Wisconsin Broadcasters Association
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    Make sure to join us for 2017's Broadcasters Clinic in Madison October 10-12. Broadcasters Clinic Early Bird discount registration now open.

Fake Grammar is only fit for Fake News

Posted On: August 20, 2017
Fake Grammar is only fit for Fake News - Jack Kapfer

The English language is not an easy communications device to master. Learning it can be confusing and frustrating. I remember my college German language professor telling us how his English speaking German colleagues complained how they found many of the rules to be contradictory and silly. So it’s not surprising that the rules of English grammar often take a beating in day-to-day colloquial communication.

Now, I work in journalism not English grammar. So an expert I am not. But, when a profession predicated on the correct use of language and one of its established, premier institutions decides it is acceptable to use incorrect grammar,  … Read More

Media Scholarship Sponsored by the WBA Foundation

Posted On: August 16, 2017


The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation offers two $2,000 scholarships and two $1,000 scholarships to assist students enrolled in media related educational programs at Public or Private Colleges/Universities, Broadcast/Media Schools and Wisconsin Technical Colleges. Students who meet eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for these scholarships. The deadline for application is 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. All applications must be received by the WBA office by this date and time.


  1. Students who have completed at least one-half of their degree or graduation requirements in a media or media related course of study are eligible to apply.
  2.  … Read More

Open records requests also open to public

Posted On: August 16, 2017
Wisconsin FOIC

Did you know that when you file an open records request with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, that request is itself a public record?

The DOJ is now posting regular reports of who has filed open records requests with its office. If you’re a reporter, you might want to take this into consideration whether you want to see what others are requesting or perhaps you’re plotting your own plan to get documents from the DOJ.

The document is updated weekly and posted here.

The DOJ is considering a proposal to make all open records responses,  … Read More

Beno appointed to committee promoting business, marketing in education

Posted On: August 15, 2017
Ken Beno
Ken Beno

Broadcasting education advocate and WBA Hall of Famer Ken Beno has been named to the Wisconsin Department of Instruction’s Business, Marketing and Information Technology Advisory Committee.

The committee promotes the recognition of business, marketing and IT coursework as students transition to post-secondary education and promotes work-based learning and skill-oriented curriculum.

Beno has made presentations at a regional conference of the FBLA at Chequamegon High School in Park Falls and the statewide DECA conference in Lake Geneva along with more than 25 high schools around the state.  … Read More

WPR host Joy Cardin to retire in September

Posted On: August 14, 2017
WPR host Joy Cardin to retire in September

Wisconsin Public Radio host Joy Cardin will retire in September.

Cardin has been host of the morning show, The Joy Cardin Show, on The Ideas Network since 2003 and has been on WPR for 31 years. Her last live broadcast will be Sept. 29.

Cardin joined WPR in 1986 after working in television news at WSAW in Wausau and WLUK in Green Bay. She helped establish WPR’s Green Bay bureau and served as a local host for NPR’s Morning Edition while covering regional news for statewide broadcasts. In 1992 she was named current affairs director,  … Read More

UW-Madison uses grant money to get video gear

Posted On: August 12, 2017

WBA Foundation,

Thank you so much for the WBA Foundation Educational Support Grant.  The grant will help supplement our video gear and allow students to have more choices in their project work.

The help that the foundation gives to schools shows the commitment to education and the importance of helping future broadcasters. It’s a great mission, and it is appreciated.

Thanks again.


Pat Hastings
Faculty Associate
UW Madison
School of Journalism and Mass Communication  … Read More

Spanish-language radio station featured on WPT

Posted On: August 11, 2017
La Movida

The couple behind Spanish-language radio station La Movida in Madison were featured in a Wisconsin Life segment on Wisconsin Public Television.

Luis and Lupita Montoto run the station owned by Mid-West Family Broadcasting.

Read more here.

 … Read More

David ‘The Admiral’ Nelson dies at age 96

Posted On: August 10, 2017
David 'The Admiral' Nelson dies at age 96

A DePere man with a long and influential career in broadcasting has died.

David L. Nelson is described by long time employee and business partner Larry Busse as the “perfect boss.” He said Nelson would give his employees a challenge and a goal and would let them succeed. He said Nelson had high standards, wouldn’t take shortcuts, and had a loyal group of people who worked for him.

