Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Janesville stations help community rally for law enforcement

Posted On: June 22, 2017
Janesville stations help community - Dormie Roberts, Blain's Farm & Fleet; Sgt Nick Brown, Rock County Sheriff's Dept, Mike O'Brien, WCLO-WJVL; Ken Scott, WCLO-WJVL; Chief David Moore, Janesville Police Dept.

A pair of Janesville radio stations found a way to help the community show support for law enforcement after a high profile manhunt.

WCLO-AM and WJVL-FM discussed ways to show support for police officers and deputies after the capture of Joseph Jakubowski, who was the subject of a 10-day manhunt that started in April after the burglary of a Janesville gun shop. Jakubowski was taken into custody safely, but the lengthy ordeal was taxing for law enforcement officers.

WCLO/WJVL General Manager Mike O’Brien said he spoke with Janesville Police Chief David Moore who said he said he would like signs that support backing the badge.  … Read More

Madison station awarded national Murrow

Posted On: June 21, 2017
Madison station awarded national Murrow - WISC reporter Jessica Arp

A Madison TV station has won a national Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for its 2016 election coverage. 

WISC-TV won the Excellence in Innovation category. 

“This is a tremendous honor for our entire staff, especially our political reporter Jessica Arp. Her commitment to cover the races, to separate truth from spin and to speak to new audiences through digital exploration truly serves our community well,” WISC-TV news director Colin Benedict said.

The award-winning coverage included WISC-TV’s television reporting and digital innovation in covering the race through Election Day.    … Read More

Mother brought to tears by station sharing WBA award

Posted On: June 19, 2017
Liz Shames
Liz Shames

A Shawano radio station that won a WBA award for a story about a family’s struggle brought the mother to tears when they decided to give the family the award.

WTCH did a story in 2015 about Liz Shames titled “A Mother’s Love.” Her only son, Chris, died at age 26. He had a surgery at age two in which he was without oxygen long enough for his brain to shut down, leaving him in a nearly vegetative state.

Kayla Williams from WTCH said she first met Shames at a radio broadcast. She said her husband,  … Read More

Wexler gives back to WBA Foundation

Posted On: June 18, 2017
Wexler gives back to WBA Foundation

Steve Wexler, Vice President, Radio for E.W. Scripps Company, donated his winnings from the WBA Foundation 50/50 raffle at the exhibitors’ reception at the WBA Summer Conference in Sheboygan. Wexler donated $650, providing the Foundation with a total of $1,300 raised. Thank you, Steve!  … Read More

PHOTOS: WBA Hall of Fame induction in Sheboygan

Posted On: June 17, 2017

Four new inductees were added to the WBA Hall of Fame on Thursday at the conclusion of the WBA Summer Conference in Sheboygan. The WBA inducted Ken Beno, Leonard Charles, Bill Hurwitz and Larry Meiller. Read more about them here.

Their plaques will hang in the WBA Hall of Fame at the Milwaukee Hilton, which is also where the next Summer Conference will be held.

 … Read More

Summer Conference in Sheboygan

Posted On: June 15, 2017

Photos from Summer Conference at Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan. More photos to come and heck back soon for a report on the conference running June 15-16.

 … Read More

Students learn to deliver on 21st century platforms

Posted On: June 13, 2017
Students learn to deliver on 21st century platforms - Production crew on location. Fall 2016.

The statistics for online video production and consumption in the 21st century are staggering. It has become a way of life for what will soon be the majority of humans on the planet.

Since the first YouTube video was posted in 2005, aptly titled “Me at the Zoo” that featured 18 seconds of a guy at the zoo remarking about the long trunks of elephants, the site now leads the world in the number of posted videos claiming 500 hours of video posted every minute and the number of users is estimated at 1.3 billion.

At last check,  … Read More

Show us how you support your community

Posted On: June 12, 2017

The WBA wants to promote our local broadcasters and let our elected leaders know of all the work you do to support your communities. We use your stories on our website and in our newsletter and we post them to social media, tagging your elected representatives in Washington D.C.

Here are some examples of recent posts:

Show us how you support your community 1

Show us how you support your community 2


We’re looking for your stories about how your station is making a difference through news coverage, helping during an emergency, telling public service stories, holding community service events, and implementing technological innovations at your station.  … Read More

Broadcasters stand to gain by using data analytics

Posted On: June 9, 2017
Heather Storm

Regardless of whether you’re in radio or television, sales or programming, we’ve always used analytics, often without even realizing that’s what it’s called. So what is it? According to Techopedia, “Data analytics refers to qualitative and quantitative techniques and processes used to enhance productivity and business gain.” Perhaps you’re familiar with the movie, Moneyball, in which the assistant GM of the Oakland A’s calculates which prospects are worth the money based on their ability to hit singles, and thus increase the team’s likelihood of more RBI’s. The purpose is to use as little money as possible to acquire the greatest gain.  … Read More

