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NAB Leadership Foundation Honors Broadcasters’ Public Service

NAB Leadership Foundation
(Image credit: NAB Leadership Foundation)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation (NABLF) announced the recipients of the 2022 Celebration of Service to America Awards at a gala held on June 7 at The Anthem in Washington, D.C. 

The awards were announced live and presented to recipients in eight categories recognizing local broadcasters’ outstanding service to their communities. The 2022 Celebration of Service to America Award winners were: 

Service to Community Award for Radio, Broadcast Ownership Group

Beasley Media Group, 2021 Beasley Best Community of Caring Initiative

Service to Community Award for Television, Broadcast Ownership Group

Cox Media Group, CMG Gets Real

Service to Community Award for Radio – Large/Major Market

WTLC-FM, Indianapolis, Ind., Urban One, Inc., Feeding Families for 365 Days Plus

Service to Community Award for Television – Large/Major Market

WFAA, Dallas, Texas, TEGNA, WFAA Adoption Awareness

Service to Community Award for Radio – Medium Market

WJBR-FM, Beasley Media Group, Wilmington, Del., Mix 99.5 WJBR Help Our Kids Radiothon

Service to Community Award for Television – Medium Market

WIS-TV, Gray Television, Columbia, S.C., Families Helping Families

Service to Community Award for Radio – Small Market

WNRP-AM, WYCT, WNRP, WEBY Radio, Pensacola, Fla., Next Level Covid Charts

Service to Community Award for Television – Small Market

KOBI-TV, California Oregon Broadcasting, Medford, Ore., In this Together

“Every day, America’s local broadcasters devote their airwaves, resources and manpower to serve the needs of their audiences and provide critical support to our communities,” said NABLF president Michelle Duke. “These awards winners embody the best of broadcasting’s public service and shine a light on how radio and television stations are changing lives for the better. We congratulate all of these fine broadcasters and stations everywhere that are working to improve their local communities.” 

During the gala, former NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith was honored with the Service to America Samaritan Award. The award, which is given to a broadcaster or organization exemplifying the industry’s commitment to using the airwaves efficiently to promote the public interest, was given in recognition of his leadership of community service projects undertaken by NAB during his tenure. 

As NAB president and CEO, Smith spearheaded a number of public service initiatives to help keep America’s local communities safe, informed and connected. In 2013, Sen. Smith oversaw the launch of the OK2Talk campaign, an unprecedented effort to educate millions of Americans on the importance of ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Smith also led a nationwide effort by local radio and television stations in 2016 to address heroin and prescription drug abuse that is impacting communities across America. 

In the aftermath of Hurricane Marie in 2017, Smith led a coalition of broadcast ownership groups and organizations to distribute 10,000 battery-operated radios to residents of Puerto Rico impacted by the storm’s damage. In 2020, under Smith’s leadership, NAB created and provided public service announcements to radio and TV stations to educate Americans on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

As previously announced, renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés and award-winning entertainer, author and entrepreneur Patti LaBelle received Service to America Leadership Awards, NABLF’s highest individual honor, during the ceremony. GEICO was honored with the Corporate Leadership Award in recognition of its decades of work supporting initiatives and building partnerships within the communities the company serves. 

Actor and television host Mario Lopez emceed the event. Featured celebrity presenters included CBS Sports’ James Brown, a three-time Emmy Award Winner and Hall of Fame Sportscaster; Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline” Juju Chang; actor Asher Grodman, star of CBS’ series “Ghosts;” culinary visionary and celebrity lifestyle chef Chef Huda; American rock and soul artist Maggie Rose, who performed the National Anthem; and Angela Yee, co-host of nationally syndicated radio show “The Breakfast Club.” Presenting awards virtually were actress, producer, talk show host and author Drew Barrymore and comedian, actor and television host Drew Carey. 

A special one-hour production of the awards ceremony will air nationally on broadcast stations across the country July 9 - August 13.

More information is available at www.nabfoundation.org (opens in new tab)

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.