Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Weekly Radio Addresses highlight budget surplus

Posted On: June 11, 2021

This week’s Weekly Radio Addresses from Wisconsin’s Capitol highlight a state budget surplus. These addresses are available for Wisconsin broadcasters to use as they see fit. Here are the summaries from WisPolitics:

— In this week’s radio address Gov. Tony Evers touted a projected budget surplus of $4.4 billion dollars, the state’s current success of high vaccination rates and lower unemployment rates.

“Our work trusting science, listening to public health experts, and working to fight this pandemic has paid off–we’re among the best in the country for getting vaccine shots in arms and one of the lowest unemployment rates that has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels,”  ... Read More

Wisconsin anchor, station owner remembered

Posted On: June 10, 2021

Former TV news anchor and radio station owner Ray Louis Wheeler has died.

Wheeler, 81, died April 16 at his home in Minnesota, according to his obituary.

Wheeler was a broadcaster for the American Forces Korea Network while in the service. He retuned to his native Minnesota to work at KROC in Rochester and KSTP in Minneapolis before joining WLUK-TV in Green Bay in 1971. He was a news anchor at the station for 15 years and was there when it was founded. He later returned to radio where he acquired stations across Wisconsin,  ... Read More

WDEZ adds veteran brand manager, afternoon host

Posted On: June 9, 2021

Veteran morning personality Bill Fox is joining Midwest Communications 101.9 WDEZ, Wausau as brand manager and afternoon host.

Fox comes to Wausau from Classic Rock WWZY 107.1 The Boss/Monmouth-Ocean, New Jersey.

This is a return to the Country format for Fox who hosted mornings at New Country 97.5 WOKQ/ Portsmouth prior to arriving in New Jersey.

“I’m trading in my pork roll and egg sandwich for brats and cheese curds! And finally, after 25 years, sleeping in past 3:30 a.m.,” Fox said.

“I’m very excited to welcome Bill to our central Wisconsin team,” said Midwest Operations Manager Rusty James.  ... Read More

Weekly Radio Addresses discuss law enforcement, dairy industry

Posted On: June 4, 2021

This week’s Weekly Radio Addresses from Wisconsin’s Capitol are about law enforcement and the dairy industry. These addresses are available for Wisconsin broadcasters to use as they see fit. Here are the summaries from WisPolitics:

— State Sen. Van Wanggaard in this week’s GOP radio address touts bills that he said would increase police accountability, community involvement and transparency.

“These ideals can renew the relationship between police and their community,” the Racine Republican said. “Strengthening the bond between officers and those they serve makes us all safer. And that’s just one of the areas Republicans are focused on in June.”  ... Read More

Kiefer retires after 34 years at WLUK-TV

Posted On: June 2, 2021

Bill Kiefer is retiring after an inspirational career 34-year career as a broadcast journalist at WLUK-TV in Green Bay.

Kiefer is an award-winning producer of newscasts and documentaries.  He also served as a member of the WBA Awards committee. 

Since 1995, Kiefer has been the Assistant News Director at WLUK-TV. During his time there he created a curriculum called FOX 11 University; a series on lessons focused on writing, style, ethics, and training. Many news staffers have him to thank for his dedication to the ”active voice” in news writing.

Kiefer worked closely each day with the team of WLUK’s 4 1/2 hour morning newscast “Good Day Wisconsin.” 

As part of the newsroom management team he also hired hundreds of journalists,  ... Read More

The Art of Storytelling: The Art of Sales. One and the Same?

Posted On: June 1, 2021
Program Date: July 15, 2021

With Pat Bryson

Ancient peoples passed down tribal history through stories. The storyteller was revered as the keeper of knowledge and culture long before their languages were written down. Oral storytelling has been an integral part of culture for centuries. Some of the most noted people in history have been famous for their ability to tell stories. Abraham Lincoln illustrated his ideas through stories. Jesus taught in parables. Why were they so effective? Because the human mind retains information through stories. The best salespeople educate their clients, and the best way to educate is through telling stories.

   ... Read More

Troy Research acquires Hit Music Research

Posted On: June 1, 2021

Troy Research is announcing an agreement to acquire Hit Music Research, a Nashville based internet music research company.

Following the acquisition, Hit Music Research’s clients and resources will be transferred to TroyResearch.net.

“Hit Music Research President Ken Farley and I have had many discussions over the past few years about Troy acquiring HMR. Now the time is right,” said Troy Research President Jonathan Little.

“It’s been an amazing nineteen years partnering with Christian radio to provide them with cost-effective music testing that helped stations make strategic programming decisions and serve their listeners better,” Farley said.  ... Read More

Weekly Radio Addresses discuss support for small businesses, Medicaid

Posted On: May 28, 2021

This week’s Weekly Radio Addresses from Wisconsin’s Capitol are about helping small businesses and Medicaid expansion. 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 urged small business owners to sign up for a $420 million grant program.

The Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grant Program offers $5,000 grants to as many as 84,000 small businesses throughout the state. Evers said Wisconsinites could see a “light at the end of the tunnel” of the COVID pandemic and that the grants would help the economic recovery.  ... Read More

Radio station raises $822K for children’s hospital

Posted On: May 27, 2021

Milwaukee radio station WKLH raised more than $822,000 for Children’s Wisconsin during its WKLH Miracle Marathon.

The fundraiser has raised more than $27.8 million to benefit Children’s Wisconsin over 24 years.

The station posted video interviews with real patients, family and staff at Children’s Wisconsin who will benefit from the support of listeners.  ... Read More


WBA award winners provide inspiration

Posted On: May 10, 2021

Your WBA is in the fortunate position of getting to not only see but also share the great work that you, our valued radio and TV broadcasters, are doing each and every day across Wisconsin. The WBA Awards Gala gives everyone a chance to see the amazing work and dedication you bring to your communities, particularly in 2020. You can see a long list of those award-winning examples here.

Thank you to our Awards Committee and everyone who contributed to putting on this year’s online award galas. And while they were successful events, we greatly look forward to celebrating the awards in-person, radio and TV together, as we’re accustomed to, at the Madison Marriott West in 2022.

Summer Conference agenda released

We are most proud to bring you the agenda for our WBA Summer Conference coming up Aug. 25-26 at the beautiful Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan. You can find the full rundown here. Registration is open. We’re excited to finally recognize the Local Broadcast Legends and Hall of Fame inductees we announced in 2020. And we get to give a giant thank you to our friend, Senator Gordon Smith, NAB President and CEO, who recently announced his retirement at the end of this year. He’ll be there to deliver our keynote.

Thank you to our Conference Committee for the effort you put into this important first in-person event since the start of the pandemic. We hope to see you there!

Diversity Committee hard at work

Our WBA Diversity Committee, which you’ve read about in recent issues of the newsletter, is now meeting monthly and looking to turn words into actions. Your first chance to see it in action will be at our Summer Conference where the committee will be hosting a roundtable session with Binnu Palta Hill from the Wisconsin School of Business ahead of her EEO session. Binnu was a WBA favorite when she spoke to us a few years ago at a WBA Conference and we’re excited to have her act as moderator.

Committee members will be leading discussions at the tables about diversity in broadcasting with the aim of giving attendees actionable ideas to make sure their stations reflect more voices in their communities. We hope you can join the Diversity Committee for this important session.

Broadcasters meeting with lawmakers

The pandemic hasn’t kept broadcasters from connecting with lawmakers through your WBA. While our annual WBA DC trip didn’t happen in person this year, we’re organizing a virtual visit to Capitol Hill with calls and video conferences with Congressional offices over three days in May. We expect to talk to our Wisconsin Congressional delegation about preserving local journalism and the tremendous work that you, Wisconsin’s Broadcasters, put in to help their constituents during the pandemic.

Announcements coming soon about Broadcasters Clinic

Our Broadcasters Clinic Committee is nearly done setting the agenda for the Broadcasters Clinic to be held Sept. 8-10 at the Madison Marriott West. This is another return to normal for us, albeit earlier in the year than the Clinic would typically happen.

We’re hearing there are many out there interested in attending but waiting to get the all-clear because of the pandemic. We’re hopeful for continued success in the vaccine rollout so broadcast engineers, vendors, and experts can again share the same space at the Clinic.

Watch your inboxes for the Broadcasters Clinic agenda and updates on all the other events we have in the works. Your WBA knows you’re ready to get back to networking with your fellow broadcasters. We absolutely can’t wait to see you again too.

Meanwhile, keep up the great work and stay safe!

Positivity leads to successful broadcasting

Posted On: May 11, 2021

As managers and owners of radio and TV stations in Wisconsin, what is the most important part of our job? In some cases, it depends on who you ask.

The FCC expects you to operate in the community interest and follow their technical specifications. The shareholders, or your partners, or the bank expect you to make money so you can pay them.

Yes, those are important, but any successful broadcast operation is an enjoyable place to work. The employees find it fun to come to work. I believe if we do a good job motivating our staff the business will succeed.

One of the first things we must do is lead by example. When we get to the office, we need to be a positive force. We need to be excited to get to the office. When we talk to staff, we need to project enthusiasm!

The Summer Convention is shaping up to be a terrific event the end of August at Blue Harbor in Sheboygan. Please attend and bring many of your staff with you. They will enjoy the seminars and sharing ideas with fellow broadcasters. Retiring NAB head Sen. Gordon Smith will be attending. It will be great to participate in a LIVE event!


News director takes on questions about how managers view awards

Posted On: June 10, 2021

People in the news industry are often posing questions on social media regarding various journalism awards and job seeking. I am going to try to answer some of them today.

