Capital Region Stations Honored for Public Service

We have been highlighting stations that received “Serving New York” Awards at our recent luncheons around the state. This week we will focus on the stations in the Capital Region. We want to especially thank Congressman Paul Tonko (D 20th), who was our featured speaker at the awards luncheon. Congressman Tonko is an important member of the House Commerce Committee which has direct oversight over the FCC and broadcasting.

The following are the Capital Region broadcaster receiving awards at our recent the luncheon:

WNYT News Channel 13/WNYA My 4 (Hubbard Broadcasting) – Focus on Education with “Top Teacher” award and STEM Awareness

wnytEducation is among the most important thing we do as a society. WNYT NewsChannel 13 and WNYA-My4 are proud to focus upon the two most important parts of the education process-students and teachers.

Each year, NewsChannel 13 honors outstanding local teachers with its highly acclaimed “Top Teacher” recognition program. This series was developed to highlight excellence in teaching by encouraging high quality, creative instruction. It recognizes teachers who positively influence their students in a meaningful way. The station produces weekly vignettes to showcase the areas 13 Top Teachers, and brings them together at an awards dinner toward the end of the school year.

Also, WNYT has set a goal of increasing the awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in the Capital Region. Each week the station produces online content and on-air reports about STEM-from creative methods used to teach it, to programs encouraging young girls to be interested in STEM, to the positive economic impact of STEM on our local economy. Our position statement says it all-“STEM-Making Good Minds Great!” Steve Baboulis, VP and General Manager of WNYT accepted the award for the station.

WFLY (Albany Broadcasting) – Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Bobbie Arsenault Memorial Event

wflyThe NYSBA recognizes Albany Broadcasting as well as Bob and Michelle Arsenault for their work and contributions to the annual Bobbie Arsenault Memorial Event, benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The event is dedicated to the Arsenault’s son, Bobbie, who succumbed to cancer in 1998, at the age of 10. The annual Memorial Event, held in Averill Park, includes a motorcycle poker run, car show and barbecue. Proceeds from the event go towards helping kids with life-threatening illnesses be able to makes their dreams come true. The Arsenault family has just concluded its 5th year of raising funds for Make-A-Wish – with a pledge of raising $150,000 for the foundation.

Albany Broadcasting proudly supports this annual event, through a cluster-wide public service campaign, along with on-air interviews of the organizers. It’s people like Bob and Michelle who make the Capital Region a great place to call home. Accepting the awards were Bob and Michelle Arsenault and Bryan Hollenbaugh, General Manager of WFLY and the Albany Broadcasting cluster

WYJB (Albany Broadcasting ) – Equinox Thanksgiving Gala

b95Equinox is a dynamic human services agency with deep roots in the Capital Region community. It serves adolescents and adults struggling with chemical dependency; survivors of domestic violence, and their children, as well as elderly victims of domestic abuse; adolescents and adults, along with their families, who are living with mental illness and at-risk and homeless young people. With a staff of more than 200 dedicated employees, Equinox provides compassionate treatment, services, advocacy and support to more than 5,000 people each year at 10 different locations, including residential facilities, throughout Albany County.

In Fall of 2015, WYJB assisted Equinox in their First Ever “ThanksGathering Gala” to raise additional funds, awareness and support for Equinox. WYJB-B95.5, was the media sponsor and Chad O’Hara served as the Emcee for the evening. Almost $100,000 was raised. The stations also continued its support by assisting with their annual Thanksgiving Dinner for over 10,000 Capital Region residents. Chad Ohara, WYJB Program Director, Dorothy Cucinelli, CEO for Equinox, and Christina Rajotte, Director Community Relations for Equinox were on hand to accept the award.

WJKE FM & WABY AM (Empire Broadcasting) – Father Peter Young Foundation Housing, Industry and Treatment Program

wjkeThe Father Peter Young Housing, Industry and Treatment Program of New York is one of the most recognized charitable organizations in New York State. The Mission of this program, which began 50 years ago, is to offer hope and opportunity to the drug and alcohol addicted through treatment, housing, vocational training and job placement. Through Father Young’s help, the afflicted experience the dignity of earning a paycheck. They establish homes to raise families and break free from the cycle of addiction. Lives are changed and restored.

