Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Gilman Halsted, retired WPR reporter, named Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog

Posted On: February 18, 2017
Gilman Halsted- Coburn Dukehart  Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Gilman Halsted- Coburn Dukehart Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Gilman Halsted, a retired Wisconsin Public Radio reporter who produced award-winning examinations of the state’s criminal justice system, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog Award.

Over the course of two decades, Halsted became a familiar voice to WPR listeners, working for six years in the Wausau bureau before moving to Madison in 2000. He covered the courts and the prison system and also wrote and produced general assignment stories for daily state newscasts until his retirement in 2016.

The award is a highlight of the seventh annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards reception and dinner,  … Read More

Get to know WBA leadership: Steve Wexler

Posted On: February 17, 2017
Steve Wexler

Steve Wexler began his broadcast career with Journal Broadcast Group in 1977 as an intern at WTMJ-AM while attending Shorewood High School. He hosted on-air programs on both WTMJ-AM and WKTI-FM in the late 70’s and early 80’s before leaving the company to become an on-air talent and program manager at Hearst Broadcasting’s WISN-AM in 1985. He orchestrated WISN’s change to a news/talk format in 1989. 

Steve left Milwaukee in 1989 to become program manager for King Broadcasting’s KGW-AM (Portland, OR) and KING-AM (Seattle) before returning to Milwaukee and Journal in 1993 as program manager of WTMJ-AM.

In 1997,  … Read More

Committee votes on changes to online court records

Posted On: February 16, 2017

A committee convened by the director of state courts is reviewing issues regarding the state’s online court records system: Wisconsin Circuit Court Access, or WCCA, which most people refer to as CCAP. 

The committee is the third convened to ponder changes to the system, the other two being in 2000 and 2005. Those committees resulted in refinements to WCCA, including changes to how information is presented.

The current committee has more than two dozen members representing people inside and outside the court system, including Beth Bennett of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, and Michelle Vetterkind of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.  … Read More

Eau Claire station uses live network musical to promote local arts

Posted On: February 16, 2017
Eau Claire station uses live network musical to promote local arts

An Eau Claire television station used the NBC live production of the musical “Hairspray” to promote the local performing arts culture.

WEAU aired a panel discussion titled “Theater in our Community” after the musical aired Dec. 7. The station invited performing arts volunteers to talk about the importance of a vibrant local arts scene and how viewers could get involved.

Members of the Eau Claire Children’s Theater and the Chippewa Valley Theater Guild were interviewed.

Construction on started on a new performing arts center in Eau Claire.  … Read More

112,000 lbs. of food collected by pair of TV stations

Posted On: February 15, 2017
112,000 lbs. of food collected by pair of TV stations

Two TV stations in Milwaukee worked with the Brewers Community Foundation and Hunger Task Force the day before Thanksgiving to collect more than 112,000 pounds of food from viewers.

CBS 58 (WDJT) and Telemundo both did live news segments as well as live cut- ins throughout the day

The “Thanksgiving Drive Thru Food Drive” was held at Miller Park. Ryan Braun and other Brewers stars made appearances throughout the day.  … Read More

Radio group raises more than $50K for numerous causes

Posted On: February 14, 2017
Radio group raises more than $50K for numerous causes

Three radio stations in a Madison radio group raised more than $50,000 for community causes during events all in the same week.

Mid-West Family Broadcasting station WJJO held a 28-hour radiothon in downtown Madison to help local veterans, raising more than $14,000.

During the same week in December, La Movida (WLMV) raised more than $13,000 for the Catholic Multicultural Center of Dane County.

Also that same week, Magic 98 held its annual Magic Holiday Wish fundraiser to help families with the holidays. They raised more than $26,000.  … Read More

Manitowoc radio group uses social media to promote community pride

Posted On: February 13, 2017
Manitowoc radio station uses social media to promote community pride

Seehafer Broadcasting recently launched a social media hashtag campaign to promote community awareness and community pride in Manitowoc.

Seehafer stations is promoting the use of the #LoveManitowoc hashtag which is “intended to

start a conversation amongst citizens of and visitors to our city in which each person can share the things that they love about living, working, and playing in Manitowoc.”

The idea was hatched after negative attention on Manitowoc on the national level with the popularization of the Steven Avery case through the documentary series “Making a Murderer.”

“The #LoveManitowoc movement is not a response to this negative attention,  … Read More

50 year Wisconsin radio veteran dies

Posted On: February 11, 2017

A Wisconsin broadcaster who’s been in the business for 50 years has died.

Larry Jay “Hoien” started in radio in 1964 at KRAD in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. He worked at WAUK-AM in Waukesha, WRIT-AM and WYLO-AM, WEZW-FM and WFMR-FM in Milwaukee and joined WTKM in Hartford in 1997. He left WTKM last spring. During his career he was on air, recording commercials and selling advertising. He’s also done on-air work and booth announcing for WITI-TV.

