Local radio and television stations provide a uniquely local service to their communities. While consumers may access video and audio content from a variety of national sources, only broadcasting focuses on serving the needs of local communities.
Congratulations to the following stations that received a “Serving New York” award at our regional luncheon in New York City.
WABC-TV – Bone Marrow Drive with Delete Blood Cancer
Only about 30% of patients who need a bone marrow transplant find a match within their family. Everyone else has to rely on a complete stranger. To help rectify this problem, WABC-TV held its first Bone Marrow Drive in July, partnering with Delete Blood Cancer. This two-hour event held on the “Live with Kelly and Michael” set at the television station, resulted in 50 registered participants in-house and nearly 500 donors who registered on-line. The station ran a public service announcement campaign promoting the drive, as well as the need for bone marrow donors.
WWRL “La Invasora 1600” AM – Community Forum – Bringing Local Voices to the Airwaves
For over 86 years, WWRL has been serving New York City listeners with a format that highlights the value of disseminating vital information on education, health, politics, the arts, entertainment and community activities. In January 2014, the station evolved into “La Invasora 1600”, to serve the estimated one million Mexican & Central Americans living and working in the metro area. The longstanding tradition of community programming is presented every Saturday on “La Invasora 1600” with a robust lineup titled Bringing Local Voices to the Airwaves – Community Forum from 7:30am – 11:00am.
The programs run the gamut from news and information from the Consulate General of Mexico in New York, to topics that are inclusive of cultural events, legal and immigration matters, health and wellness, arts and entertainment. These programs serve to educate and stimulate dialogue with the expectation that this wealth of information will become a part of their listenership’s public conversation.
WNBC-TV – New York Cares
NBC 4 NY has a long standing relationship with New York Cares. For more than ten years, NBC 4 NY has aired the iconic New York Cares Coat Drive PSA voiced by Chuck Scarborough, encouraging the community to donate a “gently used coat.’ In conjunction with on-air PSA support, WNBC hosts an internal station coat drive where employees donate coats for this great cause.
In addition, this year NBC Universal and WNBC Employees partnered with New York Cares as part of Comcast Cares Day and Green is Universal’s Earth Week in revitalizing New York City’s East River Park. Employees took part in a half day sprucing projects which included mulching, painting and gardening…all for a great cause!
FOX 5 & My9 – Special Olympics USA Games 2014
Fox 5 & My9 were proud to serve as the Media Sponsor for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. In this capacity, Fox TV lent its support to the original bid to bring the 2014 Games to the Tri-State area. Once that bid was won, FOX participated in an all-encompassing media campaign to promote the games and more importantly, the message of the Special Olympics to the community at large. In all the stations’ efforts included:
- Fox TV ran public service announcements about the games from April 2014 to June 2014
- Fox provided news coverage and in-studio interviews about the game’s leading up to the events
- Fox TV had on-site presence at the Games with an interactive booth/display
- FOX TV reported live from the games on Good Day New York the week of the games
- Fox TV featured the Special Olympics on Sundays’ Sports Extra news program
- Fox TV produced several athlete profile packages which ran in the weeks leading up to the Games
- FOX TV produced sponsored vignettes featuring athletes that ran leading up to the Games
- Fox talent appeared at the opening ceremonies
- Fox featured in-studio guests promoting the Special Olympics on its public affairs programs, Good Day Street Talk and NJ Now
- Fox TV coordinated coverage of the games with Chasing NJ to air on My9
- Fox provided packages and profile pieces to affiliates across the country
- Fox produced a 30-minute special previewing the games that aired twice and was shared with other stations across the nation
- Fox built a website component for the Special Olympics Games
- Fox employees served as volunteers throughout the games
The campaign was successful in raising awareness and spreading a message of inclusion among the community.
WCBS-TV 2 and WLNY 10/55 – Fight Against HIV/AIDS
WCBS and WLNY New York joined the fight against HIV/AIDS by serving as the official media partner for the 2014 AIDS WALK New York. Anchors Chris Wragge and Dana Tyler kicked-off opening ceremonies on Sunday, May 18, 2014.
Meteorologist Vanessa Murdock provided live reports, including interviews with event organizers regarding advocacy and prevention. Both stations promoted the AIDS WALK through PSA’s, countdown spots, in studio interviews, on-air mentions during newscasts and weathercasts. Also, cbsnewyork.com featured a dedicated event page for the walk. The annual event raises funds for treatment, awareness, and the thousands living with the disease.
In addition, AIDS WALK New York benefits the Gay Men’s Health Crisis – the nation’s oldest AIDS service organization – as well as 40 other local AIDS service groups that provide food, housing, medical care, counseling and other services to those living with HIV/AIDS.
