Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

30-year radio veteran leaves Madison PM shift

Posted On: November 21, 2017

A 30-year radio veteran will end her afternoon drive shift on Magic 98 (WMGN-FM) in Madison to join her husband’s real estate business.

Sara Freeman will remain on Magic 98 on weekends after the transition at the end of the year.

Also, Jillene Kahn from WKTI-FM in Milwaukee will replace Magic 98’s noon-3 p.m. host Riana Bartell who resigned to move to Cleveland.

When Freeman leaves at the end of the year, Kahn will take the afternoon drive shift and Julie Jacobs from WJVL-FM in Janesville will rejoin Magic 98 to take the midday spot.  … Read More

Host of Milwaukee’s German Continental Showcase dies

Posted On: November 20, 2017

Robert Deglau

The host of a beloved German culture radio show in Milwaukee has died.

Robert Deglau, 56, died expectedly Tuesday. He was the host of German Continental Showcase on WJYI and an engineering assistant for Entercom.

“Robert was generous with his time and dedication to his friends, German Continental Showcase, Germanfest, and his community. He had a lifelong love for animals,” his obit said.

“I know that there wasn’t a person who loved Milwaukee radio more than Rob – he was the first guy to raise his hand if any of us needed extra help somewhere,” said Entercom engineer Chris Tarr.  … Read More

Madison area journalists raise money during holiday party

Posted On: November 17, 2017

The Madison chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, in conjunction with the Capitol press corps, will hold its annual holiday party and raffle Dec. 14 from 6-9 pm.

Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Daily Cardinal and the Badger Herald, the two student newspapers at UW-Madison.

All area journalists and journalism supporters are encouraged to attend the free event, held at the Argus Bar, 123 E. Main St. in Madison. Please bring a dish to pass.

Raffle prizes pledged so far include:

* One-year subscription to Wispolitics.com, courtesy Wispolitics.com
* One night stay,  … Read More

FCC approves new ownership rules, ATSC 3.0

Posted On: November 16, 2017

Ajit Pai from @AjitPaiFCC on Twitter

The FCC on Thursday approved new ownership rules that would allow companies to own a television station and newspaper or television station and radio station in the same market.

The rule would also allow the FCC to waive on a case-by-case basis a ban on owning two of the top television stations in the same market. The order says the rules “is no longer necessary to promote viewpoint diversity in the modern media marketplace.” A release from the FCC said, “These actions will provide broadcasters and local newspapers with a greater opportunity to compete in the digital age and will help ensure a diversity of viewpoints in local markets.”

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said the change will help large media companies grow even larger.  … Read More

Wisconsin stations among those getting into holiday spirit

Posted On: November 16, 2017

By pjhudson on Morguefile

At least three Wisconsin radio stations are switching formats to all Christmas music programming.

WRIT-FM, 95.7 BIG FM, is switching to all Christmas Music to coincide with Thursday’s holiday lighting in downtown Milwaukee and surrounding parks. Host (Dave) Murphy and Meg (McKenzie) will help emcee the downtown holiday lighting ceremony.

WOLX-FM in Madison flipped to “Madison’s Home for the Holidays” at noon on Thursday. WOLX has made the seasonal change since 2002.

WKRU-FM in Green Bay also made the change this week.

If your station is changing formats for the holidays, contact us to spread the word: kgeissler@wi-broadcasters.org.  … Read More

Broadcasters call on peers to join State Legislative Day

Posted On: November 16, 2017

Wisconsin broadcasters who have participated in State Legislative Day are calling on their peers to join them for calls on the State Capitol on Jan. 31.

A video published this week explains why it’s important for broadcasters to visit their lawmakers and talk about issues facings broadcasters and their markets.

To join State Legislative Day, register here:

https://www.wi-broadcasters.org/events/winter-conference-state-legislative-day/  … Read More

Station helps with food drive at Miller Park

Posted On: November 15, 2017

A Milwaukee TV station is taking part in a Thanksgiving food drive to help families in need this holiday season.

CBS 58 is partnering with the Hunger Task Force and Brewers Community Foundation for the Thanksgiving Drive Thru Food Drive on Nov. 22 from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Miller Park.

Cars can pull into the Miller Park parking lot, make their donation, and get back on the road without leaving their vehicle.

CBS 58 will broadcast live from the food drive throughout the day.

More than 131,000 pounds of food was donated at last year’s food drive.  … Read More

Radio station raises $42K for USO service vehicle

Posted On: November 15, 2017

A Milwaukee radio station raised $41,986 to replace a broken-down service vehicle for USO Wisconsin.

