Tribune’s Fox affiliate WGHP-TV High Point, N.C., raised $122,000 for hurricane relief efforts in a 13-hour telethon held September 19. “The Salvation Army is extremely blessed by our generous community and great partners like WGHP who helped us accomplish an amazing goal today,” said Captain Matt Hedgren of the Salvation Army.
Sinclair’s WCTI New Bern, N.C., showed creative dedication when their building flooded to continue providing news coverage of Hurricane Florence to their viewers. Without power, a building or studio, the station utilized Facebook to carry their coverage until the station got back on the air.
“We have a lot of young people here and I’m impressed by how well they’re taking it and how well they’re doing. They know they have a task,” said Sean Finn, WCTI’s creative services director.
TV Technology detailed extensive preparations for Hurricane Florence’s from local stations at Morris Multimedia, Raycom, Sinclair and Community Broadcasters. Preparations included sandbagging station entry points, securing backup generators and antennas, and providing shelters for reporters. Read More.
“Our mission as local broadcasters is to be there for the duration for our communities,” Raycom Vice President of News Steve Ackerman said. “Standing on the beach in the middle of a Category 4 hurricane doesn’t necessarily provide anybody with useful information. But keeping our infrastructure in place and getting that mission critical information out does perform a real community service.”
At Capitol Broadcasting Company (CBC), preparations have been ongoing for more than a week, at both WILM in Wilmington and WRAL in Raleigh, N.C., says Peter Sockett, director of engineering and operations.
Raycom media’s CBS affiliate WBTV partnered with the American Red Cross to amplify fundraising efforts to support families affected by Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. Raising more than $49,000 in a single day telethon, the campaign is still bringing critical donations in.
Sinclair Broadcast Group partnered with The Salvation Army on the Stand Strong for the Carolinas Relief Fund, which included a national Day of Giving on September 20. Sinclair matched $100,000. Sinclair provided viewers with continuous coverage on air and online of Hurricane Florence in multiple markets. After ABC affiliate WCTI New Bern, N.C., was forced to evacuate, they worked with ABC affiliate WPDE Myrtle Beach, S.C. to continue coverage. WPDE broadcast 54 hours of live, around-the-clock coverage.
“I want to thank New Bern’s WCTI team for doing an incredible job during this challenging time, showing a tireless effort to empower our viewers with continuous coverage and life-saving updates. As part of the Sinclair family, we are lucky to have access to a network of stations across the country that offer support in times of disaster,” said WCTI General Manager Matt Bowman.
Raycom’s NBC affiliate WECT-TV Wilmington, N.C., raised awareness about mental health in April and May as part of its “Break the Silence About Suicide” campaign. According to the CDC, it’s the second highest cause of death of people 15 to 35. Stories from people in the community who have been affected by suicide aired Thursdays during the 5:00 p.m. newscast.
Beasley’s WNKS-FM Charlotte morning show took requests in exchange for donations during the seventh annual “Play Anything Day” marathon on May 23 to benefit the Levine Children’s Hospital. In addition to the marathon broadcast, local restaurant Peculiar Rabbit hosted a special “Play Anything Day Happy Hour,” with a portion of food sales benefiting Levine Children’s Hospital.
TEGNA’s CBS affiliate WFMY-TV Greensboro, N.C., raised more than $100,000 for United Way tornado relief efforts with two telethons, held April 17 and 19. The EF-2 tornado that killed one person and destroyed homes touched down in the neighborhood of WFMY’s studios. In the days following the storm, WFMY continued to share stories of the storm’s impact and encourage donations of needed items.
“We’re humbled to be part of something bigger than us and all about our neighbors,” said General Manager Larry Audas.
Tribune’s Fox affiliate WGHP-TV High Point, N.C., raised $70,000 for tornado relief efforts in a telethon held April 18. The tornado on April 15 rocked Guilford and Rockingham and damaged or destroyed 1,000 homes and business. All money raised will be distributed by local Salvation Army chapters.
“We really appreciate what a great community citizen FOX8 is on an ongoing basis, but especially in this time of such great hurting in our community,” said Major Don Vick of the Salvation Army of Greensboro.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired on April 12 a documentary, “Speaking the Unspeakable,” that tells the story of two men who experienced sexual abuse as children in North Carolina. “Speaking the Unspeakable” covered common themes in child sexual abuse, the guilt and shame many survivors feel, the fear of speaking out, and manipulation from abusers. Knight Chamberlain was nine years old when a stranger sexually assaulted him. A Catholic priest sexually assaulted his stepbrother, Michael, when he was 11. Speaking about their experiences has helped them heal.
Beasley Media Group’s WKML-FM, WZFX-FM, WFLB-FM and WUKS-FM Fayetteville, N.C., in collaboration with Cape Fear Valley Health, will present an hour-long, commercial free simulcast, “Fayetteville Fights Back,” on January 30 to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic. On-air personalities will moderate the simulcast, featuring physicians, law enforcement officials, behavioral health experts, addiction specialists and local and state leaders, including Governor Roy Cooper (via recorded message) and Attorney General Josh Stein (in the studio).
“Fayetteville Fights Back” will provide facts on opioids and their proper usage, identify the signs of addiction and include information on seeking help. The stations will list resources on their websites and feature frequently asked questions from listeners on-air and using Facebook Live. This event is part of Beasley Media Group’s nationwide “Community of Caring” initiative.
“It’s our job as broadcasters to inform our local community and with the high rate of opioid abuse in North Carolina, we felt very strongly about being involved in this cause,” said Erika Beasley, vice-president and market manager of Beasley’s Fayetteville cluster.
