WASHINGTON, D.C./NEW YORK, N.Y. -- America's local television broadcasters have raised at least $45.1 million through on-air campaigns and direct donations for relief efforts supporting victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, according to the National Association of Broadcasters and TVB. The charitable contributions, announced today at the annual TVB Forward Conference in New York, is based on publicly available fundraising totals, social media and information provided to NAB and TVB.
In the wake of devastation caused by the Texas and Florida hurricanes, broadcast TV and radio stations across the country organized scores of charitable outreach efforts to support those affected by the storms. In addition to telethons and other fundraisers, broadcasters have collected food, bottles of water, clothing, hygiene products and other supplies for victims of the storm.
The estimate released today includes contributions during telethons aired on local TV stations and donations made on dedicated fundraising pages on local TV station websites. Broadcast networks and TV station groups from coast-to-coast have also made direct donations to relief efforts, which are included in today's announced total. The estimate does not include fundraising totals for Hurricane Maria relief efforts, as most telethons and charitable events are in the planning stage.
"Local broadcasters served as 'first informers' and saved countless lives as Harvey and Irma tore through Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and the Southeast," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "Now, our attention turns to the long recovery ahead. I'm so proud of the generosity and compassion shown by broadcasters who are helping rebuild and restore hurricane-ravaged communities."
"Local broadcast TV stations not only provide critical over-the-air and online news and information to local communities during emergencies, but rally to gather much needed resources in times of disaster," said TVB President and CEO Steve Lanzano. "Through donations, fundraising and raising awareness, local broadcasters have been integral to hurricane relief efforts and will continue to offer reliable, life-saving information to their communities."
In addition to today's announced fundraising total, all the major networks aired the "Hand in Hand" telethon on September 12. The telethon raised $14.5 million during the live broadcast and has raised $55 million in total.
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.