In the News
Five Broadcasters to be Inducted Into WBA Hall of Fame
Five Wisconsin broadcasters will be recognized for their career contributions to excellence in radio and television with induction into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame on Thursday, June 20. The induction ceremony will be held at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake following the annual Hall of Fame Banquet, the closing evening of the 2013 WBA Summer Conference. The five inductees were formally nominated by the WBA Foundation Hall of Fame Committee earlier this year. They include: Dave Carlson, William T. Evjue, Karl Schmidt, Scott M. Trentadue, and Bill Vancil.
Dave Carlson has reported outdoor news on Wisconsin television for 32 years and is the face of hunting, fishing and conservation journalism for generations of Wisconsinites. From 1981 to 2000, he was the host of a popular weekly half-hour program, Northland Journal, which aired on WEAUTV in Eau Claire. Then he syndicated a program, Northland Adventures with Dave Carlson, which was broadcast on 25 stations in 12 states and still airs today. In all, Carlson has produced, hosted, written, narrated and edited more than 1,600 half-hour original television shows featuring the people and places of outdoor recreation and conservation.
Carlson is the author of three books: A Fish Gift and Other Sketches from Northland Adventures, The Way the Stick Floats, and Moose Don’t Fly. He hosts The West Side Outside monthly on Wisconsin Public Radio and writes for Wisconsin Outdoor News and other publications. In 2008 he was named national Conservation Communicator of the Year by Trout Unlimited, and he has won many awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of American and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.
William T. Evjue (1882-1970) is best known for political advocacy in Wisconsin as a leading Progressive of his time and for founding The Capital Times newspaper in 1917. But he also helped launch the first successful commercial radio station in Madison and is most certainly a seminal figure in Wisconsin broadcasting history.
The station, WIBA, signed on in 1925 and aired the World Series that year, as well as University of Wisconsin football games, speeches by politicians, and Evjue’s weekly Hello Wisconsin address, which was carried by other stations in the state. In 1928, WIBA began daily live broadcasts from The Capital Times newsroom. A year later, Evjue hired William E. Walker to manage WIBA; Walker would later be inducted, in 1990, as a member of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame. The station became an NBC affiliate in 1931 and enjoyed extraordinary success as the dominant radio station in the market for decades. Throughout his career, Evjue fostered innovative relationships between the station and the newspaper newsroom, and continued to serve as WIBA president until his death in 1970.
Karl F. Schmidt is the nationally known voice of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Chapter a Day and likely holds the record for longest broadcasting career in Wisconsin radio: At the time of his induction into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame at age 90, Schmidt was still on the air and celebrating his 72nd year in radio. Throughout his career, Schmidt’s innovative programming and creative leadership influenced the development of public broadcasting locally and nationwide.
Schmidt began his broadcasting career at WHA Radio in 1941 and continued it with Armed Forces Radio during World War II. After the war as a returning student at the University of Wisconsin he was hired by Harold McCartya 1989 Hall of Fame inducteeto read for WHA Radio’s Chapter a Day program. He went on to do color commentary for Badger Football, create Earplay, an internationally lauded radio drama that ran from 1972 to 1980, head the National Center for Audio Experimentation, and serve on the founding board of National Public Radio and the board of National Educational Radio. He has won two Peabody awards, an Armstrong Award, and the world renowned Prix Italia.
Scott M. Trentadue, a champion of local radio, led the growth of the Goetz Group of Radio Networks, beginning in 1980, to provide programming for stations in Fort Atkinson, Marshfield and Reedsburg. The networks included the Goetz Farm Radio Network, the Wisconsin News Actuality Network and the Free Enterprise Radio Network with Tom Butenhoff. Shows such as Daybreak, daily farm market reports and actualities for local newscasts made the programming a hit and more than 225 radio and television stations throughout Wisconsin joined the networks. Trentadue also transitioned Wheeler News Service into the first statewide Internet news service for radio and television, and he created Titletown Report as a twice-daily update on Green Bay Packer news. In addition, he developed the first sports radio network in Wisconsin to cover WIAA high school sports tournaments.
Trentadue’s 36-year broadcasting career took him from news reporter to sales manager to executive leadership positions with Goetz Broadcasting, Marathon Media and Good Karma Broadcasting. He is a past president of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and currently serves on the board of the WBA Foundation.
Bill Vancil’s career as an immensely creative program director and general manager for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Madison stations included co-founding and creating Magic 98, an adult-contemporary format that delivered record-setting listenership and revenues. It’s a testament to Vancil’s legacy that Magic 98’s format and image endured for several decades. He also programmed and managed the legendary WISM 1480, and served as program consultant to Mid-West Family stations WIZM La Crosse and WOSH Oshkosh.
Vancil began his radio career in 1961 as program director of KSTT in Davenport, Iowa. In 1969, he moved to Madison to program WISM-FM as a staff of one, voicing commercials and creating an innovative automated format of pop hits, “Movin’ Easy 98FM.” In 1983 he hired an on-air staff and transformed the station into a live adult contemporary format, which was an immediate success as Magic 98. In the 1990s Vancil co-founded and served as president of the Madison Area Radio Association. He retired from Mid-West as executive vice president, general manager and shareholder in 2002.