Broadcasters' Public Service
January 2016

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; promote education and health; and help non-profits communicate critical messages.

Submit your station's public service story to Suzie Raven

As in years past, local radio and television stations across the country embraced the holiday spirit, collecting hundreds of thousands of toys, raising millions of dollars to combat childhood cancer and providing meals and winter coats for thousands of neighbors. Broadcasters spread cheer in their communities, while continuing to air critical emergcy weather information, election coverage and in-depth local news reports.

Local Broadcasters Raise Millions for Good Causes
TeletónUSA Raises $15.7 Million for Children with Disabilities

Univision's TeletonUSA raised $15.7 million during a live event held in Los Angeles December 4-6 to benefit children with neuromusculoskeletal disabilities, cancer and autism. More than 100 artists participated. Live broadcasts aired in Chicago, Miami, New York and San Antonio and streamed online.

Radio and Television Stations Organize Record-Breaking Fundraisers
KNXV-TV Phoenix Raises $1 Million

E.W. Scripps' ABC affiliate KNXV-TV Phoenix raised $1 million in its 14th annual "Operation Santa," November 19-December 22. The funds benefit the Military Assistance Mission, Ronald McDonald House of Phoenix, St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance and the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center.

WJR-AM Detroit Raises $1 Million

Cumulus' WJR-AM Detroit's "2015 Mitch Albom S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon," held December 10, raised a record $1 million for the Mitch Albom charities. Guests included Hugh Jackman, Billy Bob Thornton, Jane Pauley, Craig Ferguson and Alice Cooper. Watch video.

WMAR Collects 85,000 Toys for Children of Fallen Officers

E.W. Scripps' ABC affiliate WMAR-TV Baltimore collected 85,000 toys in the 17th annual "ABC2 It's Kindertime Toy Drive," held November 26-December 21. In total, WMAR has helped distribute more than 800,000 toys to the children of fallen officers and firefighters. Photojournalist Pete O'Neal started the toy drive to thank the police officers and firefighters who worked to solve his mother's murder. Learn more.

WLKY-TV Toy Drive Sets World Record

Hearst Television's CBS affiliate WLKY Louisville broke a world record with its toy drive on December 16. WLKY collected 6,223 gifts, which equates to eight toys collected every minute for 12 hours. Watch video.

WOAI-AM Raises $277,000 for Holiday Gifts

iHeartMedia's WOAI-AM San Antonio raised $277,000 in the "WOAI Elf Louise Radiothon," held December 5-6. The Elf Louise Christmas Project is an all-volunteer organization that gave gifts to more than 19,000 local kids.

WTTG-TV Grants Wish for 5-Year-Old Cancer Patient

Fox-owned WTTG-TV Washington, D.C.'s "Season of Wishes" highlighted local kids in the Make-A-Wish program. Eden, a five-year-old cancer survivor, took a limo ride to the studio on December 15, where she and her sister were dressed like princesses and her brother like a prince. Then, the limo took them to the Washington Ballet, the White House, the Hyatt Regency for a fairytale lunch, and the Smithsonian Castle to meet Rapunzel. WTTG broadcast the culmination of Eden's day live at 5 p.m. She walked down a red carpet to receive her ultimate wish: a ride on a unicorn. Watch video.

WEHT Raises $300K for Santa Clothes Club

Nexstar Broadcasting's ABC affiliate WEHT-TV Evansville, Ind., raised almost $300,000 on December 6 for the Santa Clothes Club. The telethon has been running for nearly 70 years and will provide clothes for 3,000 kids this year. Watch video.

Indianapolis Radiothon Collects $250,000

Emmis' WIBC-FM Indianapolis raised $250,000 in its annual Salvation Army telethon, held December 4-5. Children could take pictures with Santa in the Emmis lobby on December 4 as part of the event. Watch video.

KKIQ-FM and KKDV-FM Collect 1,200 Toys

Alpha Media's KKIQ-FM and KKDV-FM Pleasonton, Calif., collected 1,200 new, unwrapped toys for Sleep Train Foster Kids during the "Wayne Coy's Toys Radiothon" on December 11, hosted by morning show host Wayne Coy. "This is a great example of 'Live and Local' radio," said Alpha Media's Phil D'Angelo. "I couldn't be prouder of our staff and our community that came together to support Sleep Train's Foster Kids program."

Broadcasters Raise Millions for Children's Hospitals
CBS Radio Brings in $2.4 Million for St. Jude

CBS Radio's WUSN-FM Chicago, WYCD-FM Detroit, WDSY-FM Pittsburgh, KMLE-FM Phoenix and KNCI-FM Sacramento raised $2.4 million in the "Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon," held the first two weeks of December. Of that, WUSN-FM raised $1.3 million, bringing its 25-year total to $25 million.