CBS Radio – Mentoring Campaign and Friends of Firefighters Campaign
WCBS FM 101.1 and Fresh 102.7 collaborated with former New York First Lady Matilda Cuomo on a mentoring campaign to provide the community with information about mentoring and its many benefits. The stations were on-site at events spotlighting Ms. Cuomo’s mentoring initiatives. Ms. Cuomo also was a guest on the public affairs show discussing mentoring and the positive impact that it has on the young people who take part.
Other public service campaigns this past year included Friends of Firefighters, which has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to firefighters and their families who have been impacted by 9/11. In addition, the stations sponsored an anti-bullying campaign to bring awareness to the harm done by being a person who stands by and does nothing. The stations also promoted awareness about child water safety and drowning prevention.
WNET Public TV 13, WLIW-TV & “MetroFocus” Weekly Newsmagazine
MetroFocus, the weekly newsmagazine and public affairs program of New York’s public television stations Thirteen & WLIW, brings a unique perspective to the New York region’s diverse communities and issues.
Each week MetroFocus producers and reporters tackle subjects like poverty, social justice, education and housing, often focusing on the solutions beyond the stories. Here is a sample of our recent public service segments:
Supportive Housing: Solutions Beyond Shelter for the Chronically Homeless – This story follows a formerly homeless mother and her family, revealing the ins and outs of an under-reported strategy called supportive housing. The story reveals a solution for the chronically homeless which goes beyond just affordable housing. In an interview following the story, New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen offered more details about the city’s affordable housing deficit and plans to create 80,000 new units.
iMentor Builds Digital and Personal Bonds between Students and Role Models – New York’s 40 percent high school dropout rate is the worst in the nation. But at the new Academy for Software Engineering, the nonprofit group iMentors is connecting every student to a tech industry mentor through all four years of school. Will it make a difference? MetroFocus went to meet the mentors and the students and followed up with an in-depth interview with iMentors’ CEO.
New York City’s Plan to Bridge the Digital Divide with WiFi – New York City’s ambitious plan to bridge the digital divide and make internet accessible city-wide is taking hold. Starting at a public housing project where a young man uses a city-run WiFi-equipped van to hunt for a job, and travelling across the city to see how efforts to expand WiFi service using commercial pay phone booths could work, the report shows that access to technology in New York City is a high priority for the city. The story also includes Mayor Bill de Blasio’s chief counsel, Maya Wiley, who is managing the WiFi program. In a follow up interview, we talk with New York State’s Deputy Secretary for Technology, Rachel Haot, about the need to expand internet access across the state.
WFUV 90.7 FM – Strike a Chord For Food Pantries & Soup Kitchens in New York City
For the month of November, “Strike a Chord”, Fordham University’s WFUV’s public service campaign, reported on the subject of food assistance programs around New York City. WFUV aired a series of reports on food pantries and soup kitchens beginning the week of November 4 in its newscasts. The series introduced the chef of the Waldorf Astoria, who has served some of the world’s most influential people, but whose heart rests with the homeless men and women across the streets at St. Bart’s soup kitchen.
The news series culminated with an hour of public affairs programming on the subject of food assistance and featured interviews with the directors of several programs including St. John’s Bread of Life and the Beck Institute on Religion and Poverty. George Bodarky, host of Cityscape, talked with a representative of the Food Bank for New York City, which distributed food to community-based programs city-wide. Cityscape will also visit a food pantry in Riverhead.
Food banks and soup kitchens play a vital role for a countless number of people in the New York metropolitan area. Strike a Chord is a public service campaign designed to draw attention to these vital community related issues.
iHeartMedia New York City – Alliance for Lupus
iHeartMedia NY partnered with the Alliance for Lupus Research to support their Walk With Us to Cure Lupus on October 18th at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. All of the iHeart New York stations (Z100, Q104.3, Power 105.1, Lite FM, KTU and WOR) ran PSAs for the walk and used social media to help draw attention to this important event. Greg T of Z100’s Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, formed his own team and was given the distinction of the New York City Walk’s Honorary Chair. He championed the event on air, on social media and through the morning show’s website. iHeartMedia is proud to have helped raise money and awareness for such an important cause.
HOT97, WBLS, WLIB (Emmis Communications) – Back to School Program “Kutz 4 Kids” & “Street Soldiers”
The stations wanted the Tri-State area to go back to school with WBLS and HOT 97!! Emmis NY produced a back to school tour called “Kuzs 4 Kids.” Working with 5 barbershops in five different boroughs, we were able to provide over 300 children ages 12 and under with a free haircut and school supplies to go back to school for the 2014 school year. Their DJ’s and personalities came out and entertained the parents and the kids to help bring in the new school year.
