are now thriving because of the hospital's care.

KYW-TV Raises $1.1 Million for Ronald McDonald House

KYW-TV Ronald McDonald TelethonCBS owned-and-operated KYW-TV Philadelphia raised $1.1 million in the seventh annual "Ronald McDonald House Charities Phone Bank," on March 22. Since 2010, the fundraiser has raised over $6.2 million to benefit programs for local children hosted by the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

WTVC Raises $1.2 Million for Ronald McDonald House

WTVC Ronald McDonald HouseSinclair's ABC affiliate WTVC Chattanooga raised $1.2 million in the final "Ronald McDonald House Charities telethon," held March 5. For the past 20 years, the telethon has raised money to help families with critically ill children who are receiving medical treatment.

WBAY Raises $1.2 Million for Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy TelethonMedia General's ABC affiliate WBAY-TV Green Bay raised $1.2 million in the 62nd annual "CP Telethon," held March 5-6. The telethon supports the CP Center's programs for kids and adults with cerebral palsy and a range of disabilities. The organization serves about 2,000 families and is working to expand its services.

KRNY-FM Raises $287,000 for St. Jude

KRNY-TV St. Jude Radiothon

NRG Media's KRNY-FM Kearney, Neb., raised a record $287,000 in this year's radiothon for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, held March 31 – April 1. "The fact that we keep going up in numbers is amazing, is incredible, is heart-wrenching and is beyond words," said KRNY's Lisa Williams. "But the success for us and the goal for us is to spread the word about St. Jude and to get people to be a part of it."

WMAS-FM Raises $343,000 for Baystate Children's Hospital

WMAS-FM Radiothon

Cumulus' WMAS-FM Springfield, Mass. raised $343,000 for Baystate Children's Hospital in the 15th annual radiothon held March 3-5.

WFLS St. JudeWFLS Raises $136,089 for St. Jude

Alpha Media's WFLS-FM Fredericksburg, Va., raised $136,089 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital during a three-day fundraising event. WFLS held a radiothon on March 10-11 and "The 93.3 WFLS St. Jude Fun Day" on March 12, with a Washington Redskins autograph signing, games and live music.

WKTV Stomps Out Cancer

WKTV Stomps Out CancerHeartland Media's NBC affiliate WKTV Utica, N.Y., raised $96,000 in the "Stomp Out Cancer" telethon, held March 23. The Mohawk Valley Health System Cancer Center will use the funds for a new 3D imaging mammography device to help doctors detect cancer early.

WNKI-FM, WPGI-FM Raise $96,000 for Children's Miracle Network

WNKI RadiothonCommunity Broadcasters' WNKI-FM and WPGI-FM Elmira, N.Y., raised $96,000 during the Children's Miracle Network Radiothon, held March 9-11. The money supports local children in the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units at Arnot Ogden Medical Center.

Local Stations Significantly Impact Their Communities

WJR-AM Radiothon Raises $1 Million

WJR-AM Raises $1 Million

Cumulus' WJR-AM Detroit raised $1 million for the Salvation Army's "Bed and Bread" program in a radiothon held February 26. The Radiothon is the program's primary source of funding. The Bed & Bread program serves more than 4,200 meals to the Detroit community, which amounts to more than 1.5 million meals annually, and provides shelter to 500 people every night. The Salvation Army Bed & Bread recently expanded its truck routes to deliver to new underserved areas.

Seven Ways WHKO-FM Improves Dayton

WHKO Makes Dayton better

Cox Media Group's WHKO-FM Dayton was recognized by the Dayton Daily News in an article published March 3, titled "7 ways K99 makes our community better." "Of course you've heard [Nancy Wilson and James Frye] host K99.1 FM's morning show, but few people know how much they serve the community," wrote Kamron Taylor. "It's intrinsically tied to the station's mission to connect with the community -- and the station provides a platform for the two to make it happen." Taylor then goes on to provide seven reasons why the station makes the community better.