Fox-owned WJZY-TV Charlotte shared the story of a Vietnam War Marine veteran with a Purple Heart who nearly froze to death in his house when the temperatures dipped into the teens. After the story aired, a viewer paid the oil company enough to keep his heat on throughout the winter and a local grocery store donated a refrigerator full of food and supplies because his was empty. WJZY focuses on “getting results” and has dedicated a webpage to stories like this.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired and streamed a documentary on January 18 titled “Land of Opportunity” about the impact of Hispanic immigrants in North Carolina. “Land of Opportunity” profiles successful Hispanic immigrants, highlighting their contributions to North Carolina’s economy and communities. Hispanic immigrants make up nearly 30 percent of North Carolina’s workforce in farming, fishing and forestry, and 20 percent of its construction workforce. They contribute more than $10 billion to the state’s economy annually, and nearly $500 million in state and local tax revenue.
Beasley Media Group’s WPEG-FM Charlotte is partnering with Habitat for Humanity for the second year in a row to build a home for a local Charlotte family. Kicking off the initiative with a live broadcast on January 12, WPEG-FM staff will continue to build the dreamhouse until completion in March 2018. Each weekend, WPEG-FM invites Charlotte residents to join the on-air personalities to help with the project.
Blue Ridge Broadcasting Company’s WMIT-FM partnered with seven local rescue missions to provide 71,391 meals through their “Hope to the Hungry” campaign on December 5. WMIT-FM gave listeners the opportunity to “give where they live,” apportioning donations to rescue missions in Asheville, Charlotte, Henderson, Hickory, Shelby, Waynesville, and Greenville.
Beasley Media Group’s WSOC-FM, WNKS-FM, WPEG-FM, WBAV-FM, WBCN-AM and WSPK-FM Charlotte partnered with Hendrick Automotive Group and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina to fill 1,000 backpacks with eight nutritious, easy to prepare and ready to eat non-perishable meals to benefit local children in need. The groups gathered on November 4 at Coyote Joe’s in Charlotte. Nashville Big Machine Artist Brett Young performed at the event.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina collected 42,000 pounds of food, cleaning and hygiene supplies on September 20 to support hurricane relief efforts at the Feeding Northeast Florida Food Bank in Jacksonville. “Helping people in need is in the DNA of Capitol Broadcasting,” said Vice President and General Manager Steven D. Hammel.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired “Searching for a Fix,” an hour-long documentary addressing heroin addiction on August 1. The hour-long documentary shares personal stories of how this problem affects people and devastates families across North Carolina. The documentary features emergency medical personnel and law enforcement officers who deal with daily overdoses and recovery experts and policy makers who are searching for a solution. “In all of my years of documentary production, they were the most gut-wrenching and deeply personal interviews I’ve ever done. They were emotional, moving and eye-opening,” said Documentary Producer Clay Johnson.
The program is now available on WRALdocumentary.com.
Beasley Media Group’s WSOC-FM, WNKS-FM, WKQC-FM, WPEG-FM, WBAV-FM, WBCN-FM Charlotte partnered with the Teen Health Connection to host the Youth to Youth Southern States Conference Extreme Skill Workshop on July 18. Krista Stout and Chele Fassig from Beasley Media Charlotte hosted a session entitled “Social Impact of Local Radio on Youth.” The goal of the all-day workshop was to teach the teens how local radio combined with social media has the unique power to enhance and strengthen community participation and create positive messages to help with cyberbullying, self-esteem.
Beasley Media Group’s WPEG-FM Charlotte raised $30,000 as its morning show host “No Limit Larry” held a 28-hour radiothon on July 13 for the Salvation Army’s summer overflow shelter. The Salvation Army helps homeless women and children with their immediate needs of shelter, food and social services. On-air personalities slept outside of the Salvation Army during the live broadcast to demonstrate their commitment.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired documentary, “Black and Blue,” commercial-free during prime time on December 15. The program examines the relationship between police and the African-American communities in Raleigh. Immediately following the documentary, WRAL invited community and faith leaders, law enforcement and the community to join the conversation online. “This is a complex topic that deserves meaningful and ongoing action and dialogue beyond news coverage of the shootings,” said General Manager Steven D. Hammel. “WRAL is committed to providing it using every path we have into the community.”
Beasley Broadcast Group’s WNKS-FM Charlotte hosted its fifth annual Secret Santa for the “KISS Kids Radiothon” on November 22. “Working all day to raise money for kids who are hospitalized at the holidays is nothing compared to what these children are going through, all the time,” said a WNKS morning show host. The station’s “KISS Kids” initiative raised over $42,000 last year.
Raycom Media’s NBC affiliate WECT-TV Wilmington held its annual “Coats for the Coatless” November 7-11 in partnership with area William/Hangers Cleaners and The Salvation Army. In total, 3,714 coats were collected.
Fox owned-and-operated WJZY-TV Charlotte exposed a car dealership for knowingly selling salvaged and flooded cars, some with the titles doctored as “clean” despite having serious damage. The dealer’s listing with the Better Business Bureau is an ‘F’. After the report aired, a North Carolina Department of Transportation inspector opened up an active investigation into Auto City.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh partnered with GoTriangle, the United Way and RDU International buses to deliver three buses and two vans filled with food and supplies on October 27 to families impacted by Hurricane Matthew in Nash, Edgecombe, Wilson and Johnston Counties. "We want to sincerely thank our amazing partners and generous community for your tremendous outpouring of support," said GoTriangle General Manager Jeff Mann. "Because of you there are many families in eastern North Carolina who will have food and other critical supplies immediately."
Raycom’s NBC affiliate WECT Wilmington, N.C. raised $50,000 on October 17 to support the local United Way chapter’s flood relief efforts. WECT aired 42 consecutive hours of coverage during the hurricane.
