State Employee Grant Program

“…in the public interest” 2002

 

I.  Executive Summary
II.  Quantitative Research Findings
III. Qualitative Research Findings

 


A Report on Service to our Communities from
the Broadcasters of Washington state - June 2002


I. Executive Summary

"…in the public interest." Those words, added to the Communications Act by Washington's own United States Senator C. C. Dill, form the common commitment of community service among Washington's free, over-the-air broadcasters, whether they are radio or television stations, large or small, commercial or public, serving communities in Eastern or Western Washington. Washington's broadcasters play a vital and active role in the lives of every Washington community, every day. And we are proud of the good work we do for our neighbors.

The Washington State Association of Broadcasters and the National Association of Broadcasters have just completed a survey of, and interviews with, television and radio stations in Washington to determine the extent of station engagement in public service and community activities during calendar year 2001.

73% of Washington's commercial TV stations participated in the survey; and, 121 of the 196 commercial radio stations (62%) replied. The overall response rate (radio and TV combined) was 63%. Here's a snapshot of what we found:

  • Radio and television stations across Washington raised more than $11 Million during 2001 for charities, charitable causes or needy individuals. And that's just the cash. It does not include donations of clothing, blankets, food, and other goods and services raised by the stations in their donation drives.

  • Stations donated more than $164.7 Million worth of airtime for PSAs on topics ranging from drunk driving to the breast cancer awareness.

  • An average of 44% of TV PSA time is devoted to local issues; for radio, 64% of PSA time is locally oriented.

  • 86% of Washington television stations and 91% of radio stations helped charities, charitable causes or needy individuals through fund-raising and other types of support.

  • TV stations in Washington typically broadcast approximately 155 Public Service Announcements; radio stations 237 PSAs, in a typical week.

  • In response to the September 11th Attacks on America, Washington radio and television stations raised an additional $15 Million in on-air campaigns and activities.

  • The leading topics of Public Service Campaigns conducted by Washington broadcasters included: Health issues; poverty, hunger, homeless issues; and, children's issues.

  • Hundreds of local community organizations benefited from Washington broadcasters' community service efforts, including the United Way, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, the Children's Miracle Network, Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, Northwest Harvest, Boys & Girls Clubs, Salvation Army, Mid-Columbia Reading Foundation, Puget Sound Blood Center, Children's Hospital and Medical Center, the Alzheimer's Association, Children's Home Society of Washington, libraries, Second Harvest, YWCA, and many, many more.

  • 100% of TV stations and 89% of radio stations ran PSAs addressing children's issues;
    93% of TV stations and 82% of radio stations ran PSAs addressing hunger, homelessness, and poverty;
    87% of TV stations and 92% of radio stations ran PSAs addressing drunk driving; and,
    87% of TV stations and 88% of radio stations ran PSAs addressing violence.

Statistics alone cannot tell the whole story of how Washington broadcasters contribute to the quality of life in their communities. The second part of WSAB's research program was a series of interviews with the General Managers and Community Relations Directors of television and radio stations around the state. The creativity and imagination stations show in responding to the needs of their communities is astonishing:

  • We learned that nearly every station in Washington provided an outlet for its viewers or listeners in the aftermath of the September 11th Attacks on America.

  • We discovered many examples of radio and television stations cooperating to raise more money for charities than either could do by themselves.

  • We found a station that helped raise over $1 Million by putting Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos on the same tennis court.

  • We learned of a station that does its best to generate the spirit of vounteerism in Gen X'ers.

The stations have also heard from their viewers and listeners. We found dozens of compelling, heart-warming accounts of how radio and television stations touch the lives of individuals every day. Collecting these stories made it clearer than ever that those who live and work in the community truly know best how to serve their communities.

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II. Quantitative Research Findings:

"How Much Washington Broadcasters Do For Their Communities"

Introduction

Broadcasters have a mandate to serve the public interest of the communities in which they operate. Given the diversity of communities in the United States, there is a multitude of needs which could be and are addressed over the public airwaves by broadcasters. Indeed, broadcasters are recognizably in a very unique position - every station in the country is a local station and very much a part of the community it is licensed to serve.

Public affairs activities are an integral part of broadcast stations' community involvement. Through public affairs activities, stations help increase awareness of issues that affect their audiences. Radio and television broadcasters invest both programming and non-programming time and efforts to educate and involve their communities. Programming activities include, but are not limited to, public service announcements wherein stations donate valuable commercial time for messages alerting the public about health threats and other issues. Stations also produce public affairs programs featuring in-depth discussions of problems and remedies. In addition to these programming efforts, broadcasters initiate or are involved in many activities and community groups aimed at educating and involving their communities.

While the ways in which broadcasters are involved in their communities may seem similar, every local broadcaster's efforts are unique. Public service campaigns undertaken by stations nationwide integrate on-air and off-air efforts. Additionally, since each station cannot address every need of its given community as its top priority, stations each focus on different needs, thus addressing overall the diversity of issues within a community. In any given community, the local broadcasters' unique responses and approaches to the diversity of issues are also supplemented by major national efforts.

Our state association, in partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters, conducted a survey of television and radio stations in Washington State to determine the extent of station participation in public affairs activities. A variety of methodologies were employed to reach stations - with mail, fax, and Internet surveys sent out between January and April 2002. The response rate of Washington State broadcasters was 63%, as 16 of the 22 commercial television stations licensed to the state (73%) are represented in the data, as are 121 of the 196 radio stations (62%).

The data were collected, tabulated and analyzed by Public Opinion Strategies, an Alexandria, Virginia-based opinion research firm.

Donating Time and Raising Money

  • Using mean figures to derive a per-station total, responding Washington State TV stations report running approximately 155 PSAs per week, with radio stations running 237. These figures combine all PSA spot times - from ten seconds or less up to 60 second PSAs. Using the reported rate charged for each of these spot lengths, these PSAs translate into a mean cumulative amount of $1,102,885 a year per TV station responding, and $716,605 per radio station responding.

The cumulative statewide totals based on these data show the total PSA value for Washington State TV stations as $24,263,471 and $140,454,489 for radio stations.