During the years 1953 to 1962 Nelson was employed by both the Green Bay Newspaper Company and Post Corporation of Appleton where he served as chief financial officer and as a director of both corporations.  … Read More

Wisconsin Lutheran College grad sends thanks for grant

Posted On: August 9, 2017

WBA Foundation,

Thank you so much for your recent gift of $1,200 to Wisconsin Lutheran College.

Your support for the college is most appreciated and helps prepare Warriors for lives of Christian leadership throughout the world. One of these Warriors is Sandra (Piepenbrink) Parker ’98, a business major, who now lives in England and is a senior product manager with the current telecommunications provider for the United Kingdom.

Sandra shares how her WLC experience prepared her for her current role: “God knew the plan that He had for me, and He knew that WLC was where I needed to go to make His plan a reality.  … Read More

President’s Column

Michelle Vetterkind

Michelle Vetterkind

Busy summer features Pai visit, upcoming events

It was great to see so many of you at the Blue Harbor Resort for the WBA Summer Conference! I’m sure you’ll agree that our Conference Planning Committee did a great job in planning an event that was not only educational, but a lot of fun as well. We even had GREAT weather, unlike the last time we were at Blue Harbor.

Those who were in attendance at the Business Breakfast were able to hear from all the WBA Committee Chairs about the many great things your WBA Committees are working on for you, our valued members. As I mentioned in my remarks that morning, I’d like to take this opportunity to briefly highlight a few items that I happen to be extra proud of this year.


Your WBA was thrilled to host an event with new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Sen. Ron Johnson, who is also the Chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. It’s definitely an exciting time for our industry, which was made apparent by the number of broadcast managers from all over the state who made the trip to Milwaukee for a Monday morning meeting.     

I enjoyed being able spend a bit of time with Chairman Pai and Sen. Johnson before the meeting to show off the WBA’s new Hall of Fame, complete with our fabulous touch screen video monitor, highlighting all 140 Hall of Fame videos.  I’ve since heard from both of them and, believe me, they were quite impressed with the Milwaukee meeting and our Hall of Fame.

Speaking of the WBA’s Hall of Fame, make sure to put next year’s Summer Conference on your calendars now, as it will take place June 20-21, 2018 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. We are so excited to have recently completed the video backlog; a major, multi-year project for your WBA and WBA Foundation.  Next year’s conference will provide the perfect opportunity to celebrate the new home for your WBA’s Hall of Fame. 


There’s an upcoming event that’s certainly near and dear to our hearts here at your WBA. While we’ve been working on it for some time now, our Rick Jowett Fellowship is finally coming to fruition. We’ve partnered with the National Press Photographer’s Association (NPPA) to offer a Madison Driving Short Course to be held on August 18-19 on the UW-Madison campus right on Lake Mendota. This year’s short course is being held in memory of our own Rick Jowett. The event will also highlight the introduction of the Rick Jowett Fellowship. 

Your WBA Foundation has established a fund to support a Rick Jowett Fellowship as means to pay tribute to Rick Jowett, beloved photographer and long-time member of the WBA family who died in July 2015. The fellowship will assist aspiring professionals, dedicated career professionals of our member stations as well as students of the visual media with skills training and professional development. A very special thank you to those who have already contributed to this Fellowship (and for anyone else you would like to, just let us know).

Rick grew up in a media family. His grandfather was CEO of Forward Communications which owned several television stations throughout the country. His family was also involved in print media at the Wausau Herald. Rick began his career in high school as a photographer working for the Wausau Herald.

Rick completed his degree in journalism at UW-Madison in the late 70s. Following graduation, he started his career in broadcasting as a still photographer at WMTV-TV in Madison.  

Rick began working with the WBA in 1985 as our photographer, along with everything else he would help us with J.  He served graciously and unconditionally until his passing in 2015.

We hope you’ll consider joining us for this special event. 


Finally – make sure to join us for this year’s WBA – Doug Chickering – WIAA Sports Workshop. It will be held Aug. 3 and will feature a game between the Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.

I mean really, what’s better than a day at the ballpark?

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of summer. 

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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Larry Meiller, Hall of Fame Inductee 2017

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