Entercom’s WEEI-AM/FM Boston, Mass., raised $4.4 million for cancer care and research during its Jimmy Fund radiothon, held August 21. The event has now reached the milestone of $50 million raised in 17 years.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston hosted the annual “5 for Ellie Fashion Show” on June 6. The event raised more than $230,000 to benefit the Ellie Fund’s mission to offer critical support services to breast cancer patients and their families. Paula Faris of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “The View” emceed the event, along with special guest New England Patriots’ special teamer Matthew Slater and Billy Costa of iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM Boston. The women of WCVB, including anchors Maria Stephanos, Rhondella Richardson, and Nichole Berlie, as well as Karen Holmes Ward and Shayna Seymour, hit the runway alongside former Ellie Fund patients.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston led a makeover of the Dimock Center’s Askia House residence for men in recovery. The effort is part of its ‘5 Fixer Upper’ community engagement program within ‘5 On: State of Addiction,’ the station’s three-year initiative to provide intense coverage of the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts. Dimock’s recovery program at the Askia House provides housing for up to one year for men battling substance use disorder. Also participating with volunteer days at the site were the Red Sox Foundation, The Letters Foundation and the Tufts Health Plan Employee Volunteer Program.
Employees at Beasley Media Group Boston stations WBQT-FM, WROR-FM, WBOS-FM, WKLB-FM, WBZ-FM and WRCA-AM participated in Project Bread’s 50th Walk for Hunger & 5K Run on May 6th.
Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger is the oldest pledge walk in the nation and the longest-running single day of community action against hunger. Over the past 50 years, it has provided over one billion meals to hungry people in Massachusetts. Together, the personalities and employees walked to send a powerful message about hunger.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston won eight National Headliner Awards for outstanding journalism, including breaking news, consumer reporting and public service. WCVB took first and second place for “Broadcast or Cable Television Newscast” and won first place in the “Public Service” and “Health/Science Reporting” categories. WCVB also earned second and third place in “Breaking News,” second place in “Business/Consumer Reporting,” and third in “Health/Science Reporting.” Winning stories explored topics such as the opioid crisis, cancer treatments, plane crashes, and breaking news for car crashes.
Cumulus’ WMAS-FM Springfield, Mass., raised a record $245,367 in its Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon, March 6 – 7. WMAS has raised over $4.5 million since 2002. All proceeds go to the to benefit Baystate Children’s Hospital.
Beasley Media Group Boston is partnering with Project Bread to promote the anti-hunger organization’s year-round efforts to combat hunger in Massachusetts and increase awareness of statewide services. Beasley’s Boston stations WBQT-FM, WROR-FM, WBOS-FM, WKLB-FM, WBZ-FM and WRCA-AM will also promote Project Bread’s 50th Celebration, including the “Walk for Hunger & 5K Run” on May 6.
“Our motivation for partnering with Beasley Media Group is that they truly care about the issue of hunger in Massachusetts, and they are willing to use their expansive platform for good,” said Project Bread President Erin McAleer. “They are as invested as we are in achieving sustainable solutions to end hunger in our state, and we look forward to working with them for our 50th Celebration and beyond.
“Beasley’s family of stations broadcast live and local, and they connect authentically with their listeners at the community level. This partnership was a no-brainer for Project Bread,” McAleer continued. “They are a phenomenal partner, and their stations provide a fantastic vehicle for us to raise awareness about the issue of hunger in our state and the work that Project Bread does to address food insecurity in Massachusetts. We are already seeing the impact of their support.”
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston led the “Celebrity Bell Ringing” for the Salvation Army of Massachusetts Red Kettle Drive on December 11. The red kettles are a vital source of funding for Salvation Army programming and services for hundreds of thousands of children, families and seniors across Massachusetts each year. WCVB-TV reporters, Kathy Curran and Mike Beaudet, and WCVB-TV anchors, Doug Meehan and Maria Stephanos, took turns ringing the bell at the red kettle to collect money for those in need this holiday season.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston partnered with the Home for Little Wanderers to help holiday wishes come true for thousands of children and families through their “Big Wishes” gift drive, December 14-20. The Home for Little Wanderers makes a positive impact on over 7,000 lives each year through a network of services including behavioral health, therapeutic residential and special education, adoption and foster care. As a 25-year media partner of the Home for Little Wanderers, WCVB-TV held a day-long tel-event and aired a PSA to promote the “Big Wishes” gift drive.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston joined Spaulding Rehab Hospital and the Four Seasons Boston for the annual “Teddy Bear Tea” this December. Guests were invited to donate a teddy bear to be gifted to local Boston organizations that benefit children in need. Each year, the event collects over 5,000 bears for Boston area children, with over 100,000 bears collected to date. WCVB-TV anchor Emily Riemer helped distribute hundreds of bears to the pediatric patients at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston on December 21.
Entercom’s WRKO-AM Boston raised $90,000 on Veterans Day, November 11, for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). On-air personalities shared inspirational stories from veterans of all ages. The funds support DAV’s transportation program that helps veterans keep their medical appointments.
