Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Good Karma to launch station for Milwaukee’s Black community

Posted On: September 29, 2020
Good Karma Brands
Good Karma Brands

Good Karma Brands is launching 101.7 The Truth, a local radio home for Milwaukee’s Black community. The station will launch this year and feature local shows with authentic conversations about news and current events, a celebration of Black culture, information created by and for the Black community with an emphasis on empowerment, family, faith and ,community.

“At Good Karma Brands, we believe every voice matters – but as the events of this past year unfolded, we realized there were underrepresented voices that had so much to say and needed to be heard,” Craig Karmazin, Good Karma Brands founder and CEO said.  ... Read More

Alternative Inspection Program

Posted On: September 29, 2020

WPR launches podcast for kids

Posted On: September 25, 2020

When schools in Wisconsin went virtual in March, Kate Archer Kent, host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show,” and executive producer Molly Stentz, decided to do some special programming for children. These weekly segments featured guests like writer R. L. Stine, of the popular Goosebumps series, and animal expert Chris Kratt, from the PBS show “Wild Kratts.” “Explorer’s Club” is now launching as a podcast, with 20- to 30-minute episodes on everything from weird animals to gastroegyptology (if you don’t know what that is, you’ll find out). The first five episodes are available now, and new ones are coming soon.  ... Read More

Veteran GM named to run WISC-TV

Posted On: September 25, 2020

Morgan Murphy Media has appointed veteran broadcasting executive Lyle Banks as vice president and general manager of WISC-TV in Madison. He will oversee television, digital, and magazine operations at the company’s flagship.

Most recently, Banks was the VP and GM of WGCL-TV in Atlanta for Meredith where he led a team to ratings growth in a highly competitive news market. He has an extensive record of success in broadcasting including general manager stints at WMAQ in Chicago and at WAVY-TV in Norfolk, Virginia.

“I’ve long admired Morgan Murphy Media for its unwavering commitment to serving local communities through top-rated news organizations,  ... Read More

Weekly Radio Addresses highlights Pompeo visit, need for college students to wear masks

Posted On: September 25, 2020

This week’s Weekly Radio Addresses from Wisconsin’s Capitol highlight this week’s visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the need for college students in Wisconsin to wear masks. These addresses are available for Wisconsin broadcasters to use as they see fit. Here are the summaries from WisPolitics:

— Senate President Roger Roth in this week’s GOP radio address recounted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s historic visit to the Capitol.

“Never before has a Secretary of State taken time to visit the Capitol and interact with our leaders,” the Appleton Republican said, thanking Pompeo for traveling to the state.  ... Read More

Student scholarship competition underway

Posted On: September 22, 2020

Close up of old English dictionary page with word scholarship

Do you know a student who could use assistance with educational expenses?      

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation offers four scholarships. Students who meet eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for these scholarships:

  • David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund Scholarship – $1,000
  • Howard Gernetzke Scholarship – $1,000
  • Morgan Murphy Media Scholarship – $2,000
  • Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Scholarship – $2,000

More information and the application can be found here.

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

Agenda available for 2020 Broadcasters Clinic, plans for 2021 announced

Posted On: September 22, 2020

The 2020 Virtual Broadcasters Clinic is less than a month away and your official Broadcasters Clinic brochure is AVAILABLE NOW.   You won’t want to miss these three days of amazing sessions, featuring an appearance by FCC Commission Chair Ajit Pai   The virtual Clinic will run Oct. 13-15 and the brochure provides specifics about each session and speakers. Topics include:

  • NAB Technology Update
  • Implications of new cloud technology
  • Working from home
  • Preparing for new equipment and facilities
  • FCC regulatory update
  • The Internet at 50
  • TV Repack recap
  • Solo transmitter visits
  • ATSC 3.0 and cloud delivery of ATSC 3.0
  • Near field drone measurements of broadcast antennas
  • What technology advances are in store for the future?
  •  ... Read More

Get tips for national sales staffers

Posted On: September 18, 2020
Kipper McGee
Kipper McGee

Are any of your stations running syndicate programming? Whether a weekend countdown, or a weekday mainstay, all formats are airing more network programming.

Veteran broadcast exec Kipper McGee unveiled in a recent WBA webinar how he took WDBO/Orlando to its first No. 1 book in decades and kept WLS/Chicago Top 5 by integrating network programming to be part of the local ‘team’.

WBA members can find an archive of the one-hour webinar here. All WBA webinars that are available for on demand viewing can be found here.  ... Read More

Weekly Radio Addresses promotes safe voting, census participation

Posted On: September 18, 2020

This week’s Weekly Radio Addresses from Wisconsin’s Capitol are about safe voting and participating in the census. These addresses are available for Wisconsin broadcasters to use as they see fit. Here are the summaries from WisPolitics:

— Sen. Kathy Bernier in this week’s GOP radio address touted polling locations’ hygiene protocols and the state’s “safe, secure, and accessible” absentee ballot system.

