Wisconsin Broadcasters Association “How To” for Act 346 (Radio & Television Broadcasting Equipment Sales Tax Exemption)July 8, 2014
Wisconsin Broadcasters – YOUR Sales Tax Exemption Bill (AB-5) on broadcast equipment, supplies, electricity, and vehicles licensed for highway-use (used to transmit or receive signals from a satellite) was signed into law by Governor Walker on April 23, 2014!
Act 346 went into effect on July 1, 2014 – the first day of the 3rd month after the bill was signed into law.
What do you do now? -more-
Can Your Essential Engineering Personnel Get Through To Your Transmitter And Keep You On Air In An Emergency?June 9, 2014
Since 2007 an agreement has been in place between the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the WBA to issue Broadcaster Emergency Personnel ID cards. This is a great benefit available to all WBA member stations. These cards are issued to Radio and Television station transmitter engineers, to aid them in crossing police lines in times of disaster to keep the transmitter, and your station, on the air. For areas involved in MSRC, these ID cards can also be used by the engineers reporting to the local Emergency Operation Center (EOC) during times of disaster, as requested by local officials. -more-
Were YOU with us at the beautiful Blue Harbor Resort on the shores of Lake Michigan? 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 16 at Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, I think you’ll agree it was a most memorable event! We’re still receiving excellent feedback.
For some of us, “Conference Week” started on Tuesday morning, with the WBA’s third annual Media Technology Institute (MTI), underwritten by the WBA and Duke Wright of Midwest Communications. According to Chief Instructor, Terry Baun, this year’s MTI “Lite” explored the most common RF maintenance issues seen in broadcast as well as the most frequent issues with FCC compliance, along with the one day of technical seminars/equipment exhibition as part of the WBA Summer Engineering Conference.
Tuesday also 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. Last year was the first time we joined the two boards together for a meeting 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, had our annual Joint Board Reception and Dinner at the Latitude Restaurant at Blue Harbor. We were thrilled that Representative Joel Kleefisch, the Assembly author of AB-5, our Sales Tax Exemption Bill, was able to join us for the Reception/Dinner and to celebrate with us that night. -more-
My Summer Conference Highlights
I might be a bit biased but I thought our Summer Conference at the Blue Harbor Resort and Water Park in Sheboygan was one of the best I have attended.
The facilities were fabulous and reasonably priced; two things that I always love. The numerous sessions like the Connected Car, the New Rules of Advertising – Driving Results in a Four Screen World and Ten Common Mistakes AE’s Continue to Make were very informative. Plus the numerous interactive sessions that we had for Engineering, Social Media and Sales were a departure from things we have done in the past. The information and education that was shared was “dead on” in my opinion. I came back from the conference knowing more than when I left.
Something that really stood out to me was the camaraderie that I felt throughout all the attendees. It seemed to me that there was a real ease between everyone and a willingness to share information about our industry with others. Yes, there will always be some hesitancy, but the more we can help each other, the stronger our industry and our Association will become.
My two highlights were being a part of the “Ask a Manager” panel for one of the Engineering sessions. I learned so much from the engineers who asked the questions and Duke Wright, Tom Walker and Dean Maytag, who answered the majority of their questions. And meeting Christopher Holycross from the Plymouth Jubilation Ministries stations. He’s been in the business for three years and he’s so excited to absorb any and all information about our industry. It was refreshing.
Thank you to Michelle, Linda, Mandy, Liz and all of the committees who put their time and energy into planning a Summer conference that has (in my opinion) raised the bar.
Twitter as a utility? Social media endures through Thai coup
If you’ve been following developments out of Thailand, you know that the country underwent a coup recently.
I have a personal interest in Thailand so I’ve been following developments closely.
What has alarmed me most has been the military’s censorship of broadcast media. For the first few days, the only broadcasts allowed were military-approved programs. Also, all foreign signals, including feeds from satellite providers, were cut. No CNN. No BBC.
It makes me appreciate the fact that our free speech rights are secured in our founding documents.
What the military has so far not been able to control is social media. Long before this crisis I cultivated a list of reliable news sources and on-the-ground contacts in Thailand via Twitter. These sources are faster and provide more information than most news outlets.
The downside is that it’s not always accurate. News consumer beware.
But the military hasn’t clamped down on it. It’s difficult to know if it’s because they don’t want to or don’t know how to, but they haven’t….yet.
Their declarations express concern about the dissemination of false information, so I suspect they just haven’t figured out how to do it.
For many of us, social media is sometimes a utility and sometimes fun. In dramatic cases, it can be more utility than fun.
Should Twitter be a utility? Should there be a version of Twitter owned by the public?
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…)