Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Broadcasters Launch Fund to Support Two Broadcast Journalists Slain in Roanoke

September 1, 2015

‘Alison & Adam Memorial Fund’ Established In Support of Families of Victims

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Broadcast trade organizations joined forces today to launch the “Alison & Adam Memorial Fund” to support families of the victims of the Roanoke TV shooting.

The National Association of Broadcasters, the Radio Television Digital News Association and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced that they will contribute to and accept donations from broadcasters on behalf of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. Commitments of $40,000 have already been offered by broadcaster interests, according to NAB.  Continue reading


August 31, 2015

Holding Onto Your Own Leash – How to Manage Yourself and Others
Presented by: Paul Weyland

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FCC Postpones Incentive Auction Rules Until August 6 by Gary Arlen

July 16, 2015

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has dropped two items off the agenda for Thursday’s Committee meeting — postponing consideration until Aug. 6 meeting of the procedural rules for the broadcast spectrum incentive auction and repacking of the broadcast airwaves. The related review the Mobile Spectrum Holdings Report and Order has also been postponed; delaying the latter item gives T-Mobile and other carriers more time to plot their way onto the auctioned airwaves. View full article.

FCC Finalizes Enforcement Field Op Changes by Paul McLane

The Federal Communications Commission adopted a plan to modernize field operations within its Enforcement Bureau.

“The proposal will improve efficiency, better position the agency to do effective radio interference detection and resolution and meet other enforcement needs, and save millions of dollars annually after implementation is complete,” it stated.

Plans to scale back had generated controversy and strong reactions in the industry, and the plan has been modified since it was first floated.  View full article.

Senate Passes Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Legislation Introduced by Senators Johnson, McCaskill

July 10, 2015

Please click here to view the article.

President’s Column

Michelle Vetterkind

Michelle Vetterkind

It’s hard to believe it’s August already and summer is more than half over (you’ll notice I’m looking at the bright side versus saying it’s almost over).

What does this mean for your WBA?
WBA Sports Workshop heads to Lambeau (first time since 2010). See the agenda here. We promise it will be a memorable event. Get your registration in NOW!

August Recess! What does this mean for YOU?
Make sure to be aware of federal and state elected officials visiting your stations during the Summer Recess. Better yet, call, invite them to come in for a visit; chances are they’ll take you up on it. There is certainly no shortage of issues at the moment, especially at the federal level.

Your WBA is ready to assist you in any way we can to prepare for these visits, be it with current issues, talking points, and even to participate if at all possible. Always take advantage of this grassroots “lobbying” opportunity (that we, as broadcasters, can easily take for granted) for your station and your industry!

Broadcasters Clinic – Mark Your Calendars!
Broadcasters Clinic has been regarded for many years as one of the BEST regional engineering conferences in the country. Station owners and managers, please encourage your engineers to attend (and we’d love to see you, too). Every year we wonder how the year prior can be topped. Well, WBA VP Linda Baun, Leonard Charles and the fabulous Broadcasters Clinic Committee have done it again! This year’s program looks to be the best yet, and we’re pleased that the SBE National Meeting will be held in conjunction with this year’s Clinic. After trying it last year for the first time, the WBA Board will again be holding their fall board meeting at the Madison Marriott, in conjunction with the Clinic. There’s no doubt the 2015 event will once again prove why the award-winning Broadcasters Clinic is so worth your budget and your Engineer’s time. Please see click here for the complete agenda.

So….register now in order to join us at Lambeau for the Sports Workshop; reach out to your members of Congress and your legislators; plan to join us in October for Broadcasters Clinic, and last but certainly not least, enjoy the “second half” of your summer.

Chair’s Column

Scott Chorski

Scott Chorski

Fruit is Good for the Community

Promise me to read this all the way through!

After a three-column hiatus from localism, I called Ron Fruit to learn more about WRCO’s great example of how broadcasters serve their local communities. They are in the midst of their annual radio auction for GRACE (Greater Richland Area Cancer Elimination). WRCO’s staff solicits items from local businesses to auction off for GRACE. It takes about 120 hours to coordinate the auction before they go live on-air. EVERY DOLLAR generated from the sale of items goes to GRACE (not just the proceeds).

Last year’s event raised almost $30,000. The auction this year set a new record at $33,185 and brought the total for the eleven years the auction has been broadcast to over $203,000. Here’s where the money goes:

  • 40% to area residents for direct financial support for cancer treatment or related expenses
  • 40% to UW-Carbone Cancer Center and Gundersen Health Systems for research
  • 15% to their local hospital
  • 2% for community education and prevention
  • 3% for operating costs

This is localism at its finest. Local businesses donating the auction items and Ron’s team coordinating the event. I’ve mentioned in previous articles and during lobbying trips that broadcasters are AMAZING at rallying their communities to improve their communities. Here is another beautiful example in rural Wisconsin where I bet $30,000 is a lot of money.

And what were some of the auction items? You might expect a new furnace or even a sundial constructed from scrap metal that sold for $500! But you might not expect auction items like two loads of hay or a dozen eggs every other week for a year! Nothing like practical items in the heartland to generate goodwill, huh?!

Ron and I reflected a bit at the end of our call about localism and how we wished we didn’t need to worry about how legislators might impact our day-to-day operations. And so I close with a with how I ended my February column.

If a radio station like Ron’s had to pay performance fees to artists, WRCO’s ability to serve local communities like they do now could drastically change. Money that currently goes to everyday operations could be going to performing artists. That could be devastating not only to Ron’s stations but to all the non-profit entities that count on his station’s support.

It does feel a bit awkward to promote what we do to serve our communities. Who is comfortable touting their community service? But, in a landscape where one key legislative setback could dramatically change our ability to do what we do best, we must tell these great stories. Our communities are counting on us.

Perhaps the best question to ask our legislators is “If Wisconsin’s broadcasters can’t perform community service the way we do today, who will?”

P.S. I shared this story with Sue Keenom from NAB. She loved the story and will publish in their “Licensed To Serve” monthly e-newsletter. She strongly encourages us to PLEASE send these types of stories to Suzie Raven of the NAB communications team for future publications. All you need to do is email Suzie at sraven@nab.org with information, including the results and a photo. “License To Serve” is sent to all members of Congress as well as NAB membership.

Face it…you need help with digital media

Kyle Geissler

Kyle Geissler, WBA Digital Consultant

A recently had a couple of frustrating days with social media. We’ve all had them. When it happens, you wish you could just talk to those who build and operate social media platforms to find out what they want.

I don’t have Mark Zuckerberg’s phone number, but I have the number for the WBA Digital Hotline.

So, after wallowing in my frustration, I realized that I wasn’t alone and I contacted the hotline.

Seth Resler talked with me for about 15 minutes about what we were experiencing and provided some articles and ideas for lowering the frustration. He was very helpful.

Webinars and conferences are great, but sometimes one-size-fits-all doesn’t cut it and it’s helpful to get one-on-one answers to your questions from someone who knows what you’re going through. It’s also nice to get advice when the competition isn’t in the room.

Click here for information on how to contact the digital hotline.

Print that out. Put it at your desk. Share it with your employees. You don’t have to be a manager to call.

If you ever lose the information, find it again on the WBA homepage.

I know you have questions. I know you have frustrations. You’re not alone. Call.

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Tom Walker, Hall of Fame Inductee 2015

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