Empire Broadcasting’s WJKE and WABY have worked closely with Father Peter Young, providing essential promotional opportunities for the Foundation. In addition, the station has conducted on air interviews and supported numerous fundraising events. Father Peter Young, founder of the Father Peter Young Foundation and Joseph Reilly, Owner and CEO of Empire Broadcasting were on hand to accept the awards.

99.5 The River (iHeart Media) American Cancer Society

riverDuring October, 99.5 The River invited listeners to join them to Combat Cancer! Throughout the month, on-air personalities broadcasted live from several local locations with their Pink Camouflaged River Combat Cancer Van, and encouraged listeners to donate in tribute to someone special in their life.

99.5 The River made appearances at various Capital Region locations and also conducted live weekly broadcasts from Dunkin Donuts locations to raise the community’s awareness of breast cancer treatment, prevention and resources. In addition, 99.5 The River hosted an online auction featuring prizes such as autographed guitars signed by Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, One Republic, Rob Thomas and Maroon 5, as well as other items from local sponsors.

The month culminated with The River’s first ever Combat Cancer Dodge ball Tournament where listeners and local businesses signed up to join River Staff at Vent Fitness in this entertaining event to raise funds and compete for the first place trophy. 99.5 The River with the help of their loyal listeners raised over $5,000 for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. iHeart Media’s Kristen Delaney (iHeart Area President), as wells as John Cooper, Jill Manti and Randy McCarten were on hand to accept the award for the station.

WRGB-TV Ch. 6 (Sinclair Broadcast Group) Backpack Heroes Program with Fidelis Care and NE New York Regional Food Bank

wrgbDuring September 2016, WRGB/WCWN, Fidelis Care and the Regional Food Bank of NE New York, partnered in an urgent appeal to the community: Help us combat child hunger in our area and become “Backpack Heroes” by donating funding to the Regional Food Bank Backpack Program, which distributes food in backpacks each weekend to local children in need at area schools.

The month-long campaign featured promotional messages on-air and on the stations’ web sites explaining the program. CBS 6 News also visited local schools and the Regional Food Bank facilities, producing several news reports about the impact of hunger on a child’s health and education. During the month-long televised appeal, over $42,000 was raised through weekly telethons and online fundraising. The funding raised will help to feed some 230 local school children each week during the 2016/2017 school year. Betsy Dickson, Director of Children’s Programs Regional Food Bank of NE New York, Tim Tilton of Fidelis Care and Vince Nelson, VP General Manager of WRGB, were on hand to receive the awards.

WAMC Public Radio – VOX Pop

wamcVox Pop is WAMC’s live call-in talk program. Guests with expertise in areas ranging from Astronomy to George Washington, speak with WAMC’s hosts and answer questions posed by WAMC listeners. WAMC also has a number of forums and guests who are regulars to Vox Pop, such as our Science Forum and Gardening program.

People can truly express their opinions, needs, and sometimes frustrations. It’s really a program for the people of New York and beyond. The topics range from birds, medical, mechanics, cooking, gardening, and politics.

Alan Chartock hosts “Vox Pop’s Medical Monday” and the Tuesday afternoon segment. The Monday and Tuesday programs are usually very informative and include lively discussions with the host, the WAMC guest and WAMC listeners. Ray Graf is the host of the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday “Vox Pop” program. Vox Pop has a great following and people can be very passionate about issues! Alice Naylor and Susan Martin from WAMC were on hand to accept the award.

WTEN News10 ABC – “Pet Connection” on News10 ABC

wtenOver the years “Pet Connection” has been responsible for the adoption of literally thousands of homeless pets right here in our local communities. The program was started and is managed by Chief Meteorologist Steve Caporizzo. Under Steve’s direction, “Pet Connection” has developed a strong relationship with many local animal shelters and he works diligently with them to find quality homes for needy pets. Additionally, “Pet Connection” raises funds to help supplement adoption fees and to provide health care for animals in need. Since “Pet Connection” started over 26 years ago, the adoption numbers have grown to a very impressive level. The number of pet adoptions are now estimated at over 27,000.

News10 ABC’s “Pet Connection” is a real passion for Steve. He puts his heart, soul, time, and effort into this cause, and he has made an invaluable difference in the lives of both the pets and their owners. Ron Romines, VP and GM of WTEN was on hand. Chief Meteorologist Steve Caporizzo accepted the award for the station.

