Broadcasters' Public Service
  July 2016
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Radio and television broadcasters constantly serve local communities. Stations air lifeline emergency information; support our military; raise millions for cancer research and treatment; collect 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.

Radio and Television Stations Collect Millions for Children's Charities

CBS Philadelphia's Television and Radio Stations Raise Nearly $5.5 Million in "Alex Scott Telethon"

Alex Scott Lemonade Telethon

CBS-owned KYW-TV and CW affiliate WPSG-TV and CBS Radio Philadelphia raised a record $4.9 million in the 10th annual "Alex Scott Telethon" on June 9. The telethon supports Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer, which emerged from four-year-old cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott's lemonade stand. The event kicked off Lemonade Days 2016, June 10-12, when thousands of volunteers across the country host lemonade stands to raise money. KYW Reporter Vittoria Woodill hosted a lemonade stand in Ocean City, N.J. The Phillie Phanatic, the 76ers Dance Team and Swoop from the Eagles joined personalities from KYW-TV and CBS Radio's WOGL-FM, WHPT-AM, KYW-AM and WIP-FM. The event has raised more than $17 million in 10 years.

WHAS-TV Louisville Telethon Nets $5.5 million

WHAS Crusade for Children

TEGNA's ABC affiliate WHAS-TV Louisville raised $5.5 million in its 63rd "Crusade for Children," held June 4-5. All donations fund grants for agencies, schools and hospitals that improve the lives of children with special needs. Since 1953, the event has raised more than $165 million.

WTVF Raises $2.7 Million for Children's Hospital

WTVF Children's Miracle Network Telethon

Scripps' CBS affiliate WTVF Nashville raised a record $2.7 million on June 5 in its telethon for the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. Funds support research, equipment and patient programs at Vanderbilt's Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital. WTVF features interviews with patients, families, faculty and staff.

WLAU-FM Raises $225,000 for Children

WLAU-FM Palmer HOme

TeleSouth Communication's WLAU-FM Heidelberg, Miss., raised $225,000 for the Palmer Home for Children on June 2 in the fourth annual SuperTalk Mississippi Radiothon. The radiothon nearly doubled last year's total of $128,000. The donations keep Palmer House operational and able to provide food, education and counseling for more than 100 children who are currently staying at its two facilities.

WVUE Collects $1.2 Million for St. Jude

WVUE St. Jude Home Giveaway

Raycom's Fox affiliate WVUE New Orleans raised $1.2 million in ticket sales for its St. Jude Dream Home giveaway. The campaign launched in March with a phone bank held during the morning newscast. WVUE continued to air regular news stories about St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, along with PSAs they produced to encourage ticket sales. On June 29, WVUE held a drawing to pick the winner and hosted a telethon. WVUE has been named the St. Jude Television Station of the Year.

WYOU Raises $2.66 Million for Children's Miracle Network

WYOU Children's Miracle Network

Mission Broadcasting's CBS affiliate WYOU Scranton, Pa., raised $2.66 million for Children's Miracle Network in its 33rd annual telethon, June 3-4. The money pays for hospital infrastructure and equipment, including ventilators for premature babies, car seats, reading programs and camps for children. WYOU aired stories from patients, including one about four-year-old Carter, who has undergone three open heart surgeries. The telethon also included a craft fair, children's activities and the Motorcycle Miracle Tour.

WKTV Children's Miracle Network

WKTV Collects $502,000 for Children's Miracle Network

Heartland Media's NBC affiliate WKTV Utica, N.Y., raised $502,000 in the 25th annual telethon on June 1 for Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. The money funds programs and equipment for Maternal Child Services, including a portable neonatal heart monitor to ensure regulatory compliance. It also supports the area's only Level II Special Care Nursery, which neonatologists staff around the clock.