President’s Column

Michelle Vetterkind

Michelle Vetterkind

I’m sure you’ll agree that there is no shortage of legislative issues affecting our industry at the moment. From the Incentive Auction Repack and Relocation, to Performance Tax,  to advertising deductibility, to retransmission consent, to openness issues, just to name a few. The list goes on and on. As always, know that your WBA is here to serve you, our valued members, and to advocate on your behalf. Advocacy has always been one of the most (if not THE most) valuable services your WBA provides. However, one crucial aspect of your WBA’s advocacy efforts are the relationships that YOU have with your elected officials (at both the state and federal levels). Never underestimate how very important those relationships are. Our WBA State Legislative Day and our WBA DC Trip are two such examples of how YOU shine and truly make a difference.   

Please join me in extending our appreciation to the following members of the Wisconsin State Legislature/Congress for their support of Wisconsin’s broadcasters:

Signed on to Local Radio Freedom Act

Congressman Glenn Grothman

Congressman Mike Gallagher

Congressman Ron Kind

Congressman Sean Duffy

Senator Ron Johnson



Signed on to the Yoder/Engle (Tax Deductibility Letter) – in our support

Congressman Glenn Grothman

Congressman Sean Duffy

Congressman Mike Gallagher

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner


Co-Sponsors – our Technical Fix Legislation for our Sales Tax Exemption
Rep. Joel Kleefisch (co-author)
Rep. Jill Billings
Rep. Ed Brooks
Rep. Steve Doyle
Rep. Andre Jacque
Rep. Scott Krug
Rep. Bob Kulp
Rep. Beth Meyers
Rep. Nick Milroy
Rep. Jeffrey Mursau
Rep. Lee Nerison
Rep. Todd Novak
Rep. Romaine Quinn
Rep. Keith Ripp
Rep. Ken Skowronski
Rep. Pat Snyder
Rep. Lisa Subeck
Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt
Rep. Paul Tittl
Rep. Travis Tranel
Rep. Ron Tusler

Senator Howard Marklein (co-author)
Senator Janet Bewley
Senator Robert Cowles
Senator Jon Erpenbach
Senator Daniel Feyen
Senator Dave Hansen
Senator Devin LeMahieu
Senator Stephen Nass
Senator Lena Taylor
Senator Patrick Testin


If you haven’t signed up for your WBA’s Summer Conference events, please do so now!  I’m sure you’ll agree the Conference Committee did a wonderful job with the agenda. 

Please join me in congratulating our 2017 WBA Hall of Fame Inductees: Ben Beno, Leonard Charles, Bill Hurwitz, and Larry Meiller, and our Local Broadcast Legend Award Recipients: Ben Jakel, William “Bill” Lipman, Jack Martin, and Terry Stake.

I look forward to seeing you (and celebrating with you) in June at the Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan!

For now, enjoy the beautiful spring weather. 

And…..thank you, as always, for your time & support!

Chair’s Column


2017? Just You Wait!

2017 looks like a year in flux. A whole new administration is unpredictable. For us in the media, it can be a circus, in more ways than one. We have an unpredictable president, that’s for sure. Those who work for him are too. It appears the new FCC chair, Ajit Pai, plans to do some things that’ll make it easier for us to operate. The public file listener letters will go away, and even more changes are being discussed at the FCC that might make it easier for us to operate.

The funny thing is that those changes come and go, but it doesn’t seem to really make it any less work, it’s just a different kind of work. We don’t have to manually erase tape carts anymore, just push a key. 

Certainly there’s a lot to do in WBA, Our awards show has more than 1,700 entries, a record. We’re working on a project to honor Rick Jowett, our late photographer for a generation or two. We plan to be involved in Honor Flights again. This time we’re working with Vietnam vets. WBA will be working harder to replace the income lost when some NCSA clients cut budgets or simply went away. Budget cuts mean service cuts. But we’ll be working hard to replace that income or reduce services. You already know membership dues have increased. It was a long time coming. And the value surely matches the amount we now pay.

Each station will have work to do. The TV people have to deal with their spectrum project. Someone will have to get to the Legislature/Department of Revenue to change the sales tax picture to make sure any money spent by those stations becomes a deduction. The bill passed in the last legislature was faulty in that regard.

In radio, FM chips for cell phones are getting more plentiful. There were more than a thousand FM translators licensed to strengthen the signals of AM stations. That will probably start again.

The commission will probably work on cutting more of our red tape providing more flexibility to serve our audiences. The red tape needs to reflect the current marketplace, not 1977.

That’s my first newsletter to the membership. Hope to see you all in Sheboygan in June. And, thank you for your trust in electing me as WBA chair.

Featured Video

Larry Meiller, Hall of Fame Inductee 2017

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