WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) announced today the winners of the 2016 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 21 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
"Local broadcasters are an essential part of the fabric of their communities," said NABEF President Marcellus Alexander. “The NAB Education Foundation proudly salutes the recipients of this years’ Service to America Awards for their unwavering commitment to making a positive local impact.”
The 2016 Service to America Awards will honor the following broadcasters:
PRESIDENT’S SPECIAL AWARD
The NABEF President’s Special Award recognizes historic and extraordinary achievement by broadcasters.
Arizona Broadcasters Association
“Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona” was an informative one-hour special created by the Arizona Broadcasters Association (ABA) in partnership with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Developed to show the devastating effects of heroin on the state’s addicted citizens, the special aired simultaneously on all of Arizona’s 34 television stations and 93 radio stations in January 2015. More than one million viewers watched, while 250,000 listeners heard it on radio. The ABA’s unwavering commitment to the program and its mission was further shown by the creation of a 100-person call center of trained treatment and recovery professionals to field calls during the broadcast. Within three hours, more than 400 calls were managed and numerous lives were forever changed.
SERVICE TO AMERICA TELEVISION AWARD
This award recognizes a television station for the totality of its efforts and its commitment to excellence in serving its community.
KWTX-TV Waco, Texas
Owner: Gray Television
Through a variety of programming, fundraising and primary support, KWTX-TV met the needs of the Waco area with invaluable community outreach. When a local Boys and Girls Club began to literally fall apart, KWTX leapt into action, organizing a telethon to raise money for repairs. Their “Food for Families” program collected more than 1.8 million pounds of food last year alone, while an “On Call” event connected people with doctors by telephone to discuss the flu, health insurance and early cancer detection. In addition, KWTX showed its gratitude to the men and women who serve with the production and airing of the “We Can’t Forget Vietnam” documentary and its first Law Enforcement Appreciation dinner for more than 200 police officers and their families. KWTX further proved its commitment to the community with a career fair exclusively for high school students and by spearheading “Toys for Tots” donations, which provided more than 3,000 children with Christmas gifts.
KXLY-TV Spokane, Wash., Morgan Murphy Media
WAFB Baton Rouge, La., Raycom Media, Inc.
WAVE-TV Louisville, Ken., Raycom Media, Inc.
WBRC Birmingham, Ala., Raycom Media, Inc.
WFSB Rocky Hill, Conn., Meredith Corporation – Local Media Group
WXYZ-TV Southfield, Mich., The E.W. Scripps Company
SERVICE TO CHILDREN AWARDS
These awards spotlight television and radio stations for outstanding programs, campaigns and public service announcements produced for the benefit of children.
WXYT-FM Southfield, Mich.
Owner: CBS Radio
Since 2012, WXYT’s Student Heart Check program has helped raise money and awareness for student athletes at risk of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – an acute life threatening heart condition. The vital program saves lives every year, conducting quarterly student heart screenings at local high schools where physicians participate for free and students from across the state are invited to attend. In 2015, more than 1,600 students received screenings, resulting in 234 students being advised to stop playing sports immediately. Two students were diagnosed with the condition. Produced in partnership with Beaumont Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network, WXYT led and supported the program with multiple public service announcements, valued at $1.1 million. The informative PSAs requested $10 donations from listeners to help the program reach its ultimate goal of purchasing a mobile cardiac unit. In 2015, the campaign raised a respectable $30,000 in donations and additional sponsor outreach.
WHUR-FM Washington, D. C., Howard University
WYCT-FM Pensacola, Fla., ADX Communications
WBIQ-TV Birmingham, Ala.
Owner: Alabama ETV Commission
Recent events across the nation have once again focused attention on concerns in minority communities and racial perceptions in America. To address these issues and create a public dialogue about race relations, the Alabama ETV commission produced “Project C: Lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement.” Led by a team of student reporters, the three-year series has provided ongoing community engagement to students, teachers, the greater Alabama community and the nation through interactive webcasts, print resources, a historical issues guide and teacher institutes. In 2015, two episodes commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Selma bridge crossing and the Montgomery bus boycotts were produced. They featured a rousing speech by President Obama, a visit to the Rosa Parks Museum and more. Through the end of 2015, the project had reached 228,000 Alabama students and more than 1.3 million students nationwide.
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.
Cox Radio Group Miami Fla.
Owner: Cox Media Group
Through PSAs, events and “food-raisers,” Cox Radio Group Miami helped feed their community with year-round outreach. By engaging listeners to replenish food shelves in local neighborhoods where the demand is high, Cox fed an estimated 1,500-2,000 people weekly. Conducted in partnership with the Wayne Barton Foundation and Broward County Sheriff’s office, Cox’s food drive campaign collected more than 100,000 pounds each weekend to support retirees and fixed income families. In addition, Cox’s annual Turkey Drive gave away 3,100 turkeys, helping Cox reach an estimated 5.2 million pounds of food collected and distributed last year alone.
KPRS-FM Kansas City, Mo., Carter Broadcast Group
KOLO-TV Reno, Nev.
Owner: Gray Television
“KOLO Cares” provides year-round promotional awareness for local non-profit organizations in the northern Nevada area. Through free, unmatched media outreach, the voices of these organizations are amplified, educating viewers on their missions, objectives and results. Through the program, KOLO has helped nearly 150 groups with a media outreach seminar to teach communication skills. In addition, each year KOLO selects six “Pillar Partners” to super serve by developing a public service campaign for each. In 2015, 88 community groups applied to be a Pillar Partner. KOLO produced and aired 28 different promotional spots for those chosen and participated in various partner activities including a blood drive, feeding the homeless, raising more than $55,000 in cash to help children and teens in foster care, and raising an estimated one million pounds of food for the hungry.
KCRG Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gray Television
KET Lexington, Ken., Kentucky Authority for Educational Television
KWTX Waco, Texas, Gray Television
WBNS-TV Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch Broadcast Group
WBZ-TV Boston, Mass., CBS Television Stations
WDAM-TV Moselle, Miss., Raycom Media, Inc.
NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations New York, N.Y.
About The Celebration of Service to America Awards
The Celebration of Service to America Awards are sponsored and produced by NABEF with major support from the National Association of Broadcasters. In recent years, Gary Sinise; Paul Simon; Stevie Wonder; Glenn Close; Jeff Bridges; Quincy Jones; Sir Elton John; Bill Clinton; Laura Bush; Muhammad Ali; Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter; and Nancy Reagan; 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 http://www.nabef.org/events/sta/.
The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to reinforcing the future of broadcasting through a commitment to education and to advancing excellence in the diversity and community service efforts of our industry. Learn more at www.nabef.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.