Emily Barr, GMG President and CEO, to receive 2018 Golden Mike Award

Graham Media Group is proud to announce that company President and Chief Executive Officer Emily L. Barr will receive the 2018 Golden Mike Award.

Barr will be presented with the award at an annual black-tie gala set for March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, officials with the Broadcasters Foundation of America said this week.

The event serves as a major fundraiser for the Broadcasters Foundation, the only charity devoted exclusively to helping broadcasters in need.

“It is an honor to receive this award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America, and I am grateful to the board for their commitment to our colleagues in need,” Barr said. “This year, the Broadcasters Foundation rose to the challenge of helping so many of our colleagues who were impacted by hurricanes, floods and wildfires. With the generous support of broadcasters across the country, the foundation can continue to make a difference in the lives of those who find themselves in devastating circumstances.”

Barr has sat at the helm of the broadcast TV division of Graham Holdings since 2012. Graham’s seven stations are known as news leaders in Top-70 markets – including Houston, Detroit, San Antonio, Orlando, Jacksonville and Roanoke.

Graham Media Group was named 2016 Station Group of the Year by Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, under Barr’s leadership.

Before coming to Graham, Barr served as president and general manager of ABC-owned stations in Chicago and Raleigh-Durham. She is also on the boards of the Associated Press and the Television Bureau of Advertising.

“Emily is a consummate broadcaster whose leadership and service to the industry and the communities that the Graham stations serve are commendable,” said Dan Mason, chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation, in a statement online. “We are proud to honor her and recognize her accomplishments.”

Barr is also the first vice chair for television for the National Association of Broadcasters and has been the chairman of the board for the Illinois Broadcasters Association. Barr was inducted into the 2016 Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 

She was awarded the 2014 Vincent T. Wasilewski Broadcaster of the Year by the Illinois Broadcasters Association and received the 2010 Westbury Leadership Award from the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago for her involvement in a citywide media effort to raise funds for the Haitian earthquake relief effort, the BFOA statement said.

The Golden Mike Award dinner attracts a who’s-who of media executives and celebrities. For more than 70 years, the Broadcasters Foundation, a 501(c)-3 charity, has distributed millions of dollars to broadcasters who have lost their careers through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or other unforeseen tragedy.

'Straight Talk from the Candidates' Effort To Inform Voters

In an effort to inform voters and arm them with the tools they need to make their choices at the polls, KPRC2 invited candidates in major political races to address viewers in a special hour-long public service program, “Straight Talk from the Candidates.” The program was presented commercial-free on Friday, October 21st at 7 p.m. and was produced without commentary in order to serve as a forum for candidates to share their visions without interruption.

KPRC2 also partnered with Telemundo Houston to host a bilingual phone bank for voter information on October 24th, as early voting began. These initiatives complemented KPRC2’s election coverage, which included sending reporters to cover every debate, conventions and important stops along the campaign trail.

WDIV Adopts Detroit Public School

WDIV-Local 4 has embarked on “Help Me Hank: The School Project,” a 10-month commitment to better the physical environment of Thurgood Marshall Elementary-Middle School in Detroit.

The station partnered with Detroit Public School Community District to identify a school that was in crucial need of building renovations.  Thurgood Marshall Elementary-Middle School is home to nearly 700 students and dedicated faculty and staff.

“As a reporter in Detroit for the last 16 years, I’ve seen school children and teachers trying to learn and teach in appalling conditions and it is unacceptable,” said Help Me Hank Consumer Reporter Hank Winchester. “‘Help Me Hank: The School Project’ is not about who is to blame for the state of the schools, but how we, as a community, can work with our generous friends and the people of the school district to create a better physical learning environment for the young and curious students of Thurgood Marshall.”

The cafeteria and front office were the first targets for renovations. Hire It Done and PPG Paint donated time, materials, and people to transform the cafeteria and main office.

“Right now the gymnasium doesn’t have bleachers. There are two-by-fours on top of paint buckets for people to sit,” said Kim Voet, news director. “The gymnasium, media center, and ways to improve technology are the next big things on our list.”

“The school mascot is a dolphin and there was not one dolphin in the building. When our friends from Fathead provided dolphin decals for the cafeteria, we could see the excitement from the faculty, staff, parents and students. We can’t wait to do so much more over the next school year,” said Winchester.

“Building quality is important to student outcomes. There’s a real sense of pride that comes from being in an updated, safe and physically attractive learning environment. Local 4 is headquartered in Detroit and the schools of this city are our neighbors and are educating our future leaders,” said Marla Drutz, Local 4 vice-president and general manager.

'Kicks for the Kids' shoe giveaway helps families put best foot forward

  

Hundreds of kids now get the chance to take a step in the right direction heading into the new school year thanks to Sunday’s “Kicks for Kids” event.  The charitable event held at the Regency Square Mall was a success thanks to the folks who donated more the 1,500 pairs of shoes.

A grandmother of seven, Loretta Grant was first in line. Her family needed help now, more than ever. The father of her grandchildren suddenly passed away in his sleep.

“He died on Christmas night,” Grant said. “He went to sleep on Christmas night and we woke up the next morning and he was dead. He died in his sleep, 34 years old, and he left behind seven kids.”

Jayden Stratton was also in line with his family. Jayden’s going into the fifth grad and was really hoping for “Jordan's, or Nikes.”  Jayden said he was just excited to get out here and meet new friends. He said he can’t wait to go back to school because he has goals to accomplish.  “Good grades mostly,” Jayden said. “Good attendance and trying to be the best I can be.”

Kara Strayer said she’s grateful her son, who’s going into the third grade, was able to get a pair of shoes for the new year.  “He's an awesome, outgoing kid and he loves to play and ride his bike outside, so he definitely goes through his fair pair of shoes,” Strayer said.

  

'Clear The Shelters' Promotes Pet Adoption

KPRC2’s commitment to the community extends to our four-legged friends.

In July, KPRC2 partnered with Telemundo Houston to help Clear the Shelters as part of a nationwide initiative spearheaded by NBC. The program encouraged overcrowded shelters to waive or deeply discount their adoption fees in order to curb euthanasia rates. Through extensive promotion of pet adoption facilities and programs, along with tips on responsible pet ownership via promotional spots and on-air interviews, Clear the Shelters helped alleviate over-crowding problems in Houston area shelters at a time of year when adoptions traditionally occur less frequently.

Through the campaign, more than 2,500 pets were adopted in the Houston area, with totals surpassing 47,000 pet adoptions nationwide.

KPRC2 Summer Blood Drive Supports Community

The Houston area sees a drop in blood donations each summer, so KPRC2 worked to raise awareness and help increase life-saving blood supplies in partnership with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. The KPRC2 Summer Blood Drive, hosted in front of the station on June 16th, resulted in 1,412 blood donations.

The quantity represents a nine percent increase in donations over prior year totals and gave KPRC2 the designation of having the largest media-sponsored blood drive event in Houston. Each blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives, so the KPRC2 Summer Blood Drive alone could impact more than 4,000 people in the Houston area and beyond. In fact, once local blood supply needs were met, some donations collected at the KPRC2 Summer Blood Drive were sent to help victims of the mass nightclub shooting in Orlando.