A Friend Indeed to Broadcasters in Need

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Jimmy and Jamie Moore, both former journalists at WSPA in Spartanburg, S.C., were newly married, having just moved into their first apartment, when Jimmy, driving the station’s news truck, was in an accident that left him paralyzed.

Yet even after leaving their jobs, and moving to Atlanta for Jimmy’s medical care, the Moores are doing OK. Thanks to help from the Broadcasters Foundation of America, the couple lives in an apartment big enough for Jimmy’s medical equipment; can afford his nursing care; and provide for their “blessing,” a daughter born in 2014.

“It’s a huge relief,” Jamie Moore said. “We can breathe a little bit.”

The Moores’ story embodies what the Broadcasters Foundation is all about: helping broadcasters in financial need maintain their quality of life through ongoing support, like the Moores receive, or one-time emergency grants. The foundation distributes roughly $900,000 a year. In 2016, that included 90, $1,000 emergency grants to victims of the Louisiana floods.

The foundation’s grants come from individual and corporate donations and fundraising events, the most important of which is the annual Golden Mike Award dinner. The black-tie affair, at which two industry leaders are honored — one with the annual Golden Mike, the other for lifetime achievement — nets about $300,000, said foundation president Jim Thompson.

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This year’s Golden Mike recipient, Meredith’s Paul Karpowicz, is among good company in the winners’ circle, occupied by former recipients such as Michael Bloomberg, the Bloomberg LP founder and former New York City mayor, and Sen. Gordon Smith, president of the National Association of Broadcasters. Bill Hoffman, the former Cox Media Group executive who will receive the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, was preceded by Dick Clark and Charles Osgood.

Thompson said the foundation operates in the spirit of its predecessor, the Broadcast Pioneers, a group of coworkers who chipped in to help colleagues in need. “They’d all go around the room and throw in $20,” he said.

It’s just bigger now.

“There are people in the TV and radio business who are unable to work, usually due to an accident or illness, and they are unable to financially survive, keep up with their bills and keep their families together,” he said. “We send a monthly check that allows you to continue to live your life, for your kids go to school and live in dignity. And that will continue as long as you need it.”