Beasley Media Group’s WBQT-FM Boston presented a free concert on October 1 featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops, while collecting donations for Puerto Rico hurricane. During the event, four trucks were filled with items that included water, flashlights with batteries, first aid kits, baby formula, food, clothing and pet supplies.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston raised more than $500,000 in the “Relief Fund 5: Help for Houston” telethon held August 30 for the American Red Cross of Massachusetts. “When our community rallies to support a worthy cause, the results are always amazing,” said WCVB President and General Manager Bill Fine. “WCVB has always been dedicated to helping those in need, and everyone here at Channel 5 is so proud to have been a part of this telethon to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.”
Entercom’s WEEI-AM/FM Boston raised $4 million for cancer research in the 16th annual “Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon,” hosted August 15 – 16 in partnership with cable network NESN. The event featured appearances from WEEI on-air talent, local politicians and Boston sports stars, including Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston aired an hour-long special “5 On: State of Addiction” on June 13. The special looked at how those on the streets, law enforcement, first responders, hospitals and rehab centers are dealing with opioid addiction and overdoses. WCVB provided the phone number of the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline for live phone-banks staffed by experts, as well as the helpline’s website. “5 On: State of Addiction” featured personal stories of people struggling with addiction, recovery and potential long-term effects of this disease. It also explored how a large number of babies born each year are dependent on opioids and examined innovative approaches in EMS responses to overdoses.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston helped the Ellie Fund raise $250,000 on June 7 during its annual fashion show to support women battling breast cancer. A record 300 people attended the standing-room-only event, during which WCVB’s on-air female talent modeled the latest fashions. Paula Faris, co-host of "The View" and co-anchor of "Good Morning America: Weekend Edition," served as emcee. Five-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady passed out autographed footballs, helmets and jerseys. Since its inception, the annual spring fashion show has raised over $1 million for the Ellie Fund’s Healing Together Patient and Family Care Program, which provides support services for breast cancer patients and families across Massachusetts.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston supports the Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign, which invites men and boys to help end violence against women. WCVB’s Mike Lynch joined Sports Directors from Cox’s Fox affiliate WFXT-TV, Sunbeam-owned WHDH-TV and CBS-owned WBZ-TV to shoot a PSA titled “Reimagine Manhood” to promote the campaign. All four stations debuted the PSA during the March 1 evening news. During the 10th anniversary celebration of White Ribbon Day, the sports directors publicly pledged to be part of the solution in ending gender-based violence.
In addition, WCVB has been the annual media sponsor of the Ellie Fund Red Carpet Gala for close to 20 years. The exclusive viewing of the 89th Annual Academy Awards on February 26 raised $300,000 for breast cancer support services. WCVB anchors Ed Harding, Maria Stephanos, Emily Riemer and Ben Simmoneau emceed the event and posed on the red carpet with guests. The Ellie Fund hosts the only officially sanctioned Academy Awards party in Massachusetts.
Cumulus Radio’s WMAS-FM Springfield, Mass. raised $233,000 in its 16th annual radiothon at Baystate Children’s Hospital on March 8. All money raised directly benefits programs and services at the hospital. The event has raised nearly $4 million since 2002.
Entercom’s WAAF-FM Boston’s annual "Rock for Change" raised more than $105,000 in a drive held December 7-9 for area food banks. “For decades, WAAF and their listeners have creatively raised funds and awareness about hunger for the Greater Boston Food Bank, Worcester County Food Bank and the New Hampshire Food Bank and we are all incredibly thankful for this partnership each and every year,” said Greater Boston Food Bank President & CEO Catherine D’Amato.
Entercom’s WRKO-FM Boston raised $71,000 for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) during a nine-hour marathon broadcast held November 11. The money raised supports DAV’s efforts to provide disabled veterans resources, including assistance with benefits, medical attention and employment opportunities.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston aired “5 Investigates Goes Back to Methadone Mile” September 23. After WCVB aired troubling reports in May, Mayor Marty Walsh promised to help people in an area known as “Methadone Mile,” where the drug addiction crisis is clearly evident. WCVB returned to the area to see the impact of the city’s efforts. They found a man on a sidewalk smoking what appeared to be crack, a woman passed out next to a pharmacy and paramedics helping a man who overdosed.
Entercom’s WEEI-AM/FM Boston raised more than $3.5 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in a radiothon held August 29-31. The 42-hour event included Boston sports stars Tom Brady, Brad Stevens, David Ortiz, Robert Kraft and Curt Schilling. The event has raised over $42 million since its inception.
Cox Media’s Fox affiliate WFXT-TV Boston aired "Veterans’ Records, Medicine, Mishandled" on June 6. Veterans’ protected health information, lab results, doctors’ notes and medicine were mishandled 37 times by the VA Boston Healthcare System in the last three years. In one case, a disabled veteran requested three years of medical records, but was sent someone else’s files. Massachusetts lawmakers are now calling for federal reform.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston and The Ellie Fund raised $170,000 during the 10th annual "Kelley for Ellie" fashion show, held June 1. The Ellie Fund is a local organization that provides support services for breast cancer patients, allowing them to focus on family and recovery. WCVB staffers always serve as models during “Kelley for Ellie,” which is named for longtime WCVB reporter and breast cancer survivor Kelley Tuthill. This year, surprise guest New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady tossed footballs to the audience, helping them raise 40 percent more than last year. “Kelley for Ellie” has raised nearly $1 million since WCVB and The Ellie Fund launched the event.
