The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) has revealed the winners of the 2018 Celebration of Service to America Awards, recognizing outstanding community service by local broadcasters. These award recipients will be honored at the Celebration of Service to America dinner, held Tuesday, June 12 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
“Local broadcasters play a crucial role in informing, supporting and strengthening communities across our country,” said NABEF President Marcellus Alexander. “This year’s winners represent the ethos of broadcasting and the industry’s unwavering commitment to public service.”
The awards program, now in its 20th year, has established new categories based on market size. The awards will honor the following broadcasters:
President’s Special Award
The NABEF President’s Special Award recognizes historic and extraordinary achievement by an individual broadcast station or group of broadcasters.
In recognition of broadcasters’ service to their local communities before, during and after historic hurricanes and wildfires in 2017, broadcasters in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as those in California, Montana, Oregon and Washington, will receive special honors. Broadcasters nationwide will also receive recognition for their support of local communities during these natural disasters.
Service to Community Award for Television – Ownership Group
TEGNA, “Selling Girls”
Upon asking viewers in all 38 of its television markets what they thought was the most underreported story, TEGNA created a six-part series that highlights the complex problem of child sex trafficking. Stories included crime data analysis, court records and scrutinization of the sometimes-inconsistent sentencing guidelines carried out by lawmakers. All TEGNA news operations across the country produced investigations on how child sex trafficking was affecting their local community. The series is now being used for education and training by organizations such as the U.S. State Department, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, The United Way, the Jimmy Carter Center, and the South Carolina Air National Guard, as well as several schools and individual professors.
Hearst Television, “State of Addiction”
NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, “NBC and Telemundo Owned Stations Information Beacons for Communities Affected by Natural Disasters”
Nexstar Media Group, “Founders Day”
Univision Communications, “Unidos por los Nuestros” – Disaster Relief Campaign
Service to Community Award for Radio – Major Market
KJLH-FM 102.3 in Los Angeles, “102.3 KJLH Women’s Health Expo”
KJLH-FM 102.3 created the Women’s Health Expo to address the high rates of obesity, heart disease and breast cancer in the African American community. The expo is a daylong interactive event that gives thousands of women access to medical professionals, free health screenings, and vital information needed to maintain a productive and healthy life. For some of the women in the community, the expo is their only opportunity to receive free mammograms, diabetes and blood pressure screenings, and HIV/AIDS testing. The Women’s Health Expo was created 18 years ago in a small church as a resource for women to receive proper health care and has grown to host thousands of women in the Los Angeles and Long Beach Convention Centers.
Cox Media Group/Nassau-Suffolk, “Battling Breast Cancer”
KTMY-FM in Coon Rapids, Minn., “Project Down and Dirty,” Hubbard Broadcasting
WFLC-FM in Miami-Fort Lauderdale, “Hits 97.3 Campaigns for Conservation,” Cox Media Group
WNIC-FM in Detroit, “Jay’s Juniors with 100.3 WNIC,” iHeartMedia
Service to Community Award for Television – Large Market
KDVR-31 in Denver, “FOX31 Problem Solvers: Serving Those Who Serve”
KDVR-31 addressed the needs of Colorado’s nearly 500,000 veterans and active-duty service members in 2017 through the initiative. The station produced five half-hour documentaries on Colorado veterans and launched the “Hero of the Month” program, which recognizes veterans, active-duty service members, military family members and volunteers. The station also formed the “Serving Those Who Serve” Advisory Board, which meets quarterly to bring local non-profit veterans organizations together to share ideas and resources and to advise the station on military issues that should be covered.
KCBS-2 in Los Angeles, “Stephanie’s Day,” CBS Corp.
KOB-7 in Albuquerque, “#ABQ4ward,” Hubbard Broadcasting
WCCO-4 in Minneapolis, “WCCO-TV’s Pulling Together,” CBS Corp.
WGBO-66 in Chicago, “Fin de DACA – End of DACA,” Univision Communications
WKMG-6 in Orlando, “WKMG – Driving Change Campaign,” Graham Media Group
WOIO-19 in Cleveland, “2 Strong 4 Bullies,” Raycom Media
WRAL-5 in Raleigh-Durham, “Searching for a Fix,” Capitol Broadcasting Co.
