Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Former Green Bay TV production manager dies

Posted On: October 18, 2017

David A. Campbell Sr.

A Green Bay man who spent more than 30 years working in local television has died.

David A. Campbell Sr., 80, died Oct. 12.

Campbell worked briefly at WFRV before moving to WLUK.

“His passion for architecture and design, coupled with his experience in construction later became apparent in the various television news sets he designed and constructed,” his obituary said.

As production manager, Campbell was described by many as “the best boss I’ve ever had.”

“His legacy lives on in countless television news and production professionals who got their first break in the business working for him,” his obituary said.  … Read More

Details released for Student Awards for Excellence

Posted On: October 17, 2017

The details of the 2018 WBA Student Awards for Excellence were released Tuesday.

The program can be found here.

Submissions for the awards will begin Dec. 11 and will close Jan. 12, 2018. The awards will be handed out Feb. 24 during a luncheon at the Student Seminar to be held at the Madison Marriott West in Middleton.

College educators in Wisconsin should expect a mailing soon about the program.  … Read More

Longtime director of Wisconsin Public Broadcasting to retire

Posted On: October 16, 2017

Malcolm Brett

Malcolm Brett, longtime director of Broadcast and Media Innovations (BAMI) with the University of Wisconsin-Extension — the home of Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR), Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) and UW Extension’s (UWEX) Instructional Communications Systems (ICS)— has announced plans for his retirement. Brett is targeting late spring 2018 for the transition, providing UWEX, including WPT/WPR and ICS, time to begin the search for his successor.

Brett has been a national leader in public broadcasting throughout his 34-year career, serving as Director of Television at WPT prior to his tenure as BAMI Director, and also serving on the national board of PBS and countless public-media focused committees and workgroups.  … Read More

Historic broadcasts added to Wisconsin Broadcasting Museum

Posted On: October 13, 2017

Two programs featuring historic broadcasts from radio and TV stations in southeast Wisconsin have been added to the Wisconsin Broadcasting Museum.

A video shows historic video from WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee and a recording from WRJN in Racine looks back on the station’s 90-year history.

Untitled-2  … Read More

Broadcast engineering event brings more than 300 to Madison

Posted On: October 13, 2017

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s Broadcasters Clinic wrapped up three days of speakers and events Thursday at the Madison Marriott West. The event, in its 61st year, drew more than 100 broadcast engineers from across the Midwest and 53 exhibitors from across North America.

Speakers at the Clinic updated engineers on topics that include: the future of radio in the smart dashboard, virtual talk show and sports production, HD radio, the use of signal measurement drones, the spectrum auction repack, WebRTC, using VoIP for live coverage, and there were numerous sessions on ATSC 3.0, the next generation of TV.  … Read More

Award will recognize coverage of judicial system

Posted On: October 12, 2017

From user mconnors on Morguefile.

The submission deadline is approaching for an award from the State Bar of Wisconsin that recognizes media coverage that enhances the public’s understanding of the justice system.

The State Bar sponsors the Golden Gavel Awards because it “recognizes that most Wisconsin residents rely on the media to keep them informed about important justice-related issues. Our goal is to improve the public’s understanding of the legal system by encouraging outstanding media coverage of those issues.”

Submissions are due Oct. 27 and must have a publish date between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. All that’s needed is a link to the story or other material and a completed entry form.  … Read More

Tools available to help stations facing repack

Posted On: October 12, 2017

By Alvimann on Morguefile

Numerous tools are available to help the 28 television stations in Wisconsin that are affected by the recent broadcast spectrum incentive auction.

The National Association of Broadcasters has built a website with resources for station as well as information for the audience to explain how the changes affect them.


For the audience:

–No new equipment is needed
–Over-the-air viewers will have to rescan their channels after a station changes frequencies
–The frequency change does not mean stations will be changing channels. All stations will remain on the same channels as they currently appear on your TV


Stations will have to communicate to viewers when the frequency change is happening so they know when they will have to rescan their television channels.  … Read More

Engineers congregate in Madison for Broadcasters Clinic

Posted On: October 10, 2017

Broadcasters Clinic reception

Broadcast engineers from across Wisconsin and beyond are in Madison for the three-day Broadcasters Clinic that started Tuesday at the Madison Marriott West. Here are pictures from the event.  … Read More

Vetterkind to receive WSAE Association Leadership Award

Posted On: October 9, 2017

Michelle Vetterkind

WBA President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind will receive a leadership award from the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives.

Vetterkind was nominated for the WSAE Association Leadership award that she will receive with other awardees on Oct. 30 at the WSAE Summit at the Madison Marriott West.

The award recognizes WSAE members who promote outstanding leadership and achievement in association management, works with outstanding professionalism and exemplary service to the association community, consistently promotes the association industry in Wisconsin, and demonstrates involvement and commitment to the association management field on a continuous basis.  … Read More

President’s Column

Michelle Vetterkind

WBA tackles legislative issues, adds new staff member

I’m pleased to announce that on Sept. 5, Kyle Geissler joined the WBA on a full-time basis as WBA’s Director of Operations & Public Affairs. 

Vice President, Linda Baun and NCSA/PEP Coordinator, Liz Boyd join me in congratulating Kyle and welcoming him in this new full-time role with the WBA Team.

The transition was part of the restructuring module of your WBA’s Long-Range Plan.  As part of the transition, Kyle worked on a contractual part-time basis for the WBA for the past year as WBA’s Director of Communications while also working for Morgan Murphy Media. 

Kyle has been working in broadcasting for 15 years in Wisconsin radio and television newsrooms and most recently as managing editor of Channel 3000 at WISC-TV in Madison.  He has been involved in the WBA since joining the awards committee in 2008.