Cox Media’s Fox affiliate WFXT-TV Boston aired “FOX25 Investigates: State Police logged 900 pursuits in 5 years” on June 2. Investigative reporters Eric Rasmussen and Erin Smith found that Troopers on police pursuits have racked up 132 crashes involving cruisers and other vehicles since 2012. State Police have logged 917 total chases in the past five years. State Police said 843 of those pursuits complied with the agency’s pursuit policy, which requires cops to end the chase if the driver is only wanted for a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony and heads into densely populated neighborhoods or congested roadways.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston won regional Emmys for breaking news coverage and investigative reporting. Chief meteorologist Harvey Leonard was honored with the Governor’s Award. Leonard has been a meteorologist in New England for more than 40 years. WCVB also picked up wins for best breaking news coverage for the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev verdict, and 5 Investigates’ Kathy Curran won for Best Investigative Reporter. WCVB was nominated for 58 Emmy Awards this year, more than any other TV station or media organization in New England, and more total nominations than the next two most highly nominated Boston stations combined.
Cox Communications’ FOX affiliate WFXT-TV Boston helped answer "Who’s helping clean up state’s trash problem?" Investigative reporter Kerry Kavanaugh learned the state rarely goes after individuals who litter. Through a public records request, Kavanaugh learned Massachusetts State Police have issued fewer than 100 citations since 2013. In 2012, they issued 37. The next year they handed out 33, followed by 22 in 2015. As of May of 2016, state troopers had issued just one.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston presented the 19th annual “Kirby Perkins A Plus Scholarship” on June 7 to five high school students, many of whom have overcome significant obstacles to achieve academic success and attend college. The scholarship fund honors late WCVB reporter Kirby Perkins and has awarded more than $250,000 to date. “Helping these very deserving young men and women pursue higher education and embark on a new chapter in their lives through Kirby Perkins A Plus Scholarship Fund brings great joy to everyone involved," said WCVB General Manager Bill Fine.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston aired a report on May 16, “5 Investigates: Young man dies in state custody.”– Reporter Kathy Curran showed that a man named Sam Dunn died in the back of an Essex County Sheriff’s Department transport van while it sat parked outside the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (MASAC) for four hours. Dunn had been in the back of the van for at least six hours since he left the jail and wasn’t breathing. The video shows correction officers scrambling to try to help. Emergency crews arrived about 13 minutes later.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston investigated multiple elderly abuse accusations. The station’s report led to two former caregivers being charged with assault and battery on persons over 60. Learn more here.
Cox Media Group’s Fox affiliate WFXT-TV Boston aired, on May 12, “Fox25 Investigates: Massachusetts Gets an ’F’ in Mental Health Services.” Massachusetts is one of only four states that does not have laws addressing outpatient mental health services, leading one advocacy group to give the state an “F.” WFTX included the story of a mentally ill man who recently went on a stabbing spree, killing two and injuring five. Advocates say he should not have left the hospital without support in place. In other states, judges can order outpatient mental health treatment for patients who are a danger to themselves and others.
Cox Media Group’s Fox affiliate WFXT-TV Boston participated in the Red Cross “Boston Strong Blood Drive” on One Boston Day in April. The event and blood drive are held in honor of the lives lost and individuals injured during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
Cox Media Group’s WFXT-TV Boston employees and newsroom volunteers helped prepare and pack made-from-scratch meals for neighbors on April 13. The station donated healthy snacks for 1,200 families and caregivers who receive the nutritious meals from Community Servings, a local food service.
Cox Media Group’s Fox affiliate WFXT Boston launched a 4 p.m. newscast starting in mid-April. The new newscast will increase FOX 25’s live news coverage to 65 hours each week and will be anchored by Blair Miller and Elizabeth Hopkins, with chief meteorologist Kevin Lemanowicz on weather.
CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM Boston raised $100,000 in the ninth annual “Cuts For A Cause,” held March 30 to fight pediatric cancer. On-air personalities Toucher & Rich emceed the event, as Boston Bruins fans bid on the chance to play barber for their favorite players and attend a meet and greet. A few Bruins players were auctioned off as guest barbers to cut their fans’ hair. WBZ has raised over $500,000 since 2008.
Cox Media Group’s WFXT-TV Boston employees took on 82 flights of stairs to fight lung disease at the American Lung Association’s “Fight For Air Climb” on February 6. The station’s sponsorship of the race helped generate more than $480,000.
Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston Meteorologist Danielle Vollmar brought an ambulance full of teddy bears to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on December 21, where she gave a bear to each patient. Vollmar has run the Boston Marathon several times as part of the hospital’s marathon team, in order to raise money for the facility.
Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston has been named the official media partner of the Medal of Honor Society Convention, in Boston Sept. 15-20. WCVB will air PSAs and promotional stories in advance of the event. In addition, WCVB anchors Randy Price (veteran of the US Air Force) and Phil Lipof will emcee two of the convention’s high profile events. Approximately 50 of the nation’s 79 living Medal of Honor Recipients will attend the convention.