Broadcasters Provide Disaster Relief

West Virginia Broadcasters flood relief telethon rebuild West Virginia West Virginia Broadcasters Raise $325,000 for Flood Relief

West Virginia broadcasters raised $325,000 on July 1 in the "Rebuild West Virginia" telethon to support Red Cross flood relief efforts. Quincy Media's NBC affiliate WVVA-TV Bluefield hosted the telethon, which aired on Gray's NBC affiliate WSAZ-TV, Wither's CBS affiliate WDTV Weston, Cunningham's Fox affiliate WVAH-TV Charleston and Thomas Broadcasting's ABC affiliate WOAY-TV Oak Hill. "West Virginia Broadcasters have always been at the forefront when it comes to serving our communities," said West Virginia Broadcasters Association President Joe Parsons. "In the wake of the devastating floods that have impacted so many West Virginians, we want to use the power of radio and television to do all that we can to help those in need."

Radio Dubuque Staffers Honored for Heroism

Dubuque Radio heroism during fire

Four Radio Dubuque staff members in Dubuque, Iowa - Lisa Bennett, Mike Callaghan, Josh Crowell and Tim Lar - were honored for their heroism by the State Fire Marshall's Office for helping evacuate Loras College's Visitation Hall during a fire in March. Radio Dubuque stations include KDTHA-AM, KATF-FM, KGRR-FM and WVRE-FM.

KHOU Telethon Nets $52,000 for Flood Relief

KHOU flood relief telethon

TEGNA's CBS affiliate KHOU-TV Houston raised $52,000 for American Red Cross flood relief efforts in a telethon held June 7 to support the hundreds of families who were displaced by recent flooding across Texas.

Broadcasters Continue to Support Orlando

At 2 a.m. on June 12, a gunman opened fire inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 and wounding 53 more people. Broadcasters provided wall-to-wall coverage. They continue to provide extensive community support.

Univision covers Orlando massacre Univision Provides Multi-Platform Coverage

Univision News reported from Orlando within hours of the Pulse shooting, providing coverage on television, radio and digital platforms. A special digital report "49 Víctimas del Odio" (49 victims of hatred) launched on June 17. The exclusive report "Inside the House of Omar Mateen" was picked up by media organizations in the U.S. and all over the world, including in Italian and Dutch. Univision Puerto Rico aired the hour-and-a-half special "Unidos por Orlando" (United for Orlando) on June 17. Univision's news magazine show produced "Aqui y Ahora" (Here & Now); "Terror en Orlando" (Terror in Orlando) on June 19 and "El Omar Que Yo Conoci" (The Omar I Knew) on June 24.

WESH-TV Covers Orlando Massacre

WESH Covers Orlando massacre

Hearst's NBC affiliate WESH-TV Daytona Beach supplemented its wall-to-wall coverage with live breaking news coverage that included Spanish captioning on its sister station, Estrella TV Orlando, during primetime on June 12. This live coverage was distributed to Hearst's Spanish-language stations in Sacramento, Tampa, Albuquerque and Monterey.

WJLA Airs Tribute to Orlando Community

WJLA airs Olrlando tribute

Sinclair's ABC affiliate WJLA-TV Washington, D.C., shared with TVNewsCheck the tribute it aired in support of the Orlando community. WJLA used audio of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington singing "We Shall Overcome" in front of the White House on June 12. On June 13, WJLA hung a 5'x20' banner in D.C.'s Dupont Circle, asking people to sign messages of love and hope.

KING-TV Pride & Peace Orlando forum KING-TV Hosts "Pride & Peace" Community Forum

TEGNA's ABC affiliate KING-TV Seattle held a special community forum on June 20 with local leaders and law enforcement. Participants discussed how to move forward as a community in the wake of the events in Orlando. Viewers watched "Pride and Peace" at 7 p.m. on air, online and on the KING 5 app.

Radio and Television Support our Heroes

WMC Supports Family of Fallen Officer

WMC supports family of fallen officer

Raycom's NBC affiliate WMC-TV Memphis partnered with the Memphis Police Department (MPD) to support the family of Police Officer Verdell Smith, who was killed in the line of duty on June 4. In 12 hours on June 7, WMC and MPD staff members raised $43,000 in front of the WMC studio.