  • A vast majority of both responding TV stations (86%) and radio stations (91%) say they help charities, charitable causes or needy individuals by fund-raising or offering some other support. The mean amount raised by these TV stations was $146,761, with responding radio stations reporting a mean of $25,539. The projected cumulative amounts for this charitable giving is $3,228,750 for TV stations and $7,861,000 for radio stations who conducted some fundraising during the time period examined.

    The charitable amount raised by responding TV stations ranged from $80,000 to $242,000, with a range among radio stations of $400 to $240,000.


Local Sentiments Continue To Guide Broadcasters, But Broadcasters Also Rallied Their Communities in Response to September 11th

  • Almost three-in-four (73%) of responding Washington State TV stations and 90% of the radio stations were involved in either on-air campaigns - either through local news broadcasts, PSAs, or public affairs programming - or off-air activities to aid the victims of disasters. This is a huge increase from previous years, as broadcasters reported the large contributions connected to the events of 9/11 in this category.

    The mean amount of money pledged in these fundraising drives by participating stations was $357,318 per TV station and $36,224 per radio station. The projected cumulative total raised in these fundraising drives is $7,861,000 for TV stations and $7,099,946 for radio stations who conducted some fundraising during the time period examined.

  • PSAs also focus largely on local issues. Among responding TV stations, respondents say that an average of 44% of PSA time is devoted to local issues; the percentage of PSAs devoted to local issues among responding radio stations was 64%.

Broadcasters Addressing Important Topics

  • The following table examines some specific issues and the response by responding stations. As in previous years, broadcasters continue to devote time and resources to addressing important and relevant topics.

    Each respondent was asked to respond whether their station aired PSAs, locally produced public affairs programs/segments (not including news broadcasts), or news segments on each of the following topic areas. The numbers here are the percentages of all state TV and radio stations who say they have addressed a particular topic through one of those methods:

Issue

TV

Radio

PSA

PA Program

News Segment

PSA

PA Program

News Segment

AIDS

53%

7%

53%

63%

35%

48%

Alcohol
abuse

67%

20%

47%

88%

53%

63%

Anti-crime

60%

40%

73%

90%

67%

83%

Anti-violence

87%

47%

73%

88%

80%

83%

Drinking
during
pregnancy

20%

13%

20%

40%

19%

38%

Drug use/
abuse

80%

20%

73%

89%

47%

70%

Drunk
driving

87%

7%

67%

92%

57%

79%

Fund
raising drives

87%

40%

73%

92%

77%

82%

Breast
cancer/
other women’s health

93%

33%

67%

83%

60%

67%

Children’s
issues

100%

67%

67%

89%

69%

65%

Adult educ./
literacy

67%

14%

40%

87%

54%

61%

Hunger/
poverty/
homelessness

93%

47%

67%

82%

69%

63%


Promoting Participation

  • Fully 73% of responding TV stations and 63% of responding radio stations report airing public affairs programs of at least 30 minutes in length.

  • The leading topics of public service campaigns by Washington State broadcasters in 2001 included public health issues, poverty/hunger/homeless issues, charitable fundraising, and children's issues. Some primary recipients included the United Way, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, and the Children's Miracle Network.

Methodology Notes

Continuing our participation on this project with the National Association of Broadcasters, a number of continued refinements were made from 2000 Report, including the addition of specific content to ensure proper attribution of funds related to September 11th. Market size and revenue data for stations was linked to survey data, allowing for more precise weighting and sample procedures.

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III. Qualitative Research Findings


"Stories of the Extraordinary Service Washington Broadcasters Give to Their Communities"

In 2001, Washington broadcasters found themselves at the center of four unbelievable, earthshaking, world shattering, tragically heroic, economically devastating episodes. Extraordinary efforts derive from extraordinary events. The stories of how Washington's broadcasters carried the news, calmed and informed their communities and rallied their viewers' and listeners' spirits are heartwarming and genuine.

From the 6.8 magnitude Nisqually Earthquake to the Attacks on America; from the 30-Mile Fire to the devastation of Washington's tourism industry, broadcasters came through for their communities time and time again. All the while mindful of the charitable organizations in their communities who serve those in need every day, and who rely on broadcasters' support in good times and bad. Broadcasters never forget that every day is a day of need for someone.

Here is a mere sampling of what Washington's local radio and television stations are doing for their communities day in and day out.

Earthquake! Broadcasters Provide the Lifeline When Terra Firma Rumbles

OLYMPIA -- 10:54 a.m., February 28, 2001. A calm Wednesday morning is shattered by the rumbling of the earth. A 6.8 magnitude earthquake, lasting 45 seconds, rumbles under Western Washington. Local radio and television stations become the only source of news and information for nearly a full day. In some locations damage is heavy, but there is no panic.

On Top Of It, Literally: KGY, Olympia. KGY sits on pilings over the waters of Puget Sound less than five miles from the epicenter of the Nisqually Earthquake. The building shook violently, a window shattered, light fixtures fell and water from a broken hot water tank gushed from the ceiling. Many of the staff were convinced that the station was crumbling into the Sound. But within 5 minutes, station general manager and morning host for more than 34 years, Dick Pust, went back on the air to anchor the station's emergency coverage. For more than 5 hours, KGY suspended all regular programming and commercials to provide live, continuous emergency coverage. An "open mike" was made available to anyone who had earthquake information. School officials, city utility representatives, Olympia's Mayor, the Secretary of State, the State Librarian and many other local officials came into the station to give live reports. For his efforts, Dick Pust was named a "Real Hero-Spirit of the Red Cross" by the Olympia Chapter of the American Red Cross. "Pust remained on the job to deliver critical information and reports that brought calmness to listeners," said the Red Cross.

Helping Those Far From Home Cope With Disaster. KAPP-TV, Yakima was covering the high school boys basketball state tournament at the Sundome in Yakima when the temblor struck in Western Washington, 150 miles away. Many of the players, coaches, teachers and families involved in the tournament were from areas hard hit by the earthquake. They wanted to know what had happened in their home towns. KAPP-TV had its remote truck at the tournament and almost immediately was able to provide information and video from the site of the earthquake and make it available. "It really gave people a sense of what was going on," said KAPP-TV General Manager Darrell Blue. "We were able to get a feed of video from a Seattle station and provide additional information to reassure people who were visiting Yakima from Western Washington." The station carried continuous live coverage of the earthquake aftermath until four o'clock that afternoon.