“Larry loved his wife, children and career very much. His one regret was that he did not have a chance to say goodbye to his listeners…he loved them all,” his obituary read.  … Read More

Janesville radio stations break holiday donations record

Posted On: February 9, 2017
Janesville radio stations break holiday donations record

WCLO and WJVL radio helped generate a record number of donations during its annual “12 Hours of Bringing” event at Farm and Fleet of Janesville.

The radio stations broadcast for 12 continuous hours on Dec. 9, asking the community for donations of toys, non-perishables, personal care items, and cash. Activities were set up at the site.

Donations benefited ECHO and The Salvation Army.

$3,600 in cash donations was split between the Salvation Army and ECHO.  … Read More

President’s Column

Michelle Vetterkind

Michelle Vetterkind

I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you about one of the greatest offerings we provide: the Walker Broadcast Management Institute! The Institute is the first of its kind to be sponsored by a state broadcasters association. It is now in its 20th year, having completed its first six, 3-year management education cycles in 2015. It is held on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in conjunction with the UW School of Business. The Institute started out in 1997 as the WBA Foundation Broadcast Management Institute.  Then, in 2006, the estate of William R. Walker graciously donated funds to endow the Institute and it has since been the Walker Broadcast Management Institute. 

This year’s event takes place April 18-20. The Institute has become so popular that we only have a couple of spots left available this year. If we’re sold out by the time you see this, give us a call to see if you can get on a waitlist for next year’s event. While you can see this year’s full agenda and registration form here, let me give you a bit of an insider’s perspective on what a terrific offering this is (as I just so happen to be a graduate of the Class of 2003). Where else can you get three days of top-notch instructors, the most timely session topics, a fabulous venue (it doesn’t get much better than the UW-Madison campus in the spring), and memorable camaraderie (it’s fun to watch how everyone seems to bond with other members of their “class” after spending three full days together each year, for a three-year period), at an all-inclusive, amazingly low price? Oh, and did I mention that’s without ever having to leave the state of Wisconsin? 

The highly-interactive sessions take place during the day (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) in the state-of-the art Grainger Hall, which houses UW-Madison’s School of Business. Tuesday night features a reception and casual dinner at one of the local restaurants within walking distance of State Street and the UW Campus.  It also seems to be a bit of a tradition that after dinner, several will wander over to nearby Memorial Union and sit out on the lakefront terrace eating Babcock Hall ice cream (or perhaps indulging in a favorite Wisconsin libation).  Wednesday night features a reception, dinner, and speaker on the top floor of the beautiful UW-Madison Fluno Center.  This year’s speaker will be Deb Houden, PhD. She’s an adjunct faculty member at the Wisconsin School of Business teaching negotiations for the Executive MBA, Center for Professional Development, and the Center for Advanced Studies in Business. She will present The Reality of Negotiation. Effective negotiations are important in the management of life. Each day we face numerous bargaining situations in our personal and professional world, but our individual realities can get in our way. Deb will discuss the influence of perceptions in managing negotiations successfully.

Another highlight in Wednesday night is the “graduation ceremony.” Attendees belt out an enthusiastic  rendition of Pomp & Circumstance, as each graduate steps up to the podium to receive the highly coveted leather briefcase, which one can only receive as a graduate of the Institute.

The program is designed in three, three-year modules for maximum effectiveness.  For the most part, topics will repeat every three years (with many of the same instructors coming back, due to popular demand).  However, if you’re worried about committing to the full three years initially, please don’t.  While it’s true that the majority, by far, do attend the full three-year cycle (trust me, you’ll want to), we’ve had a few who have been unable to and have still benefitted greatly from the year(s) they have been able to attend. 

Many of you know Joan Gillman. Joan has been and continues to be an integral part of the Institute as she’s worked with us since the program’s inception when she was the Director of the Small Business Development Center at UW-Madison. While Joan has since “retired” (she is now Director of Industry Relations, Emeritus, School of Business, UW-Madison), fortunately for us – she likes us (she really likes us) and is willing to continue to work with us on the program, securing top-notch sessions and speakers each year. 

If I still haven’t convinced you to sign up for the Walker Broadcast Management Institute, take a look at this list of our 119 esteemed graduates (and…we’re looking to add more graduates to the list after this year’s event). Wouldn’t YOU like to see your name on this list?