WPBG Raises $539K for Children's Hospital

Alpha Media's WPBG-FM Peoria, Ill., raised $539,480 during the 15th annual "Drive for Miracles," December 9-10. Since 2001, WPBG has raised $1.5 million for Children's Hospital of Illinois. "This is a true, from-the-heart commitment for a wonderful cause," said Alpha Media Market Manager Mike Wild.

KBKS-FM Seattle Telethon Collects $804,000 for Children's Hospital

iHeartMedia's KBKS-FM Seattle raised $804,236 for Seattle Children's Hospital on December 17. "The impact of 'Bender's One Big KISS' over the past 14 years has been so significant to Seattle Children's for so many reasons," said Seattle Children's Hospital Chair Michele Smith. "Bender and Molly in the Morning and the 106.1 KISS FM listeners have raised awareness of the hospital's needs, given the patients a voice to share their incredible stories with the community, and is one of Seattle Children's largest fundraisers. We have been so lucky to have this incredible partnership that has had such an impact on so many lives."

CBS Dallas Raises $1 Million for Hospital

CBS Radio Dallas - KLUV-FM, KMVK-FM and KRLD-AM - raised $1 million for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in a radiothon held December 10-11. "CBS Radio DFW is one of the strongest supporters in our quest to be by the side of parents across North Texas," said Children's Health President and CEO Christopher J. Durovich.

KOSI Nets $300K for Ronald McDonald House

Bonneville International's KOSI-FM Denver raised almost $300,000 for Ronald McDonald House during its annual "Light the Houses" radiothon on December 3. Thousands of families stay at the Denver Ronald McDonald House every year while their children receive care for significant medical issues.

KSTP-FM Honors Teenage Cancer Victim, Collects $531,000

Hubbard Radio's KSTP-FM St. Paul, Minn. raised $531,000 on December 11 for Children's Cancer Research Fund and Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. KSTP's "12 Hours of Hope" event at Mall of America culminated with 5,500 people singing "Clouds." Written by teenager Zach Sobiech and produced with KSTP's help, the song went viral before he passed away from osteosarcoma in 2013. "It was absolutely amazing. People of all ages and backgrounds standing shoulder-to-shoulder singing at the top of their lungs to celebrate the season and honor Zach Sobiech and all children who are battling cancer or other childhood diseases and illnesses," Vice President and Market Manager Dan Seeman said. "[It] was a VERY PROUD moment for everyone associated with Hubbard Broadcasting. It speaks to the power and reach of KS95. But even more so, it speaks to the tremendous heart of KS95." Watch video.

WDOK-FM Raises $398,000 for Hospital

CBS Radio's WDOK-FM Cleveland raised $398,000 on December 4 in a radiothon for the UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. WDOK has raised more than $2 million in seven years.

KASE-FM Austin Raises $231,000 for St. Jude

iHeartMedia's KASE-FM Austin raised $231,000 in its "St. Jude Country Cares Radiothon," held on December 3-4.

KPLX Raises $303,000 for St. Jude

Cumulus' KPLX-FM Dallas raised $303,157 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital during a radiothon held December 3-4.

Television and Radio Provide Tornado Relief
WFAA-TV Raises $68,000 for Tornado Relief

Tegna’s ABC affiliate WFAA-TV Dallas raised more than $68,000 for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund in less than three hours in a telethon held December 28. The money supports disaster relief efforts following a string of tornadoes on December 26 that killed 11 people and destroyed hundreds of homes. It was the deadliest tornado outbreak to hit North Texas in more than 65 years.

WATN-TV Raises $24,000 Following Tornado

Nexstar Broadcasting's ABC affiliate WATN-TV Memphis raised $24,000 for the American Red Cross' tornado relief efforts, in a telethon held December 30. The money raised will help more than 100 families affected by tornadoes that killed 18 people in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi on December 23. Watch video.

CBS Dallas Raises $61,000 for Tornado Relief

CBS Dallas' KTVT-TV and CBS-owned radio stations in Dallas raised $61,000 on December 28 to support the Salvation Army's relief efforts, following tornadoes that devastated the area. During the tornado, CBS stations provided their viewers and listeners with this crucial life-line weather coverage.

Broadcasters Aid Thousands of Families
WQKL-FM Collects A Million Meals

Cumulus' WQKL-FM Ann Arbor, Mich., collected a record one million meals during its annual five-day food drive, "Rockin' for the Hungry," held December 2-6 to benefit Food Gatherers in Washtenaw County. "'Rockin' for the Hungry' is more than a food and fund drive for Food Gatherers – it brings people together to raise awareness about the issue of hunger in our community," said Food Gatherers President and CEO Eileen Spring.