Bringing Local Information to Serve the Community. KRKO-AM, Everett, was caught in the middle. To the South, Seattle and Olympia suffered the brunt of the earthquake's power. To the Northeast is Spada Lake Dam, the main source of drinking water for the City of Everett, but more importantly, holding back billions of gallons of water from inundating the towns of Sultan and Monroe and the entire Snohomish Valley. Immediately after the shaking stopped, KRKO got its geotech specialist Zipper Zeeman on the air to explain what had happened. Then, KRKO had the Sheriff's office on the air with its first report on Spada Lake Dam and the effect of the earthquake there.

Avoiding Disaster When THE BIG ONE Strikes. Western Washington sits on a piece of the Earth that is as seismically active, and as susceptible to earthquakes that are every bit as large and devastating, as those in San Francisco or Los Angeles. Seismologists keep telling Washingtonians that they haven't experienced THE BIG ONE, yet. Shortly after the February 28th quake, which was quite big enough, KING-TV, Seattle, sprang into action with a five-week informational series aimed at developing more preparedness for future earthquakes. The station's news anchors and reporters produced several thirty-second spots reminding viewers about bolting hot water heaters to the wall and other ways to be prepared and avoid damage, next time.

Earthquake Relief. KIRO-TV, Seattle, activated its KIRO 7 Emergency Relief Fund after the earthquake and raised approximately $10,000, which was donated to the Salvation Army.

The Power of Radio's Multi-Station Clusters. Efficiently getting the news out to everyone. That's the power of several stations owned by one licensee. Saga Communications' Cascade Radio Group in Bellingham was able to cover Northwestern Washington's radio audience from rock to sports, from country to standards, no matter what taste in radio a listener had, he or she got vital news about the earthquake because the Cascade Radio Group was able immediately to simulcast its earthquake news and information on all five of its Bellingham stations.

The Reassurance of a Familiar Voice. "I was hysterical trying to get home and check on my family when I tuned in [to KELA, Centralia]. Then I heard calm and reassuring voices telling me what happened and what to do," a KELA listener commented. KELA urged people to check themselves and then check on an elderly neighbor or friend. They explained how to shut off a gas main and urged people not to call 9-1-1 unless there was a true emergency. Schools, medical facilities and utility workers joined KELA live on-the-air to announce that the kids were fine, the emergency room was open and that power restoration was on the way. Interstate 5 was closed for transportation workers to shore up a damaged overpass, so KELA provided continuous traffic updates while the freeway traffic was diverted through town.

Helping in the Aftermath. Stations throughout the entire earthquake-effected area devoted dozens of hours and hundreds of public service announcements to assisting the Federal Emergency Management Agency in reaching residents whose homes or businesses had been damaged. After the earthquake, KRKO-AM, Everett, made extensive efforts to instruct listeners on how to apply for FEMA grants and assistance, and publicizing workshops for disaster victims.

September 11, 2001: The Attacks on America

NEW YORK -- September 11, 2001. Washington state awakens to the sight of New York's World Trade Center ablaze, a second plane crashing into the towers, an airliner attacking the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. and the crash of yet a fourth plane in Pennsylvania, before it could reach its target. Washington's radio and television broadcasters are as shocked an the rest of America, but rise above the tragedy to sort out truth from rumor and provide relief and assistance to those in need.

Radio Association Coordinates Massive Response. The Puget Sound Radio Broadcasters Association ("PSRBA") coordinated a fundraising effort for the American Red Cross to benefit their efforts in helping aid the victims of the September 11th Attacks on America. Puget Sound radio listeners were very generous. Donation locations were set up by PSRBA member stations at more than 90 locations throughout the Puget Sound Area. From Friday, September 14th through Sunday, September 16th, the member stations of PSRBA collected more than $237,500, bringing the total of donations from Seattle area radio listeners to more than $425,500 in the days immediately following the Attacks on America. "With all the stations working together, we were able to blanket the region and give all the radio listeners an easy way to donate to the Red Cross," said PSRBA President Theresa Clary. "The stations responded quickly in pulling together and sponsoring these events, and our listeners responded to the call for help."

Helping Understand Different Cultures. In the aftermath of the Attacks on America, KSTW-TV, Seattle, was disturbed at the outpouring of hatred for Americans of Middle Eastern ancestry. The station produced a half-hour program intended to remind viewers of the tolerance and freedoms Americans sometimes take for granted. The show featured an Arab-American woman who volunteered to talk about the ramifications of the September 11th Attacks on America and what that meant to people such as her living in the Northwest. Through the program, "Understanding Islam," the station promoted tolerance and understanding by shedding light on hate crimes, acts of incivility and other displays of hate that were being directed at local people.

Kids & Flags. Helping children understand the tragedy of the Attacks on America is not an easy task. KVEW-TV in the Tri-Cities invited kids to come to Columbia Center Mall where they found tables, paper, crayons and glue. Hundreds and hundreds of children and parents turned out following heavy promotion of the event by the station. And they made hundreds and hundreds of the most poignant flags imaginable. KVEW-TV then took all of the flags, mounted them on sticks and planted them in the lawn in front of the station (see front cover). So many people came by the station and stopped in the street to take pictures that traffic was backed-up for blocks.

Saga Communications Cascade Radio Group Memorial Service. Not wanting to wait for others to organize a Memorial Service, the five radio stations of Saga Communications' Cascade Radio Group in Bellingham organized their own. In less than 48 hours, the stations had secured a site; had government officials lined-up to participate; arranged for free bus service to the Memorial; provided for musical tributes; and brought in a color guard from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station and local fire and police departments. On September 14th from 12:30 p. m. to 1 o'clock, Bellingham gathered to pause and pay tribute to those lost in the Attacks on America. The stations expected 2,000 people, but on a beautiful, sunny Northwest summer day, more than 6,000 people filled the bleachers and ringed the football field at Bellingham's historic Civic Stadium. In that half-hour, the Cascade Radio Group raised more than $21,000 for the Red Cross. And for those who couldn't attend, KGMI-AM, the Cascade Radio Group's flagship station, broadcast the entire Memorial Service live.