WTMX-FM Constantly Serves Chicago

WTMX Awarded for Community Service

Hubbard's WTMX-FM Chicago will receive the NAB Crystal Heritage Award, April 19 at NAB Show. Only five others have won the award, which honors stations with five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service. WTMX does more than host the "Eric & Kathy Radiothon," which has raised $27 million for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in 16 years. "We do a lot of lower-profile fundraisers to help out our listeners, be it for a family who has lost a mother or father, a young cancer patient who needs support in paying for treatment, or someone else who needs financial and human assistance in our listening area," said Market Manager John Gallagher. "WTMX's heart and soul is truly committed to the city of Chicago."

iHeart Manchester Raises $156,000 for Veterans

Veterans Count Radiothon

iHeartMedia's WGIR-AM/FM Manchester, N.H., raised $156,000 for Veterans Count, an organization that provides financial assistance, services and resources to New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families. On-air personality Jack Heath hosted the 12-hour radiothon, which featured interviews with service members, ranging from World War II veterans to those who currently serve.

Univision El Paso Helps Thousands With FAFSA Student Loans

Univision Hosts FAFSA workshops

Univision El Paso and the El Paso Chamber of Commerce hosted fairs at local high schools to educate families on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As many families are not aware that $150 billion in federal funds is available yearly for higher education, a lot of money goes unclaimed by students who need it. FAFSA fairs were attended by 2,370 students and 2,254 parents. More than 3,000 FAFSA applications were submitted.

For more on Univision's local impact, view its corporate social responsibility report, "Access for All."

Radio and Television Stations Provide Disaster Relief

KWTV Crew Saves Man From Fire

KLKN Life-Saving Tornado Coverage

A news crew from Griffin’s CBS affiliate KWTV Oklahoma City rescued a man stuck in a rapidly spreading Oklahoma wildfire on April 5. Val and Amy Castor were reporting on the fire when they saw county worker Jason Perks frantically attempting to remove his truck from a ditch. They continued filming as they urged him to hurry up and escape the fire. "I've seen a lot of fires. I've never seen a fire move as fast as this one did," Val Castor later said. "I'm thinking he's going to be in trouble in just a minute if he didn't get out of there ... my window of opportunity to go in there and get him was getting smaller and smaller." Perks freed himself and sprinted to the Castor’s truck. All three survived. Watch video.

Viewer Thanks KLKN for Life-Saving Coverage

KLKN Life-Saving Tornado Coverage

Citadel’s ABC affiliate KLKN Lincoln, Neb., received the below note from a viewer, congratulating the station on its 20th anniversary and thanking the news and weather crew for life-saving tornado coverage.

“I also want to Thank You for your weather coverage at the time of the Hallam tornado... our home was destroyed. We have rebuilt and live there now. I believe I survived because of your weather coverage. I know many Hallam folk say the same thing, that they watched channel 8 and knew to take cover...

Thank you so much for providing that serious weather broadcast and please continue to do that! Weather is not always warm and fuzzy! Thank God and Channel 8 that I am alive!"

WWL-TV Brings in $239,000 for Tornado Relief

WWL tornado relief

TEGNA's CBS affiliate WWL-TV New Orleans helped raise $239,000 for the United Way following a February 24 tornado. WWL created a PSA on how to donate, which aired in almost all newscasts for two weeks. "Our neighbors have always supported us, and we in turn want to make sure we're there for them," said WWL General Manager Todd Smith. "It's a promise we make every day, and it's a part of what makes South Louisiana feel like a family."

KNOE-TV Monroe, LA Raised $172,000 for Flood Relief

KNOE-TV flood relief

Gray's CBS affiliate KNOE-TV Monroe, La., raised $172,000 for relief efforts, after 24 inches of rain forced thousands to evacuate during the week of March 7. One news crew stayed on-air in wet clothes after their boat capsized. "We were completely submerged in flood water. In a matter of minutes, we went from covering the story to being a part of it," said reporter Nicole Cross. "But, I count it all as joy – just a small price to pay to expose what the people here and in so many other parts of the ArkLaMiss are facing."

Viewers Thank KOTV for Tornado Coverage

Raycom flood relief telethon

Griffin’s CBS affiliate KOTV-TV Tulsa provided wall-to-wall coverage of tornadoes on March 30. “Oklahomans unfortunately know severe weather all too well, but they again turned to local broadcasters to help protect their families,” said Marketing Manager Houston Hunt.

The station received several grateful calls from viewers, who were impressed with the storm coverage and followed KOTV as they worried about loved ones who were on the road as the tornado approached.