Tribune’s Fox affiliate WGHP Greensboro N.C. raised $26,000 in a 13-hour telethon for the Salvation Army following Hurricane Matthew. “We felt it was our responsibility to do what we could to help,” said General Manager Jim Himes.
Alpha Media’s WRNS, WERO-FM and KMYY-FM Washington, N.C. hosted a hurricane relief telethon on October 20. Gray Television’s NBC affiliate WITN also aired the event. Donations support the Salvation Army’s recovery efforts in eastern North Carolina, which included 21 mobile feeding kitchens.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh raised $178,000 in three hours following Hurricane Matthew. Additional fundraising efforts brought the total to more than $200,000 to benefit the American Red Cross Triangle Area Chapter, Salvation Army North and South Carolina, and NC Baptists On Mission (NCBM). View coverage of the flooding that followed Hurricane Matthew.
ABC-owned WTVD Durham, N.C. collected 15 large trucks of food and more than $135,000 for Hurricane Matthew relief on October 18. The drive will provide more than a million meals through the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina and the Second Harvest Food Bank in Fayetteville. ABC-owned stations in New York, L.A., Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston and Fresno, Calif., asked their viewers to donate to WTVD’s phone bank. Local iHeartMedia, RadioOne and Beasley Radio stations also promoted the event. WTVD will host its 30th annual “ABC11 Together Food Drive” later this month.
Raycom’s NBC affiliate WECT Wilmington, N.C. raised $50,000 on October 17 to support the local United Way chapter’s flood relief efforts. WECT aired 42 consecutive hours of coverage during the hurricane.
Tribune’s Fox affiliate WGHP Greensboro N.C. raised $26,000 in a 13-hour telethon for the Salvation Army following Hurricane Matthew. “We felt it was our responsibility to do what we could to help,” said General Manager Jim Himes.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh raised more than $200,000 for Hurricane Matthew flood relief efforts by the American Red Cross Triangle Area Chapter, Salvation Army North and South Carolina, and NC Baptists on Mission. View coverage of the flooding that followed the hurricane.
The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation hosted a U.S. Senatorial Debate between incumbent Richard Burr (R) and challenger Representative Deborah Ross (D) on October 13. ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl moderated the debate at UNC-TV Studios.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh produced a series of public service announcements (PSAs) to give voice to local teenagers following racially-charged shootings in Dallas, Minneapolis and Baton Rouge. The poignant :30 PSAs (Unity :30, Unity/Love :30 and Unity/One Word :30 ) and :60 PSA have the theme “Unity” and utilize local students. The PSAs aired at the end of several newscasts on WRAL-TV and on Capitol Broadcasting’s Fox affiliate WRAZ Raleigh.
Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSOC-TV Charlotte aired “Action 9 investigates scammers renting out homes they don’t own.” Con artists in Charlotte are renting homes that they do not own, leaving renters homeless and out of thousands of dollars. By the time renters figure out what happened, the scammers are long gone. Some of these scammers even have keys to the homes, making them more convincing. Charlene Sherrill said that when she responded to an ad for a north Charlotte home on Craigslist, the scammer met her at the home three times. He even had a key and showed her inside. She gave him the required six months’ rent up front: $7,000. Sherrill, who has four children and one on the way, said her family moved in and even decorated the place. Twelve days later, the real owner and police knocked on the door and told them they had to leave.
WSOC also aired “9 Investigates DMV making millions selling personal information.” The Department of Motor Vehicle is making millions selling your personal information, and it’s perfectly legal. WSOC questioned the Department of Transportation to find out if your private data, including your license number, could end up in the wrong hands. 9 Investigates the companies across the country paying big money for your sensitive information.
Raycom Media’s NBC affiliate WECT-TV and FOX affiliate WSFX-TV Wilmington, N.C. hold two meet and greet events each month, where local community members are encouraged to share the types of things they would like covered.
Raycom Media’s NBC affiliate WECT-TV Wilmington, N.C. collected nearly 600 fans for its annual “Fran’s Fans Summer Fan Drive” on June 23. Named after long-term anchor Frances Weller, the initiative collects fans and other cooling devices, which are then distributed to members of the community in need.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired an investigation on May 25 into a program designed to cut health care wait times for veterans by allowing them to utilize doctors outside the Veterans Affairs system. Reporter Cullen Browder interviewed local veterans who are still dealing with the same delays the program was supposed to fix. WRAL’s special also explores the causes of the program’s pitfalls.
Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSOC-TV Charlotte aired a story that inspired Senator Tom McGinnis to file legislation against the herb Kratom. WSOC talked to Lauren Eden, whose son John killed himself in May 2015. John’s Kratom usage sky rocketed after he took it to treat depression. Supporters say that Kratom, which is advertised on billboards, treats diabetes, pain, depression and addiction. The FDA says it poses a public health risk with the potential for abuse. North Carolina would be the sixth state to ban it.
Raycom Media’s CBS affiliate WBTV Charlotte partnered with Levine Cancer Institute: Project PINK and Charlotte Radiology to provide uninsured women 40 and older with a free Project PINK mammogram screening on May 6. WBTV featured multiple live hits throughout the day, featuring local survivors and medical professionals.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh hosted a debate on May 19 for candidates for U.S. House from N.C.’s 2nd district. During the hour-long debate, incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers, Rep. George Holding, whose 13th District moved during redistricting, and Dr. Greg Brannon discussed North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, immigration reform and the Affordable Care Act.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired “Grading Teacher Pay,” a documentary examining the relationship of low teacher pay to educational quality, on April 26. WRAL’s website featured statistics on how teacher pay in North Carolina compares to other states, plus a history of changes in the last 15 years. The documentary shows how plummeting salaries have contributed to teacher turnover, shortages and low morale. The documentary remains available for on-demand viewing.