KKDG-FM Helps Family of Fallen Blue Angel

KKDG-FM helps family of fallen Blue Angel

American General Media's KKDG-FM Durango, Colo., helped raise $287,000 for the family of U.S. Navy Blue Angel pilot, Captain Jeff Kuss, who was killed June 2. KKDG-FM shared information on-air and online, directing listeners to the Go Fund Me page set up to support Kuss' wife and two small children.

KFVS Honors Everyday Heroes and Valedictorians

KFVS honors everyday heroesRaycom's CBS affiliate KFVS-TV Cape Girardeau, Mo., honored 12 local "Everyday Heroes" at the 3rd annual honors banquet on June 9. One "hero" is selected from viewer nominations each month and is profiled in a local newscast and honored at the banquet. This year's heroes made a difference through their work in domestic violence, elderly care, special needs children, holiday toy drives, childhood obesity and caring for veterans. The banquet also raised $30,000 for the local Red Cross. "By honoring these volunteers, we hope to inspire others to become everyday heroes in their communities," said KFVS Director of Marketing Paul Keener.

KFVS-TV also honored 80 area high school valedictorians on June 11 at the 31st annual "Heartland's Best," held at the Southeast Missouri State University. All students recorded on-camera greetings that will air this summer. Select students also made on-camera comments to be used in PSAs directed at youth and teens. The luncheon featured highlights of each student's academic career, plus remarks from university President Dr. Carlos Vargas and KFVS anchors Mary-Ann Maloney and Jeff Cunningham.

Television Promotes Healthy Communities

KTVA Anchorage: What to do if Someone is Overdosing  KTVA Anchorage: What to Do if Someone Is Overdosing

Denali Media Holdings' CBS affiliate KTVA-TV Anchorage, Alaska, aired "Preventable Deaths: What You Can Do if Someone Is Overdosing on Drugs." As the Anchorage Police Department (APD) investigates the death of 45-year-old Darlene Kunayak, they encourage people to call 911 if they see someone in a possible overdose situation. APD believes Kunayak died of a heroin overdose on May 7. So far this year, local police have investigated 11 deaths involving heroin overdoses. In 2015, 36 people died from heroin statewide.

Alpha Media Salina Hosts Blood Drive and Golf Tournament

Alpha Media Salid hosts blood drive and golf tournament  Alpha Media Salina, Kan., held a "Pump up the Volume" blood drive contest June 27-29, to see which of Salina's nine radio stations would sign up the most donors. The 336 units of blood collected during the drive will help 1,008 patients.

Alpha Media Salina also hosted a "Mulligan Stew Golf Tournament" on May 27. In order to get a mulligan, golfers were required to bring canned soup for the Salina Emergency Food Bank and Rescue Mission, which served 41,000 meals last year. About 20 - 25 teams participated and brought enough cans of soup to fill a pickup truck.

WMMR-FM Hosts Record-Breaking Blood Drive

WMMR blood drive

Greater Media's WMMR-FM Philadelphia collected a record 1,297 units in its 11th annual "I Bleed for Preston & Steve Blood Drive" on June 18. As each donation can save three lives, this event may save 3,891 people. Morning personalities Preston and Steve greeted listeners throughout the day. Each donor received Preston and Steve memorabilia. In addition, 600 random donors received a pair of concert tickets. WMMR's largest blood drive, with 12,605 pints collected in 11 years.

WCVB Presents Scholarships, Supports Breast Cancer Patients

WCVB hosts Ellie Fund fashion show Hearst's ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston presented the 19th annual "Kirby Perkins A Plus Scholarship" on June 7 to five high school students, many of whom overcame significant obstacles to achieve academic success and attend college. The scholarship fund honors the late WCVB reporter Kirby Perkins and has awarded more than $250,000 to needy students to date. "Helping these very deserving young men and women pursue higher education and embark on a new chapter in their lives through the Kirby Perkins A Plus Scholarship Fund brings great joy to everyone involved," said WCVB General Manager Bill Fine.

