Wisconsin Broadcasters Association
  • Madison Marriott West

    Broadcasters Clinic

    The 2014 Broadcasters Clinic and Upper Midwest SBE Regional Meeting will take place October 21-23 at the Madison Marriott West Hotel.

  • Awards

    Awards For Excellence

    Online entries will be accepted starting December 1, 2014.

Client Alert: FCC Sets September 23, 2014 Deadline for 2014 Regulatory Fees

August 29, 2014

By Christine A. Reilly

I wrote a post here in June on the FCC’s release of its proposed regulatory fees for Fiscal Year 2014. Normally, the FCC releases an order adopting the official fee amounts and the deadline by which they must be filed in early to mid-August of each year. This year, however, licensees were beginning to get nervous, as August was coming to a close and there had still been no word from the FCC as to the final fee amounts and how quickly they must be paid.

Fortunately, the FCC was able to get the fee order out this afternoon, on the last business day of August. Unfortunately, because the Public Notice of the release occurred on the Friday before a three day weekend, many licensees may miss that announcement. According to today’s Public Notice, full payment of annual regulatory fees for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014) must be received no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 23, 2014. As of today, the Commission’s automated filing and payment system, the Fee Filer System, is available for filing and payment of FY 2014 regulatory fees. A copy of the Public Notice with the details is available here.

Also, as noted in a footnote to that Public Notice, “[c]hecks, money orders, and cashier’s checks are no longer accepted as means of payment for regulatory fees. As a result, it is the responsibility of licensees to make sure that their electronic payments are made timely and the transaction is completed by the due date.” Time to rack up those credit card frequent flyer miles!

Silver Alert Law Takes Effect August 1st

July 30, 2014

On August 1, 2014, Wisconsin’s new Silver Alert law takes effect and will be an important step in protecting those with Alzheimer’s and dementia who may become missing. Similar to an Amber Alert, Silver Alerts will go out through email/text message/fax, Digital Billboards, and Lottery Display Terminals. Silver Alerts will not utilize the Emergency Activation System. The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association has been a valuable partner in establishing the Silver Alert program and broadcasters will play a vital role with disseminating Silver Alerts. -more-

WBA to Offer Digital Leadership Academy

The New York State Broadcasters Association is recording its Digital Leadership Academy for the first time…and your WBA has made it available for YOUR use in early October 2014.


President’s Column

Michelle Vetterkind

Michelle Vetterkind

Keeping in Touch

If you haven’t yet taken the opportunity to visit your WBA offices, please do so! Linda, Mandy, Liz, and I are always up for company and we love having members stop in to see us. We can promise you a bit of fun conversation, a cold (or hot, your preference) beverage and…one of the best views in Madison. We’re located right on the Capitol Square where we’ve leased the same office for more than twenty years now. We have a corner office suite in an all-glass building and overlook both Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. I have been with the WBA coming up on 19 years at the end of this August and I still get irritated with myself whenever I begin to take this view for granted.

As I sit here now looking out my office window and watching the boats on Lake Mendota (it’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon), I just so happen to be working on my lobbying report. While that may sound like an odd combination, lobbying is one of the most important and necessary parts of my job and in filling out my lobbying report, I’m reminded again of a couple of our major successes this year at the State Legislative Level: our Sales Tax Exemption and our Silver Alert Bill. -more-

Chair’s Column


Remember To Laugh With Someone

I was watching CBS Sunday Morning on July 20th and one of the topics was President Reagan’s sense of humor. Whether you agree with his politics or not, he certainly had a way of disarming both his colleagues and adversaries with his quick wit.

I was surprised to see that those “one liners” were usually prepared well in advance, kept on a set of three-by-five index cards, and brought out during speeches and general conversations.

Humor is so important in the workplace. Here are several of my favorite reasons why from The Humor That Works website:

  • Humor increases persuasion. Humor can be highly persuasive when presenting a message that people disagree with because humor distracts them from immediately creating counter arguments, in part because they don’t feel the message is being crammed down their throats.
  • Humor builds trust. Social benefits of humor include group cohesiveness, diffusion of conflict, team and trust building amongst diverse groups.
  • Humor increases employee engagement. Managers who lead with levity benefit from higher levels of employee engagement and overall success.
  • Humor enhances perceived leadership skills. People who use humor, particularly in stressful situations, are viewed as being on top of things, being in charge and in control, whether they are in fact or not.

My own boss, Greg Bell, has a very good sense of humor. It’s a very dry sense of humor; the kind where you can’t quite tell if he’s being serious or not. It’s quite effective. Just ask anyone who’s worked with him.

Humor is a skill that more people should work at developing, but first start by relaxing and not quite taking everything so seriously. Remember to laugh with someone today! I will.

Will broadcasters fight for drones?

I’m taking a departure from social media to ask you: Have you seen drones used for gathering news?

I’ve mentioned before that I follow the news in Thailand closely. A few months ago when protests were raging in the streets of Bangkok, drones showed their usefulness:

The FAA is still working on regulations for drones in the U.S. Hopefully, journalists won’t be forgotten.

We can expect law enforcement to have access to drones in the future. It makes sense that journalists (broadcasters) should also have eyes in the skies.

Will broadcasters fight to have their own drones, as a service to the public?

WBA Social Media Committee

Jake Anderson, WXOW/WQOW
Kyle Geissler, WISC-TV
Neal Oberg, WKBT-TV
Thomas Swigert, WISN-TV

Legal & Legislative

2013–2014 State Legislative Session A Memorable One For Wisconsin’s Radio & Television Broadcasters!

By Brandon Scholz, Capitol Group & Michelle Vetterkind, WBA State Lobbyists

First and foremost, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association fought from the opening day of the legislative session in 2013 to the very last legislative day in 2014 to pass the industry’s top priority issue – the sales tax exemption on broadcast equipment and electricity charges.

As the WBA expanded its presence and footprint in the State Capitol, even more was accomplished as a number of issues made their way through the legislative process. (more…)

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