WMC Action News 5 wins National Celebration of Service to America award

WMC Action News 5 studios
WMC Action News 5 studios(WMC)
Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 6:37 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - WMC Action News 5 in Memphis has been awarded the Service to Community Award for Television in the Medium Market category during the 2021 Celebration of Service to America Awards program, which aired Saturday night on stations nationwide.

Hosted by the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation, the Service to America Awards recognize outstanding community service by local broadcasters.

“I’m incredibly proud of our team and our community for their efforts in a very difficult time. I would like to thank the NAB for its recognition and congratulate all of the nominees and award recipients,” WMC Vice President and General Manager Jonathan Mitchell said. “Service to our community is a large part of who we are at WMC. I am so proud of the work we do year-round to give back, and I am very thankful for our viewers who always answer the call any time there is a need.”

WMC Action News 5′s award-winning community service effort, “WMC puts ‘School on TV,’ raises millions for local charities,” served as the force behind the win.

When the pandemic arrived in the Mid-South in March, Shelby County Schools, the largest school district in the state of Tennessee, went to an all-virtual classroom model. WMC partnered with SCS to produce “School on TV.” WMC aired 33 hours of classes each week for the remainder of the school year on their sub-channel 5.2. When the fall semester was starting, SCS provided laptops for every student, but their funding did not provide headsets, a vital part of a digital learning environment. On Monday, August 31, the first day of virtual classes for SCS, WMC Action News 5 hosted a day-long “Headsets for Learning” donation drive. Stories and interviews emphasized the importance, and need, of headsets for every student. In one day, WMC raised $323,000.

“During a challenging time for all the students of Shelby County Schools, putting school on TV was just the right thing to do,” WMC News Director Greg Phillips said. “So many struggled during the pandemic and continue to struggle now. We always have, and will continue, to look for any opportunity to help.”

In a year of unprecedented need, WMC Action News 5 raised more than $2 Million for local charities. Throughout the year, donations poured in from viewers and local businesses,

benefitting organizations including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shelby County Schools’ SchoolSeed fund, The Mid-South Food Bank, and Porter-Leath.

“None of this would have been possible without the commitment of our station’s employees and the generosity of our viewers and community partners,” said Mitchell. “Our dedication to serve will continue in 2021 and beyond.”

WMC Action News 5 is owned by Gray Television, Inc.

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