In October 2007, when a beach house fire claimed the lives of seven college students from the state, four of whom were from the immediate area, WYFF-TV in Greenville, S.C., immediately began airing information to help their community cope with the situation. Breaking news coverage started with aerial shots of the crisis and continued for a week with extended news coverage online. The station broadcast the University of South Carolina vigil services live to help viewers share in the grieving process. "The loss rocked the four mid-sized areas that our station covers," said WYFF President and General Manager Michael Hayes. Months after the fire, WYFF continues to provide information to help the community heal, including an exclusive interview with the parents of fire victim Lauren Mahon about their grieving process. WYFF was a National Association of Broadcasters’ Service to America Award winner in 2008.
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More than 2.47 million American jobs depend on broadcasting, and the local broadcast radio and television industry - and the businesses that depend on it - generate $1.17 trillion annually for the nation's economy.