Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Station’s viewers generate 6.3M meals

Posted On: January 15, 2021

A Madison TV station’s holiday campaign to fight hunger generated 6.3 million meals, topping the campaign’s 5 million meal goal.

NBC15 News (WMTV-TV) has run “Share Your Holidays” for 25 years and has raised more than 55 million meals since its inception. The campaign benefits Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, which helps families and individuals facing food insecurity in 16 southern Wisconsin counties. The non-profit distributes food to 225 partner agencies and programs, including food pantries in local schools.

Thanks to the buying power of Second Harvest Foodbank, for every dollar donated, up to three meals are provided to adults,  ... Read More

Weekly Radio Addresses take on pandemic relief, vaccine distribution

Posted On: January 15, 2021

This week’s Weekly Radio Addresses from Wisconsin’s Capitol are focused on state legislation on COVID-19 and vaccine distribution. These addresses are available for Wisconsin broadcasters to use as they see fit. Here are the summaries from WisPolitics:

— In this week’s Dem radio address, Gov. Tony Evers called for the Legislature to address the state’s COVID-19 response needs.

He encouraged the Assembly to pass the Senate’s amended bill and send it to his desk to “start this new legislative session and 2021 on the right foot.”

Evers stated that while the slimmed-down bill was not the compromise that was initially proposed,  ... Read More

WPR to air Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration ‘Together As One’

Posted On: January 13, 2021

Wisconsin will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. live on all Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) stations and at wpr.org Jan. 18 at noon. Hosted by Dr. Jonathan Øverby, the 41st annual official state ceremony is the oldest state celebration in the country. Øverby is host of WPR’s “The Road To Higher Ground with Jonathan Øverby.” “Dr. King marched, wrote, and used his voice to create social change in the 20th century,” said Øverby. “Let us follow King’s example by moving forward together as one, united to overcome the ills that divide us.”


Under the theme “Together As One,”  ... Read More

WBA creates resource for Wisconsin PSAs

Posted On: January 13, 2021

Your Wisconsin Broadcasters Association has created a clearinghouse of PSAs available for stations to use as they wish on the air.

The “Ready to Use” PSAs page on the WBA website will host PSAs specifically for Wisconsin broadcasters.

You can find the “Ready to Use” PSA page here.  ... Read More

What we learned in 2020 and what this means for 2021 (and beyond)

Posted On: January 11, 2021

A few weeks ago, we joked in our daily blog that in 2015, everyone who answered the question, “Where do you want to be in five years?” got it terribly wrong. Nobody could have predicted the upheaval all of us felt in our business and personal lives in 2020 and the changes it caused.

But as we turn the page to 2021, there’s much reason for optimism. We now are at the early stages of distributing a vaccine, and most experts believe that by the mid-point of the year we will be back to “normal.” 

Whatever “normal” is.  ... Read More

Publicity News Release Distribution

Posted On: January 11, 2021

Webinar: Geo Targeting with FM boosters

Posted On: January 8, 2021
Program Date: January 19, 2021

Bert Goldman is currently the president of Goldman Engineering Management Inc. Bert brings more than 40 years of experience and specializes in analyzing AM and FM spectrum for the purpose of improving facility coverage and value as well as all facets of construction. He has extensive experience in the latest FM single frequency network (SFN) design and implementation and has participated in experimental testing of geo-targeted SFN operation.  Bert is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), and is an associate member of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE).  ... Read More

Weekly Radio Addresses discuss state’s response to pandemic

Posted On: January 8, 2021

This week’s Weekly Radio Addresses from Wisconsin’s Capitol are focused on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These addresses are available for Wisconsin broadcasters to use as they see fit. Here are the summaries from WisPolitics:

— Gov. Tony Evers in this week’s Dem radio address highlighted new tools available to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

He pointed to the recently launched WI Exposure Notification app that “uses Bluetooth technology to anonymously tell folks if they have had contact with somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19.” Evers also said at-home testing kits are available online free of charge.  ... Read More

Wisconsin Broadcaster available now

Posted On: January 7, 2021

The January/February issue of the Wisconsin Broadcaster is now available. You can download it here [PDF].   Highlights from his issue:

  • WBA Chair Chris Bernier highlights signs of hope for broadcasters in 2021
  • WBA President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind writes about upcoming events and the year ahead
  • Entries are in for the WBA Awards for Excellence
  • WBA to host Virtual Job Fair March 1-5
  • WBA creates resource for Wisconsin PSAs
  • Lawmakers honor Local Broadcast Legend
  • Paul Jacobs looks ahead to the landscape in 2021
  • Rising Above Virtual Sales and Management Summit on 27-28
  • Initial list of 2021 free webinars to be offered by WBA
  • WBA member stations making a difference in their communities
  • Headlines about your fellow broadcasters
  • WBA Student Seminar to be held online
  • Charlie Berens to appear at WBA Student Seminar
  • Remembering broadcasters who have recently passed
  • Your assignment editor’s biggest pet peeves
  • Photos from broadcasters working from home
  • Walker Broadcast Management Institute delayed to 2022
  • Applications sought for Results Broadcasting Education Grant
  • PBS Wisconsin airs documentary about Nancy Zieman
  • New episodes coming for Bob Barry’s Unearthed Interviews podcast
  • Calendar of Events
  •  ... Read More

Broadcasters provide inspiration for new year

Posted On: January 12, 2021

Michelle Vetterkind

The new year is a great occasion to be inspired, and I’m sure you’ll agree that Wisconsin’s local broadcasters have given us many sources for inspiration as we face the hopes for 2021. You provided critical services to your local communities in 2020 and demonstrated to everyone what we always talk about when we say broadcasters are serious about their commitment to serving the public. We have a lot to be hopeful for in 2021 and a lot to be proud of from 2020.

Your WBA Education Committee is excited to take a new approach to this year’s WBA Student Seminar on March 6. Yes, it will be an online event, but the event is going to focus strongly on giving students something that has been hard for them to get during the pandemic: face time with professional broadcasters. For those of you who have attended our speed networking event at the Student Seminar, this will feel familiar. We will hold three half hour sessions in which a small group of students (6-7) will spend time hearing from a broadcast professional and asking questions about their jobs and how to get into the business.

We’ll be looking for you, Wisconsin broadcast professionals, to take part in these sessions. It will take about 2 and a half hours of your time on the morning of Saturday, March 6. If interested, please contact Kyle Geissler at kgeissler@wi-broadcasters.org. It is a great way to connect with aspiring broadcast professionals!

And….if you volunteer, you can also stick around to hear from our keynote speaker (a definite highlight), Wisconsin’s own Charlie Berens. Charlie’s address will be followed by our WBA Foundation scholarship recognition and WBA Students Awards for Excellence presentations. Learn more here.

For those of you looking to advance your own professional development in 2021, your WBA has a lot for you to consider, and all of it available for free to you, our valued WBA members. On Jan. 27-28, your WBA is joining the Rising Above Virtual Sales and Management hosted by P1 Learning and the Swagger Institute. They’ve gathered an amazing list of speakers to teach, coach, inspire, and motivate you for the year to come.

Check out the full list of speakers and registration information here.

We’re excited to offer the Results Broadcasting Education Grant for a second year. We received amazing response to this grant last year. We are so incredibly grateful to Bruce and Don Grassman not only for their financial support of the grant, but for their inspired idea to support new broadcasters with relief for their education debt. Do you know someone who should apply? Learn more here.

Finally, we’ve heard from many of you who are wondering about the status of our 2021 events, including our Awards Gala, Summer Conference, and Broadcasters Clinic. You might have already heard that the Walker Broadcast Management Institute will be delayed to 2022. As for the rest of our WBA events, while we’re most hopeful they can be held in person or as hybrid events, we can’t yet know for sure what the coming weeks and months will bring. Like you, we will hope for speedy and safe distribution of the vaccine and a green light from health officials. In the meantime, we are planning as though the events are going to happen so that we’re ready to provide you, our valued WBA members, with the best events possible under whatever circumstances we’ll be working under. As always, watch your inboxes…..when decisions are made, you’ll know!

Here’s wishing each and every one of you a safe and prosperous 2021! Know that your WBA team looks forward to seeing you in person this year, and we remain hopeful that it WILL happen!

Plenty to be hopeful for in 2021

Posted On: January 12, 2021

2020. What an unbelievable year! Hopefully, we will never experience another year like that. The pandemic killed thousands and was devastating to businesses small and large. But the last thing you need to read is gloom and doom.

How about some good news:

Your WBA did an excellent job navigating through the postponements and cancellations in 2020. Hopefully, things will get back to normal this year and we can have some in-person events. Plans are being made to have our normal events if we are able.

WBA had a successful year financially and will show a surplus for the first time in many years. We had a strong year in sales for the NCSA/PEP program and a very diligent effort on holding the line on the expenses. Certainly, a great deal of the credit goes to Michelle and her staff. Also, credit goes to our board and a special committee that met a couple of years ago to review all our expenses and make recommendations. It is an ongoing process to operate as efficiently as possible.

