Wisconsin Broadcasters Association


I don’t like to make any assumptions about anyone’s media consumption habits, so forgive me if you’re already a reader of Mashable. If you’re not a reader of Mashable or any other digital-first media site, then I suggest you take a look. It’s what a news website looks like when it didn’t start with a … Read More

Advanced Consulting Skills for Broadcast Advertising Salespeople

Program Date:  August 17, 2016

Presenter: Chris Lytle This one is the third in a series of four broadcast sales specific webinars. All four are personally conducted by Chris Lytle. Chris promises “more usable information per minute” than you’ll find in any sales training session on the market. Here are a few of the things you will learn during this … Read More

Control the Creative, Control the Account

Program Date:  August 16, 2016 OR  August 18, 2016

Radio Advertising Bureau’s One-Hour, Live Online Webinar Presenters: Jeff Schmidt with Guest Yaman Coskun “I tried radio once and it didn’t work.” Ever have a prospect say that? A key ingredient to effective radio advertising is engaging creative. Better commercials get better results. Better results mean success for your clients. Success results in more spending, … Read More


In life, and specifically in the broadcasting field, it is extremely important to be involved in the community. In our personal lives, our community can be made up of many things: the city we live in, our family, our job, our church, our hobbies. This carries over to the broadcasting field as well! I have … Read More

Some Things Never Change

When I retired from broadcasting two years ago and taught a class on TV and news production, I told them that I would be good for two years since I wasn’t sure that I would recognize the business after that time period. Well, its been two years, and…. Broadcasting is alive and well, as one … Read More

Lessons about Facebook Live

Most newsrooms have at least experimented with Facebook Live, but the uses have varied. New platforms are always a good way to get newsrooms thinking creatively. NPR got into Facebook livestreams in a big way shortly after the feature was launched. Two months later, they’re talking about how it’s going. “It’s all part of a … Read More

President’s Column

Michelle Vetterkind

Michelle Vetterkind

WBA Summer Conference Recap

If you were one of the nearly 400 broadcasters, exhibitors, associate members and guests who joined us for the WBA’s Summer Conference, held during the week of June 20 at the Radisson Hotel/Convention Center on the beautiful Mississippi River in La Crosse, I think you’ll agree it was a most memorable event. We’re still receiving excellent feedback. As a matter of fact, we’ve heard many comments saying that this was one of the BEST WBA Conferences ever!

For some of us, Conference Week started on Monday morning, with the WBA’s fifth annual Media Technology Institute (MTI), underwritten by the WBA and Duke Wright of Midwest Communications. MTI provides practical, instructional courses for prospective, beginning, and current broadcast/media engineers. MTI consists of 3 days of instructional content and 1 day of technical seminars/equipment exhibition as part of the WBA Summer Engineering Conference. Chief Instructor Terry Baun was joined by Jim Klas, WI ECB; Bill Hubbard, UW-Green Bay; Richard Wood, Resonant Results; and Jeff Welton, Nautel.

Tuesday focused on our Board(s) of Directors. We started out with our WBA Executive Committee Meeting and then continued on with our Joint WBA/WBA Foundation Board Meeting. Three years ago, we joined the two boards together for a meeting for the first time and it was so well received, we decided to make it a standing tradition each June. That evening, WBA and WBA Foundation Board Members, along with your WBA staff, enjoyed a reception at Dick Record’s lovely home; followed by a fabulous dinner held on the rooftop of the Weber Center (thank you, Chuck Roth for your assistance).

Wednesday provided more offerings than ever before! Despite a bit of rain at the Radisson, the powers that be seemed to favor our golfers with perfect weather for the WBA Golf Outing at Cedar Creek, where a good time seemed to be had by all.

The day-long Engineering Workshop received topnotch reviews, as a result of several most timely sessions planned by our fantastic Broadcasters Clinic/Summer Conference Engineering Committee. One of the most well-received sessions was the “Amber Alert Incident Debrief” where the panel including law enforcement, the WI Dept of Justice, and the Coordinator for Wisconsin’s Clearinghouse for Missing & Exploited Children & Adults dissected an actual child abduction incident that resulted in an Amber Alert in Wisconsin. What were the steps that lead up to the Alert and what process was used to
determine an Alert was needed.

Wednesday morning also offered two roundtable sessions put on by our very own members: “Hiring, Training, and Retaining Sales Personnel” with Barb Van Dei Hei of Bay Cities Radio in Marinette and “The First Years: Building a Foundation for Success” featuring an astute team of the WBA’s Young Professionals.