KIRO 7 Emergency Relief Fund Swings into Action. For many years, KIRO-TV, Seattle, has activated its KIRO 7 Emergency Relief Fund when an emergency finds people in need. This theme provides KIRO-TV viewers with consistency in the station's fundraising efforts. On September 11th, KIRO-TV once again activated the KIRO 7 Emergency Relief Fund and added the title "Helping America Heal." Viewers donated at Key Bank branches throughout Western Washington and the Bank added 10% to each donation. The KIRO 7 Emergency Relief Fund collected more than $500,000 for the Red Cross. More than 500 donations were made through the station's web site.

One Country, One Community. Seattle was not immune from acts of hate crimes against anyone who appeared to be of Middle Eastern ancestry. Following an unfortunate incident at a mosque in North Seattle, KING-TV, Seattle, produced a series of 15 public service announcements called "One Country, One Community. These messages emphasized tolerance and acceptance of different cultures. The station also provided live coverage of a memorial and unity rally in Seattle's Westlake Center. For two full weeks, KING-TV cancelled all of the station's promotions to concentrate on the One Country, One Community campaign and relief fundraising themes; a total of nearly Half A Million Dollars in airtime. The station partnered with the Seattle Times newspaper and Bank of America to raise nearly $2.5 million for the Red Cross from throughout the state of Washington.

Eyewitness to the Attacks on America. KRKO-AM, Everett, broadcasts the Don Imus Show from New York City every morning. When KRKO's Program Director and morning news host, Tony Stevens, first saw what was happening at the World Trade Center on his TV monitor, he immediately switched to a live feed of the Imus Show and KRKO's listeners heard live and direct coverage and commentary from the scene. The station stayed with that live feed all day, providing a unique perspective on the Attacks on America for its listeners.

"I Pledge Allegiance" Bumper Stickers Raise $15,000. KNDU-TV, Tri-Cities, printed 3,000 bumper stickers that reaffirmed viewers' support for America. The station passed them out, asking for donations, raising $15,000 in the process. Sister station KNDO-TV, Yakima, passed out ribbons and raised more than $10,000. Both stations worked with Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health to build a public service announcement promoting the community crisis line for those who needed help in coping with the Attacks on America.

A Day's Pay for USA. KEPR-TV and KONA-AM/FM Radio, Tri-Cities, helped the communities of Pasco, Richland and Kennewick raise more than $300,000 dedicated to buying a new fire truck for the New York City Fire Department. The fund drive was local in every respect, inspired by a similar drive during World War II, when employees at the nearby Hanford nuclear facility donated a day's pay to help the United States pay for a new bomber, which was named "A Day's Pay" and served in the Pacific theater. As a way of giving back to the community and honoring the fallen fire fighters and law enforcement officers in the Attacks on America, the stations asked companies to donate a day's sales receipts and employees to donate a day's pay to go to that cause. The stations promoted the drive through public service announcements and news stories, with live broadcasts from the kick-off event.

Flag T-Shirts Raise Nearly $20,000. KITI-AM/FM in Centralia came up with a simple design, Old Glory, to bring all Americans together. Right after September 11th, the station started by printing 200 shirts. The print shop across the street from the stations couldn't keep up with demand after the first 200 shirts were gone within minutes. KITI had listeners volunteering to help collect money and hand out shirts. The KITI staff kept up a steady trek across the street for more and more and more shirts; pulling the shirts off the machines as fast as they could so that both sides could be printed. Eventually, KITI sold more than 2,500 Old Glory t-shirts and raised nearly $20,000 for the Red Cross. So many people wanted to contribute that they were willing to wait a few days to get a shirt.

Donations Faster Than They Could Be Counted. KRKO-AM, Everett, did an impromptu remote broadcast from the street corner in front of the station beginning in the early afternoon of September 11th. The station offered commemorative ribbons for free, but people wanted to donate money. Finally, between 3 p. m. and 6 o'clock in the afternoon, so many people were driving up and just handing station employees wads of cash that they resorted to putting it into paper bags and handing it directly to the Executive Director of the local Red Cross chapter. They never did get a count on how much money was donated by KRKO listeners. For the entire next week, KRKO did similar remotes from different locations every day until finally, "there was no more red, white and blue ribbon to be found, purchased, begged or borrowed in all of Snohomish County," according to KRKO Program Director Tony Stevens.

Calming Nerves: Are We the Next Target? The Tri-Cities area includes the Hanford nuclear facility as well as the Umatilla Weapons Depot, just across the Columbia River. KONA-AM/FM Radio is the Tri-Cities news radio station. So many families in the Tri-Cities have members who work at these security-sensitive plants that KONA took extraordinary measures to get authoritative representatives from each of those critical facilities to report to their employees, through the station, about new security procedures and other changes that they would face when they came to work. Reassuring the community that these facilities were safe was also a high priority for KONA, with the station providing live coverage to keep listeners informed.

"I'm Proud To Be An American" Shirts Raise Money in Spokane. All of the Clear Channel stations in Spokane joined with Sprint PCS to create "I'm Proud To Be An American" t-shirts to raise money for the nationwide Clear Channel Relief Fund. Each of Clear Channel's five radio stations broadcast live from a different Sprint PCS location. Getting between $5 and $50 for each shirt, the promotion raised more than $15,000. More than 5,000 shirts were sold in just a few minutes.

TV and Hockey Raise Money. KREM-TV, Spokane, teamed up with the Spokane Chiefs hockey team on the night of the team's season opener to raise money for the Red Cross. It was an old fashioned, "pass the hat" collection to which KREM-TV viewers gave generously. KREM-TV's weather anchor, Tom Sherry, broadcast live from the game with an on-site presentation. KREM-TV added the money collected at the hockey game to the money pouring in from its original on-air fundraising drive. It was a simple message: "Come to the donation locations and give. We'll get the money to the Red Cross." And they did. Altogether, KREM-TV raised more than $600,000.

