WASHINGTON & NEW YORK—Efforts by local television broadcasters across the U.S. have brought in at least $45.1 million in relief funds to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, according to NAB and TVB.
In response to the hurricanes in Florida and Texas, broadcast TV and radio stations organized a number of outreach efforts, including telethons and other fundraisers, and collecting food, water bottle, clothing, hygiene products and other supplies. A number of stations have also made direct donations to relief efforts.
The major networks have also contributed in the recovery efforts, airing the “Hand to Hand” telethon on Sept. 12, which raised $14.5 million during the live broadcast and $55 million in total.
These estimates do not include fundraising totals for Hurricane Maria relief efforts, as most telethons and charitable events are in the planning stage.
“Local broadcasters served as ‘first informers’ and saved countless lives as Harvey and Irma tore through Texas, Louisiana, Florida and the Southeast,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. “Now, our attention turns to the long recovery ahead. I’m so proud of the generosity and compassion shown by broadcasters who are helping rebuild and restore hurricane-ravaged communities.”
The total funds were announced at the annual TVB Forward Conference in New York.