WNBJ Jackson Named LPTV Station Of Year
Waypoint Media’s NBC-CW affiliate WNBJ-LD Jackson, Tenn. (DMA 177), was awarded the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance LPTV Station of the Year Award Monday during the NAB Show in Las Vegas.
The station was honored for displaying innovative and creative programming through its daily schedule, demonstrating sound financial decisions, being a force for the local community in events, issues and stories, and demonstrating a commitment to producing local programming to meet the needs of the community.
Station co-owner Bill Christian was on hand to receive the award. “We are gratified and humbled to achieve the highest honor from the ATBA. Our small but nimble team in Jackson, led by General Manager Peter Noll, has gone above and beyond to serve the people of Jackson.”
The award also recognized the station’s work in partnering with local community leadership and non-profits to provide a media platform for voices unable to be heard elsewhere.
GM Peter Noll also credited his team, saying “In 2018 our staff served over 100 hours of voluntary service to the community. We televised events that the bigger stations would never bother with, including live news, parades and local campaigns that help our town grow. We broadcast the Veterans Parade and produced a Holiday Salute to our Veterans, a 30-minute local show that ran between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Mike Reed, who co-founded the station, had this to say: “There were about 1,900 stations in the USA eligible for this award. Our hats are off to the folks at WNBJ who live our mantra of ‘Pay it Forward’ every day. In 2018 we completed our first full year of producing daily live newscasts. For a tiny market, this is extremely taxing, but we were able to garner advertising dollars to defray our costs, and we expect to break even on it this year. “
Every month the station encourages its staff to do a community event as part of the “Pay it Forward” program. In August they went to local schools to help them prepare for the beginning of the new school year. In July they went to an assisted living center, where they hosted Bingo and grabbed some video to promote the facility. Other monthly “Pay It Forward” events included the team volunteering at the West Tennessee Therapy Camp; The Learning Center’s “Splash and Dash” 5k Fun Run; serving food at the ComeUnity Café; and participating in the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival Parade. News reporters served breakfast for the local March of Dimes chapter.
The station sponsored a table at the Imagination Library Dinner. They sponsored the Freed-Hardeman University’s Annual Scholarship Banquet featuring Olympian Scott Hamilton. And they topped it all off with a year-long “Made in Tennessee” campaign.
“At the end of the day, we do well for ourselves when we do well in our communities,” said Reed. “The payback we get from looking into the eyes of the people we are helping more than makes up for the effort we put into it.”