Wednesday afternoon offered our bi-annual Job/Career Fair (the WBA’s EEO Session “Legal Issue & Effective Strategies to Prevent Unlawful Discrimination During the Employment Relationship” was offered the week prior via webinar this year). We also held the WBA’s Legislative Session on Wednesday afternoon this year (featuring WBA State Legislative Chair Kelly Radandt, WBA Federal Legislative Chair Roger Utnehmer, Brandon Scholz from the Cap Group, NAB’s Jack Smedile (via speaker phone) and myself. Judging by the full room, it appears that moving it from Thursday to Wednesday was a good move! As usual, there was no shortage of Legislative and Regulatory Issues that could have a significant effect on our industry. This highly
relevant session always helps our members stay informed.

Attendees met up that evening for the Exhibit Reception where everyone was vying for one of the many wonderful prizes that were being offered. The Young Professionals (although I hear a few “young in spirit” happened to join in) also enjoyed a Brewery Tour at the City Brewery. Then all convened for a short walk to the Cargill Room at the Waterfront provided for an excellent dinner, refreshing drinks, along with great camaraderie amongst friends—old and new.

Thursday morning started bright and early with the Business Breakfast where reports were heard from various committee chairs, along with updates from both the WBA and the WBA Foundation, followed by our annual Economic Update from Jason Joanis & Erica Hill with BMO Private Bank.

Thursday’s general sessions definitely contributed to the popularity of the Conference; our morning session featured David Rich with “Contagious Selling: How to Sell Profitably in a Media Fragmented World”. Our afternoon general sessions provided two options: “Recruit & Retain to Win” with Kelly Wirges of ProMax and Emerging
Media: Where Does it Fit?” with Mid-West Digital Marketing’s Ron Giordan.

A Thursday highlight featured the presentation of the second annual WBA Local Broadcast Legends Awards during the Keynote Luncheon. Please join me in congratulating this year’s honorees: William Allen (posthumous), Norb Aschom, Dick Kaner, and Bob Salm.

And….what more can we say about the Keynote Luncheon Address, Viterbo College’s Tom Thibodeau on Servant Leadership? We laughed, we cried, we learned. Many have said that Tom was one of the best Keynote’s we’ve ever had. That’s a saying a lot!

Our Summer Conference culminated our Hall of Fame Reception and Dinner. It is a celebration shared by family, friends, and former colleagues. Special congratulations to this year’s inductees: Lindsay Wood Davis, Aline Hazard (posthumous), Larry McCarren, and Chuck Roth.

Please join me in extending a heart-felt thank you to Linda and Liz for their hard work. I am proud and honored to be a part of this WBA Team. And of course – a thank you to our Supporters, Committees, and our Sponsors – we would not provide such a top-notch event without you.

Make sure to put next year’s Winter Conference (and State Legislative Day) and Summer Conference on your calendars. Winter/State Legislative Day will be Wednesday, January 25 at the Concourse Hotel in Madison; the Summer Conference will take place June 14 & 15 at the Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan. In the meantime, stay cool – enjoy the rest of the summer (which always seems to fly by), and…..thank you, as always, for your time & support!


Chair’s Column

Tom Allen

Tom Allen

As an employer or an employee, whether we are giving it or receiving it, we all know how important feedback is to our individual growth and satisfaction in the workplace.

Simply put, feedback is an invaluable tool for continued learning. Which is why I’m asking you to get involved in an extremely valuable feedback loop for up and coming journalism, broadcasting and communications students in Wisconsin.

It is called “Student Storytellers,” and is the brainchild of Dean Maytag, past WBA Board Chair, current WBA Foundation Board member, and retired Milwaukee TV programming guru. Student Storytellers is contained in a special section of the WBA Newsroom site, and it’s where you’ll find interesting, creative and engaging stories produced and posted from students at schools all across Wisconsin. Students send us their stories… news, feature, video, audio, digital… and we post them on the website,
organized by school. Then you and I have the opportunity to view the work and provide feedback directly to the student. It provides them with valuable input and critique from professional broadcasters, and gives them the incentive to hone their skills and submit more work. In turn, it gives us some insight into what issues they care about, and how they approach telling us about it. Think of it as our own young millennial focus group.

The ability to create and tell compelling stories is at the heart of what we do. It is also critical to our future. Someone who can artfully craft a story can work in any broadcast medium—TV, Radio, or Digital. What better way to find the next generation of storytellers for our Wisconsin stations than to invest a little time in giving feedback and developing a line of communication between student storytellers and broadcast professionals.

When you explore the Student Storytellers section of the WBA Newsroom website you’ll find stories such as “On Humanity’s Edge,” where a group of students went out to find local Holocaust survivors, or “Log-Out,” about a student who decides to quit social media for 30 days and replace it with meditation. Those stories, and many more, await your feedback. So please take a moment to share this information at your station, and take a few minutes every now and then to watch something from a student storyteller and let them know what you think. These future broadcasters are waiting to hear from you!

Featured Video

Aline Hazard, Hall of Fame Inductee 2016