Donations for Red, White & Blue Ribbons. The staff, and neighbors of KHQ-TV, Spokane, pitched in for nearly a week to make and distribute red, white and blue ribbons. Once KHQ-TV's viewers saw what the station was doing, they wanted to help. A group from Rogers High School donated many, many hours making the ribbons and taking donations on the street outside the station. Neighbors from a high-rise apartment across the street from KHQ-TV came over to volunteer, as well. In five, commercial-free days, the station exhausted the red, white and blue ribbon supply in Spokane and surrounding communities and raised $225,000 for the Red Cross.

More Than 4 Hours of PSAs Raise $450,000 in Spokane. The stations of the KXLY Broadcast Group, both radio and TV, dedicated more than 25 news hours and more than 500 public service announcements to supporting the American Red Cross and providing information on ways to assist in the recovery from the Attacks on America. The community of Spokane raised approximately $1.7 Million for the Red Cross; one of the top three communities nationwide. The KXLY Broadcast Group was responsible for raising $450,000 of that total.

TV/Newspaper Cooperation Lifts Seattle's Spirits. KOMO-TV, Seattle, joined forces with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer daily newspaper, agreeing to use each other's logos in cross promotion on-the-air and in the newspaper. The station's newscasts helped carry the message, as well as public service announcements. KOMO-TV and the Post-Intelligencer raised $201,000 for the Red Cross.

Donate Blood Next Month. In only a few days after September 11th, the Puget Sound Blood Bank was overwhelmed with a long line of would-be donors, but blood donated there was not able to be used in New York City, so the Blood Bank was at capacity with a good 45 to 60 day supply of blood. Working with the Blood Bank, KRKO-AM, Everett, got out the message that people should plan to give blood, but to wait for about a month. This helped the Blood Bank keep a good steady supply of blood over the next several months and avoid the traditional shortage/oversupply cycle that often occurs.

Seattle Radio Personality Donates Prize Winnings. The September 11th Attacks on America took place during the annual Puyallup Fair. KPLZ-FM, Seattle's "Star 101.5," was conducting a contest promotion at the Fair called "Star-vivor" in which several listeners and one KPLZ-FM air personality, Jim Severn, were living at the Fair. Every day, one person was voted out of the Fair. In the end, KPLZ's Severn was the winner, outlasting everyone else. He donated his $10,000 first prize winnings to the American Red Cross.

The 30-Mile Fire Tragedy

OKANOGAN -- It was a hot July day in the wilderness, made hotter by the wildfire racing down a hilly canyon. Caught by surprise and with escape routes cut off by the advancing inferno, five young fire fighters are trapped. In an instant, four are dead and one is critically burned. All are from the Yakima area and the community mourns the tragic loss of youngsters suddenly turned heroes. Yakima broadcasters opened their stations and their hearts to the community. They reported the news and led the community toward healing.

Yakima Loses Four Fire Fighters. On the day that four Yakima fire fighters were killed in the wildfire known as the "30-Mile Fire," KNDO-TV interrupted its regular programming and carried coverage continuously for the next five hours. It would be only the beginning. KNDO-TV's sister station KHQ-TV in Spokane, sent its remote broadcast truck to the scene of the fire in the Cascade Mountains and KNDO-TV was able to broadcast live pictures of the fire. But most of the coverage stayed local. The station talked with friends and families of the fire fighters and broadcast interviews with staff from the Forest Service. That evening, both KNDO-TV and KIMA-TV in Yakima did half-hour specials on the victims, informing the community who they were and what they had accomplished in their too-short lives.

Helping the Community Cope. The day after the tragedy, KNDO-TV began a purple ribbon campaign. When a fire fighter falls in the line of duty, a purple ribbon is the appropriate display of sympathy. KNDO-TV passed out more than 12,500 purple ribbons. At first, the station did not ask for donations, but when viewers called the station to ask about donating to a memorial fund, the station discovered that there was no fund. Immediately, KNDO-TV set up the Okanogan-Wenatchee Firefighters Memorial Fund at a local credit union and began taking donations in exchange for a purple ribbon. KNDO-TV created a memorial poster, and distributed 8,000 copies throughout Yakima. The station also created three public service announcements: One was a simple tribute to the four fallen firefighters; another focused on the Memorial Fund and how to donate; and, the third was done in cooperation with Yakima's Comprehensive Mental Health agency, which concentrated on how to get counseling for those who were personally acquainted with the firefighters (and in a small community, a lot of people knew them). Once the fund was established, the Forest Service asked that it be the only Fund, and other groups began to raise money with car washes, spaghetti feeds and other benefit activities. Other Yakima broadcasters also promoted donations to the Memorial Fund.

Saluting the Fallen Heroes: The Community Parade. On Tuesday, July 24, 2001, Yakima bid good-bye and God speed to the four fallen fire fighters. Fire fighters, particularly forest fire fighters came from all over America to pay their respects. The parade of dozens and dozens of fire fighting vehicles from city fire trucks to smoke-jumpers' hum-vees was several miles long as it wound its way from the staging area on Yakima's Nob Hill to the Sundome where a memorial service would take place. KNDO-TV covered the parade live from five locations along the route. KIMA-TV used a helicopter from sister station KOMO-TV, Seattle, to shoot video of the parade and bring it back to the station for broadcast. KAPP-TV also carried live coverage of the parade from beginning to end. Clear Channel Radio station KIT-AM deployed the resources of its entire six station cluster to provide point by point parade coverage and commentary from several fixed and mobile vantage points along the parade route for radio listeners.

Saying Good-Bye: The Community Memorial Service. Yakima's TV broadcasters cooperated on live pool coverage of the memorial service. The coverage on all stations began before Noon and did not end until nearly 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Most stations carried the memorial service without commentary, except to identify each speaker.

Keeping the Memory Alive. After the memorial service, KNDO-TV had so many requests to videotapes of the memorial service that the station produced and sold more than 150 and donated the proceeds of about $2,000 to the Memorial Fund.

Tourism Washington: "Get Out There, Your State Misses You!"

WASHINTON'S RESORTS AND ATTRACTIONS -- A slumping economy; attacks on America. Washington's tourism industry sinks in a downward spiral. Broadcasters rally to the need by joining with the State Tourism Office to produce and broadcast nearly $400,000 worth of public service announcements encouraging Washington residents to be tourists in their own state.