Cox Media Group’s WAXN-TV and ABC affiliate WSOC-TV Charlotte donated 400 pounds of pet food and supplies to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control on May 4. The donations benefit a variety of pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits and birds that need care after being lost or abandoned.
Cox Media Group’s WSOC-TV Charlotte donated 400 pounds of pet food and supplies to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control. All donations benefit a variety of pets, from dogs to cats to rabbits, birds and other animals needing care after being lost or abandoned.
iHeartMedia’s WKKT-FM Charlotte raised more than $20,000 to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during its “Kat Country Jam” concert on April 13. Country artists Kip Moore, Dan + Shay, Brandy Clark, and High Valley performed live to raise awareness and funds for the hospital. “The night was an outstanding social and music event for our listeners and it made a significant contribution to the good work of St. Jude. That’s a heck of a night!” said morning show host Paul Schadt.
Raycom’s CBS affiliate WBTV Charlotte investigated payroll company Centercede Services for collecting payroll taxes for its clients, but failing to send payments to tax agencies. WBTV discovered that $2 million was diverted “to pay their own exorbitant salaries, to fund lavish expense accounts and to cover growing liabilities, including the tax liabilities of other Centercede clients." As a result of the investigation, two executives pleaded guilty to federal charges. The fraud devastated dozens of local small businesses who had to pay the taxes a second time, often with penalties and interest, on top of legal fees. "We kept getting notices that they (IRS) will garnish our money, bank account, they will seize property," said one victim.
Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh hosted a half-hour debate on February 25, featuring the four Democratic candidates for the N.C. Senate: Kevin Griffin, Ernest Reeves, Chris Rey and Deborah Ross.
Capitol Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired "Power Switch," a documentary on the explosive yet controversial growth of solar energy and wind farms, on Jan. 12. In 2014, nearly 200 companies that employ 5,600 people were involved in solar production, representing a $650 million investment. North Carolina’s first large-scale, commercial wind farm is currently under construction. The documentary is still available for on-demand viewing.
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.
Beasley Broadcasting Group’s WNCT-FM Greenville, N.C. stayed on-air after a fire on September 4 caused an estimated half a million dollars in damage. WNCT-FM, North Carolina’s oldest radio station, has always been located in the same building. The station’s commitment to its listeners inspired them to broadcast immediately following the fire. “They listen to us for entertainment, news, weather, (to) find out what’s going on in the community ... It’s part of their life," said General Manager Brad Hood.
Capitol Broadcasting Company’s CBS affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh, N.C. partnered with Radio One Raleigh for a second year to expand HungerFreeNC, a week of special programming that raises money for a different hunger-focused non-profit each year. This year’s beneficiary was Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Through broadcast radio and television, plus online and social media efforts, the movement raised $112,000. “This is about using the power of the media for good,” says WRAL-TV Vice President and General Manager Steven D. Hammel. “Together with Radio One Raleigh, we can reach hundreds of thousands of people. With North Carolina ranking fifth in the nation in hunger, we knew this year’s effort had to be bigger.”
Greater Media’s WBT-AM Charlotte, N.C., partnered with Harris Teeter and Jif on "Peanut Butter ‘N’ July" to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Peanut butter is one of the most valuable commodities for a food bank due to high levels of protein. Each Saturday in July, WBT hosts visited participating Harris Teeter stores to help collect peanut butter and promote the drive. Click here to watch the recap. This year, WBT collected 3,099 pounds of peanut butter, which is almost 5,000 jars.
Triad Today, a locally-produced public affairs television program in Piedmont, North Carolina, aired an exclusive thirty minute interview with North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. In the interview, Governor McCrory spoke in-depth about the policy initiatives that have shaped the first half of his term.
The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) announced the winners for the 2015 Celebration of Service to America Awards, recognizing outstanding community service by local broadcasters. Winners will be honored at the Celebration of Service to America dinner held Tuesday, June 16 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
“Broadcasters have an unwavering commitment to serving the public, and the Service to America Awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate those radio and TV stations that epitomize what it means to be a broadcaster,” said NABEF President Marcellus Alexander. “This year’s winners have gone above and beyond to create a positive and worthwhile impact on the communities they serve.”
This year’s Service to America Awards will honor the following broadcaster:
SERVICE TO COMMUNITY AWARDS
This category honors radio and television broadcasters for individual campaigns, projects or programs that serve the public good or otherwise provide exemplary service to their local communities.
Capitol Broadcasting Co., Inc., Raleigh, N.C.
Capitol Broadcasting Co. (CBC) has been working for almost a year on a domestic violence initiative called eNOugh NC. The effort included a domestic violence task force charged with building local and national awareness of this issue that impacts one in four women. Through a collaboration with local government partners and agencies, CBC-owned WRAL and WRAZ held a televised panel discussion with survivors and thought leaders, created a website for abuse victims, ran more than 2,000 PSAs, posted TV and internet ads, conducted a social media campaign, aired a half hour documentary and held a three hour phone bank, taking 400 calls from across eight states. In addition, within 36 hours of the Ray Rice story breaking, WRAL devoted 2.5 minutes of advertising inventory to CBC produced PSAs during the national premier of Thursday night NFL. These 60- and 90-second PSAs featured the men of CBC, speaking out against domestic violence.
KVVU-TV Las Vegas, Nev., Meredith Corporation – Local Media Group
WCHS/WVAH Charleston, W.V., Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
WHAM-TV Rochester, N.Y., Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
WLTV Miami, Fla., Univision Communications Inc.