KELO-TV Sioux Falls Distributes 4,000 Coats

Media General's CBS affiliate KELO-TV Sioux Falls, S.D., distributed more than 4,000 coats last month. "Operation KEEP KELOLAND Warm" was inspired by a homeless woman's death from exposure to extreme cold. Local temperatures can fall to 42 degrees below zero. More than 300 people attended each of the four distribution events, where they selected coats, hats, gloves and scarves. Watch video.

WGHP-TV's 25-Year Tradition of Community Service

Tribune's Fox affiliate WGHP-TV High Point, N.C., collected over 500,000 cans of food during its December holiday concert series. In November, the station collected $115,000, plus five truckloads of toys. WGHP also collected 17,000 coats in October. Watch video from TVNewsCheck on WGHP's 25-year tradition of public service.

'9Cares Colorado Shares' Collects $328,000

Tegna Media's NBC affiliate KUSA-TV Denver collected almost 328,000 pounds of food, plus $82,000 and truckloads of clothing and toys during the 33rd annual "9Cares Colorado Shares," held November14. Watch video.

KSBW's 'Share Your Holidays' Sets Records

Hearst's NBC affiliate KSBW Salinas, Calif. raised a record $177,000, plus 10,000 pounds of food and 7,000 toys, during its 29th annual "KSBW Share Your Holiday" campaign, held December 11.

KIRO-FM Seattle Raises $512,000 for Foster Kids

Bonneville International's KIRO-FM Seattle raised $512,000 during its 27th annual "Holiday Magic Radiothon" on December 10. The money supports year-round programs at Treehouse, an organization focused on education for kids in foster care. It also provides each child in the program with a holiday gift.

KCRG Raises $100,000 for Healthy Meals

Cedar Rapids Television's ABC affiliate KCRG-TV Cedar Rapids, Iowa, raised $100,000 on December 6 for the Heritage Area Agency on Aging in the "Fill the Plate" telethon. In 2014, Heritage delivered 330,000 healthy meals to low-income seniors in Eastern Iowa.

WMDH-FM Secret Santas Visit 372 Families

Cumulus' WMDH-FM Muncie, Ind.'s "Secret Families Day," held December 5, provided 372 families with a Christmas tree, decorations, food, cleaning supplies and gifts for each family member. More than 1,000 volunteers delivered $200,000 in goods on "Secret Families Day."

WCVB Meteorologist Delivers Hundreds of Teddy Bears

Hearst's ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston Meteorologist Danielle Vollmar brought an ambulance full of teddy bears to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on December 21, where she gave a bear to each patient. Vollmar has run the Boston Marathon several times as part of the hospital's marathon team, in order to raise money for the facility.

CBS Radio Packs 9,250 Meals

Team members at CBS Radio Dallas' KJKK-FM, KLUV-FM, KMVK-FM, KRLD-FM, KRLD-AM and KVIL-FM donated their time to pack 9,250 meals in the North Texas Food Bank warehouse on December 9.

WSAW-TV Wausau Collects Record $63,000

Gray's CBS affiliate WSAW-TV Wausau, Wis.'s 12th annual "Share Your Holidays" campaign, held December 4-18, raised a record $63,000 for the Salvation Army and Neighbor's Place food pantries.

Local Broadcasters Provide Election News, Investigative Reports
NBC Teams With PolitiFact

NBC will partner with PolitiFact for this campaign season. PolitiFact will monitor statements candidates make on Meet the Press and other programs, giving selected comments a score on its Truth-O-Meter. PolitiFact is also partnering with E.W. Scripps to air fact-checks in Scripps' 24 local television markets.

Houston Stations Co-Host Mayoral Debate

Univision's KXLN and ABC's KTRK-TV Houston co-hosted a mayoral runoff debate featuring candidates Bill King and Sylvester Turner on December 2. KTRK-TV broadcast the event live, and KXLN aired it at 10 p.m. that evening. It also streamed live. Watch the full debate.

KMOV, WBAL, WRAL Are duPont Award Winners

Several stations were recently honored with Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards.

  • Meredith's CBS affiliate KMOV St. Louis was honored for the hour-long, commercial-free documentary "The Injustice System," on the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
  • Hearst's NBC affiliate WBAL-TV Baltimore's Jayne Miller was honored for her investigative work on the death of Freddie Gray. "Her exemplary reports raised important questions about probable cause, police policy, and accountability," the judges found. "Miller asked probing, smart questions and followed up with clear analysis of a fast-changing story."
  • Capitol Broadcasting's CBS affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh reporter Leyla Santiago and photographer Zac Gooch won for "Journey Alone," on illegal immigration and unaccompanied minors in North Carolina.