To recognize outstanding community service among local broadcasters, the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation announced the finalists for the 2021 Celebration of Service to America Awards.
The 2021 awards will be broadcast on television and radio stations across the country in the form of a one-hour award ceremony featuring celebrity guests, past honorees and policymakers. Those awards will premiere on July 10, and run through Aug. 14.
During 2020, the finalists devoted a total of 3,528 hours of airtime to public service and provided more $43.4 million in funds and donations. The 2021 award finalists represent 20 states and 28 cities.
“America’s local broadcasters’ fundamental commitment to public service continues to shine brighter than ever, and this year’s finalists embody the close bond between stations and their communities,” said NAB Leadership Foundation President Michelle Duke. “We look forward to celebrating these outstanding stations and honoring their critical work informing, supporting and strengthening the public in a year of unparalleled difficulties.”
There are eight separate categories and the 28 finalists represent a broad swath of community voices. For example the Service to Community Award for Radio in a large market includes the WBAL Kids Campaign from AM station WBAL. This campaign, which is designed to help children around the greater Baltimore area through education, experiences and donations, this year campaign raised more than $193,000 for various partner charities.
Small market radio campaigns were recognized too. For example, FM station KLQL in Luverne, Minn., worked with the local chamber of commerce and newspaper to launch the “Share the Luv” campaign that invited listeners to call in and purchase gift certificates for local businesses. The station matched $25 for every $100 purchased to give local businesses an extra boost, the station said.
The awards recognize small-, medium- and large-market radio and TV stations in the following categories.
Service to Community Award for Radio — Ownership Group
Service to Community Award for TV — Ownership Group
Service to Community Award for Radio — Large Market
Service to Community Award for TV — Large Market
Service to Community Award for Radio — Medium Market
Service to Community Award for TV — Medium Market
Service to Community Award for Radio — Small Market
Service to Community Award for TV — Small Market