  1. Do news directors care about awards when looking at a resume?

As a news director and a person in charge of hiring, I can tell you definitively the answer is… maybe.

It depends on the news director. I have met some in my tenure who believe awards are a waste of time and a waste of money. However, I have met many more colleagues who disagree.  

Whether you submit yourself for an award, or your company does, it shows that pride was taken in that body of work. That alone is commendable.

  1. Do news directors view nominations differently than wins?

Yes, but not by much. There are many awards where just being nominated is a huge accomplishment. Second or third place is also admirable. Any praise from peers is noteworthy.

  1. Do some awards matter more than others?

Every award winner is chosen from a pool of entrants. However, some pools are bigger than others. Awards can be local, statewide, regional, national, or international. Typically, the larger the pool of entrants, the more prestigious an award is. News directors recognize that.

While I may notice that an applicant won an award of recognition from a local organization, an award like a national Murrow would move that resume to the top of the pile.

  1. Should you include a list of your accomplishments on your resume?

Yes! Showing that you took pride in your work speaks volumes to hiring managers.

Plus, it is a low-risk move. If you are applying to a company where awards are not valued, you certainly will not be faulted for including them on your resume. A no-risk move would be to list your accomplishments on a supplemental document that can be provided upon request.

In short, go forth and be judged. Besides a resume-booster, you may end up with some shiny hardware to show-off all your hard work.

Kristen Shill
News Director
WQOW-TV
Eau Claire

How often should you post to social media?

Posted On: May 27, 2021

Sara Maslar-Donar

It’s a question many journalists likely have. Sara Maslar-Donar is the anchor of WKOW’s Wake Up Wisconsin Weekend morning show and reports for the weekday morning show. She was also recipient of the WBA’s ‘Best Online Personality” award, placing second.

She offers this advice:

Whenever you have time! I try to post something on the Big Three at least once a day: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It can be as simple as a quick share from your station’s social page or a retweet on Twitter. It will keep your page active and engaging! Twitter lends itself well to multiple tweets a day (great way for you to tease the story you’re working on that day), while Facebook almost seems to penalize you if you post too much (I keep it simple: 3 posts or less a day on FB). When it comes to Instagram – posting to your story is a great way to keep viewers engaged. Don’t stress yourself out trying to come up with Insta photo posts every day. If you feel like you have time for other forms of social engagement… Tiktok is getting really popular for news personalities!

Have questions for Sara? Email Smaslardonar@wkow.comsend her a Facebook message, or tweet at her, @saramdnews.

Heather Poltrock
WSAW-TV, Wausau

Former TV reporter lands new gig as radio DJ

Posted On: May 26, 2021

I know a handful of people who have made a successful move from radio to TV or vice versa, and many more on the sales side.

There is nothing wrong when your dreams change and the great part is all the avenues broadcasting affords.

Brian Will began his career as a news reporter in Wausau. A few years, later he moved on to public relations work, but still felt a calling to be behind a microphone.

“Randomly one day at the grocery store, my former radio friends were doing a live broadcast and asked if I would be interested in helping them out, Will said.

Will now works part-time at NRG Media’s Hot 96.7 FM in Plover.

“I can pre-record the weekend shifts so I still have weekends off. I started up again last spring in radio and it’s been pretty sweet working with old colleagues and getting to do some form of broadcasting.”

He said the radio opportunity came down to networking.

“All three career fields [journalism, public relations, radio broadcasting] helped the other. Radio helped me with my voiceovers for news packages and that helped me with my tone and inflection in my voice,” he said.

He said his love for radio began in high school during the tour of a radio station. He also spent time in a radio booth as a college intern.

Heather Poltrock
WSAW-TV, Wausau

Do’s and Don’ts of COVID vaccine coverage

Posted On: February 19, 2021

It goes without saying that we are in unprecedented times. Navigating COVID coverage is a new experience for all of us in news and the need for quality journalism is great.

In a recently published article from RTDNA titled Do’s and Don’ts of COVID vaccine coverage, experts offer their advice on how to get the best COVID vaccine coverage.

The article does a great job of laying out the topics journalists should avoid when covering COVID. It also talks about what news coverage viewers could use more of.

One addition I would make to the article is for those on the TV side. When vaccines first became readily available, we were quick to jump in and get up-close footage of people receiving their shots. However, through a multitude of comments from viewers, we have learned a large part of our audience is extremely squeamish when it comes to needles. Now you will be hard-pressed to find video of a needle penetrating an arm in our broadcasts. It is an effort our audience has much appreciated.

As the article said, it is our duty as journalists not to undermine public health efforts. As people decide whether to get the vaccine, if they already fear needles, video showing them is likely to sway them away from getting vaccinated. 

Kristen Shill
News Director
WQOW-TV, Eau Claire

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