NABEF Names Service To America Winners

Television honorees to be feted in Washington on June 21 include KWTX Waco, Texas; WBIQ Birmingham, Ala.; KOLO Reno, Nev.

The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) today announced 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.

“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 television broadcasters:

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.

This award recognizes a television station for the totality of its efforts and its commitment to excellence in serving its community.


KWTX 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.

Category Finalists:
KXLY Spokane, Wash., Morgan Murphy Media
WAFB Baton Rouge, La., Raycom Media, Inc.
WAVE Louisville, Ken., Raycom Media, Inc.
WBRC Birmingham, Ala., Raycom Media, Inc.
WFSB Rocky Hill, Conn., Meredith Corporation – Local Media Group
WXYZ Southfield, Mich., The E.W. Scripps Company

These awards spotlight television and radio stations for outstanding programs, campaigns and public service announcements produced for the benefit of children.

WBIQ 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.

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.

KOLO 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.

Category Finalists:
KCRG Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gray Television
KET Lexington, Ken., Kentucky Authority for Educational Television
KWTX Waco, Texas, Gray Television
WBNS Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch Broadcast Group
WBZ Boston, Mass., CBS Television Stations
WDAM Moselle, Miss., Raycom Media, Inc.
NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations New York, N.Y.

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