Tracy Balzer, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Anna Engelhart, WKOW-TV

Kyle Geissler, WISC-TV

David Hyland, WI Public Radio

Jim Murphy WRJC AM/FM

Steve Schlutt, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Mark Van Allen, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Steve Young, WNWC-FM



Lynn Bieritz, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Ryan “Elwood” Bjorn, Woodward Communications

Zack East, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Andrew Felix, WEAU-TV

John Kimmons, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Luis Montoto, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Josh Morgan, WREX-TV

Hope Quackenboss, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Joe Radske, WISC-TV

Brian Tyndall, Mid-West Family Broadcasting



Sean Dwyer, WXOW-TV

John Laughrin, WAOW-TV

Mike O’Brien, Bliss Communications

Terry Stevenson, Seehafer Broadcasting



Bruce Briney, WKOW-TV

Cedric Friesen, Family Radio

Mike Kemmeter, Woodward Communications

Ed Kral, WSJV-TV

Jill Sommers, WISC-TV

Evan Stanek, Woodward Communications



Jill Shiroma, WISC-TV

Eric Voight, Results Broadcasting

Dave Edwards, Woodward Communications

Steve Fisher, Woodward Communications

Pam Jahnke, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Rex Charger, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

JD Garfield, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Jim Leach, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Jen O’Brien, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Jean Taylor, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Howard Gloede, Mid-West Family Broadcasting

John Huff, KWWL-TV

Bridget Breen, KTIV-TV

Dave Booth, WXOW-TV

Jeff Thelen, WSAW-TV



Kevin Ruppert, WISC-TV

Paul Layendecker, Mid-West Radio – Michigan

Bob Bucholtz, Mid-West Radio – Michigan



Mike Kornemann, Madison Magazine

Colin Benedict, WISC-TV

Susie Taylor, Channel 3000

Ty Shea, WISC-TV

Sandi Schmidt, Woodward Communications

Greg Lawrence, Woodward Communications



Cindy Taerud-Forkes, WKBT-TV, La Crosse

Amy Ziebell, Mid-West Family Radio

Ritchie Baumann, Mid-West Family Radio

Jason McCutchin, Mid-West Family Radio

Len Clark, Learfield Communications

Sue Ramsett, WSAW-TV, Wausau

Scott Huber, WSVX Radio

Theresa Timm, Family Radio

Corri Moran, Family Radio

Linda Baun, WBA, Madison

Mary Anne Drewek, Woodward Communications

Don Grassman, Results Broadcasting



Joe Daguanno, Mid-West Family Radio, Stevensville, MI

Dave Doetsch, Mid-West Family Radio, Springfield, IL

Glen Gardner, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

Jim Gifford, Mid-West Family Radio, St. Joseph, MI

Brian Michaels, Family Radio, La Crosse

Geoff Shields, WMTV-TV, Madison

Rick Trautschold, Mid-West Family Radio, Springfield, MO



Nan Blom Roach, WISC-TV, Madison

Tim Bremel, WCLO/WJVL, Janesville

Joe Calgaro, Woodward Communications, Appleton

Don Rosen, WRJN/WEZY, Racine

Ken Scott, WCLO/WJVL, Janesville

Jeff Ver Voort, WISC-TV, Madison

Tom Yunt, Woodward Communications, Dubuque, IA



Steve Brown, Woodward Communications, Appleton

Randy Hawke, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

John Hunt, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

Kevin Kavanaugh, Family Radio, La Crosse

Al Lancaster, WSAW-TV, Wausau

Kristy Nix, Family Radio, La Crosse

John “Sly” Sylvester, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

John Wanie, Woodward Communications, Appleton



Scott Chorski, WKBT-TV, La Crosse

Jason Effinger, WMTV, Madison/WEAU-TV, Eau Claire

Steve Scadden, WISC-TV, Madison



Dave Black, WSUM-FM, Madison

Carmelyn Daley, WISC-TV, Madison

Tim Etes, WRJN/WEZY, Racine

Steve Lavin, WEAU-TV, Eau Claire/WBAY-TV, Green Bay

Scott Lopas, WTKM AM/FM, Hartford

Barb Renbarger, WEAU-TV, Eau Claire



Greg Bell, Woodward Communications, Appleton

Bob Dailey, WCLO/WJVL, Janesville

James Hodges, WBKV/WBWI, West Bend

Brian Howell, Madison Magazine, Madison

Dayton Kane, Woodward Communications, Appleton

Michelle Vetterkind, WBA, Madison

Jolene Neis, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

Pat O’Neill, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

Kelly Radandt, Woodward Communications, Appleton

Scott Robert Shaw, Family Radio, La Crosse

George Smith, WSUP-FM, Platteville

Ted Waldbillig, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison



Wilfred Tremblay, WSUW-FM, Whitewater



Ken Beno, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL

Leonard Charles, WISC-TV, Madison 



Mary Jo Berner, WERL/WRJO, Eagle River

Tom Bier, WISC-TV, Madison

John Laabs, WBA, Madison

Bob Miller, WKOW-TV, Madison/Discover Mediaworks, Milwaukee

David Sanks, WISC-TV, Madison

Sandy Shockley, Shockley Communications, Madison

Terry Shockley, Shockley Communications, Madison

Tom Walker, Mid-West Family Radio, Madison

Jen Winiger, Madison Magazine, Madison

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.

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