WXXA Fox 23 – Center for Disabilities Telethon

fox23The nation’s longest running telethon is The Center for Disability Services Telethon. This year marked the 56th year of the telethon, with donations at a record level of just over $2 million. The telethon has aired on Fox 23 for over 20 years, and has been hosted by Fox 23 news anchors every year. The seven hour telethon is broadcast live every year on the Sunday before the Super Bowl. The live event features a wide array of local and national entertainment, sports superstars, and Hollywood actors. Some of the more recent guests include Rashad Jennings and Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants, players from the New York Yankees, and various Hollywood stars from the Fox network.

The Center for Disability provides services to more than 15,000 individuals, from newborns to seniors, and their families at 85 locations throughout nine counties in Upstate New York. Alan Krafchin, President and CEO Center for Disabilities, Amy Costigan, Deputy Executive Director for the Foundation Division of the Center for Disabilities, and Ron Romines VP and General Manager of WTEN accepted the awards.

WYBN-TV – Promoting the Local Economy with the Windham Chamber of Commerce

wybnThe essence of broadcasting is local. Broadcasting helps stimulate local economies by providing a platform for local businesses. WYBN has been at the forefront in promoting business in its local community, Windham. The station supports and provides free promotions for a number of events for the Wyndham Chamber of Commerce including: Fourth of July Event; Autumn Affair Event; Christmas in Windham; and the “Maplefest” in March.

Lisa Jaeger, President Windham Chamber of Commerce has thanked Dan Viles General Manager of WYBN stating, “The Windham Chamber of Commerce does five events over the year. Without his generosity, we wouldn’t be able to afford this kind of exposure. It’s folks like him that make a positive difference in our small community.” Dan Viles GM of WNYB was present to accept the award for the station.

WVCR–FM (Sienna College) – Capital Pressroom

saintOne of the fundamental obligations of broadcasting is to report on local and state government. The Capital Pressroom and radio host Susan Arbetter help guide listeners through the maze of New York State politics and public affairs, cutting through the jargon to make sense of complex issues.

The Capitol Pressroom on WVCR-FM infuses personality and humor, giving listeners a chance to enjoy lively conversations with elected officials, political reporters, activists and analysts. Many of Sienna Colleges Broadcast and Society students have served as associate producers of the program. Darrin Kibby from Sienna College Radio was on hand to receive the award for the station.

WHAZ (Alive Radio Network) – Equine Therapy and a Second Chance for Horses

whazThe station and its owner Paul Lotters, owner of the ALIVE Radio Network, enabled him to offer programs that assist in giving horses a second career, including Thoroughbred racehorses, and to help people in need in various stages of their life through equine assisted therapy. Mr. Lotters is a horse owner of multiple horses and is involved with Gestalt Equine Therapy at his property in Cambridge, New York.

Over the five stations of the ALIVE Radio Network, a unique program offers information and interviews of famous horse people, about their lives around horses. Long Shadows Estate in affiliation with Long Shadows Charitable Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, aims to retrain various breeds of horses to be a safe horse for trail riding, events, dressage, shows, etc.. This includes ex-racehorses and even the untrained, known as “green” horses

Importantly, some of these horses are further trained to help people in need, through Gestalt Equine Therapy work. Through the involvement of a horse, a person is better able to regain trust, to have a better focus on things troubling them and generally, to form a new, positive perspective on life. It is miraculous what a horse can accomplish in the hands of a trained Gestalt Equine Counselor. It truly has to be seen to believe, the curing power that a horse possesses.

Through the radio program and through radio announcements the stations aim to bring much needed attention to the retired, neglected, abused, and unwanted horse that may be on its way to slaughter. These horses simply need that special tender loving touch. Paul Lotters, owner of the Alive Network was on hand to receive the award for the station.

WENU–FM (Adirondack Broadcasting) – “Gifts for Goldens”

wenuFor those without a family, the Holidays can be a very lonely time. WENU’s “Gifts for Goldens” is a program that helps seniors during the Holiday season. Working with the Greater Glens Falls Senior Center, the station helps create a “wish list” for seniors who have no family in the area. The station promotes the “wish list” and helps raise money to purchase gifts for seniors that would otherwise receive nothing. This heart-warming program reaches out to those who would be forgotten during the Holidays. Keith Hannigan accepted the award for the station.