“Street Soldiers” with Lisa Evers, discusses important issues confronting New York City. Every Sunday the show covers important topics such as “Life after Lockdown,” “The Heroin Epidemic,” and “Women and Violence.” The program plays a critical role in the community.
NASH FM 94.7 – NASH Matters – Grace Institute
NASH Matters is a community involvement program on New York’s NASH-FM 94.7 hosted by Kelly Ford. On the 26th of October, Kelly Ford featured students and facility members from the Grace Institute in New York City and talked about their experiences at the Heritage Institute. They pride themselves in empowering underserved women to achieve employment and self-sufficiency through their six month skills program. In the nearly 23 minute feature, Kelly Ford encountered nine woman and their differing journeys before and during the Grace Institute. Through this program, listeners heard the emotional testimonies from each woman and witnessed the impact a potential career would have on their lives.
WPIX-TV PIX 11CARES – “Breast Cancer: Attention, Awareness & Action”
WPIX helped the community take on the disease that kills one in eight women. The station shared stories of struggle and survival, explained the BRCA gene mutation and its strong connection to breast and ovarian cancers, and showed viewers how they can lower their risk at developing the disease. The station wanted to do more than just talk, it wanted to help.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for women in Brooklyn so the station went there to help those who are uninsured get screened. PIX11 partnered with Project Renewal’s ScanVan and Susan G. Komen to offer free mammograms outside of the Kings County Courthouse. PIX 11 was also joined by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Miss USA Nia Sanchez, and many incredible volunteers.
At the same time, PIX11 was also in New Jersey, helping women there get checked. They partnered with St. Michael’s Medical Center’s “In the Pink” program to provide free breast screenings and follow-up mammograms to uninsured women. Dr. Rachel Wellner from Hackensack University Medical Center was also there giving health talks, teaching self-breast exams and answering questions. Susan G. Komen and other community organizations set up tables as resources for women. New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford was also there to talk about why this cause is important to him.
PIX11 dedicated a webpage to breast cancer awareness. The online content included a video diary of Star Lopez’s journey leading up to her preventative double mastectomy, provided resources for women looking for a way to get screened, and more. Immediately following the special, Dr. Wellner held a very successful live web-chat through Facebook to answer any breast health-related questions.
WXTV-TV (Univision) – Univision’s Health Wheel
As part of Univision’s Health Week in August, on Friday, August 29th, the station had its first live-streamed town hall for the web. The station had a great team of moderators (weather forecaster Nilda Rosario and news anchor Merijoel Durán) and panelists (Steven Toledo – National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; Samantha Paz – Hispanic Federation, and Annette Perez-Delboy – NY Presbyterian Hospital), who provided free useful information about women’s health to our community. The partner was the FORD Foundation. The event was a huge success with over 450 attendees! They promoted the event through their local newscast, online, radio, and promo public service announcements that aired for two weeks prior to the event.
WVOX & WVIP New Rochelle – New Rochelle Police Foundation, Broadcasters Foundation and other Public Service
Local stations with national reputations … WVOX and WVIP have been in the care and keeping of the O’Shaughnessy Family for more than 50 years. They are now among the last locally-owned and locally-operated independent stations in the New York City region.
Just two examples of their many charitable activities: WVOX’s editorial director William O’Shaughnessy was one of the founders of the New Rochelle Police Foundation. He and his son – station president David O’Shaughnessy – who also serves as a director, host an annual reception every fall at the American Yacht Club for hundreds of supporters, public safety, judicial and municipal officials.
Another “enthusiasm” and passion of this extraordinary father-son combo is their support of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. William O’Shaughnessy is chairman of the Guardian Fund which has raised many millions to assist broadcasters and their families all over the country who have fallen on hard times. He has served for many years as a director and member of the Executive Committee of this national charity which is a “safety net” and “foul-weather” friend for our broadcasting brethren.
In previous years, the Westchester radio stations and the O’Shaughnessy family have hosted and underwritten many charitable dinners for 100-plus major contributors to the Broadcasters Foundation at the American Yacht Club in Westchester and Le Cirque in New York City. And proceeds from Bill O’Shaughnessy’s five published books are all donated to the Broadcasters Foundation.
The stations are also major sponsors of the Rockefeller Awards and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement at Graymoor in the Hudson Valley. Recently re-elected New York Governor Andrew Cuomo echoed his father – former Governor Mario M. Cuomo – in calling WVOX and WVIP, “the most influential stations in New York State.” The Wall Street Journal has long referred to WVOX and WVIP as the “quintessential” community stations in America.”