Category Archives: Connecting to Local Communities

WILX Teams Up with United Way for Diaper Drive

WILX Multi-media Journalist Megan Hiler

Gray Television’s WILX-TV (Lansing) has teamed up with Capital Area United Way
to assist with the organization’s Diaper Drive to help low-income families who can’t afford to buy diapers for their children.

Baby and adult diapers, along with wipes can be donated until June 21, but diapers will be accepted until the end of the month.

The diaper drive will take any and all sizes and brands.

United Ways across the nation engage volunteers to help others on June 21 through their annual Day of Action.

This year they have partnered with LAFCU and the Lansing Ignite.

Items can be dropped off at all LAFCU locations (through June 20) or you can text uwdiaper to 41444 and make a monetary donation. That money will be used to buy diapers and add them to the drive.

Last year, over 12,000 diapers were collected. The drive goes until Friday, June 21.

Congressman Tim Walberg Presents WLEN with National Award for Community Service

WLEN News Director Ian Wendt; director of sales and digital engagement, Ashley Gonzalez; president, Julie Koehn; and Congressman Tim Walberg. (Courtesy of

Congressman Tim Walberg (R-7) presented WLEN Radio with the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation’s  Service to Community Award on Tuesday evening (6/11) at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Lenawee  Broadcasting’s WLEN-FM (Adrian) was recognized for its based annual “Thank a Vet” effort.

“I was proud to recognize the WLEN team, led by Julie Koehn, and congratulate them for earning this prestigious national award,” Congressman Walberg said in a press statement.

“At the foundation of building a strong community is honoring the promises we have made to our veterans. WLEN has done exceptional work in raising money for local veterans, including those who are homeless. For all of us who call Lenawee County home, we’re grateful for WLEN’s commitment to giving back to the community.”

Each Veteran’s Day, WLEN’s “Thank a Vet” program raises funds to offer immediate help for veterans in need. Last year, over $30,000 was raised to assist veterans in Lenawee County.  More than $250,000 has been raised since effort began.

WLEN Holds 6th Annual PSA Contest

L-R) Kay Ross, Customer Service Specialist at Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority. Mariah McKinney, 1st place winner; Adrian Public Schools. Suzanne Miller, Assistant Vice President – Marketing at TLC Community Credit Union. Kathy Williams, Senior Marketing Specialist at WLEN.

Lenawee Broadcasting’s WLEN-FM (Adrian) has announced winners in its 6th Annual PSA Contest.  With the theme of “How do you envision a world of kindness that would: reduce suicide, reduce drug use or reduce bullying,” students in classes, groups and organizations all across Lenawee County were challenged to create public service announcements in audio or video around this theme. The entries were judged on line by the entire community. The contest was open to Lenawee students aged 12 to 20.

In 1st Place and receiving a $1,000 scholarship from Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority was Mariah McKinney (Adrian Public Schools); in second place was Paige Lemay Smith (Onsted Public Schools), the winner of a $300 gift card from TLC Community Credit Union; and in third place was Brandt Brown (Clinton Community Schools), the winner of a $200 gift card from TLC Community Credit Union.

The winner’s PSAs will be airing on the station as well as the WLEN website for the remainder of 2019. This project was undertaken to bring awareness to issues affecting our youth in school and in our community, and was generously supported in by the Lenawee Community Mental Health Authority and TLC Community Credit Union.

WLNS Continues its Partnership with Habitat For Humanity

Nexstar Broadcasting’s WLNS-TV (Lansing) this week partnered again with Habitat for Humanity Capitol Region’s “Women Build” program to renovate a home on Lansing’s north side.

Women Build is a program that celebrates women eliminating inadequate housing by building or repairing homes and improving communities.

This year’s project is working on a home rehab for Congolese refugees Suliman & Najat’s family.

They look forward to seeing their children grow up in their new home, graduate from school, and fulfill dreams of their own.

Also this week, the station reflected upon its efforts over the past five years.  In 2017, Habitat took a trip to Africa in order to help a family in need there and WLNS-TV anchor Sheri Jones went along as a volunteer.

One woman and her four grandchildren lived in a small house made of mud in Kenya and it only had two rooms.

There was no ventilation, a leaky roof and dirt floors. Hamilton-Allen remembers stepping inside the home for the first time with tears.

“Investing one week of what habitat for humanity calls, “sweat equity” to help improve the lives of future generations,” Jones said back in 2017.


WXYZ Celebrates ‘The Brightest and Best’


E.W. Scripps’ WXYZ-TV (Detroit) held its 40th annual Brightest and Best celebration at its studios on May 11.  The celebration recognizes the academic achievements of local graduating high school seniors.

Each year, the station invites more than 200 honorees and their families to attend.  This year’s celebration included a Twitter scavenger hunt.  Students also had the opportunity to mingle with WXYZ reporters and anchors and snap photos.

Entercom Detroit Cleans Up For Earth Day

On April 22, staff at Entercom Communications Detroit banded together to clean up the wetlands across the street from the offices and road side near their offices on 11 Mile Road in Southfield, which houses WWJ-AM, WYCD-FM, WOMC-FM, WDZH-FM and WXYT-AM/FM.

