Category Archives: Connecting to Local Communities

WXYZ-TV Continues Series of Detroit 2020 Town Hall Meetings

(L-R) WXYZ’s Chuck Stokes, Ross Jones and Carolyn Clifford.

WXYZ-TV (Detroit) continued its series of Detroit 2020 town hall meetings with an event in Greater Grace Temple in Detroit on September 19.

The 7 Action News town hall series is part of WXYZ’s Detroit 2020 project created to project a vision of the communities the station serves in the future.

“We’re going into the communities we serve to simply listen,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ and WMYD vice president and general manager. “We want to find out what makes Detroit neighborhoods unique, but we also want to hear about the issues residents are facing and what we might do to help address some of those challenges.”

7 Action News Anchor Carolyn Clifford hosted the event along with WXYZ Editorial Director Chuck Stokes and 7 Action News Investigator Ross Jones. The station featured portions of the town hall meeting on their 7 p.m. newscast as well as a with a Facebook Live broadcast.

This event was the 4th Detroit 2020 town hall meeting. WXYZ has also held events in Sterling Heights, Taylor and at the WXYZ studios in Southfield for the screening of the documentary “12th and Clairmount” that reflects on the 50th anniversary of the Detroit Riots.

WWTV/WWUP-TV’s Michelle Dunaway takes on the Red Walk For Families

WWTV/WWUP-TV’s Michelle Dunaway

WWTV/WWUP-TV (9&10 News/Cadillac),  McDonald’s, Highpoint and Nature & Me R.V. will join forces for the “Red Walk for Family” on September 28.

The event is to bring awareness to Northern Michigan communities about the important role the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan (RMHWM) plays in providing comfortable accommodations and so much more to our area.

RMHWM is a “Home Away From Home” for families of children traveling to Grand Rapids for their child’s medical or mental health treatment. It has provided service to more than 1,000 Northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula families. The majority of these families came from Wexford and Grand Traverse counties

The Red Walk for Families will take place on September 28 and is an athletic challenge that 9&10 News Health Reporter Michelle Dunaway will take on. This 40+ mile journey kicks off at 6 a.m. at the Traverse City McDonald’s and Michelle is expected to arrive at the Cadillac McDonald’s at 10:30 p.m.

Viewers are encouraged to get involved with this walk in different ways: by becoming a sponsor, donating and by rooting Michelle on as she takes over 84,000 steps for the RMHWM.

WSMH-TV Presents Annual Fall Festival

On September 17, WSMH-TV (Flint) presented its 13th annual Fall Festival at Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center.

The free family event, which featured the Pink Panther and superheroes to the thrill of BMX racing as well as an acre of vendor and community service organizations. The station declared it a huge success.

For thousands of mid-Michigan families, it was strictly a day of free family fun with something for the kids, beginning with a visit to our “Kids Click,” an area set aside just for kids.

Named after the block of morning cartoons on the station, the younger set could meet their favorite cartoon character, color and get their faces painted.

And while the kids were having fun, there was plenty to keep the adults engaged too.

The fall fest was also a chance for our anchors, reporters and staff members to spend some quality time getting to know their viewers.

WJRT-TV and Cumulus Help Red Cross Hurricane Relief

WJRT Anchor Dawn Jones


Cumulus Media WWCK-FM Program Director/Air Personality Jerry Noble

On September 14, Gray Television’s WJRT-TV (Flint), with help from the Cumulus Media Flint radio stations, raised more than $24,000 during a 7-hour telethon for the Red Cross to spend on hurricane relief efforts in Texas and Florida.

Volunteers took well over 300 donations during the telethon, breaking organizers’ expectations for the event.

“The generosity of the people of Mid-Michigan really came out in full force today,” said Tony Lasher, regional executive director for the Red Cross. “We far exceeeded our expectations with this telethon.”

The Red Cross has been focused on large-scale shelter and relief operations since Hurricane Harvey hit south Texas during the last week of August. Unprecedented rainfall dumped more than 50 inches in some areas, leading to widespread flooding.

While the Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations were responding to that, Hurricane Irma thrashed the west coast of Florida and other nearby states. Sustained winds of over 120 mph and high storm surge caused more widespread damage throughout the region.

The $24,400 raised on Thursday, which includes about $19,000 in direct donations and about $5,000 in pledges, will help both areas recover and begin to rebuild.

“We want to thank everybody and we will steward these resources effectively for the people affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” Lasher said.

TCT Helping Hurricane Victims

TCT President and Founder Garth Coonce loading a truck with viewer donations.

TCT Michigan Television stations, including WTLJ-TV (Allendale), WAQP-TV (Saginaw) and WDWO-TV (Detroit) are participating with other TCT stations across the nation as part of the Helping Hand Outreach Program to help victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

The stations are collecting supplies of water, non-perishable food items, diapers, undergarments, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items and more for distribution in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and other areas affected by the recent hurricanes.

Viewers can drop off items at the local studios of each station.  The company reports that it already has made one delivery trip made possible by the program.

