WNBJ NBC 39/CW 39 was awarded the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance LPTV Station of the Year Award in front of a full house at the Westgate Hotel as part of the National Association of Broadcasters annual convention. The station was awarded for displaying innovative and creative programming through its daily schedule, demonstrating sound financial decisions, being a force for the local community in events, issues and stories, and demonstrating a commitment to producing local programming to meet the needs of the community.
Station executive Bill Christian was on hand to receive the award. “We are gratified and humbled to achieve the highest honor from the ATBA. Our small but nimble team in Jackson, led by General Manager Peter Noll, has gone above and beyond to serve the people of Jackson.”
The award also recognized the station’s work in partnering with local community leadership and non-profits to provide a media platform for voices unable to be heard elsewhere.
GM Peter Noll also credited his team, saying “In 2018 our staff served over 100 hours of voluntary service to the community. We televised events that the bigger stations would never bother with, including live news, parades and local campaigns that help our town grow. We broadcast the Veterans Parade and produced a ‘Holiday Salute to our Veterans,’ a 30-minute local show that ran between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Mike Reed, who co-founded the station, had this to say: “There were about 1,900 stations in the USA eligible for this award. Our hats are off to the folks at WNBJ who live our mantra of ‘Pay it Forward’ every day. In 2018 we completed our first full year of producing daily live newscasts. For a tiny market, this is extremely taxing, but we were able to garner advertising dollars to defray our costs, and we expect to break even on it this year. “
Noll added, “We rolled up our sleeves and put together a booth at the Jackson Farmers’ Market, where we promoted the station with a spin the wheel chance to win prizes while educating them on over-the-air reception. We created Channel 39 Day at the West Tennessee State Fair in September; Meteorologist Kris Sommers attended the 4-H Chicken Shack, Tractor Parade and singing contest.”
Every single month the station encourages its staff to do a community event as part of the “Pay it Forward” program. In August they went to local schools to help them prepare for the beginning of the new school year. In July they went to an assisted living center, where they hosted Bingo and grabbed some video to promote the facility. Other monthly “Pay It Forward” events included the team volunteering at the West Tennessee Therapy Camp; The Learning Center’s “Splash and Dash” 5k Fun Run; serving food at the ComeUnity Café; and participating in the West Tennessee Strawberry Festival Parade. News reporters served breakfast for the local March of Dimes chapter.
The station sponsored a table at the Imagination Library Dinner. They sponsored Freed-Hardeman University’s Annual Scholarship Banquet featuring Olympian Scott Hamilton. And they topped it all off with a year-long “Made in Tennessee” campaign.
“At the end of the day, we do well for ourselves when we do well in our communities,” said Reed. “The payback we get from looking into the eyes of the people we are helping more than makes up for the effort we put into it!”
WNBJ Channel 39 broadcasts NBC on channel 39.1 and The CW on 39.2 and can be seen on JEA Cable Channels 4/204 and Spectrum Cable on channels 15/715.
WNBJ 39 is proud to bring their power to reach the broadest audience to better serve viewers, businesses and community organizations of West Tennessee. It’s all part of the company’s overall mission to “Pay it Forward.”