WTAE-TV Pittsburgh, Penn., Hearst Television Inc.
Morris Media’s ABC affiliate WWAY-TV Wilmington, NC broke records in their 15th annual Help for the Holidays One-Day Blitz to restock the Salvation Army’s food pantry. This year, WWAY collected 18, 865 pounds of food and $2,600. “The food will keep the food pantry’s shelves stocked well into spring and help hundreds of people in need in our community,” said the Salvation Army’s Maj. Richard Watts.
Capitol Broadcasting Company’s CBS affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh collected winter clothes, money and toys for the Salvation Army. Of the $100,000 collected this year, WRAL-TV raised $87,600 in a one-day telethon on Dec. 12. Each year, WRAL-TV helps the Salvation Army achieve its goal of providing two new toys for each family that signs up for the December "Toy Shop," a program that has seen a huge increase in participation in recent years. Since 1989, WRAL-TV has collected more than 150,000 coats and $1.5 million to provide winter clothing for families assisted by the Salvation Army.
Media General’s CBS affiliate WNCT-TV Greenville, N.C., Anti-Bullying PSA Contest launched on Oct. 21 to encourage local students to create PSAs. WNCT-TV viewers will vote on Facebook for their favorite spot. The winning PSA will debut during a Dec. 21 NFL game and air on WNCT for several weeks. The Anti-Bullying PSA Contest was chosen as the Best of the Best local TV sales ideas at the 2014 NAB Small Market Television Exchange (SMTE).
iHeartMedia’s Memphis, Tenn. stations, WHRK-FM, KJMS-FM, WHAL-FM and WDIA-AM, raised $201,000 to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during their annual two-day radio broadcast in October. This year’s event nearly doubled the amount the stations raised in 2013.
Raycom Media’s NBC affiliate WECT-TV Wilmington, N.C., televised a debate on Oct. 7 between incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis. ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos moderated the discussion, which covered topics including U.S. foreign policy, the Ebola outbreak, the Common Core academic standards, and gay marriage.
The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters (NCAB) hosted a debate on Sept. 3 between candidates running for the open North Carolina U.S. Senate seat. The debate, featuring U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis, broadcast live and aired on stations across North Carolina.
Broadcasters ramping up domestic violence initiatives through special news reports, telethons and tributes to victims following recent NFL incidents include E. W. Scripps’ WEWS Cleveland, WFTS Tampa and Raycom’s Honolulu stations, CBS affiliate KGMB and NBC affiliate KHNL, according to Broadcasting & Cable. In addition, Capitol Broadcasting launched the "eNOughNC" campaign, with WRAL-TV and WRAZ-TV Raleigh, NC producing two PSAs that debuted during an NFL game featuring Ray Rice’s former team, the Ravens, and ran on WILM Wilmington and Capitol radio stations. "eNOughNC" provides education on how to break the domestic violence cycle.
The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters (NCAB) hosted a debate on September 3 for candidates running for the open North Carolina U.S. Senate seat. The debate featuring U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis broadcast live at 7 p.m. and was carried on stations across the state. A second debate is scheduled for October 7.
Cumulus Media’s WFNC-AM Fayetteville, N.C., has been collecting box fans during the summer for the last 20 years to help local residents who cannot afford air conditioning or a fan in their homes. Most of the listener-donated fans are given to the elderly who are among the most heat-sensitive. More than 35 fans were donated this July. In a typical year, WFNC-AM distributes between 300 and 500 fans.
Capitol Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh and Radio One’s Raleigh cluster partnered for a week-long initiative called "HungerFreeNC" to raise awareness of North Carolina’s hunger crisis. The campaign included a 13-hour fundraiser that was broadcast live on TV and radio and was highlighted on digital and social media. In addition, WRAL-TV produced and aired a documentary, "Hungry for Answers," that uncovered the invisible hunger epidemic in the state and showcased creative solutions to combat the issue. The program also ran on Capitol Broadcasting’s FOX affiliate WRAZ-TV Raleigh and its CBS affiliate WILM-TV Wilmington, N.C. In total, "HungerFreeNC" raised more than $112,000 to benefit the local nonprofit Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.
Capitol Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh recently hosted a two-hour panel discussion on domestic violence and sexual assault that streamed live on its website. The campaign, called "eNOugh," was the first multimedia, statewide initiative to raise awareness about violence against women across all levels of society. WRAL-TV said the initiative aimed to educate, connect and inspire people who are touched by the problem of domestic abuse.
Capitol Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh, N.C., hosted a debate for the leading Republican candidates running for one of North Carolina’s U.S. Senate seats. During the event, WRAL-TV’s Multimedia Investigative Reporter Mark Binker engaged viewers in an online chat. After the debate, WRAL-TV news anchor and debate moderator David Crabtree, Binker and Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie provided post-debate analysis.
Greater Media’s WBT-AM Charlotte host Keith Larson’s has written a book, "That Season of Hope," to help raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Carolina Panthers’ Keep Pounding Cancer Fund and the March Forth with Hope Foundation. In 2003, a 12-year-old cancer patient, Hope, told the Make-a-Wish Foundation, "I am lucky…I have been to Disney World, swam with the dolphins in Cancun and go to the beach all the time. You say there are 155 kids on the waiting list? Well, my wish is to grant all their wishes, all 155 of them. And to do it just as soon as possible." Larson interviewed Hope on WBT-AM, and his book will continue her legacy of support Make-A-Wish.
Bonten Media’s WCTI-TV New Bern, N.C., held the 36th annual "NewsChannel 12 Cystic Fibrosis Telethon." The one-day event, which featured 21 local acts, raised more than $421,000 to support the research of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Over the years, WCTI-TV has raised more than $8.57 million for the foundation, helping to improve the lives of CF patients.
