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June 15, 2023
The Celebration of Service to America Awards recognizes the television and radio stations that exemplify broadcasters’ commitment to educating, uplifting and enriching audiences and communities across the country. The incredible and irreplaceable work of these stations is a testament to broadcasting’s 100-year legacy of philanthropy and public service.
This year’s awards gala, presented by Bonneville International and Hearst Television, was held on June 6 at The Anthem in Washington, D.C. Eight broadcasters and stations from around the country were honored.
Guaranty Media’s “Future DJ Radio Day” was born with the premise to partner with the community to give kids and teens the chance to step behind the mic and experience radio. This opportunity proved both fun and empowering for the kids involved. Student members of the Big Buddy Mentoring Program in Baton Rouge came to the radio station to be on-air and record their own commercials. All four stations in the Guaranty Media group participated. The youth who attended are part of a program called “Safe Hopeful Healthy,” which emphasizes workforce development and a rewarding life after high school.
The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens accused of crimes the right to an attorney if they can't afford one, but Gray TV’s cross-country investigation discovered that fundamental right wasn’t being guaranteed to everyone. “The Sixth Investigative Series” shed light on a constitutional crisis impacting people accused of crimes, victims and the public's trust in the criminal justice system.
When KS95’s Morning Show co-host, Crisco, lost his four-legged best friend, Babe, on June 27, 2022, the impact was felt beyond the station. With the support of his co-hosts Ryan and Dez, Crisco’s sorrow was the impetus for them to take action and support a pet rescue organization in Babe’s memory. Within days of Babe passing away, the KS95 Morning Show launched the Buck$ for Babe fundraiser to raise money to transport rescue animals to their shelter and provide medical care.
After losing their daughter Maria in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, Dom and Terri Tiberi set out to prevent this tragedy for other families. Together with WBNS 10 TV, they started the Maria Tiberi Foundation. Maria’s Message focuses on kids, speaking with them and offering free education on distracted driving.
WHKO-FM believes nothing is more critical to their community than ensuring children have access to world-class health care. That’s why for the past 25 years, the station has held the annual “K99.1FM Kids Radiothon” benefiting Dayton Children’s Hospital. Led by morning show host Nancy and Woody, WHKO-FM’s hard work has had tremendous impact on the lives of local families.
Providing critical, lifesaving information is at the core of what broadcasters do. When KCCI learned that many Iowans were not receiving reliable emergency medical services, they leapt to action. The station ran a six-part investigative series, raising awareness of this critical gap in the local healthcare system. KCCI’s investigation asked tough questions, featured moving stories and looked for solutions to the issue.
When the WLEN team got word that a local charity suffered a significant fire just one day into a three-day back-to-school clothing and supply distribution event, they didn’t hesitate to take action. The station raised awareness of the plight of the Associated Charities of Lenawee and the children they served through hours of broadcast on multiple stations, social media, website postings and public service announcements. Over the course of just two days, WLEN collected $70,000 cash and gift cards, ensuring kids would have new backpacks, school supplies and clothing to start their academic year off right.
Raising money locally for cancer research has been part of KTTC-TV’s mission for decades. As the station’s “Fifth District Eagles Cancer Telethon” enters its 70th year, it is the longest running locally produced telethon in the country, raising more than $22 million dollars since its inception.
A special television show about the winning campaigns will air nationally on broadcast stations later this year. We were delighted to honor these stations and highlight the devoted public service broadcasters provide in communities around the country every day.
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.