In the month following the Attacks on America, it became apparent that Washington's tourism industry was in dire trouble. The "double-whammy" effect of a slumping economy and the Attacks on America had combined to send the state's tourism business into a deep downward spiral. Washington's radio and television stations immediately offered the only thing they had, use of the public's airwaves to revive the sector of the economy that traditionally rebounds most quickly.

Working through the Washington State Association of Broadcasters, the stations collaborated with the State Tourism Office to develop a plan to rejuvenate tourism in Washington. The Washington State Association of Broadcasters rallied the leaders of fourteen tourism-related trade associations to join in the effort: The Washington Association of Visitor & Convention Bureaus; the Washington Restaurant Association; the Washington Hotel & Lodging Association; the Washington Economic Development Association; the Washington Retail Association; the Washington Festival & Events Association; the National Federation of Independent Business; the Association of Washington Business; the Independent Business Association; AAA Washington; the Inland Empire Automobile Association (AAA); the Washington State Tourism Office; and, the Washington State Office of Trade & Economic Development.

Washington's Governor Gary Locke appeared in one of the public service announcements produced by the State Tourism Office. The Governor also provided a personal letter to broadcasters thanking them for their concerted effort to boost the state's tourism economy. The Washington State Association of Broadcasters copied and distributed the public service announcements to 177 Washington radio and television stations for a campaign that ran from November, 2001 through January, 2002. In all, Washington radio and television stations donated nearly $400,000 worth of air-time to broadcast the tourism public service announcements.

Special Projects

THROUGHOUT WASHINGTON -- Broadcasters never forget that every day is a day of need for someone; and that attention-getting events cannot overshadow the ongoing needs of charitable organizations in their communities. In 2001, Washington broadcasters held fund drives, clothed the needy, developed cadres of volunteers for community groups, and built homes for the homeless. The list of contributions to their communities by local broadcasters seems endless. It's a commitment they carry with them every day.

Habitat for Humanity. KIXI-AM, Seattle, began its partnership with Habitat for Humanity in February 2001 with the goal of recruiting volunteers and raising money for its "Blitz Build: 20 Homes in 12 Days" project. The station recruited listeners to work as volunteers on one particular home known as "The House that KIXI Built" and raised money by hosting a 12-hour radiothon and auction. In addition, KIXI broadcast live from the construction site for 12 hours and interviewed Habitat for Humanity officials, volunteers and the future homeowner. KIXI's efforts resulted in 125 volunteers providing a total of 3,000 volunteer hours, surpassing its goal by 25%. The station helped to provide enough manpower to also assist in the construction of a community center. In all, KIXI raised more than $16,000 for Habitat for Humanity and devoted nearly 32 hours of airtime to the campaign.

Child Abuse Prevention Day. The entire KXLY Broadcast Group in Spokane, five radio stations and Spokane's ABC TV affiliate, dedicates a full day to eliminating child abuse. Child Abuse Prevention Day is not just a fundraising activity, although the stations collected more than $31,000 in 2001. From 6 a. m. to 6 p. m., in every commercial break, station personalities urge viewers and listeners to donate financial and volunteer support. The news stories, talk show segments and other informative spots help the stations' audience understand more about child abuse, how to prevent it, warning signs, where to get help and how the beneficiary organizations can be of assistance. The Children's Home Society of Washington, the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, SCAN (Support Care and Networking for Families), and I-Care, the agency in Coeur 'd Alene, Idaho all benefited from Child Abuse Prevention Day.

The Breakfast of Champions. Every August, KING-TV, Seattle, hosts the greatest readers in town at the Breakfast of Champions. It's the grand finale' of the station's summer reading program conducted in conjunction with the Seattle Public Library and the King County Library System. Station news anchors visit libraries to meet and read with the kids, encouraging young readers to continue reading when they are out of school for the summer. It's become a tradition with the news reporters, many of whom return to the same libraries annually to see how "their" kids are doing.

Boosting the Volunteer Spirit in Employees. Viacom's KSTW-TV, Seattle, organizes a "Viacommunity Day" every year to emphasize giving back to the community. They encourage employees to take a day off by participating in an organized volunteer effort. In 2001, KSTW-TV's offices and studios moved to the city of Renton, just south of Seattle. The Renton Highlands Library was in dire need of some gentle, loving care; work that had been neglected because of lack of maintenance funding. Station employees took en entire day to repair, clean up, spruce up and polish up the Renton Highlands Library.

The People Helper. KOMO-TV's "People Helper" takes on small and big challenges to help out ordinary individuals with extraordinary needs. In 2001, the People Helper generated toys and food for the holidays for the needy; found aid for fire victims in need of clothing, shelter or household goods; and, provided assistance for the disabled who needed wheelchairs, scooters or specially equipped vans for basic transportation. The People Helper assisted viewers bilked in disaster scams and provided vests for assistance dogs. All in all, the KOMO-TV People Helper stepped in to help approximately 200 times during 2001 and raised more than $70,000 for viewer needs.

Seattle Radio Joins Forces for United Way. 27 Seattle radio stations united for the first time ever to jointly support the United Way of King County and the result was a "roaring success," according to United Way Chairman Herb Bridge. United Way donations were up more than 13% to a record $93.3 million, vaulting Seattle past New York City and Washington, D. C. into second place nationally for total dollars raised, behind only Chicago. "A 13.2% increase could not have been accomplished without radio," said Bridge. Stations kicked-off the campaign with a "60-second roadblock" on all stations on a Monday morning at 7:15 a.m., followed by a schedule of thirty-second PSAs in every daypart, every day, for two weeks. They continued with a mix of thirty-second and ten-second PSAs for several weeks, ultimately broadcasting a total of nearly 3,000 public service announcements.

Collecting School Supplies. More and more, parents must rely on schools to provide basic educational supplies, especially in areas hard hit by economic downturns. And the schools are no more able to fill those needs than are the parents. KAPP-TV in Yakima recognized the need when nearby schools began calling the station in September asking when the station would begin collecting more school supplies. The station organized a one-day blitz to collect school supplies for needy children in the Yakima Valley. The station promoted the School Supply Collection Drive with weeks of public service announcements preparing the community and a full day of live broadcasts from collection points. Viewers donated entire cases of supplies and families donated backpacks full of supplies. KAPP-TV followed-up the drive with a series of announcements thanking the community for its generosity and with news coverage of the distribution of the supplies to Yakima-area schools.