Telemundo owned-and-operated WNEU-TV Boston began airing local newcasts at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. in August. "Noticiero Telemundo Boston" is the latest in a series of efforts to bolster local news coverage at Telemundo stations nationwide. The newscasts broadcast from a state-of-the-art newsroom and feature on-screen graphics and visuals that complement WNEU’s digital properties. “We are ecstatic that Telemundo Boston will debut its first-ever live and locally produced weekday newscasts to help fill the void for Spanish-language viewers that has existed in our market for far too long,” General Manager Mike St. Peter said in a statement.
Entercom Communications’ WEEI-AM/FM and the New England Sports Network (NESN) raised $3.3 million in its annual radiothon for the Jimmy Fund, held Aug. 18-19. In 14 years, the event has raised more than $40 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for research and care. Click here for more information, including audio and video clips.
Skip Finley, marketing and sales director for the Vineyard Gazette Media Group, set up a low power radio station at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. The station will be part of the school’s Career Technical Education (CTE) program and will generate funds for college scholarships. Students will survey community leaders to discover important issues and plan for content changes. “It teaches kids not just how to communicate but also how to do so succinctly, especially given modern technology like podcasts or web streaming that forces kids to think how to boil something down and get it across,” said Ty Hobbs, director of the CTE program.
Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston presented seven high school seniors with scholarships worth up to $7,000. The 17th annual Kirby Perkins A+ Scholarship honors a late WCVB reporter who developed weekly "A+" reports to profile high school seniors who overcame hardship to achieve college admission. The 2015 recipients are:
Heidi Petion, Boston Arts Academy, immigrated from Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. She overcame language barriers to excel in school, and wants to become a doctor.
James Maring, Chelsea High School, escaped the ongoing civil war in South Sudan.
Henry Carr, King Phillip High School, is battling cancer.
Rezwan Ali, Medford High School, moved to the U.S. from Bangladesh, learned English, and worked full-time while in school due to his father’s illness. He wants to be an engineer.
Jake Gillett, Catholic Memorial High School, drove 100 miles round trip to school each day. Gillet, whose mother died in a fire 12 years ago, is a member of his school’s television studio.
Isaac Nelson, Fitchburg High School, emigrated from Ghana and lost his sister to a brain tumor. He is an outstanding soccer player and volunteers in the local homework center.
Anthony King, Worcester South High School, overcame economic adversity and other personal hardships, including frequent moves and a stay in a shelter, in order to excel academically.
Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston launched its 13-week campaign, "5 On: Opioid Crisis,," on June 17. WCVB is using news reports, public affairs programming, a series of PSAs, online resources and community outreach to cover the path to addiction (which often starts with prescription painkillers) and effective, accessible treatment options. "5 On: Opioid Crisis" covers an innovative recovery program at the Middlesex House of Corrections, a unique drug court and Governor Charlie Baker’s task force. WCVB also talks with a high school athlete whose injury led to a fatal drug habit and a 21-year-old from a Boston suburb whose high school drinking progressed to prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction.
Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston continued to provide viewers with critical weather information as multiple storms buried the area in snow. Over a three-day period from Feb. 13-15, the station’s mobile and desktop news websites garnered 2.7 million visits, 11.9 million page views and 180,000 total live streams.
Greater Media’s WROR-FM Boston’s holiday CD raised more than $15,000 for Christmas in the City, an organization that benefits homeless families in Boston. Titled “The World’s Greatest Christmas Album,” the CD is a collection of all of the best holiday songs on WROR-FM’s morning show, Loren and Wally.
Greater Media’s WKLB-FM Boston was recognized for its support of Tufts Floating Hospital for Children when the hospital opened The Country 102.5 Healing Garden, named in honor of WKLB-FM. The Country 102.5 Healing Garden is an outoor space designed to provide relief for pediatric patients and their families during hospital stays. Country music artists, including Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts, have performed in the garden to lift the spirits of patients and families, as well as raise funds for the hospital. Hunter Hayes’ recent performance raised $40,000. "We are so proud and humbled to have the Healing Garden named after Country 102.5," said WKLB-FM Program Director Mike Brophey. "Funds we helped raise were used to reconstruct and beautify the area for patients and their families to enjoy..."
CBS Television owned-and-operated WBZ-TV Boston hosted the first debate between the 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates - Charlie Baker, Martha Coakley, Evan Falchuk, Scott Lively and Jeff McCormick - on Oct. 6. Baker and Coakley squared off twice more: on Oct. 21 on WGBH Educational Foundation’s PBS affiliate WGBH-TV Boston; and again on Oct. 28 on Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston, Boston University’s WBUR-FM Boston and Bloomberg Radio.
CBS-owned WBZ-TV and WBZ-AM Boston were recognized for their coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. As the only local TV station covering the Boston Marathon, WBZ-TV was positioned to provide coverage as it unfolded from the bombing scene. WBZ-AM quickly went into wall-to-wall coverage, interviewing local public safety officials, law enforcement and elected officials to help explain what was happening. As the Peabody Award website notes, WBZ-TV and WBZ-AM received the recognition "for becoming go-to sources, not just for their city but for a stunned nation."
