Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Madison TV station raises breast cancer awareness with live ‘Race for the Cure’ coverage

Posted On: May 25, 2017

A Madison TV station produced a live broadcast from the Komen Race for the Cure in Fitchburg to support breast cancer awareness.

WISC-TV personalities covered the May 20 event by talking live to breast cancer survivors and some of the 3,000 participants at the race. Participants told their own stories and stories about people in their lives who’ve been touched by breast cancer.

The 90-minute program was broadcast over the air, on channel3000.com and on Facebook.

The race marked 20 years for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and raised almost $115,000 to support national research programs as well as provide screenings,  … Read More

Vetterkind testifies in support of repealing personal property tax

Posted On: May 24, 2017
Vetterkind testifies in support of repealing personal property tax

WBA President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind testified May 24 to state lawmakers in support of repealing Wisconsin’s personal property tax. She testified before the Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions and Rural Issues.

Vetterkind argued that the personal property tax is a burden to broadcasters, who maintain many pieces of equipment subject to the tax.

“The next time you are in your local TV or radio station to do an interview or a show, take a look around at all the equipment that is needed to put the interview you just did out over the air,” Vetterkind testified.  … Read More

Radiothon raises record $690K for children’s hospital

Posted On: May 23, 2017
Radiothon raises record $690K for children’s hospital 4

A radiothon run by a Madison radio group raised $690,684 for American Family Children’s Hospital, the highest amount ever raised during the annual event.

Mid-West Family Broadcasting stations 93.1 Jamz (WJQM) and Q106 (WWQM) hosted the radiothon over three days in May from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. The stations talked with families who have used the hospital and continue to use the hospital for their children. The radiothon is aimed at raising money for the “extras” that help make stays at the hospital a little better. The “extras” include:

  • A Child Life Specialist position in the emergency department to help patients and their families cope with fear,
  •  … Read More

WEBINAR: What every radio station should know about mobile app strategy

Posted On: May 20, 2017
Program Date:  May 24, 2017
Jacobs Media

When your listeners are on their smartphones, they spend 86 percent of their time using mobile apps — and only 14 percent of their time on a mobile web browser. That’s why it’s crucial for stations to have a rock solid mobile app strategy. In this webinar, we’ll cover the basics that every radio broadcaster should know about mobile apps.

Presented in partnership with jācapps.  … Read More

Lytle: You can’t bore people into buying from you

Posted On: May 20, 2017
Chris Lytle
Chris Lytle

In 1976 there were no cell phones or email. We had a message nail.

When you walked into the office, the first thing you did was retrieve all the little pink message slips from the message nail and go through them to see which calls needed to be returned. One afternoon there was a message for me from the new manager at one of my car dealer clients. The fact that the message was on a pink slip was ironic because, in essence, the new guy was firing me.

The message read, “Bob Voss, Schappe-Conway Dodge,  … Read More

Judges step up for WBA Awards for Excellence

Posted On: May 18, 2017

Radio and television stations from across Wisconsin submitted their best on-air, digital and social media projects from 2016 for the WBA Awards for Excellence. Award submissions totaled 1,783 in dozens of categories. Congratulations to all WBA Awards for Excellence participants. Great Job!! WOW! 

Another great job for the awards program belongs to that of a judge. Years ago the WBA set up a judging process that rotates with five other states for entries to be evaluated.  Within the five state rotations, states agreed to commit to judging 900 to 1,000 entries.

To make it as fair as possible for our members,  … Read More

WBA thanks awards co-chair for many years of service

Posted On: May 17, 2017
Lindsay Wood Davis at the WBA Awards Gala
Lindsay Wood Davis at the WBA Awards Gala

Long-time WBA Awards Committee co-chair Lindsay Wood Davis was honored at the awards gala in May for his many years of transformative leadership of the committee.

WBA President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind told attendees of the gala that the current awards program was “the vision of one man.”

Davis has served on the committee since 2004 and was co-chair with Tom Bier who recently stepped down. The pair oversaw tremendous growth in participation for the awards program. The WBA is grateful for their service.

The committee will continue to have co-chairs. Kelly Radandt, Woodward Radio Group and Dean Maytag,  … Read More

Science writing experts share advice for science reporters

Posted On: May 16, 2017
Photo credit: Madison SPJ
Photo credit: Madison SPJ

Consider how news science-based stories are framed for the reader. Ask scientists about why a natural or human-caused occurrence happens. Take advantage of Madison-based science resources.

Those are some of the suggestions offered at “Secrets for Success in Science Journalism,” the spring 2017 training session presented this month by the Madison chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The training was generously sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and the Wisconsin State Journal. The UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication generously provided classroom space for the training.

Instructors discussed the need for reporters to listen to people in their communities,  … Read More

Students consider careers in broadcast marketing

Posted On: May 15, 2017
Students consider careers in broadcast marketing

A WBA Foundation program is preparing college and high school students for careers in broadcast marketing.

Ten years ago, your WBA Foundation initiated a pilot project aimed at identifying and training new sales personnel for Wisconsin radio and television stations. The Radio Marketing Professional Certification Program is a two-day intensive broadcast sales training program conducted by Ken Beno, WBA Education Committee Chair, in cooperation with the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).  Beno conducts two days of training based on RAB training materials and then administers a test which, if passed, results in a student/trainee receiving his or her certification as a Radio Marketing Professional from the RAB.  … 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

Lindsay Wood Davis, Hall of Fame Inductee 2016

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