Child Identification Program. KELA-AM/KMNT-FM in Centralia is part of the Clear Channel family of stations. As a result of the stations' involvement in community organizations, they learned that one of their local Elks Club's prime projects was a child identification program, which fit perfectly with Clear Channel's national child identification effort. KELA and KMNT partnered with the Centralia Elks during the Southwest Washington Fair to staff a booth collecting donations for the Elks Child Identification Project. In all, their efforts raised $2,000.

KSTW-TV's Coats for Kids. Needy kids in Washington did not go without a warm winter coat in 2001. KSTW-TV, Seattle, partnered with Pepsi for distribution, and a dry cleaning company to prepare the donated coats. The station did live remotes to generate one of the largest collections of coats in the station's history. More than 7,000 coats were donated to United Way of Pierce County and their agencies, Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul.

Listeners Helping Each Other. Hispanic radio sometimes meets the unique challenges of its listeners in unconventional ways. Butterfield Broadcasting's four stations in Yakima have a diverse audience, most of whom speak some English, but with many first generation immigrants from Mexico, as well. But they have one thing in common: When it comes to helping each other, they are very generous. Seven or eight times a year, the Yakima Valley Hispanic community suffers the death of one of its members and the family is usually unable to pay to have their loved one returned to his or her home in Mexico for burial. The Butterfield stations commonly take the lead in raising the money necessary to provide for the transportation and burial honoring the deceased. "It seemed very unusual to me the first few times it occurred," said Keith Teske, Butterfield's Operations Manager. "But when I realized what the stations were doing for our community, I knew that it was the right thing to do."

Warm Coats for Kids. Seattle's KIRO-TV and Sandusky Radio's "Warm 106.9" teamed up to provide warm coats for kids during the winter. In January, the stations broadcast public service announcements inviting listeners and viewers to donate warm hats, coats and gloves at drop-off locations, resulting in the collection and distribution more than 15,000 coats. Many nonprofit organizations benefited from the stations' efforts, including the YWCA, Child Haven, Multi-Service Center of North and East King County and Eastside Domestic Violence. But the real beneficiaries were the kids.

Building-In the Work Ethic Early. Junior Achievement instills the kind of entrepreneurial work ethic in kids that employers want. JA's Enterprise Village incorporates as many as twenty public and private, retail shops, restaurants, a city hall and a TV station. Youngsters are able to develop the attitudes, knowledge and direction that will serve them well when they grow up. But Enterprise Village doesn't exist in Seattle, yet. KCPQ-TV, Seattle took on Enterprise Village as its station project. The station produced the fundraising video presentation for Junior Achievement in its drive to build Enterprise Village. The presentation is used to solicit donations from corporate organizations and philanthropists. Without KCPQ-TV's involvement, Junior Achievement would have had to spend approximately $25,000 to produce a presentation video, but it was supplied free of charge by KCPQ-TV.

Rescuing a Family First-Night in Spokane. When KAYU-TV, Spokane, discovered that Spokane's first-ever First Night celebration was lagging behind in organization and promotion, the station volunteered to be the event's media partner and build awareness of this family-oriented event. The organization needed help in explaining to Spokane what First Night was all about and in promoting awareness of the many events taking place on New Year's Eve, 2001. The station ran a heavy public service announcement promotional schedule during the weeks leading up to First Night. Organizers had hoped to attract as many as a couple of thousand people. More than 14,000 turned out and Spokane's First Night 2001 was so successful plans are already underway for the second annual event on New Year's Eve 2002.

1,000,000 Meals for the Needy. Every December for the past 11 years, KOMO-TV, Seattle has asked viewers to donate food for delivery by Food Lifeline during the holiday season to those who are needy. After three weeks of heavy public service announcement and newscast promotion of the KOMO-TV's "Season of Giving," the station held a big wrap-up day on a Friday and urged viewers to continue donating through the weekend. In the next 48 hours, the response was enormous and KOMO-TV ultimately collected the equivalent of 1 Million meals for donation to the needy in Seattle.

Leading By Example. "When I first came to KAPP-TV," says General Manager Darrell Blue, "the head of the United Way came to my office to remind me that the stations here in Yakima had always been solid supporters of the United Way Campaign. Last year, I was the chairman of United Way's Day of Caring, so I guess he was right!" The Day of Caring is a United Way kick-off event in which businesses volunteer their employees to go out into the community to do a day's worth of volunteer work. They do everything from reading to children to cleaning up yards for people who cannot afford the upkeep. In 2001, under Blue's leadership, KAPP-TV employee-volunteers cleaned up a site that will become a shelter for recovering drug addicts.

Making PSA Time Count. Being selective in choosing its partners allows KFFX-TV in the Tri-Cities to offer its public service partners something extra. The station doesn't just add a public service announcement into an already long list of PSAs. KFFX-TV takes PSA time out of its commercial inventory and designs an advertising campaign, similar to what the station would do for a commercial client. Nearly always, it is an exclusive campaign, so if the station is promoting the Junior Achievement Bowling Classic, for example, J. A. gets everything the station has. As a result, nonprofit organizations receive a terrific response to their messages. These public service campaigns include production of the announcement and broadcasting that PSA in all time periods, including prime time.

Home Team Harvest. After September 11th, many charitable agencies saw a noticeable drop-off in contributions. In Seattle, KING-TV contacted a variety of agencies and found out that by far the biggest need was food. The station involved the Seattle Super Sonics and Northwest Harvest Food Bank for a massive food drive on the first Saturday in December. KING-TV dedicated its three-hour morning newscast to live remote broadcasts from five different locations in the Puget Sound area, with station air personalities and Sonic players at each location. The station continued to broadcast live remote cut-ins during commercial breaks until 3 o'clock that afternoon. Although the station was not asking for cash donations, the drive collected more than $31,000. Second Harvest was also the beneficiary of more than 90,000 pounds of food collected throughout the day. So much food was donated that the station had to hire extra delivery trucks during the day to accommodate all of it.