Greater Media’s WBT-AM Charlotte, N.C., partnered with Harris Teeter and Jif for the second annual "Peanut Putter ’N July" campaign to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina this summer. High on protein, peanut butter is one of the most valuable commodities for a food bank and is one of the most requested items for those who benefit from their services. WBT-AM set up donation bins in 37 locations to collect jars of peanut butter. On air personalities made appearances at several locations on Saturdays throughout the month. In total, 1,083 pounds of peanut butter were collected.
Capitol Broadcasting’s WRAL-TV Raleigh, N.C., raised $94,000 for the American Red Cross and Salvation Army tornado relief efforts. The Here to Help: Disaster Relief Telethon featured a commercial-free, primetime broadcast of the UNC School of the Arts’ award-winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s "Oklahoma!" with live cut-ins from the studio. The telethon was simulcast statewide on public television station UNC-EX. "This was a true partnership, a uniquely North Carolina way to help those families who are hurting in Oklahoma," said Steven D. Hammel of WRAL. "The results truly demonstrate the power of local television, both commercial and public, to be both lifelines in the moment of emergency and in the aftermath."
Clear Channel’s WKSF-FM Ashville, N.C., raised more than $28,000 for the local Mission Children’s Hospital during its fifth annual Winter Jam concert. "Time and again, this community demonstrates its commitment to our region’s children," said Bruce Thorsen, president of Mission Foundation. "We commend KISS Country [WKSF-FM] for their dedication to serve our community and our region."
More than 216,000 North Carolina residents served in Vietnam and 1,600 made the ultimate sacrifice. The USO of North Carolina and Charlotte Motor Speedway, with support from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, honored their service with an incredible Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration.
The event featured live entertainment, military salutes, recognized distinguished NC Vietnam veterans and premiered the new PSA supporting the initiative. David Kennerly, Vietnam Combat Photographer displayed a special exhibit of Pulitzer Prize winning Vietnam War photographs. The event was covered on nearly every broadcast radio and TV station in North Carolina.
Raycom Media’s WECT-TV Wilmington, NC aired a half hour, commercial free debate between the candidates for the 7th Congressional District, Mike McIntyre and David Rouzer. The debate was posted online in its entirety. WECT also hosted several local debates that aired live online, featuring candidates running for school board, county commission, state house and state senate.
Capitol Broadcasting’s WRAL-TV Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville, N.C., offered viewers a wide range of news coverage and special programming. The station aired and streamed four statewide debates, two of which were produced by WRAL News; produced and aired 10 election-focused half-hour discussion programs titled "On the Record," dealing solely with the races and candidates important to the North Carolina electorate; and provided innovative, interactive online and mobile tools for voters. On Election Day WRAL.com had 6 million desktop Web views, 1.4 million mobile views, 80,000 video views on Web and mobile, and at one point peaked on the Web at 450,000 page views an hour.
Several Davidson Media Group affiliates and independent stations raised $450,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The fifth annual Promesa y Esperanza (Promise and Hope) radio event, October 4 and 5, asked listeners in cities such as Philadelphia, Charlotte, Boston, Providence, Minneapolis and Kansas City to donate to the fight against childhood cancer and other terminal illnesses. Donations defray the costs of treatment, rehab, travel, lodging, food and schooling to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families, in hopes that no family ever pays St. Jude.
CBS Radio’s WNKS-FM Charlotte recently changed its name to "Victoria 95.1 FM" for a day to honor Victoria Waters. Victoria is a local five year-old girl who was born premature and has been fighting for her life ever since. WNKS-FM’s John Reynold’s noted, "Not only are we naming the station after her for a day in celebration of her strength and courage, but this day is about our listeners who will be able to give back to Levine Children’s Hospital, which has given so much to this community." WNKS-FM’s listeners were invited to make song requests throughout the day in exchange for a donation to the local hospital. In just 12 hours, the station raised more than $18,000.
NCAB Hosts Celebration for Vietnam Vets
In a partnership with the USO North Carolina, the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters hosted the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Celebration at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Nearly 70,000 people attended the day-long event. Veterans, their families and community members were invited to enjoy a day of entertainment, including The Charlie Daniels Band, George Clinton and the 82nd Airborne Division "All-American" Chorus. The Department of Veterans Affairs also provided health assessments for veterans. The event was covered live by radio and TV stations across North Carolina.
In North Carolina, Gray Television’s WITN-TV Greenville hosted a fundraiser in partnership with Inner Banks Media and the Red Cross to raise money for hurricane victims in the Greenville-New Bern-Washington region. With its partners, along with a generous donation from Wachovia/Wells Fargo, WITN-TV raised over $320,000 for North Carolina families.
WSET-TV Lynchburg, Va., activated the "Heart of Virginia Tornado Lifeline" in response to the tornado disasters in Virginia and regions of North Carolina. The National Weather Service confirmed 15 twisters across the Commonwealth – with Washington and Halifax counties being hit the hardest.
Supply and donation collection points were set up at two Lynchburg Kroger stores and a Food Lion location in Danville. On-air personalities and other employees from within several departments at WSET-TV were at the collection points to help with the effort. Between the three locations, five pallets of supplies and more than $7,000 were collected.