Cumulus Radio and Westwood One’s Boston cluster recently rallied around a local little boy, Danny Nickerson, who is battling a rare form of cancer. Danny’s sixth birthday wish was to receive a "big box of birthday cards." Danny’s cancer is inoperable and since his diagnosis last October, he has not been able to attend kindergarten. The local Cumulus and Westwood One stations encouraged listeners to send cards to Danny, who says he sometimes gets lonely, but cards with his name on them make him happy. The request went viral, and by Danny’s birthday, he received over 100,000 cards, along with thousands of gifts and messages on Facebook.
Entercom’s WAAF-FM Boston hosted the "Rise Up Against Hunger" event in December. For three days, two WAAF-FM personalities "rose up" on lifts and lived on platforms suspended in the sky in an effort to raise funds for the Greater Boston, Worcester County and New Hampshire Food Banks. For more than two decades, the station’s personalities have enlisted themselves in physically challenging stunts to encourage listeners to support area food banks. This year’s event raised $80,255, enough to provide 189,401 meals to those in need.
Later in the campaign season PBS’s WGBH-TV Boston hosted a debate between Walsh and Connolly. Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan moderated the debate, which can be viewed here. A third televised debate was hosted by a consortium of stations that included Boston University’s NPR affiliate WBUR-FM, WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH-TV and Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV.
CBS-owned WBZ-TV and WBZ-AM Boston partnered with The Boston Globe to host the first televised debate between Massachusetts state Representative Marin Walsh and Council at-Large John Connolly, who were running for Boston’s mayoral seat. The live debate was broadcast from the WBZ-TV studios and moderated by the station’s political analyst Jon Keller and the Globe’s reporter Akilah Johnson. The debate aired on WBZ-TV and WBZ-AM, CBSBoston.com, boston.com and bostonglobe.com.
Entercom Communications’ WEEI-FM Boston partnered with the Boston Red Sox to host the 12th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon to support the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute. The two-day event raised more than $3.3 million for adult and pediatric cancer care and research. Broadcasting live from Fenway Park, the fundraiser featured interviews with Dana-Faber patients, the doctors and nurses who have treated them and guest appearances from local celebrities and athletes. Since 2002, WEEI-FM has helped raise more than $34 million for the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute.
Entercom’s WEEI-FM Boston donated 1,000 Red Sox tickets to first responders and others affected by the Boston Marathon bombing. "We are forever grateful for their heroism and hope this small gesture brings a smile to some faces across Boston," Entercom said in a statement. Tickets went to Boston police, fire and EMS workers; Boston Athletic Association; Dorchester, Arlington and Medford communities; Massachusetts State Police; Massachusetts National Guard and Boston area hospitals.
CBS Broadcasting’s WBZ-TV Boston hosted the first of three televised debates with US Senate candidates Democrat Edward J. Markey, a longtime congressman, and Republican challenger Gabriel E. Gomez. The debate also aired on WBZ-AM and streamed online. WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBY-TV, LIN Media’s WWLP and three other stations aired the second debate, which covered the national deficit, minimum wage, gay marriage, gun control, Social Security and Roe v. Wade. WGBH-TV aired the final debate on June 18.
Cape Cod Broadcasting educated listeners on the environmental ramifications of medicine disposal and teen prescription abuse. Stations promoted the DEA’s Drug Take Back on April 27, during which people could dispose of expired and unused medications. Last September, the free, anonymous service netted 244 tons of drugs at 5,200 sites nationwide. "Our goal is to increase awareness here on the Cape, reduce youth substance abuse, and protect our environment," said Cape Cod Broadcasting’s Kim Lucas.
On Monday, April 15, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 200 people. Local television and radio broadcasters provided outstanding wall-to-wall coverage. Politico reported that President Obama got his news from local Boston stations Sunbeam’s WHDH-TV and Hearst Television’s WCVB-TV. Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said coverage on Boston’s local stations was "largely professional, measured and superior to what the cable and [broadcast] networks had to offer... [T]he best coverage could be found on local TV in Boston, which was available online via Web streams." The Boston Herald praised broadcasters, noting that WHDH-TV’s Adam Williams reported on the air while the two suspects and police exchanged 200 rounds of gunfire.
Kenny Chesney worked with Greater Media’s WKLB-FM Boston to provide prosthetics to amputees after the Boston Marathon bombings. He started the Spread the Love Fund with a sizable donation, including proceeds from downloaded single sales of "Spread The Love," so the Boston Medical Center can supply prosthetics, fittings, ongoing care and physical therapy. "It’s hard to imagine a world where taking your children to school, going to the movies, or witnessing something as iconic as the Boston Marathon is a dangerous thing to do," Chesney said. "For me, I want to help give these people as much of their lives back as possible."
Entercom, which owns WEEI-FM, WRKO-AM and WAAF-FM in Boston, donated $25,000 to One Fund Boston. WAAF-FM morning show host Greg Hill was holding a fundraiser for his foundation a few blocks from the finish line when the bombs exploded. His event raised $11,000, which he donated to the bombing victims. Here is a short interview with Hill featured in Radio Ink.
Greater Media Boston suspended all on-air contesting for the week after the bombing, instead donating $8,000 of prize money to One Fund Boston. To support Mayor Menino’s "Boylston Strong" effort, the stations offered free roundtrip upper deck trolley rides to Boylston Street on April 28th. Greater Media’s Boston stations include WBQT-FM, WKLB-FM, WMJX-FM, WBOS-FM and WROR-FM.