WCVB and The Ellie Fund raised $170,000 on June 1 in the 10th annual "Kelley for Ellie Fashion Show." The Ellie Fund is a local non-profit organization that provides support services for breast cancer patients, so they can focus on family and recovery. WCVB staff serve as models during "Kelley for Ellie," which is named for WCVB reporter and breast cancer survivor Kelley Tuthill. This year, surprise guest New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady tossed footballs to the audience. "Kelley for Ellie" raised 40 percent more than in 2015, bringing the total to nearly $1 million since WCVB and The Ellie Fund launched it.

Univision Presents Its Fourth Annual "Mi Salud" Health Week

Univision hosts Mi Salud health week Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) launched its fourth annual "Health Week 2016 – Mi Salud" on June 17 as part of the Univision Contigo empowerment platform across its television, radio and digital platforms. The initiative's cornerstone is "Reto28," a free digital tool with a 28-day nutritional diet plan and fitness challenge. The revamped version provides users with additional options, including recipes for families and those with diabetes. Univision's fourth annual Health Tour hit 12 markets in 10 days in June, offering free health screenings to thousands of people. More than 377,000 people have signed up for Reto28. Since its introduction in 2015, challenge participants have lost 238,840 pounds.

WHPT-FM Supports Kids With Cancer

WHPT-FM Apple a Day

Cox Media Group's WHPT-FM Tampa Bay afternoon host Drew Garabo threw a party on June 4 for children battling cancer. At the event, he presented an iPad to 12 of the kids. Morning host Mike Calta also helped raise over $13,000 through his show. "Children should have to worry about what video game they want to play, or how to ace a test, not about fighting for their life. I'm hoping that we can help them keep their mind occupied at such a challenging time," Garabo said.

WXIX provides mammogramsWXIX Provides Free Mammograms

Raycom's Fox affiliate WXIX Cincinnati partnered with St. Elizabeth's Healthcare on "Think Pink" to offer convenient, fast mammograms on June 17. WXIX provided information on scheduling and necessary documentation during "FOX19 NOW in the Morning." The test took 10 minutes in the St. Elizabeth's van, making it easier for busy women to get screened. Qualifying women took the test free of charge.

Local Stations Encourage Civic Discourse

WSYR-TV Hosts Debate for Congressional Candidates

WSYR hosts debate for Congress Nexstar's ABC affiliate WSYR-TV Syracuse, N.Y., aired a debate on June 25 among the three Democratic candidates for Congress in New York's 24th District. None of the candidates on the ballot - Steve Williams, Colleen Deacon and Eric Kingson - have previously held elected office.

Raycom Stations Host Debate for Louisiana Senate Candidates

Raycom Louisiana hosts debate for Senate candidates Raycom Media's Fox affiliate WVUE-TV New Orleans, CBS affiliate WAFB-TV Baton Rouge, CBS affiliate KSLA-TV Shreveport and NBC affiliate KPLC-TV Lake Charles announced that they will host a televised debate on November 2 for U.S. Senate candidates. In the event of a runoff, a second debate will occur December 8.

WTTG adds election-focused newscastWTTG Adds Election-Focused Weeknight Newscast

Fox-owned WTTG Washington will debut on July 18 a new weeknight newscast primarily dedicated to the presidential election. "This election is unlike any we have ever seen. It deserves unconventional and original political reporting," said Vice President and General Manager Paul McGonagle. WTTG will broadcast live from the Republican and Democratic national conventions and offer interviews with local and national newsmakers. Although it will focus on the 2016 presidential election, WTTG will also include the day's top stories. With this expansion, WTTG will produce 57 hours of local news each week.

KCBS-TV Exposes Deceased Voters who Cast Ballots

KCBS exposes deceased voters who cast ballots CBS-owned KCBS-TV Los Angeles sparked legislative action after showing that deceased voters continue to cast ballots. Investigative reporter David Goldstein uncovered 265 dead voters in Southern California, of which 215 are in LA County. KCBS showed lawmakers how the station matched voting records from the Secretary of State's office with death records from the Social Security Administration.