Don't Forget Other Charity Agencies That Need Your Help. The KXLY Broadcast Group radio and TV stations in Spokane didn't forget that there are many agencies that need help every day. The station's news anchors created a series of public service announcements thanking viewers for giving to the Red Cross and other September 11th relief efforts, and reminding their viewers and listeners about all of the other agencies who still needed contributions, right in Spokane.

The Navy Report. Everett is the Home Port of one of the U. S. Navy's carrier groups and KRKO-AM makes time available on the station for the Navy to communicate with its crews, their families and its civilian workforce. Twice a day, in morning and afternoon drive time, KRKO provided the Navy with a sixty-second spot, and the Navy made good use of it. The Navy used that time to recognize families; talk about events coming up on the base; schedule changes and other vital information that Navy personnel needed to know. Since the Attacks on America, the Navy has been a little more circumspect about some of the information it discloses, and more than a little busy, but KRKO stands ready when the Navy calls again.

Success By Six. KHQ-TV, Spokane, starts with the philosophy that you can make a big difference in the later success of a child if he or she is well prepared by the time they are six years old. Each month, the station produces an entirely new segment designed to assist parents or prepare toddlers for a better life ahead. In 2001, KHQ-TV's Success By Six campaign covered "Car Seat Safety Checks," "Washington State Health for All Family Insurance Registration," "Absolutely Incredible Kid Day," "Infants and Toddlers Free Hearing Screening," "Children's Book Drive," "Kids Carnival of Safety," "School Supplies Drive," "Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery Phonathon Fundraising Drive," "Catholic Charities Children's Benefit Luncheon," "Toys for Tots," and the "Family Food Drive."

Tom's Turkey Drive. In November KREM-TV's weather anchor Tom Sherry and the Citadel radio stations in Spokane held a two-day turkey drive to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank. The stations did live remote broadcasts throughout a Saturday and Sunday, directing people to grocery stores that were participating in the turkey drive. Shoppers bought an extra turkey and made their donation on the spot. The stations arranged with a shipper to provide refrigerated trucks at each collection site. Public service announcements on all the stations promoted Tom's Turkey Drive and KREM-TV provided news coverage as well. Listeners and viewers donated more than 5,000 turkeys in just two days to help make Thanksgiving a better day for Spokane's needy families.

Home Team Holidays. During the holiday season, the Children's Home Society of Washington benefits from donations by riders on Seattle's downtown holiday carousel. KING-TV discovered that this project needed a partner to increase the visibility and awareness of the campaign and increase donations. The station stepped in as the carousel's first major media partner and the carousel raised $40,000 more in 2001 than it had ever raised before. In all KING-TV helped raise more than $120,000 in donations from riders on the carousel to benefit the Children's Home Society of Washington.

Bill Gates vs. Jeff Bezos: Tennis for Charity. When Seattle's KOMO-TV heard from Andre Agassi that he wanted to do something to honor both his mother and sister who are breast cancer survivors, the station went to work as the media partner for the Schick Extreme Tennis Challenge. The station heavily promoted the event, which eventually sold out Key Arena. Not only were Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Martina Navratilova, Jonathan Stark, and Pete Sampras featured in exhibition matches, but Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates took on Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos. All in all, with KOMO-TV's outreach, the event raised $1.4 Million for breast cancer research.

Igniting the Gen X Volunteer Spirit. KCPQ-TV is Seattle's Fox station and its audience runs heavily in the 18-35 age group. The station realized that a large segment of its audience is just beginning to develop a strong sense of the need to volunteer for the good of the community. As a result, KCPQ-TV began a public service campaign, partnered with Seattle Works, to help their viewers understand the need to give back to the community and to encourage them to find ways to volunteer. "Our station's audience is focused on that age group, so it was a natural thing for us to promote volunteerism to them," said Pam Pearson, KCPQ-TV's Vice President and General Manager.

Children's Book Drive. 2001 was the first year that KNDO-TV, Yakima, and sister station KNDU-TV, Tri-Cities, conducted their Children's Book Drive. But for a first effort, it was extremely rewarding. The stations worked with the Yakima Schools Foundation and the Mid-Columbia Reading Foundation for a full week in June to collect more than 750 new and gently used children's books in the Tri-Cities and about 650 books in Yakima. The stations promoted the drive with a public service announcement campaign and increased awareness of the project with stories in their newscasts.

Children's Ride 7. KIRO-TV, Seattle, teamed up with Children's Hospital and Medical Center and Harley Davidson for Children's Ride 7. This motorcycle ride in July of 2001 included nearly 2,000 participants and raised more than $203,000. The Ride was promoted by a public service announcement campaign in the weeks leading up to the Ride. News anchor Brad Goode took a lead role in promoting the event and inviting viewers to participate and donate. In addition, several of KIRO-TV's news anchors participated in the Ride.

Faces fir Life. All three of the Fisher Radio stations in Seattle teamed with the Puget Sound Blood Center to raise money and awareness of the help that the Blood Center provides. During February and March the stations promoted the Faces for Life campaign. At Bellevue Square Mall, Puget Sound area celebrities designed and created masks that were to be auctioned later. The stations interviewed people who have been helped by the Blood Center; talked about the need for a Blood Center and for blood donors. In addition, the station sponsored masks and provided air personalities for appearances at the Mall.

Kennewick High School Band Goes to the Rose Parade. When the Tri-Cities Fox station, KFFX-TV, found out that the Kennewick High School Band had a chance to perform in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, the station jumped at the opportunity to help out. KFFX-TV created a public service announcement that ran during the entire month of September, promoting the many fundraising events the Band was working on. The station also made the announcement available to all other stations in the Tri-Cities so that the project could receive universal support. "It was really a thrill to see those kids marching in the Rose Parade on New Year's Day," said Kathy Balcom, KFFX-TV General Manager, "knowing that we had helped them achieve their dream."

Dress For Success. Many women returning to the workforce do not have the resources to create a wardrobe suitable for job interviews. KXLY-TV works with the Spokane YWCA every year to create a clothing bank. The campaign is called Dress for Success and it builds confidence in women so that they can go on a job interview feeling that they are attired appropriately.

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