Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Statewide Test of Tornado Warning EAS Code on April 16

March 11, 2015

Please Respond to the WBA Office If You Have Not Already

In cooperation with Wisconsin Emergency Management, the National Weather Service will conduct a test of the real Tornado Warning EAS Code on April 16, 2015, as part of Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. The State of Wisconsin has received a waiver from the FCC to use the actual EAS Tornado Warning Code for this statewide test. If there is a threat of severe weather, the test will be postponed until April 17, 2015. If there is severe weather on April 17, the test will be cancelled.

The audio of this test will repeat several times in the script “This is a Test,” but because the real EAS Tornado Warning Code is being sent, the crawl on TV stations and cable systems will read “A Tornado Warning has been issued for….” Thus we ask that TV broadcasters and cable operators making the decision to air the test should display a “This is a Test” graphic behind the crawl. -more-


March 4, 2015

Digital Retargeting Audience Management – April 14th
Your advertisers can use your help. With this webinar find out the four benefits to positioning correctly retargeting and how you, as a broadcaster or digital expert, can enhance your advertisers ad package. In this webinar learn some new terms and see how broadcast and digital can be the perfect blend. Experience how to put together a service line that meets advertiser needs and generate a new revenue and profit stream for you. Presented by Mark Landon, Local Broadcast Sales Retargeting Expert.

Please click here to register.

WBA Newsroom New Look, New Name

February 9, 2015

The Kidder News Resource Center has a new look and a new name.

Established through a grant from R. Perry Kidder to the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation (WBAF), the Kidder News Resource Center is now the WBA Newsroom and the site has a fresh, new look and all the content has been updated.

The site was renamed, with Perry’s blessing, to emphasize its role as a highly functional online resource for working broadcast newsrooms in Wisconsin. The new online address is WBANewsroom.org. -more-

President’s Column

Michelle Vetterkind

Michelle Vetterkind

Are YOU a graduate of the Walker Broadcast Management Institute?

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—the first of its kind to be sponsored by a state broadcasters association—is now in its 18th year, having completed its first five, 3-year management education cycles in 2012. 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 21-23. Typically held in May, this is the first time the Institute has been held in April in order to hopefully allow for greater television participation. And while you can see this year’s full agenda and
registration form (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 allinclusive, amazingly low price? Oh, and did I mention that’s without ever having to leave the
state of Wisconsin? Sign up prior to April 1st to get the discounted rate.

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 Steven Rick, the Chief Economist for CUNA Mutual Group in Madison. Steve also holds a senior lecturer position with the Economics Department at the University of Wisconsin where he teaches money and banking, and macroeconomics courses.

A Wednesday night highlight also involves the “graduation ceremony” with the rest of the attendees belting 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 programs 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 101 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?

Chair’s Column

Scott Chorski

Scott Chorski

DC Lobbying Trip

WBA’ s annual DC lobbying trip is one of the highlights of my year.

Those fortunate enough to be on the executive committee go out a day early to get a more in-depth look at our legislative challenges. It is a privilege to have a seat in that room to hear NAB leadership spell out our challenges and how to effectively communicate this to our legislators.

The theme of this year’s lobbying effort is Localism: how we serve our local communities. This is why Michelle asked you all to document some of your public service initiatives. I read through these and wanted to share one that we presented during our meeting with Senator Tammy Baldwin.

Tom Koser’s radio group in the Rice Lake/Hayward area was approached by the local homeless shelter to help raise funds. The shelter was virtually out of money and was close to closing. Tom’s group was aware of a Packer Tailgate Tour that was raising money throughout Wisconsin and was coming through Rice Lake. Tom put the two together and then rallied the Rice Lake community to turn out for the event. The result? Sixty-thousand dollars were raised for the homeless shelter, which literally brought the director to tears.

While this was a HUGE deal to the homeless shelter and community, Tom views it as a normal part of his community service responsibility. No big deal.

I’m guessing that’s how most, if not all of you operate. You support countless non-profits and you do it A LOT without thinking twice. It’s just in your DNA.

Why do we need to share these stories with our legislators? In this case it was to inform them about the implication of the music industry wanting to impose Performance Rights fees on local radio stations. Congress may end up legislating this. The performers themselves are approaching Congress for their help to get paid for radio airplay.

If a radio station like Tom’s had to pay performance fees to artists, their 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 would be devastating not only to Tom’s stations but to all the non-profit entities that count on his station’s support.

I must confess that it feels 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?”

Measuring Success






How many of you can say, off the top of your head, how many website visitors you have each month, how many likes your Facebook page has or how much engagement you get on that page in an average week?

Get those numbers and know them.

One of the keys to understanding how to succeed in digital is by measuring your progress and setting goals. If you’re not measuring, you can’t set goals. If you don’t measure data over time, you won’t know how to set  achievable goals.

It’s worth the time it takes to create a short report once a week or once a month so you can know how you’re doing. With face book, you can even see how you stack up against your competitors.

If you use goggle Analytics, you (or your web staff) can create automated reports that can get sent to you automatically on a schedule you set. Other analytics suites might also include this feature. Ask.

If you’re not measuring for success, you won’t know how to get there or when you’ve arrived. If you know when you’ve arrived, you can have a party when you get there.

That’d be fun.

WBA Social Media Committee

Jake Anderson, WXOW/WQOW Television
Kyle Geissler, WISC-TV
Neal Oberg, Morgan Murphy Media
Thomas Swigert, WISN-TV

Legal & Legislative

A quick note from your WBA Legislative Committee Chair

Please drop a note or make a phone call to legislators who were successful in Tuesday’s election. Contacting them now will make your communications closer to our January Legislatiev Day more effective. This is a great time to invite newly-elected legislators to visit your stations.  Please consider inviting area broadcasters to meet together with legislators now to share our legislative concerns for the next session early. (more…)

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