Capitol Broadcasting’s WRAL-TV Raleigh, N.C., has launched a community-wide project called the Triangle Flight of Honor. In partnership with the North Carolina Automobile Dealers’ Assocation (NCADA), WRAL-TV is diligently working to ensure World War II veterans in the Triangle region have the opportunity to take a free flight to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials created in their honor. WRAL-TV’s support of the Triangle Flight of Honor includes extensive flight coverage and news stories about many of these unsung heroes, a comprehensive Web page and on-air fundraisers. Last month, the station held a telethon to support two April flights. The two-hour phone bank received nearly 700 phone calls and raised $56,000 in both on-air and online donations. To date, WRAL-TV’s total on-air and online fundraising efforts have exceeded $100,000. Additionally, WRAL-TV sent staffers on the most recent April 6 flight to document the trip to Washington and share veterans’ poignant personal stories in remembrance of the sacrifices they made. WRAL-TV also recognized the WWII veterans with a documentary called "Stories of Honor." Click here to watch the documentary.
Blue Ridge Broadcasting-owned WMIT-FM Black Mountain, N.C., held a day-long radiothon to raise funds for Christian Blind Mission (CBM) to fight trachoma, an eye disease affecting the vision of 40 million people across the world. From 6 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., WMIT-FM, locally known as 106.9 The Light, dedicated airtime to raise awareness of trachoma and encourage listeners to donate funds for medical supplies that would be donated to families in Africa. "This is an amazing opportunity. With a small investment, people can have a profound impact on the lives of those affected by this blinding disease," said Jim Kirkland, executive director of 106.9 The Light. Thanks to listeners’ generous support, WMIT-FM collected enough funds to supply more than 35,000 African families with the medicine they need to prevent blindness caused by trachoma.
Afternoon drive host Otis from WNKS-FM in Charlotte, N.C., launched a “Homeless for the Holidays” campaign to raise awareness of the poverty and hunger facing locals. The on-air personality lived on the streets by the Epicenter for five days, where he broadcast his show live and collected food and money with representatives from Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. He also showed his listeners how their donations could make a difference through an online video blog featuring visits to an area soup kitchen and shelter. By the end of the week, listeners had donated more than $7,600 and more than 600 pounds of food. “Second Harvest Food Bank is so appreciative of WNKS and Otis for helping educate the community about the problems of poverty and homelessness in our region,” said Kay Carter, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. “In the 19 counties we serve, there are over 370,000 people living in poverty.”
On a chilly fall day, Chief Meteorologist Steve Udelson from WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C., kicked off his annual campaign to keep kids warm with winter coats. Viewers rallied around the cause, donating more than 7,000 coats to the station’s fifth annual "Steve’s Coats for Kids” event. A true community effort, fire stations participated as drop-off locations, and schoolchildren came by the busload to bring donations to the station. News stories and public service announcements kept the community informed of how to participate and about what sizes of coats were needed most. Coats were distributed by the Crisis Assistance Ministry, where they were given out freely to anyone in need. With a struggling economy, many people who donated to the campaign in previous years were on the receiving end this year. “It’s heartwarming knowing you are making a real difference,” said Udelson. “There are some people that are out there trying to decide whether to pay a utility bill or buy a coat for their child. They can do both now.”
Granting holiday wishes through its “15 Days of Christmas” campaign, WSFL-FM and WMGV-FM in New Bern, N.C. left one listener speechless. The stations teamed together to provide listener Andy Martin with a prosthetic leg. WSFL-FM organized the program and WMGV-FM secured the $13,000 device from a local business since Martin did not have insurance to cover the cost of the prosthetic leg. I’m crying and believe me, I don’t cry,” Martin stated on air. “You’ve got to understand how much this means – there’s no way words can explain.” WSFL Programming Director Cindy Miller said, “In times like these, I forget about the business side of radio and think about how awesome my job is.” In addition to helping Martin, WSFL-FM continued to grant Christmas wishes throughout the holiday season.
When two police officers were fatally shot in the line of duty, WBT-AM in Charlotte, N.C., broke into programming to provide commercial free-coverage of the news. Later that day, hosts Jeff Katz, a former officer himself, and Tara Servatius did special Sunday talk shows. Then, to help the community heal and to pay respect to the fallen, WBT set aside two afternoons to air the funerals and eulogies of CMPD Officers Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton. Still wanting to do more, the station launched the Blue Ribbon Campaign, providing listeners a way to show their support to police officers throughout the city. The station kicked off the effort with a one-day event, where remotes were set up in two locations and blue ribbons were given away. For the next six weeks, ribbons were distributed through multiple stops by the WBT team throughout the community. In tandem with the campaign, Katz asked the community to provide financial support to the families of the slain officers and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 9. Listeners came through with $50,000 in donations. On the one-year anniversary of the policemen’s deaths, The Jeff Katz Show broadcast a three-hour roadside remote, where the station passed out additional blue ribbons to listeners, and Clark and Shelton were remembered. In total, WBT has given out more than 100,000 blue ribbons.
Together, WSMW-FM in Greensboro, N.C., and its listeners have sent more than 80 children intimately affected by illness to camp for a week. The station’s annual "12 Hours of Christmas" radiothon raises money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a medically equipped place where children with chronic conditions get to just be kids. Listeners that tune into the station during the radiothon learn about the enriching experiences of camp life from the kids themselves. Leading up to the one-day event, camp directors and campers are featured on the air regularly. During the radiothon, which is hosted by WSMW’s morning show, song requests are filled in exchange for listener donations and additional funds are raised with an on-air auction. During the last three years of "12 Hours of Christmas," listeners have donated more than $200,000, which has allowed many special children an experience they won’t soon forget. Throughout the year, WSMW on-air personalities visit kids at camp, where they conduct interviews and bring back stories of hope and laughter to share with listeners.