Hearst Television’s WCVB-TV Boston coverage reached two-thirds of Boston households during the capture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect. In a broadcast editorial, WCVB-TV President and General Manager Bill Fine praised first responders, honored the wounded and their families and encouraged donations to One Fund Boston. Following the tragedy WCVB-TV promoted "’Boylston is Back" on-air, online and in an e-blast to 80,000 subscribers. The campaign encouraged residents to spend at least $25 on Boylston Street on April 27, as the mandatory ’city shutdown’ on April 19 cost an estimated $250 - $333 million.
Radio united Boston after the Boston Marathon bombing. Entercom’s WEEI-FM distributed thousands of "Boston Strong" signs, which fans waved during a tribute at the Red Sox home game with the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Boston radio stations also observed a moment of silence on April 22 at 2:50 pm, the exact time when the bombs went off a week before. "As first informers in times of crisis, broadcasters want to take this opportunity to salute the first responders and the many unsung heroes who do so much during emergency situations," said NAB President Gordon Smith.
On Monday, April 15, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 200 people. Local television and radio broadcasters provided outstanding wall-to-wall coverage. Politico reported that President Obama got his news from local Boston stations Sunbeam’s WHDH-TV and Hearst Television’s WCVB-TV. Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said coverage on Boston’s local stations was "largely professional, measured and superior to what the cable and [broadcast] networks had to offer... [T]he best coverage could be found on local TV in Boston, which was available online via Web streams." The The Boston Herald praised broadcasters, noting that WHDH-TV’s Adam Williams reported on the air while the two suspects and police exchanged 200 rounds of gunfire.
Greater Media’s WTKK-FM Boston raised over $100,000 in its 5th Annual Fisher House Radiothon. The proceeds help to build Fisher Houses across the country, allowing families of wounded and ill veterans can be close to their loved ones during their hospitalization in a comfortable, home-like environment. "From Afghanistan to Yemen, we send our troops into harm’s way every day. When harm does come, the Fisher House lets us take care of them," said Michael Graham. On air guests included Fisher House families, Senator Scott Brown, several actors, comedians and athletes.
Entercom’s WAAF-FM Boston hosted "WAAF’s Rise Up Against Hunger." Cranes lifted on-air personalities LB and Spaz onto sky-high platforms, where they lived for three days to raise money for the Greater Boston, Worcester County and New Hampshire food banks. WAAF-FM’s Greg Hill stayed on air around the clock for the three days to encourage donations and listener visits. For the past 20 years, WAAF-FM personalities have engaged in various stunts for charity. This year’s promotion raised more than $76,000.
Hearst Television’s WCVB-TV Needham, MA aired a 30-minute congressional debate between Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tierney and Republican challenger Richard Tisei in late October. The debate covered a range of topics, including gun control, health care and taxes. The candidates exchanged heated words over controversies involving Tierney and his family.
Quincy stations aired 12 debates and produced "Candidates and Issues" segments. Quincy’s 11 news stations invited 461 candidates to record a message to voters that aired unedited on-air and online. Of the 461 candidates, 193 (42 percent) chose to participate. These stations aired and/or co-produced live debates for senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial races: WVVA Bluefield, W.V., WREX-TV Rockford, Ill., WGEM-TV (commercial free) WKOW-TV, KTIV Sioux City, Iowa, WXOW-TV La Crosse, Wis., WAOW-TV Wausau, Wis. and KTTC Rochester, Minn. Those stations, plus WSJV South Bend, Ind., KWWL Waterloo, Iowa, and WQOW-TV Eau Claire, Wis., aired "Candidates and Issues" segments.
Country music star Carrie Underwood recently joined Greater Media’s WKLB-FM Boston to visit young patients and their families at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. Underwood’s visit was part of WKLB-FM’s Country Music Healing Tour, brings leading country music artists to perform and meet with young patients at the hospital. The goal of the program is to lift the spirits and aid in the healing process of children with serious illnesses.
CBS Television’s WBZ-TV Boston announced a debate between U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren. The candidates have also agreed to another televised debate hosted by a consortium of media outlets in Springfield. CBS Radio’s WBZ-AM and Greater Media’s WTKK-FM are working with the candidates to schedule radio debates. "It is of paramount importance that the people of Massachusetts be able to hear from both candidates for U.S. Senate," said Mindy Myers, Warren’s campaign manager.
Greater Media’s WTKK-FM Boston helped the Fisher House build "homes away from home" for the families of wounded American troops. WTKK-FM’s 4th annual Fisher House Radiothon raised over $120,000 for Fisher House, which enables family members to be close to their loved ones during hospitalization in a safe, home-like environment. The Fisher House Foundation helps family members of hospitalized active-duty service members and veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Additionally, the Foundation plays a crucial role in helping veterans recover from serious wounds.
Greater Media Inc. WTKK-FM Boston’s 4th annual Fisher House Radiothon raised $120,000 for Fisher House Boston, an organization that offers temporary housing near hospitals for families of wounded soldiers. Several politicians and celebrities joined Michael Graham in the broadcast, including, Sen. Scott Brown (MA), actor Adam Baldwin, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among others.
