WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) announced today the winners of the 2017 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 20, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
“America’s broadcasters play a unique role serving local communities with quality news, the most popular entertainment and lifeline information in times of emergency,” said NABEF President Marcellus Alexander. “The collective efforts of this year's STA winners reflect a remarkable commitment to addressing public health crises, investigative journalism and community service."
The 2017 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 an individual broadcast station or group.
WXIA-TV Atlanta, GA
WXIA-TV’s “Charlie Foxtrot” began as an investigation of a military policy that strips service members of their benefits and veteran status, even after serving in war zones. WXIA’s coverage focused on the Fairness for Veterans Act, a piece of proposed legislation which would require mental health conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to be considered in the discharge review process. WXIA hosted an online petition where more than 12,000 viewers signed to show their support for the act. “Charlie Foxtrot” also ran on WXIA’s sister stations in 38 cities nationwide, culminating with a screening at the U.S. Capitol. Three days after the screening, backed by 44 veteran service organizations, Congress passed the Fairness for Veterans Act as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill was signed into law on December 23, 2016, giving tens of thousands of former service members access to life-saving medical treatment.
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.
WDIV-TV Detroit, MI
Graham Media Group
Through news coverage, philanthropy, and community service, WDIV puts the needs of viewers first. When the city of Flint found itself in crisis, WDIV hosted a telethon, raising more than $1.13 million. WDIV also provided extensive coverage of the Flint water crisis, airing a primetime special and traveling to Washington, D.C., to cover developments on Capitol Hill. To address the opioid epidemic, WDIV ran numerous PSAs and provided significant news coverage to keep the conversation on drug addiction front and center. With Detroit having the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the U.S., WDIV created the "Arab in America" news series, which showed viewers personal stories of Arab Americans in their local community. In partnership with Bookstock, WDIV raised over $1.4 million for literacy and education programs in its community. The station’s commitment to education continued with its renovations of a school in the Detroit Public School Community District. This is just a small sampling of the work WDIV does to serve the local community.
WAFB-TV Baton Rouge, La, Raycom Media
WCVB-TV Boston, MA, Hearst Television
WKMG-TV Orlando, FL, Graham Media Group
WSB-TV Atlanta, GA, Cox Media Group
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.
WEDR-FM Hollywood, FL
Cox Media Group
Every year, WEDR/99 JAMZ prepares children to go back to school through a four-week “Back to School Backpack Tour.” In 2016, WEDR partnered with several local organizations to provide 5,000 backpacks filled with school supplies for underprivileged children in Kindergarten through eighth grade. The station also provides an after-school program called “Fore-Life,” which teaches children to golf, as well as disciplinary and math skills. Through the “99 JAMZ Student of the Week” contest, WEDR encourages students to perform well academically. Students with a GPA of 3.5 and above were eligible to enter the student of the week contest. The winner gets to co-host the Wednesday night show’s "Top 8@8 Countdown" and also receives $100 and 99 JAMZ gear.
KTAR/KMVP Phoenix, AZ, Bonneville International Corp.
WMUR-TV Manchester, NH
The need for foster and permanent homes for New Hampshire children is greater than ever, attributed in large part to the opioid crisis. Since 2014, WMUR’s New Hampshire Chronicle has featured “Home at Last,” a recurring series of segments with the goal of finding permanent adoptive homes for the more than 700 children in New Hampshire living in out-of-home placement. Each segment profiles one child or group of siblings chosen by the state’s Division of Children, Youth, and Families. In 2016, WMUR-TV profiled five children in "Home at Last" segments. At the end of the year the station produced its first hour-long update program, featuring the children in their new adoptive homes, called "Home at Last...for the Holidays". As a result, Wendy’s ran two coupon campaigns in conjunction with "Home at Last," which raised nearly $50,000 for the New Hampshire Foster and Adoptive Parent Association.
KWTX Waco, TX, Gray Television
WNYT-TV Albany, NY, Hubbard Television Group
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.
KZLV-FM San Antonio, TX
K-LOVE and Air 1 Media
The KZLV “Share the Love” campaign engaged listeners in thanking and assisting those who serve in their community, as well as increasing their own levels of service. The campaign activated hundreds of volunteers for numerous organizations including the San Antonio’s Parks Department, St. PJ’s Children’s Home, Haven for Hope homeless shelter, and many others. The station helped provide 2,000 families with packs containing enough food to feed a family of four for a week. The K-LOVE Crisis Response Care program was developed to support first responders and assist with their emotional needs. The program included critical incident stress management training for first responders and community volunteers. KZLV further served their community during their random acts of appreciation and gratitude campaign in February.
Illinois Broadcasters Association
KGBX-FM Springfield, MO, iHeartMedia
KSHE-FM St. Louis, MO, Emmis Communications Corp.
KSOS-FM Las Vegas, NV, Faith Communications Corp.
WFEZ-FM Hollywood, FL, Cox Media Group
WTAM-AM Cleveland, OH, iHeartMedia
WRAL-TV Raleigh, NC
Capitol Broadcasting Co.
The rising tensions in the relationship between police departments and African American communities in Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville, North Carolina inspired WRAL-TV’s “Black and Blue” documentary. The program became part of an unprecedented two-hour community conversation on air, online and on social media. The critical conversation took place following the Dallas shootings. Moderated by a community leader, WRAL-TV featured the discussion between law enforcement, faith leaders and members of the African American community. Live and online, the documentary reached nearly 110,000 people and also generated 500,000 impressions on social media.
KGMB Honolulu, HI, Raycom Media Inc.
KTUU Anchorage, AK, Gray Television
WAFB Baton Rouge, LA, Raycom Media Inc.
WBAL Baltimore, MD, Hearst Television
WXIA Atlanta, GA, TEGNA Media
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 and presenting sponsors Bonneville International and Hearst Television. In recent years, Sharon Stone, 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.
*Updated on 5/24/17