Texas Broadcasters Honored in DC for Hurricane Harvey Effortsposted on 6.11.2018
- TBEF Announces $21,000 in College Scholarships, Kenny Boles Marker
Texas broadcasters were honored in Washington, DC this week with the NAB Education Foundation President’s Special Award for their lifesaving reporting during Hurricane Harvey and leadership in rebuilding devastated local communities in the historic storm’s aftermath. The honor was bestowed during the NAB’s 2018 Service to America awards ceremony which highlights the extraordinary contributions of individual stations and station groups before national leaders.
In a span of just 36 hours, Hurricane Harvey last August developed into a major hurricane whose ultimate devastation proved so historic that the National Hurricane Center retired the moniker from its roster of storm names.
With communities and families upended from Corpus Christi to Port Arthur and as far west as Austin, hundreds of stations throughout the region dedicated at least 5,148 hours to news coverage of the storm and immediate recovery operations as broadcasters’ up to the minute warnings and emergency updates steered hundreds of thousands from danger and directed thousands more to safety and respite.
When the worst was over, stations then invested $26.3 million in airtime for 95,983 public service announcements regarding relief efforts by public agencies and charitable organizations.
Broadcasters across the entire state raised $58.2 million in cash donations by rallying their viewers and listeners to help Texans and fellow Americans in Florida and Puerto Rico rebuild after a series of devastating storms.
The President’s Special Award also honored broadcasters in Florida and Puerto Rico which were devastated by major hurricanes last year, as well.
Texas’ local Radio and TV broadcasters last year contributed more than $325 million in public service, including the Harvey efforts, as the industry continued its tradition of advancing the well-being of the communities they’re licensed to serve.
Stations made the investments year-round in rallying support for a wide array of ongoing charitable initiatives and special programming addressing community challenges.
TAB has documented more than $5.5 Billion in community service contributions by local broadcasters since it first began surveying stations annually in 1998, with an average of just 15 percent of the state’s 1,200+ stations responding. The figures account only for stations responding; no extrapolation is made to account for stations that do not participate.
The survey is designed and executed by Dr. August E. Grant, the J. Rion McKissick Professor of Journalism at the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Previously with the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Communications, Grant collects and analyzes response data independently of TAB staff. He served on the TAB Board of Directors during his time at UT-Austin and was named TAB’s Educator of the Year in 2007.
TBEF Announces $21,000 in Scholarships, Kenny Boles “Legends” Commemorative
In an extension of Texas broadcasters’ public service commitment, the Texas Broadcast Education Foundation this month awarded $21,000 in college scholarships to eight students pursuing degrees in the industry at Texas colleges or universities. Three of the recipients are students of the much-lauded School of Communications at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
The TBEF scholarship program is funded by an endowment that has grown significantly in the past several years after being established in the early 1970’s by legendary Texas broadcast pioneer Wendell Mayes, Jr. The TAB Board of Directors last year approved designating various commemorative markers honoring individual broadcasters at the TAB building.
Most recently, friends, admirers and employers of the late Kenny Boles, longtime news director of Raycom’s KLTV Tyler, raised $10,000 to fund a “Legends” commemorative marker in his honor which will bear his likeness and a brief history of his contributions to the Texas broadcast industry. The marker will be installed in the TAB lobby on the second floor of the Ann Arnold Center in downtown Austin.
Additional commemorative markers are available for placement in the TAB Board Room and on the exterior Broadcast Leaders Wall near the entrance to the TAB building. Contributions are tax deductible.
Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.
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