Bernier, who serves as the chair of the Senate Elections Committee and is a former county clerk, urged voters to return their ballots on or before Oct. 19, the date recommended by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission to ensure they arrive on time.  ... Read More

Linda Baun’s dedication will leave permanent mark on your WBA

Posted On: September 9, 2020

Michelle Vetterkind WBA President & CEO

To say that it’s difficult to summarize all the ways in which our Linda Baun has left her mark on your WBA is an understatement…

Lin has given 14 years of dedicated service to your WBA. She’s earned her reputation for her dedication to broadcasting, amazing work ethic, and boundless kind-heartedness. She put in countless hours working to make life easier for you and your fellow WBA members. She worked behind the scenes making our events exceed your expectations, and always, always added her own touch to make events a little extra special.

Lin’s work touched so many events and services offered by your WBA. In particular, she threw her whole self into the WBA Student Seminar, the WBA Awards for Excellence, the WBA Awards Gala, and the Broadcasters Clinic. At the WBA Gala, you could spot her in her dress and headset making sure everything was running smoothly and no one missed a cue. At the Broadcasters Clinic, she was always meeting with attendees and exhibitors and never (ever) missed the chance to hand out lunches to the exhibitors to make them feel appreciated. As I’m sure you’ll agree, these events will simply not be the same without her.

You can read more about Lin here.

Lin, our dear friend – thank you isn’t enough. We will miss you more than you know. You will ALWAYS be a part of the WBA Family!

Broadcasters Clinic going virtual

Your WBA’s award-winning Broadcasters Clinic event is returning this year as a virtual event, and we’re excited to have FCC Chairman Ajit Pai making an appearance! It’s still three days: Oct. 13-15 and will still bring together the best and brightest on the topics broadcast engineers need to know about. You can learn all about the online event here.

New bylaws adopted

Thank you to all the WBA member stations who participated in the process of adopting changes to the WBA bylaws. It was a prolonged process because the summer membership meeting had to be canceled; that said, we are so grateful to all the station managers who studied the changes and sent in their consent forms. Read more here.

Have you listened to the Bob Barry podcast?

You should! And you should subscribe so you can catch new episodes every Wednesday. WBA Hall of Famer Bob Barry is unearthing some of his most interesting celebrity interviews from his decades on the air in Milwaukee. He recently published interviews with Buffalo Bob, Rodney Dangerfield, Gene Pitney, Tina Turner, and Phyllis Diller. The podcast is published by your WBA Foundation with support from WBA Hall of Famer Terry Baun. You can find the most recent episodes and links to subscribe here.

Valuable (and FREE) one-on-one digital consultations

We recently gathered testimonials from some of your fellow WBA members who’ve taken advantage of free one-on-one digital strategy consultations we offer from Seth Resler from Jacobs Media. Here’s one quote:

“It was awesome! Not only did Seth give us great feedback on our website, he also helped us with our strategies and making them more concrete and quantifiable.”

Seth is available to help your stations talk about your digital strategies, whether you’re just getting started on digital platforms or if you’re trying to figure out how to shift strategies to address changes in the market or curveballs like the pandemic. Interested? Contact Kyle Geissler.

The ongoing pandemic and upcoming election season will no doubt keep the pressure on you and your operations. Please know that your WBA is here to help. You know about all the services we offer (see page 10) , and you know that your WBA is YOUR Go To Resource – but these days we sometimes hear from members who simply need to talk…..and we’re here for that as well. We’re so very proud of the work you do for Wisconsin. As always, stay safe. Stay healthy. We need you!

Broadcasters step up during unbelievable times

Posted On: July 7, 2020

What a tremendous job Wisconsin Broadcasters have done during the pandemic. I think it is safe to say virtually every radio and TV station participated in or produced their own community events to help residents.

Midwest Communications in central Wisconsin teamed up with WAOW-TV recognizing hometown heroes. Many stations assisted local businesses, some offering free advertising by encouraging businesses to call in to their morning shows to talk about what was going on at their business. That was just part of what WBEV and WXRO did in Dodge County. They also had a community dance party on March 28. Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Madison hosted a free webinar to help local businesses coping with the economic downturn. And of course, “Jump Around,” on Saturday afternoons had the entire state jumping in their driveways, patios, and yards. A brief respite from the times.

You will find a list of recent events and programs that Wisconsin broadcasters did to better their communities on page 7 and you can find the complete list here.

The Economics of Broadcasting

Unfortunately, many people were furloughed or terminated during the pandemic. Many of the broadcasters that I have talked with participated in the Payroll Protection Plan. If they had furloughed anybody, they have brought everybody back. Also, they all spoke very favorably about the PPP.

Hopefully, business will return to normal and there will be no new layoffs or terminations. When will the business return? It could be well into 2021. So many events have been canceled and will not return until next year, like fairs, concerts, and sporting events.