Cape Cod Broadcasting’s WKPE-FM Cape Country 103.9in South Yarmouth, Mass. partnered with the Cape Cod Melody Tent to organize a military food drive for the Ma Otis Food Pantry. Cape Cod Broadcasting ran a two week on-air campaign before collecting non-perishable food items at a Trace Adkins Concert. Ma Otis, an emergency food pantry located on Cape Cod, Mass., is run by military spouses and active duty members that want to help fellow military and their families.
"We were thrilled with the response of our listeners and of the concert-goers that brought items the night of the concert," said promotions director Kim Lucas. "The highlight of the night for all of us was seeing some of the active military that were at the event to help with the food drive get to meet and pose for photos with Trace Adkins. A great event with an overwhelming community response, we were thrilled to make a significant contribution and bring much needed exposure to this deserving organization serving our communities military and families."
Entercom Sports’ WEEI-AM, Boston partnered with a regional cable sports channel on the 10th annual Jimmy Fund radio telethon to raise $3.3 million for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The 36-hour broadcast included interviews with Red Sox legends Mo Vaughn and John Valentin before the pair threw out the first pitches of the Red Sox - Yankees game on August 31. The money raised at Fenway Park funds patient care and cancer research.
As two of the Jimmy Fund’s biggest supporters, Vaughn and Valentin’s appearance made a strong impression on the pediatric patients and their families. Emotional patient stories and interviews with doctors and researchers were intertwined with appearances from prominent Boston sports figures, including several members of the Red Sox. Featured personalities included Glee’s Mike O’Malley, Boston Bruins Charlie Jacobs, Celtics’ Stephen Pagliuca, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Red Sox players included Tim Wakefield, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Adrian Gonzalez.
Greater Media stations recognized the anniversary of September 11 with on-air remembrances of the victims and a salute to law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and "the brave Americans who made a difference when it mattered and continue to make a difference on a daily basis." In an Op-Ed in Radio Ink Magazine, Greater Media Chairman and CEO Peter Smyth noted, "We know that everyday men and women from every state in our country bear the scars and wounds of 9/11, some visible, many hidden from view. The least we can do is remember, honor them and continue to support those that bravely walk into harm’s way on a daily basis." The group’s websites also included links to local 9/11 tributes and regional charities.
Cape Cod Broadcasting’s WKPE-FM Cape Country 103.9 partnered with the Cape Cod Melody Tent to organize a military food drive for the Ma Otis Food Pantry. Cape Cod Broadcasting ran a two week on-air campaign before collecting non-perishable food items at a Trace Adkins Concert. Ma Otis, an emergency food pantry located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is run by Military Spouses and Active Duty members that want to help fellow military and their families.
“We were thrilled with the response of our listeners and of the concert-goers that brought items the night of the concert,” said promotions director Kim Lucas. “The highlight of the night for all of us was seeing some of the active military that were at the event to help with the food drive get to meet and pose for photos with Trace Adkins. A great event with an overwhelming community response, we were thrilled to make a significant contribution and bring much needed exposure to this deserving organization serving our communities military and families."
Greater Media-Owned WTKK-FM Boston’s radio personalities Michael Graham and Jay Severin held an eight hour radio-thon, raising nearly $70,000 in donations for Fisher House Boston, a home away from home for New England families of wounded and ill veterans. Fisher Houses and the Fisher House Foundation play a crucial role in helping veterans recover from serious wounds and enable family members to be close to their loved ones during their hospitalization. WTKK-FM’s live broadcast featured stories from troops and their families, along with guest appearances from Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown, Captain Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger, Gary Sinise, Rudy Guiliani and others.
WTKK-FM in Boston, Mass., wrapped up the year with a radiothon and online auction in support of Fisher House Boston, a home for families of wounded and ill veterans. In total, the station and its listeners helped to raise more than $200,000 for the 20-suite facility at the West Roxbury VA Hospital, which is slated to open its doors in the fall. The Fisher House will provide veterans recovering from serious injuries and their families a supportive place to heal at no charge. During the three-hour radiothon, the community heard stories from troops and their families, as well as supporters of Fisher House, including Colin Powell and Oliver North. “Our troops have sacrificed so much for us, and WTKK is honored and privileged to show our support.” said WTKK talk host Michael Graham, who spearheaded the radiothon and has traveled to Iraq, Kuwait and Germany in support of our military.
As hundreds of thousands of residents lost power due to a destructive ice storm, WTAG-AM in Paxton, Mass., became a lifeline for local residents. Despite losing power themselves, the station dropped its regularly scheduled programming and broadcast live throughout the entire disaster providing updates on the progress of utility companies, shelter information and useful contact numbers as some listeners were left without power for a week, suffering cold days and severe snow storms. In addition to providing lifesaving information, the station served as an outlet for listeners who wanted to call in to share the details of their personal ordeals or ask questions about the storm and recovery efforts. “All the personalities involved – George Brown, Jim Polito, Sherman Whitman, Jordan Levy, to name a few – maintained a level of respect, politeness and modesty through days of people calling in to ask for pertinent information,” said listener and local business owner Judith Tonelli-Brown. “In short, they provided a service like none I have ever heard of or imagined from a radio station.”