WXTV Hosts Congressional Debate

WXTV hosts Congressional debate  Univision-owned WXTV New York City hosted a two-hour debate on June 13 for candidates for New York's 13th Congressional District. Univision moderaters asked questions, including audience submissions, to the eight Democrat and one Republican candidates on Social Security, affordable housing, minimum wage and retirement. Univision's WADO-AM also partnered for the event.

Broadcasters Expose Corruption

WFXT investigates mishandled veteran's medical records  WFXT-TV Investigates Mishandled Veterans' Medical Records

Cox Media's Fox affiliate WFXT-TV Boston aired "Veterans' Records, Medicine, Mishandled" on June 6. Veterans' protected health information, lab results, doctors' notes and medicine were mishandled 37 times by the VA Boston Healthcare System in the last three years. According to the report, one disabled veteran received someone else's files after requesting three years of medical records. Massachusetts lawmakers are now calling for federal reform.

WRC-TV Fights a Viewer's $189,000 Water Bill WRC-TV Fights a Viewer's $189,000 Water Bill

NBC-owned WRC-TV Washington, D.C., helped local resident Ricardo Torres fight a $189,000 water bill in late May. Torres' utility company threatened to turn off his water if he didn't pay his April bill, which included $180,918.68, plus $9,000 in late fees for 1,500 square feet. Within hours of reporter Susan Hogan contacting the utility company, they admitted it was a meter reader error and dropped the bill.

KFSN-TV Warns Viewers of Kids' Stolen Identities KFSN-TV Warns Viewers of Kids' Stolen Identities

ABC-owned KFSN-TV Fresno, Calif., aired "Safe From Scams: Protecting Kids From Identity Theft." The piece highlights a case of an eight-year-old girl whose Social Security number was stolen, but her parents did not realize it until she turned 18. By then, she was $15,000 in debt and could not qualify for student loans. It took the family a year to clear her credit.

WSB Investigation Leads State to Revoke Certifications  WSB Investigation Leads State to Revoke Certifications

Cox Media Group's ABC affiliate WSB-TV Atlanta aired an investigation on June 23 that resulted in three DeKalb County Sheriff's Office employees losing their state certification. In 2014, investigative reporter Erica Byfield uncovered video that showed jailers forced inmate George Ward to wear a pink hat and shirt and called him names while he was incarcerated. WSB obtained thousands of pages of interviews, emails, photos and audio recordings. As a result, Georgia's Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) revoked three employees' law enforcement certifications and temporarily suspended the Sheriff's Office's ability to train recruits. The medical examiner changed Ward's manner of death from "natural" to "undetermined."

WPIX-TV Investigation Triggers Change in NYC Homeless Crisis

WPIX-TV Investigation Triggers Change in NYC Homeless Crisis

Tribune's CW affiliate WPIX-TV New York aired an award-winning investigation that triggered change for the homeless community in June. WPIX aired dozens of reports on New York City's corporate homeless hotels, showing that anyone can walk in unchecked by any security and access the floors where the homeless stay. Homeless Services Commissioner Steven Banks then announced security reforms during an interview on WPIX. A growing number of elected officials in New York, including U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, have criticized the corporate homeless hotels.

WFTV Investigates Contractor Accused of Deceiving Consumers

WFTV Investigates Contractor Accused of Deceiving Consumers

Cox Media Group's ABC affiliate WFTV Orlando exposed a contractor for deceiving consumers. After viewer Bessie Hudson claimed McMurphy Fencing collected $2,000 for a new fence but did not deliver, WFTV found seven other families had the same issue. When reporter Todd Ulrich contacted owner Jacob McMurphy, he promised a full refund for Hudson. It never came. Ulrich found that McMurphy Fences illegally uses a different company's address in legal documents. As a result of the report, Florida's Attorney General sued McMurphy for unfair and deceptive trade. The police later charged him with grand theft and fraud.