WKTI-FM ran a radiothon after hearing about the need for a new service vehicle. It aired the fundrasiser Nov. 10 from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations were collected online and through a phone bank.

The USO Wisconsin truck serves service members training at Fort McCoy. It provides service members with toiletries, sunscreen, snacks, drinks, and Wi-Fi.

The radiothon featured on-air auction items and it included a locally-based service member, now deployed in the Middle East, who made a $5,000 pledge to encourage additional donations.     … Read More

Longtime WPT host dies after long battle with cancer

Posted On: November 14, 2017

Nancy Zieman, the longtime host of Wisconsin Public Television’s Sewing With Nanc,y has died after a long battle with cancer.

Zieman died Tuesday at her home in Beaver Dam.

“An educator, author, pattern maker, television producer, entrepreneur and innovator, Zieman inspired millions of sewing and quilting enthusiasts throughout her career,” a release from WPT said.  “A careful, kind and generous presence, Zieman presented each of her programs in an engaging how-to format that empowered people of all skill levels to explore their own talents.”

Sewing with Nancy was the longest-running sewing series on television.  … Read More

President’s Column

Michelle Vetterkind WBA President/CEO

Army National Guard returns to NCSA/PEP, Broadcasters Clinic successful

While the past couple of months have been a true whirlwind for your WBA, I wanted to highlight a few items!

First and foremost – We’re thrilled to announce that the Army National Guard will be returning to the WBA’s NCSA/PEP Schedule as of Nov. 1!

If you’ll recall, the contract between the Army National Guard and its ad agency expired at the end of 2014 and all 50 states have been without the Guard NCSA/PEP program since then. We’re proud to say that we’ve continued to support our local Wisconsin Army National Guard and they have continued to support us at our events (Winter Conference, Awards Gala, and Summer Conference). I know you’ve seen them in attendance. They, too, are thrilled about the long-awaited renewal of this partnership!

I have no doubt you’ll agree how important the Wisconsin Army National Guard is to Wisconsin and to our nation, and therefore, how important effective recruitment is. As a follow up to my email to stations on Sept. 26, Liz Boyd (WBA NCSA/PEP Coordinator) has sent all of the additional information with her NCSA/PEP contacts at your stations. Please let us know immediately if your station does not have what you need to participate.

I thank you, in advance, for your support of this most important partnership! Your support of the NCSA/PEP program allows YOUR WBA to provide for so many of the myriad services and programs that we offer YOU, our valued members.

Coming soon….

Your WBA Foundation is pleased to offer you our 2017 Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame Shows. There will be two 30-minute shows (actual broadcast times TBA). They will be available for download from the WBA’s FTP site shortly. We’ll let you know when.

We hope that you will agree this is an excellent way to promote and enhance the image of the broadcasting industry in Wisconsin and, of course, to showcase the contributions of the four 2017 WBA Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductees – Ken Beno, Leonard “Chuck” Charles, Bill Hurwitz, and Larry Meiller as well as Jack Hackman (inducted in 1995) and the late Ed Hinshaw (inducted in 2002). 

The shows are available to all WBA television stations free of charge and they are suitable for airing during the holiday season and thereafter as a way to highlight the importance of broadcasting in Wisconsin and the achievements of this year’s inductees.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could find a place in your pre or post-holiday schedules for the 2017 WBA Hall of Fame Shows.

And last, but certainly not least….

Make sure to take a look at the recap of this year’s amazing Broadcasters Clinic! It’s hard to believe but the Clinic Committee, under the leadership of Leonard “Chuck” Charles (and of course, our own Linda Baun) put together an event that topped last year’s Clinic. It’s often said that it’s the best event of its kind in the country (and has won numerous awards). 

The tremendous success of this year’s Clinic seems especially appropriate as it was the last Clinic with Chuck as Chair. Chuck served on the Clinic committee since 1995 and has Chaired the Committee since 2010. We would like to wish our friend Chuck a wonderful retirement and to provide him with our heartfelt gratitude for ALL that he has done for us, the Clinic, his stations, and the industry. It’s also so very appropriate that Chuck was inducted into the WBA Hall of Fame this year, as mentioned earlier. He is a true Hall of Fame broadcaster. Thank you for your service, Chuck!  You will be greatly missed.     

Thank you, as always, for your time and support. 
Have a Safe & Blessed Holiday Season

Michelle Vetterkind
WBA President/CEO

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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