The COVID vaccine is now in distribution. This is an incredible feat to have development and distribution in less than a year. Most analysts are forecasting an improved year for broadcasting. As markets become more normal, we should see events return. Will that be this summer? We can be optimistic and hope so, but they will return at some point! Maybe we will be able to attend sporting events this fall!

Happy New Year!

Gear up! Breaking News! You’re going live

Posted On: January 5, 2021
Heather Poltrock
Heather Poltrock

Large police presence.

Raise your hand if you’ve uttered those words once or twice. I cannot think of a story harder to tell than the one where you have no information.

I’ll set the scene: Newsroom phone rings. It’s a tipster that says 12 squads are at such and such location. Guess what? You’re going, and you’re going live too.

So instead of saying ‘Take a look behind me’, “As you can see behind me”, “Now behind me” three times in 30 seconds, I’ll share how you can add a little beef to your no-info breaking news live reports.

Call dispatch. Ask them what police are responding to. And what time that call came in. Remember this is what was phoned in to dispatch and may not be the actual event, so you need to present it that way. Example: I’ve seen ‘shots fired’ turn out to be fireworks.

What do you see? Is DCI there? The bomb squad? Are they setting up a makeshift helipad?  Officers from other jurisdictions? Or are you too far away to tell? Then say that—“They won’t let us get any closer, but as we arrived we did see ….”

Is it freezing out? Sometimes the Red Cross will provide a warm spot and water for firefighters and officers if they plan to be at the scene for a while.

Give us a traffic update. Is a road closed off? Is a detour in place?

Is a school nearby? Are they on lockdown as a precaution?

The viewer will understand that the event has just happened or is still happening. It’s your job to explain how they are impacted at this very moment.

Heather Poltrock
WSAW-TV, Wausau

Making the most of an overnight work schedule

Posted On: January 4, 2021

“When do you go in?”

If you’ve ever worked a morning show shift you’ve likely been asked that question with a look of disgust from inquiring minds.

Kassandra Sepeda has anchored Sunrise 7 in Wausau for nearly four years and previously worked a morning shift at her former station in Mankato, Minnesota. Working when most people are still sleeping to get up for their 9-5 requires a structured routine.

“Mine went like this: About an hour before bed I shut the blinds and dim the lights. I would make some tea, and then try to stop using my phone about 15 minutes before bed,” she explained noting the importance of a good night’s sleep.

And of course, attitude is a big factor in making the lifestyle work for you.

“Embrace all the perks of the shift! We get daylight (especially in the winter) no lines at the grocery store, no need to take off for appointments etc.” she said.

Plus, working a morning shift can sometimes offer more opportunities for learning and creativity as the AM shift typically has a smaller staff. But even that giant pro might be offset by the thought that you’ll have no social life.

Sepeda says not true. She suggests meeting friends for coffee or lunch to stay in touch and look to make connections with people that work the same schedule. And if an event occurs during your normal bedtime, she said go for it, but don’t make it a routine.

Heather Poltrock
WSAW-TV, Wausau

Learn about tools you need to get hired

Posted On: December 14, 2020

As December (or May) graduates shake off their holiday lethargy and sharpen their focus on finding a job, organization is key.

The Poynter article “Tools to find, track and level-up job applications” shared a lot of good advice I wish I had had when I first started in the industry. If you don’t know where to look for jobs, this article will help. If you don’t know who to contact, this article will help. If you don’t know your next steps, this article will help.

In my experience as a hiring manager, it is easy to tell who is organized and prepared. Those are the candidates that stand out.

This article will help those seeking work achieve that. Read it, click on the links, and hit the market hard

Kristen Shill, News Director
WQOW-TV, Eau Claire

Learn the secrets to being a great salesperson

Posted On: December 3, 2020

Over the course of my career, I’ve learned that there is truly no secret to being a great salesperson. In my experience, it takes hard work and a willingness to keep pushing forward, meeting each client where they’re at, and a lot of creativity, and there’s also always something new to learn.

I recently read the article “How To Be a Great Salesperson” in Radio Ink, and I found that Carol Commander has a refreshing, positive attitude towards selling advertising in the midst of a pandemic. She especially emphasizes the importance of taking a creative approach by learning what each individual client needs and working to find a way that you as their salesperson can meet those needs, especially by thinking outside of the box.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to read this article, and I hope that you find it inspiring as well!

The Secret To Being A Great Salesperson


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