When the Guilford Animal Shelter ended up with more animals than space, WTQR-FM in Greensboro, N.C., took to the airwaves with the "12 Strays of Christmas." Each day of the 12-day campaign, the station aired a feature segment on a four-legged friend looking for love, including interviews about the pet with a representative from the shelter. To increase the chances of each pet finding a home in time for the holidays, the station also posted videos of the animals on its Web site. Many families ended up with a new family member, thanks to the effort. Throughout the year, the station regularly supports animal-loving organizations and events, including the Humane Society, with public service announcements and inclusion in its community calendar.
Each year, WDCG-FM in Raleigh, N.C., partners with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina for its biggest fundraiser of the year. During the "Pennies From Heaven Radiothon," all regular programming is suspended as on-air personalities Bob and The Showgram open the phone lines to pledges. Other on-air talent and staff deliver feeds from remote locations. The day-long event features live interviews with wish children and their families, local celebrities and volunteers. Raffle items and an online auction supported by the station’s Web site help to raise additional funds. In 2007, WDCG also organized a "Bob and The Showgram’s Pigs ‘N Punkins" event in support of the foundation. Barbequing, face painting and pumpkin carving made for good family fun and another opportunity to help ill children. The station promoted the event on-air for a month and sent emails to its G105 Insiders Club. Station staff contributed nearly 300 hours between the two events, and donations to Make-A-Wish exceeded $280,000 for the year, a record amount. Many wishes have been granted because of the success of the radiothon’s 14-year run.
A year-long effort to educate and empower women about breast cancer and the importance of early detection by WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., kicked off at the Triangle Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The station’s on-air commitment to the event contributed to an unprecedented 20 percent increase in race participation and 10 percent increase in fundraising. WRAL produced public service announcements and invited viewers to join its "Team WRAL," a group of 360 station employees and viewers who raised more than $36,000 for the fight against breast cancer. As the network-affiliate partner for Susan G. Komen for the Cure in North Carolina, the station also provides support for Pinkfest and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. News stories, "webisodes" and public service announcements all help educate women about breast health. The station’s Web site houses a special "Breast Health and Wellness" section, which features resource links, an interactive breast self-exam, and on-demand videos of survivors and leading medical experts. Viewers also can register for "Remind 5 Friends," which provides monthly electronic reminders to conduct a breast self-exam. The in-kind dollar value of the station’s support in airtime and production throughout the year totals more than $250,000; WRAL’s effort have helped the local Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliate be able to provide grants worth more than $1.3 million to area nonprofits. "On-air and off the air, the WRAL staff have embraced our vision of a world without breast cancer, and the impact has been tremendous," said Pam Blondin, executive director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, North Carolina Triangle Affiliate.
Chief meteorologist Lane Pope of WXII-TV in Salem, N.C., provided viewers with lifesaving information prior to tornadoes striking in the heart of the station’s viewing area. Two-and-a-half hours into broadcasting emergency weather warnings, the urgency in her voice was unmistakable. "If you’re in Clemmons, folks, this is headed for you. You need to find a safe place." Throughout the ordeal, WXII stayed on the air with16 hours of live severe weather coverage, which also was streamed online. As the storms passed, the station’s effort shifted from forecasting to damage assessment. Even before sunrise, the WXII news team was in neighborhoods broadcasting witness accounts of what had occurred. By marshaling additional resources from nearby WYFF-TV, the station was able to bring viewers live helicopter coverage of the aftermath. While it is impossible to put a number on the lives that were potentially saved, many people in the community have contacted the station with words of appreciation for providing information that ultimately got them to safety. Both Pope and the WXII news team were recognized by the Forsyth County Commissioners for their work in the face of the crisis. The commissioners praised Pope and other first responders for "their excellent and timely work on the evening of May 8, 2008, and the valuable role they play in protecting the lives of our citizens."
Tens of thousands of pounds of paper have gone into the shredder with the help of WNCN-TV in Raleigh, N.C. To protect its viewers from becoming victims of identity theft, a crime approximately 300,000 North Carolinians are affected by each year, the station became media sponsor and organizer of a community-wide "Shred It" event two years ago. Due to a growing need, "Shred It" has been expanded and now occurs twice each year. At the spring event, 1,500 community members brought more than 55,000 pounds of personal documents to be shredded to three event locations. For a month prior, public service announcements reminded viewers of the opportunity. To arm viewers with additional information on protecting themselves from what has become the fastest growing crime in the country, the station also ran a week-long series of segments about identity theft during newscasts. The station has a page on its Web site that features resources and tips on how to keep personal information safe.
With a mission to send a little sweetness to troops serving overseas from Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, WKML-FM in Fayetteville, N.C., launched its annual "Operation Cookie Drop" campaign. The station worked with the directors of the Pines of the Carolinas Girl Scouts to make the effort part of the girls’ door-to-door and booth sales. The station supported "Operation Cookie Drop" with months of promotional announcements and several live remotes from locations where Girl Scout cookies were being sold. To encourage the community to get involved, the station built a special Web page and sent an email blast to its "Country Club" member listeners. More than 40,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies were collected, equaling 2.5 tons. When the cookies were loaded for special delivery, the station broadcasts a final remote, bringing the live broadcast count to 10 hours. The station has been making special cookie deliveries to deployed soldiers from the area for 4 years.
The sounds of the symphony helped WMAG-FM in Greensboro, N.C., and the Salvation Army collect food for those whose who are less fortunate this past winter. During a weekend in December, three holiday concerts featuring local orchestras required no admission fee for anyone who donated a non-perishable food item on their way in. WMAG’s on-air personality Bill Flynn was guest conductor at all three events. The station promoted the concert one week in advance, airing 30-second announcements and adding a Web page to the station site to provide concert details and raise awareness of the Salvation Army’s work. During the performances the station broadcast six live cut-ins during each concert. When the last violinist put away his instrument, 7,500 pounds of food had been collected.