NBCU Sandy telethon raises $23 mil

'Coming Together' spurs record number of Red Cross donations

NBCUniversal’s hastily organized “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together” telethon that aired Friday night across NBCU channels, HBO and a handful of other TV and radio outlets, raised nearly $23 million in pledges for the American Red Cross’ relief efforts.

The hourlong live telecast, hosted by “Today” anchor Matt Lauer, featured perfs by Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Steven Tyler, Sting, Jon Bon Jovi, Christina Aguilera and others. The Red Cross said the event spurred a record number of individual donations, and the volume of web, telephone and text donations generated by the telecast between 8 p.m.-midnight ET on Friday exceeded that of other Red Cross telethons during the past five years.

“We are incredibly grateful and humbled by this outpouring of support for those who are suffering as a result of Superstorm Sandy,” said Peggy Dyer, American Red Cross’ chief marketing officer.