Here’s a complete list of items being collected:

WDIV Hosts “Help 4 Hurricane Relief” Telethon

(L-R) Local 4 Reporter Hank Winchester, WDIV Vice President and General Manager Marla Drutz, Jon Witz/ABE Foundation

In response to the widespread devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Graham Media’s WDIV-TV (Detroit),  Art Van Furniture and the American Red Cross Michigan Region joined forces to air an all-day telethon “Help 4 Hurricane Relief, ” on September 12.

A total of $430,267 was raised, not counting additional donations that may have come through the station’s website.

Hosted at the downtown Detroit studios of WDIV-Local 4, with an additional phone bank at the Warren location of Art Van Furniture, the telethon featured firsthand accounts of Harvey’s impact on the nation’s fourth largest metropolitan area. WDIV-Local 4 reporter Nick Monacelli and a station crew have been reporting from the devastation in Houston for sister station KPRC since soon after Harvey began to flood neighborhoods.

WDIV Vice President and General Manager Marla Drutz had this to say after the telethon“Local TV has a profound impact on its community and we witnessed that again today. It took a lot of hard work and resources to plan and execute this initiative, but we knew it was it was important and desperately needed. There is nothing better than watching great people do great things and I saw that firsthand today.”

Money collected will be donated to the American Red Cross relief efforts for hurricane devastation in Texas and Florida.

In addition to the efforts of WDIV, shortly after Hurricane Harvey, Graham Media’s parent company, Graham Holdings, made a $100,000 contribution that was split between the Houston area Red Cross and the Houston Food Bank to help heal those communities.

Detroit Stations Team Up for Operation Backpack

During the week of August 21, WJBK-TV, WNIC-FM, and WKQI-FM teamed up with Kroger Food Stores to collect new backpacks and school supplies for children in need in the Detroit community.  WJKB-TV’s Sherry Margolis along with Jay Towers from both WJBK and WNIC-FM and Mojo from WKQI’s Mojo in the Morning assisted with the Operation Backpack effort.

With the support of Kroger, viewers and listeners were encouraged to visit a local Kroger store to purchase and donate a $7 school supply kit and drop it into the bin at the front of stores.

In addition, the three media outlets promoted a “Fill-the-School Bus” effort on August 25, each broadcasting live from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The event took place at a Kroger located in Royal Oak.

All supplies collected went to to Volunteers of America Michigan to be distributed to local children in need.

WKHM-FM & Baker College to Host Community Job Fair

Jackson Radio Works’ WKHM-FM (Jackson)(K-105.3) has teamed up with Baker College to host a job fair on September 12.

Employers and businesses in a variety of industries will be on hand to accept resumes, share information about jobs available and services they provide to those looking for a job or career change. This event is open to the public.

Thr job fair is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Baker College Campus in Jackson.  As of this writing, the station has 29 participating vendors.

TEGNA Launches ‘Texas Cares’ Initiative to Raise Money for Hurricane Harvey Victims

Is your station or company doing something to help the hurricane victims in Texas?  Let us know about it! Email

On August 28, TEGNA Inc. launched Texas Cares, an initiative to support those in need following Hurricane Harvey. All money raised by TEGNA’s stations will be donated to the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. The TEGNA Foundation has matched the first $100,000 of donations.

TEGNA-owned WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) is participating in the effort.

“Harvey’s devastation has shattered the lives of millions across Texas,” said Dave Lougee, president and CEO, TEGNA. “Our stations are coming together to serve the greater good of our communities and help those who need it most. Our stations in Texas are providing important, life-saving information and aid during this catastrophic storm. In Houston, while KHOU’s building was flooding, the station continued to provide vital coverage across platforms. I am incredibly proud of the work our stations are doing to keep their communities informed and safe while providing help and relief to those who need it most.”

All 46 TEGNA stations in 38 markets are reaching out in their communities to help raise money for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. As part of the Texas Cares initiatives, all stations are running stories on-air and across social media informing viewers how they can help. All stations have a dedicated donation page on their website. Donations to the Texas Cares initiative are tax deductible and proceeds will go to the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

The company reported that in the first 24-hours of fundraising, over one million dollars has been raised.

WXYZ and WMYD Take Action for Texas

Is your station or company doing something to help the hurricane victims in Texas?  Let us know about it! Email

In the midst of the unprecedented destruction from Hurricane Harvey, WXYZ-TV and WMYD-TV in Detroit have taken action for Texas with a multi-platform relief effort that includes a special volunteer phone bank to assist in this time of great need.

WXYZ and WMYD partnered with the Red Cross of Michigan to staff a phone bank that gives viewers the opportunity to help. Phone lines were open this past Monday (August 28) for four hours and all day Tuesday (August 29) from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Red Cross of Michigan volunteers joined WXYZ and WMYD employees to help Metro Detroiters who want to donate to the relief effort.

“Our team is passionate about helping those in need,” said WXYZ and WMYD vice president and general manager Mike Murri. “We believe we can be a catalyst to encourage Metro Detroiters to donate in support of this important relief effort. We know the generous people of this community are committed to helping make a difference in the lives of the people in Texas.”