Kyle Geissler

Kyle Geissler

He studied radio at UW-Oshkosh and has a graduate degree in mass communication from UW-Whitewater. He has worked in news for KFIZ in Fond du Lac and WCLO/WJVL in Janesville as well as the Janesville Gazette. He’s always been part of a broadcast newsroom, even when his focus was on digital and social media.

“Broadcasting is more than a business. The broadcaster’s commitment to serve our local communities is what has always motivated me and is what drives me to serve our industry through the WBA,” Kyle said.

Your WBA Team looks forward to serving you, our valued members, as we move into this new and exciting phase of WBA history. 


August was a busy time on the legislative front for your WBA.  Hopefully, shortly after you read this, we’ll have some good news for you on our state legislative initiatives. On the federal side, I was also able to meet recently with all ten of our Congressional offices in DC.

A variety of issues were discussed with our members of Congress, including:

  • Despite Microsoft’s full court press to get members of Congress nationwide to sign on to their Microsoft TV White Space letter, we were able to keep all but one of our 10 members from signing on. Microsoft was once again attempting to secure free TV spectrum for a nationwide channel they want to use for unlicensed wireless devices. They characterized it as a boon for rural broadband deployment, failing to mention that it would do so at the expense of rural America’s lifeline local TV service. Microsoft, a $540 billion company, declined to purchase spectrum in the auction which netted about $7 billion for the federal government. 
  • Wisconsin’s own Congressman Sensenbrenner introduced the Transparency in Music Licensing & Ownership Act (H.R. 3350). This legislation would establish a comprehensive and authoritative database of music copyright ownership and licensing information. For broadcasters, this licensing information would be particularly helpful to know what works are in the repertoires of the PROs (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and now, GMR).

I would like to thank those of you who met with members of Congress during the August recess while they were back in your districts. We always encourage you to make the most of any opportunity you have to meet with your elected officials, on the state and federal levels.  Never underestimate the value in establishing these relationships. 


Last, but certainly not least, Oct. 10-12, our Broadcasters Clinic.  You won’t want to miss this award-winning, three-day regional event that last year drew attendees from 11 states. I’d like to congratulate our own Linda Baun, recent WBA Hall of Famer Leonard “Chuck” Charles, and the entire Clinic committee for once again putting together a top-notch agenda. Be sure to send your engineers and managers. Join us for the exhibits. We’d LOVE to have you there!  You will NOT be disappointed.

Thank you, as always, for your time & support!

Promoting cohesion between programming, sales

There’s an age-old problem in radio stations. That is a chasm between sales and programming. Some have solved it by making both departments very important and respectful of each other. It’s a subject I wanted to address. But our programming consultant, Tim Moore, said it better, so I’ll relinquish space for Tim:

Tim Moore

Tim Moore

If you think about it, radio is the only business with two completely different sets of customers; only Alpo Dog Food can make that claim. Today, we may be farther apart than ever and there are a thousand reasons why. Because we’d rather it not be true doesn’t change anything.

Our firm’s programming history has ranged from market rank No. 1 to No. 251. The scope may change, the process never does. Today with large groups in high seas, you have to wonder how much “development” is going on, or how much either side of the building really understands about the other. We hear it often, though the tenor and severity ranges from tolerably typical to toxic (“sales pukes,” “talent egomaniacs,” and other endearing references). The greater question asks, “Why does leadership tolerate this stand-off?” In theory, it’s costing radio a lot of gross revenue and on the other side, through more subtle nuances, talent performance, and ratings.

As an owner of stations earlier in my career my staff was required to do a “changing socks” exercise with regularly scheduled rotation. It went like this: the seller who occasionally drifted into the “if it weren’t for him…” mantra referencing a talent, or the talent who quipped “all he/she cares about is making money” (duh). We kept this to a minimum and those who knew our stations and remember them today will attest to the high level of play in our buildings, thank to our people and their leadership. So, select talent and sales people would study each other’s’ roles.

A seller would be required to come into the studio at 6 a.m. joining the morning show. Following that experience the seller would usually say, “My God, I had no idea…like air traffic control in there, can’t believe what it takes” and other superlatives. Then an air talent would be asked to accompany a seller to a bona fide first encounter where a seller was asked to do a client needs assessment. One really good afternoon guy came back from a call, popped into my office and recapped: “I got queasy guts, just watching the handshake. I can’t believe how she deflected the pressure and convinced the guy to accept another meeting to hear a campaign proposal!”

I suppose we could reduce it to the blunt premise: the sales team’s job is to get the money, the client’s job is to keep it. If talent understood revenue-producing pressure while at times is unnerving, it’s a pretty cool way to become a media professional.

If sellers understood only a small percentage of human beings will ever go into a control room and filet themselves in front of the neon Nielsen scoreboard, often with all the security of the Flying Wallendas, they’d acquire more understanding and empathy for that side of their building.

Some traditional greats such as Cox, Susquehanna, Lincoln Financial, New City and Bonneville seemed to really understand that when relationships broke down, business broke down. Talent or seller, you were required to understand. Today we’ve seen a few buildings where the divide is so toxic one wonders how the cluster survives. Then a week later we’ll be unduly impressed with how much collaboration and empowerment appears to exist in a given cluster with resulting pride in ratings and revenue.

If this sounds “preachy” so be it. The responsibility of an exceptional radio manager is to create the basis for hope with his or her sales department, while acknowledging and inspiring their programming staff. In comparison, nothing else matters.

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Leonard Charles, Hall of Fame Inductee 2017

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