Service to Community Award for Radio – Medium Market
WOWO-AM 1190 and FM translator 107.5, Ft. Wayne, Ind., “Penny Pitch”
WOWO’s annual “Penny Pitch” campaign has been providing grants to individuals and not-for-profit organizations serving Northeast Indiana since 1948. The initiative aims to help those who are either disadvantaged or physically handicapped by supporting charities that have a similar mission. In 2017, the campaign raised more than $200,000 for The Shepherd’s House, which provides temporary housing for homeless military veterans living with addictions. The Shepherd’s House recently had its federal funding denied but the station generated enough money to keep the facility open for nearly six more months.
WGY-AM & FM and WRVE-FM in Albany-Schenectady-Troy, “The River 19th Annual Cares for Kids Radiothon,” iHeartMedia
WPLR-FM in New Haven, Conn., “The 99.1 PLR Chaz and AJ Toy Drive,” Connoisseur Media
WWOZ-FM in New Orleans, “School Groove,” New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation
Service to Community Award for Television – Medium Market
WJRT-12 in Flint, Mich., “ABC12 Diaper Drive”
In the most populated county in the station’s DMA, 4,500 children under the age of three live below the poverty line. Because state and federal assistance cannot be used to buy diapers, many of these children are forced to stay in the same diaper for days at a time. During the “ABC12 Diaper Drive,” the station reported live during the day’s newscasts and broke into programming to show people bringing donations of money and supplies. One of the station’s news anchors helped start the initiative 10 years ago, and eventually became a co-founder of the Flint Diaper Bank, a non-profit organization with no administrative costs. With the help of the initiative, the Flint Diaper Bank now helps deliver one million diapers to families in need each year.
KWTX-TV in Waco, Texas, “Service to Veterans” and “The Rhett Revolution,” Gray Television
WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge, La., “Donna Britt Day 2017,” Raycom Media
WMTV-TV in Madison, Wisc., “NBC15 Share Your Holidays Campaign to Eliminate Hunger,” Gray Television
WVUE-TV in New Orleans, “Medical Waste,” Raycom Media
Service to Community Award for Radio – Small Market
KTXY-FM in Columbia, Mo., “Y107 Miracles for Kids Radiothon”
Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri
KTXY’s 2017 Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Radiothon marked the 11th year Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group has partnered with CMN and the Missouri University’s Children’s Hospital. In that time, the station has raised more than 2.3 million dollars to help benefit sick children in mid-Missouri. The 2017 Miracles for Kids Radiothon raised over $250,000, and the initiative has won numerous Corporate Awards from the Missouri Broadcasters Association and is considered one of the top local radiothons by Children’s Miracle Network.
KCLR-FM in Columbia-Jefferson City, Mo., “Clear 99 Honor Flight Radiothon,” Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri
WFMD-AM & WFRE-FM in Frederick, Md., “WFRE St. Jude Radiothon,” Aloha Station Trust (iHeartMedia)
Service to Community Award for Television – Small Market
WCTV-TV in Tallahassee, Fla., “WCTV Peanut Butter and Jelly Jam”
WCTV’s “Peanut Butter and Jelly Jam” is a two-week drive during which students are encouraged to collect jars of peanut butter and jelly for struggling families in the local community. In its first year, the initiative collected nearly five tons of supplies. The drive helps fill food bank shelves at a time when demand is high, especially in this community where 25,000 children rely on school meal assistance.
KAAL-TV in Rochester, Minn., “ABC 6 News Weather Lab,” Hubbard Broadcasting
KRCG-TV in Columbia, Mo., “Stop Bullying Mid-Mo,” Sinclair Broadcast Group
WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wis., “Tornado Relief Fund,” Gray Television
WREX-TV in Rockford, Ill., “Hooked: The Opioid Epidemic Hits Home,” Quincy Media
The Celebration of Service to America Awards are sponsored and produced by NABEF with major support from the NAB, Bonneville International and Hearst Television.