One viewer, Marilyn from Prairie Song, said KOTV was the talk of her town following the tornado and that "helicopter pilots were magnificent last night and should be awarded for their bravery and coverage." She also thanked the entire station for all of the hard work and dedication each individual gives.

KTAL-TV Texarkana Nets $25,000 for Flooding

KTAL flood relief telethon

Nexstar's NBC affiliate KTAL-TV Texarkana, Texas, raised $25,000 on March 18 in the '6 Hours of Caring' telethon to support flood relief efforts. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards joined the telethon to praise the community for pulling together.

KBMT Raises $250,000 For Texas Flood Relief

KBMT flood relief

TEGNA's ABC affiliate KBMT Beaumont, Texas, led a state-wide donation drive on March 24 to support the American Red Cross flood relief efforts. TEGNA stations across Texas raised $250,000 during the "SETX Flood Relief: 12 Hours of Giving."

Raycom Stations Provide Flood Relief

Raycom flood relief telethon

Raycom's Fox affiliate WVUE New Orleans led a group of stations in a March 16 flood relief telethon after a week of historic rain and floods displaced hundreds of people. "It's not only our duty as broadcasters to make sure our viewers are safe, either by warning them early of dangerous weather or keeping them informed as those storms move through our area, but after the storm passes, it is also our duty to help those around us who have been affected," said WVUE General Manager Tim Ingram. Raycom stations that joined WVUE in raising $9,000 included CBS affiliate WAFB Baton Rouge; NBC affiliate KPLC Lake Charles; CBS affiliate KSLA Shreveport; NBC affiliate WDAM Hattiesburg, MS; ABC affiliate WLOX Biloxi, MS; and NBC affiliate WMC Memphis.

Radio and Television Stations Air Debates, Election Coverage

Radio and TV Stations Air Debates

WJZ Senate debate

CBS-owned WJZ-TV Baltimore partnered with The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore on several debates. Baltimore's mayoral candidates debated on March 22 and 23. The Republican candidates for U.S. Senate faced off on March 23, with the Democratic debate occurring March 25. Reps. Donna F. Edwards and Chris Van Hollen, Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, also participated in a debate that aired April 5 on the Larry Young Morning Show on Radio One's WOLB-AM Baltimore.

WDIV Produces "Decision 2016: Flashpoint"

WDIV Flashpoint Election 2016 coverage

Graham Media Group's NBC affiliate WDIV Detroit produces and airs "Flashpoint," a weekly public affairs program focused on topics that are important to the community, including the upcoming election and the Detroit Public Schools. A primetime special on March 4 gave viewers additional perspective leading up to the Michigan primary election. "Flashpoint" host Devin Scillian has interviewed presidential candidates John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders, among others.

Univision Launches First U.S. Fact-Checking Project en Español

Univision Lie Detector Election 2016

Univision launched its new "Detector de Mentiras" (Lie Detector) during the March 9 Democratic debate to fact-check presidential candidates this election season. During that event, Detector de Mentiras focused on the candidates' statements on driver's licenses for undocumented residents, Hillary Clinton's famous speeches to Wall Street and the auto industry bailout. In general, the fact-checking team will focus on issues that are important to the Hispanic community, such as immigration, education and health care. "Univision has been asserting itself as a significant player in investigative work over the past few years," said Al Tompkins of Poynter, who cited Univision's "Rape in the Fields" and "Rape on the Night Shift" investigations.

KOMU-TV Airs Republican Gubernatorial Debate

KOMU Airs Governor debate

University of Missouri's NBC affiliate KOMU-TV Columbia, Mo., hosted a March 17 debate for Republican gubernatorial candidates businessman John Brunner, former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and former Missouri Speaker of the House Catherine Hanaway. They discussed job creation, state road and university funding, race relations, term limits and campaign reform.

WISN Airs Debates for City, County and State Races

WISN Airs Debates

Hearst-owned ABC affiliate WISN Milwaukee partnered with the Marquette University Law School to air debates between candidates in several races. They produced and aired the mayoral debate on March 11; the statewide Wisconsin Supreme Court debate on March 15; and the debate for Milwaukee County Executive on March 9. All events also streamed online and on the 12 News Mobile App.