If you have ideas that have made up some of this lost revenue, please share with the WBA so we can pass them on to our members.

Chris Bernier, Chair, WBA Board of Directors

Broadcasters bring people together

Posted On: September 29, 2020

We as broadcasters have a responsibility to our community and to our listeners and viewers to continue to engage and provide accurate news and information along with a source of entertainment that fits into their daily lives. Our communities and our audience members put their trust in us enough to invite us into their homes, workplaces, and daily commutes.

Now more than ever as we navigate these unique times, radio has the opportunity to bring people together. During a time when schedules are ever-changing and in-person connection is no longer consistent, listeners and viewers feel an emotional connection to their favorite broadcasting personalities and find normalcy in their favorite programming.

I feel truly blessed and honored to be a part of such a vital industry, and I encourage us all to continue to remember the people and the communities at the heart of it.

Terry Stevenson
Seehafer Broadcasting, Manitowoc

YP Corner: Starting a side hustle

Posted On: September 28, 2020
Heather Poltrock
Heather Poltrock

A 2019 Fortune article stated 49 percent of Americans under 35 have a ‘side hustle’. Photography, videography and DJ services seem to be the most popular among young broadcasters, according to an unscientific poll I’ve conducted. It makes sense given most broadcasters already have those skill sets.

As someone who previously had a photography business for several years, it’s crucial to make your hustle legitimate.

The most important way to do this is to manage and track your expenses and income. You really don’t want to get audited because you failed to claim $400. Wave Apps, waveapps.com, is free financial tracking software for small businesses. It allows you to record income, expenses, send invoices and accept credit card payments for a small fee. Honestly, you guys, I cannot believe it’s free.

The second amazing service for entrepreneurs is SideLine. It is an app that adds a second phone line (separate phone number) to your existing phone.

It’s not free, about $100 a year if you sign up for 12 months. You can send and receive texts, set up a separate voicemail and call customers from the other phone number.

Do you have a question about starting a small business? Reach out and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

Heather Poltrock, WSAW-TV

The pros of negative audience feedback

Posted On: September 14, 2020
Heather Poltrock
Heather Poltrock

“Angry viewer email.”

Those three words likely triggered an involuntary eye roll or sigh. No one enjoys being criticized, but there is a benefit.

No industry sees the volume of complaints quite like food service. And if you’ve ever worked in a restaurant you know exactly what I mean. Years ago, while serving at an Applebee’s, a coworker was discussing frustrations about a table of ‘complainers’. My manager shared some wisdom that can apply to broadcasters too.

“If they are complaining, they are letting you know… giving you a chance to make it right.”

Wise words in what can be a tough situation.

The next time you get negative feedback, really examine it. Does your work need some clarity? Did their feedback spur another angle you hadn’t considered? How can you improve and grow based on the comment?

I think you’ll find more often than not, most people have good intentions. It is also impossible to determine a person’s tone from an email or Facebook message.

Heather Poltrock, WSAW-TV, Wausau

Broadcasters should shine light on those making a difference

Posted On: September 2, 2020

Our world is experiencing unprecedented times, and as broadcasters we have a unique role in helping our communities to both stay informed and to process the huge amounts of new information that seem to be coming in nonstop. In the month of September, our communities are experiencing back to school, and that looks different from community to community, and even from school to school. Many families are facing brand new challenges such as virtual- or home-schooling for the first time and adjusting to part-time in-person school schedules. Others are facing the realities of making hard choices like sending their children to school even though they don’t feel comfortable, simply because of the demands of their work schedule, or staying home to protect compromised immune systems even though it means sacrificing a needed paycheck.

As broadcasters, we have the ability to provide security and stability to our communities. Our morning programs continue to run with the same familiar, beloved personalities. Our audiences can tune into the news and weather and the same times as always. Our listeners and viewers can join the conversation with us on-air or online, and feel connected to the community. Our advertisers are relying on us to get out their often-changing messages about hours and protocols, and our community members are turning to us to find out the latest developments.

How do we help our communities to keep moving forward through a year that has felt truly endless? We continue to promote community togetherness and highlight the ways people are helping each other. In my community, we’ve seen an up-and-coming local food bank do weekly food drops, serving a portion of our community that is not food-stable. We’ve had businesses buy advertising for smaller businesses and local nonprofits so that they could continue to get their messages out. We’ve seen one local restaurant purchase products from other local businesses and give them away to their customers with every to-go order, and we’ve seen a local caterer provide free meals to essential workers and anyone in need. This is just a tiny bit of what we’ve seen locally, and I can only imagine what each of you has seen in your communities. We support these actions, we highlight these actions, we join these actions as we’re able to. We shine a light on the good in our communities so that people continue to remember.

I encourage you to take a few moments today to consider how you are uniquely positioned within your community, and how you can continue to use that position to keep people informed, united, and hopeful.

Terry Stevenson
Seehafer Broadcasting, Manitowoc

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