WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation (NABLF), formerly the NAB Education Foundation, announced today the winners of the 2019 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 11 at The Anthem in Washington, D.C.
“America’s local radio and television stations have a deeply rooted commitment to public service,” said NABLF President Marcellus Alexander. “This year’s STA winners epitomize broadcasters’ devotion to positively impacting their communities and creating a lasting difference. We look forward to recognizing their exceptional work.”
The 2019 Service to America Awards will honor the following broadcasters:
Service to Community Award for Radio – Ownership Group
Beasley Media Group, “Beasley Best Community of Caring”
Recognizing the community service of its local stations, Beasley Media Group (BMG) realized that, working together, they could make an even greater impact and the Beasley Best Community of Caring (BBCC) was born. BBCC created and distributed scripts for 30- and 60-second public service announcements, asking stations to air spots a minimum of ten times each week. These campaign announcements were supported through social media, articles, blogs, interviews and podcasts. In addition to on-air support, each market partnered with a local group working on an issue important to their community. In 2018 topics included opioid addiction, mental health awareness, Autism Spectrum Disorder and hunger. Through this partnership with its 64 stations across 15 markets, BBCC donated nearly 33,000 spots and countless hours supporting causes important to the local communities it serves.
Service to Community Award for Television – Ownership Group
Hearst Television, Inc., “Commitment 2018”
The 2018 midterm elections were historic and marked the highest voter turnout seen in midterms since 1914. Months before the election, while the candidates were on the campaign trail, Hearst Television was there to bring viewers important information to help them make critical choices. Hearst Television stations were committed to covering this election cycle like none other; by digging deeper and exposing issues as they emerged, hosting a record-setting 98 debates and airing 5,034 political stories and segments, adding up to over 13,178 minutes of coverage.
Graham Media Group
Raycom Media (acquired by Gray Television)
Service to Community Award for Radio – Major Market
WMMR-FM Philadelphia, Pa., “Preston and Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger”
Beasley Media Group
Philadelphia is among the poorest of the top ten American cities. While food insecurity is decreasing across the rest of the country, the city is home to more hungry people than ever before, and the number is growing. Preston and Steve, WMMR’s top-rated morning hosts, decided to do something about it and the annual “Camp Out for Hunger” was created. Now in its 21st year, “Camp Out” is the largest single location food drive in America, generating millions of meals. The 2018 Preston & Steve Camp Out for Hunger collected food and cash donations that translated into over 2 million meals for the hungry.
KTAR-FM Phoenix, Ariz., Bonneville International Corp.
WSB-AM Atlanta, Ga., Cox Media Group
WEDR, WFLC, WFEZ, WHQT Hollywood, Fla., Cox Media Group
Service to Community Award for Television – Large Market
WKMG-TV Orlando, Fla., “Legislative Lifeline for First Responders”
Graham Media Group
WKMG-TV presented a series of investigative reports featuring first responders diagnosed with PTSD, providing a platform for these men and women to expose the state’s failure to recognize PTSD as a medical injury. Under Florida law at the time, workers’ compensation insurance was not available for those diagnosed with PTSD unless they could prove they were also physically injured during the emergency call. The station’s reporting began with the story of one of the officers assigned to remove the dead from the Pulse Night Club shooting. This segment led to a flood of responses from first responders struggling with PTSD who had been afraid to come forward. On March 27, 2018, Governor Rick Scott signed the Workers’ Compensation Benefits for First Responders Act into law. Governor Scott said WKMG-TV’s reporting was instrumental in the passage and signing of the new law.
KOB-TV Albuquerque, N.M., Hubbard Broadcasting
KING-TV Seattle, Wash., TEGNA
WGAL-TV Lancaster, Pa., Hearst Television, Inc.
WCVB-TV Boston, Mass., Hearst Television Inc.
Service to Community Award for Radio – Medium Market
WYCT-FM Pensacola, Fla., “WYCT Cat Country 98.7 and Santa Rosa Kids House”
Beyond its effective approach to child abuse cases, the Santa Rosa Kids’ House offers on-site specialized sexual abuse therapy to help child victims and their families recover. To help raise funds and awareness for Santa Rosa Kids House, Cat Country 98.7 hosted its first-ever Spring Jam. Tickets were only $10 for an all-ages show featuring popular country music acts. This inaugural event raised nearly $15,000 for Santa Rosa Kids House.
WOKQ, WSAK, WPKQ, WSHK Dover, N.H., Townsquare Media
Service to Community Award for Television – Medium Market
WREG Memphis, Tenn., “Go Jim Go!”
Go Jim Go! is a 333-mile bicycle ride through WREG’s viewing area led by meteorologist Jim Jaggers. One week each fall, Jim rides to raise money for LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. When the hospital opened in 1952, LeBonheur’s founders promised that its doors would always be open to children in need. To keep that promise, monetary donations are critical for the hospital’s operations. During Go Jim Go!, Jim and his team stop at schools, businesses, farms and other locations to collect donations raised by a wide-range of supporters in the community. To help support the effort, WREG-TV features the lifesaving and ground-breaking work being done at LeBonheur. In 2018, WREG raised $370,000, increasing the total amount raised by the station to $2.9 million.
WAFB-TV Baton Rouge La., Gray Television
WTOC-TV Savannah, Ga., Gray Television
KWQC-TV Davenport, Iowa, Gray Television
Service to Community Award for Radio – Small Market
WLEN-FM Adrian, Mich., “Thank A Vet”
Lenawee Broadcasting Company
Thirteen years ago, station staff learned of local veterans living in the woods in their southern Michigan community. To provide a solution to the days and weeks of red tape our veterans must navigate to get critical assistance, WLEN created the Veterans Dire Needs Fund. Annually, on Veterans Day, the station collects money for local vets and raises awareness for homeless veterans and their critical needs. This event has grown from $5,000 raised in the first year to more than $30,000 raised in 2018. More than $250,000 has been raised over the years to help support Lenawee County veterans with a goal of helping local veterans to live as proudly as they served.
WDBR-FM, WLFZ-FM Springfield, Ill., Saga Communications, LLC
KCLR-FM Columbia, Mo., Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri, Inc.
Service to Community Award for Television – Small Market
WCTV Tallahassee, Fla.
In the wake of Hurricane Maria, a local Tallahassee couple started collecting relief supplies for the residents of their home town, Jayuya, P.R. The station soon began covering their efforts and within days, several truck-loads of relief supplies were collected and on their way to Jayuya. Wanting to do more, a WCTV reporting crew traveled to Jayuya to document how supplies donated in Tallahassee were helping people recover from the hurricane’s devastation. The station also highlighted the continued struggles many were having getting money for housing repairs. Rather than continuing to wait for FEMA to approve or deny financial aid, the station sprang into action and helped raise funds, equipment and materials to help provide new roofs for homes in Jayuya.
WECT-TV Wilmington, N.C., Gray Television
WJHG-TV Panama City, Fla., Gray Television
KOAM-TV Pittsburg, Kan., Morgan Murphy Media
About The Celebration of Service to America Awards
The Celebration of Service to America Awards are sponsored and produced by NABLF with major support from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Bonneville International and Hearst Television. Sara Evans, Jon Bon Jovi, Sharon Stone, Gary Sinise, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Glenn Close, Jeff Bridges, Quincy Jones, Sir Elton John, Bill Clinton, Laura Bush and Muhammad Ali, among others, have been presented with the Celebration of Service to America Leadership Award at the event. Details about the Celebration of Service to America Awards are available at www.nabfoundation.org/sta.
The National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the future of broadcasting through leadership, diversity and community service. Learn more at www.nabfoundation.org.
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.