Voters will head to the polls during the historic 2008 presidential elections more informed because of the efforts of WCVB-TV in Needham, Mass., and their "Commitment 2008" campaign. During the past year, the station has provided viewers with special election programming and extensive online resources. In advance of the New Hampshire primaries, WCVB and its parent company, Hearst-Argyle Television Inc., launched "Conversations With the Candidates," a series of one-on-one interviews with the contenders. The segments helped unveil the ideological differences amongst candidates. WCVB also produced and aired Democratic and Republican primary debates during primetime for the special election in the fifth Congressional District. Online "Commitment 2008" resources include a side-by-side comparison of where candidates stand on the issues, headlines from the campaign trail, video reports and specific resources for voters in Massachusetts, such as Election Day information and poll locations.
For 13 years, WKLB-FM in Boston, Mass., has made it clear that "Country Cares for Kids." Each year, the country station produces an annual two-day radiothon to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital provide treatment to children suffering from pediatric cancer, pediatric AIDS and other childhood diseases. The $2.3 million raised by WKLB’s "Country Cares for St. Jude Kids" radiothon in the past three years has supported St. Jude in its mission to make sure no child in need of treatment is turned away, regardless of ability to pay. It also has supported research that is shared across the globe and benefits children treated both at St. Jude and in New England. All regular programming is suspended for the event, which the station produces off-site to allow for a special broadcast stage, phone bank and performance stage used for local and national artists. A month-long public service campaign about the hospital and the event leads up to the radiothon. The station also uses its Web site to conduct online auctions to raise additional funds. Items are secured through the music industry and local celebrities. Throughout the year, WKLB personalities are involved with additional fundraising events for St. Jude and are active on the Radio Advisory Board of St. Jude Hospital. In the past 10 years, the station has raised close to $5 million to help ill children receive potentially lifesaving care.
Due to the high cost of fuel, WWLP-TV in Springfield, Mass., once again decided to organize its “Warming Hearts and Homes" campaign. Each week during the cold weather season, "Warming Hearts and Homes" provided a $300 fuel assistance voucher to a family requiring assistance. The station partnered with the United Way of Pioneer Valley to identify recipients and worked with local businesses to fund the vouchers. Nearly $25,000 worth of airtime was donated to the campaign. In addition to airing 30-second public service announcements, the station reported weekly on the recipients and their stories. In all, the program lasted more than three months and helped 15 families heat their homes. “The $300 provided by ‘Warming Hearts and Homes’ meant the gas bill could be paid, so families didn’t go cold,” said Joanne Dernoga, vice president of community investment for the United Way of Pioneer Valley. “People really needed that assistance. It meant a lot.”
Early in the morning of August 27, WMRC-AM in Milford, Mass., set out to raise awareness and money for a new state-of-the-art cancer center that was coming to town. By the end of the day, the station had accomplished both goals. WMRC’s 10-hour "First Class Radiothon" gave listeners details about the new $25 million facility, which will make it possible for those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation to receive treatment closer to home. The broadcast was filled with prerecorded and live interviews from local physicians, oncologists, cancer survivors, hospital administrators, patient care providers and local community leaders. Requests for monetary pledges came from area celebrities, politicians and families of cancer survivors. The station auctioned a number of donated items during the radiothon and offered prizes each half hour for listeners making pledges. At the close of the broadcast, nearly $35,000 had been raised. "The phones lit up from the moment we went on the air, and they simply never stopped," said Tom McAuliffe II, president of WMRC. "When the sun set on our first-ever ‘First Class Radiothon,’ we found ourselves absolutely exhausted, yet exhilarated over the fact that we had accomplished everything that we had set out to do."
Every year, Earthfest, a community event organized by WBOS-FM in Boston, Mass., and the Department of Conservation, promises an environmentally friendly and entertaining day for tens of thousands of people. Influential bands CAKE, the BoDeans and the English Beat took the stage at the most recent festival, helping spread the word about protecting the environment to a crowd of more than 100,000. "We were thrilled with the depth of the lineup and the commitment of the bands to help us in celebrating Mother Earth," said Dana Marshall, WBOS program director, who believes the event was one of the best in the 15-year legacy of the festival. In addition to great music, the event included family-friendly activities and showcased environmentally friendly nonprofit organizations. WBOS took extra measures to ensure the event was carbon-neutral. Recycling initiatives occurred on site, and the station encouraged its listeners to take mass transportation to the event.
It’s a night when people who have been touched by cancer celebrate life, and WBRK-AM/FM in Pittsfield, Mass., was there broadcasting live. For three years, the station has been media sponsor for the local Relay for Life in Burbank Park on Onota Lake. In 2007, the event raised $265,000 for the American Cancer Society. With WBRK’s help, Relay for Life has become Berkshire County’s largest fundraising event. "Through the station, we can reach out to a lot of people and help the relay grow," said station Vice President and Promotions Director Cheryl Tripp-Cleveland, who also has served as the co-chair of the race for three years. "It is truly an awesome event." In addition to broadcasting live through the night of the event, the station donated tens of thousands of dollars worth of primetime promotional announcement spots from January to June. Cancer survivors and team participants were interviewed on talk shows, and throughout the year Relay for Life fundraisers were publicized on the station Web site.