30 volunteers worked the Earth Day 2019 event and filled more than a dozen bags full of trash, including a gift shop Mylar balloon on a stick that said ‘Merry Christmas,’ a cell phone, a fully inflated beach ball and numerous pizza boxes.

The station reports that staff volunteers, who ranged from on-air hosts to sales people and promotions staff, program directors and digital producers were hot, their arms scratched and their sneakers muddy. But no one complained. Spirits were high.

Across the company’s more than 200 radio stations, staff cleaned up parks, planted trees, worked at urban farms, picked up cigarette butts, scoured beaches and more. At more than 50 Earth Day events, Entercom engaged more than 3,000 volunteers.

CEO David Field got his hands dirty, too, joining the team in Philly.

Field Tweeted that he was “excited to be joining over 3,000 members of the Entercom team today working on Earth Day volunteer projects in all of our markets. Proud of our team and our longstanding commitment to the environment and making a meaningful difference to the planet & our communities.”

WLNS-TV Collects Electronic Junk for Earth Day 2019

Earth Day 2019 took place April 22; and Nexstar Broadcasting’s WLNS-TV (Lansing) honored the day by helping viewers discard unwanted electronic equipment and devices through recycling outside the station’s studios.

With the help of 1-800-Got-Junk, WLNS-TV viewers filled five truckloads of electronics, all destined for recycling.  The collection drive ran from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and those who dropped off old electronics were traded with a 6″ Blue Spruce Tree seedling to plant, courtest of The Frandor Shopping Center.


On April 3, WWTV/WWUP-TV (Cadillac) and WTCM-FM (Traverse City) teamed up to present TC JOBfest, “the largest employee recruiting event ever held in Northern Michigan.” The event was free for job-seekers and open to the public. The media partnership offered the ability to advertise widely on both television and radio, reaching Up North audiences eager to apply for a diverse range of skilled positions.  The event was open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and was held at the Park Place Hotel and Conference Center.

Over 600 job-seekers from around the Traverse City area visited to meet local employers currently hiring for hundreds of positions, in fields ranging from construction and manufacturing to the military and the medical field.

A total of 30 area businesses were represented at this first-ever JOBfest event in Traverse City, all of which are looking to fill skilled positions with local workers.

During the event, candidates were able to connect with hiring employers and learn about employee benefits, healthcare packages, and workplace culture. There was even an open conference room at JOBfest for employers to use for interviewing exceptional applicants on-site. Northwest Michigan Works! was also present helping prospective employees write cover letters and update their resumes on the spot.

WXYZ/WMYD, Scripps Howard Foundation Partner with Local Non-Profits Through Community Grants

L-R) WXYZ/WMYD’s Chuck Stokes, Mary Carmen Munoz & Jane Garcia of LA SED, WXYZ/WMYD’s Mike Murri

WXYZ/WMYD and the Bob Scripps Community Fund of the Scripps Howard Foundation have kicked off the year with grants to some of the Detroit area’s most worthy not-for-profits. Over the past few weeks, TV-7/20 VP & General Manager Mike Murri and Public Affairs Director Chuck Stokes have met with and handed out checks to seven Michigan organizations doing outstanding work supporting the educational, economic and social needs of this region.

In Detroit, the recipients were LA SED (Latin Americans for Social & Economic Development); Black Family Development (specializing in family counseling); Build Institute (which helps people turn their business ideas into reality) and Detroit PAL (leaders in building character in young people). In Dearborn, a grant was awarded to LAHC (Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities), which is devoted to empowering low-income families.

Over in Pontiac, the family services of Lighthouse of Oakland County, a beacon of hope for 45 years, were recognized. And  in Lansing, the Historical Society of Michigan (HSM), the state’s oldest cultural organization (established in 1828), which holds its largest historical conference each year in Macomb County’s Sterling Heights, was applauded.

WJR Raises More Than $1M For Salvation Army

Last week, Cumulus Media’s WJR-AM (Detroit) held the Annual Bed and Bread Club Radiothon to benefit the Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division.  And, this year the event raised a record $1,501,751!

This year, the Radiothon  was a 24-hour event, beginning at 8 p.m. on February 21 and all day long on Friday, February 22.  In addition to regular WJR personalities, every year longtime Detroit radio veteran Dick Purtan comes out of retirement to participate in the broadcast, this year with two 2-hour shifts on Friday.

“At WJR, we’ve seen the impact of our listener’s donations and how they are helping so many right here in our community,” said Steve Finateri, market manager of News/Talk 760 WJR. “Our entire team of producers, radio hosts and behind-the-scenes staff are proud to partner with The Salvation Army for the ninth consecutive year.”

Dick Purtan

In a Facebook post, Purtan wrote, “Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 32nd Annual Salvation Army Radiothon yesterday! Together, we raised $1,501,751 for the Bed & Bread Program – money that will go right to the streets to feed and shelter almost 4000 Metro-Detroiters each and every day of the year!  From the bottom of my heart… Thank you!”

Annually, the Bed & Bread program serves 18,720 gallons of soup; 102,000 loaves of bread; 143,000 pounds of deli meat; 182,000 hot dogs; and 520,000 pieces of fruit and snacks. The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread trucks travel 180 miles, making 57 stops every day of the year within the city of Detroit.