Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Majority of House of Representatives Backs Local Radio Freedom Act

Posted On: December 13, 2017

A majority of the House of Representatives now supports the Local Radio Freedom Act after a bipartisan group of five House members signed a resolution opposing “any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge” on local broadcast radio stations. The Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA) now has 220 cosponsors in the House, two more than is needed to constitute a majority in the 438-member body. There are 25 LRFA co-sponsors in the Senate.

“We’re gratified that most House members stand with America’s hometown radio stations against a job-killing performance royalty,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith.  … Read More

Request-A-Thon raises money for 13,000 meals

Posted On: December 4, 2017

A request-a-thon event put on by a Madison radio station raised enough money to pay for 13,000 meals for a food bank in southern Wisconsin.

Entercom’s Mix 105.1 partnered with NBC 15’s Share Your Holidays campaign and Second Harvest Foodbank to offer listeners the chance to take over the radio station’s playlist in exchange for a donation. For every $1 donated, 3 meals were provided to Second Harvest Foodbank which serves southern Wisconsin.

The station also held a day of volunteering on Nov. 15 at Second Harvest food pantry in Monona.

Mix 105.1’s Aaron Rogers and Slacker &  … Read More

WPT partners on American-Indian cultural education project

Posted On: December 4, 2017

Wisconsin Public Television has joined a coalition of organizations that has created a website offering free classroom resources about American Indian studies in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Act 31 Coalition partners created WisconsinFirstNations.org which invites educators to explore Wisconsin Native cultures and communities through PreK-12 educational videos, lesson plans, and learning tools that address current academic standards and enhance understanding. The website also provides professional development resources for teachers.

Wisconsin Act 31 is the statutory requirement that all school districts provide instruction in the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of the American Indian nations in the state.  … Read More

Whitewater station sold to general manager

Posted On: December 1, 2017

A county format FM station in Whitewater is being sold to the station’s general manager.

Prairie Communications is selling WSLD-FM to Nora Karbash, who is the station’s general manager. The deal is worth a reported $1.25 million and includes the station and its related real estate.

The station is located south of Whitewater on Highway 89.  … Read More

Submissions open: WBA Awards season underway

Posted On: December 1, 2017

Submissions open today for the 2017 WBA Awards for Excellence.

Submissions can be made through the BetterBNC website. Full instructions and all details about the contest can be found in the Awards Brochure.

Submissions are due at 11:59 p.m. CT on Jan. 10, 2018.

Registration for the WBA Gala on May 5 has not yet been opened but will in the coming weeks.

Good luck to all Wisconsin broadcasters!  … Read More

Madison station promotes Garon to APD/MD

Posted On: November 30, 2017

Jesse Garon

Entercom has promoted Jesse Garon to be Assistant Program Director and Music Director at classic hits station WOLX-FM in Madison.

“WOLX has been one of my favorite radio stations for years and I’m happy to now play such an important role,” Garon said. “With the recent acquisition of CBS Radio this is a very exciting time to be a part of the Entercom Family.”

Garon has been with Entercom since August 2015.  … Read More

WBA President signs new 4-year contract

Posted On: November 30, 2017

Michelle Vetterkind WBA President/CEO

WBA President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind has agreed to a new four-year contract to continue leading the association.

“I am delighted that Michelle and the Executive Committee have negotiated a new four-year contract,” said WBA Board Chair Dick Record. “Her history with WBA is a great one and she and the WBA deserve another four years together. The whole process makes me very happy.”

“I am proud and honored to represent an industry that does so much to serve its local communities,” Vetterkind said. “Wisconsin’s broadcasters are incredibly engaged. It’s a joy to work with you,  … Read More

WBA renews sales training services

Posted On: November 29, 2017

The WBA has renewed its contract with Insight Edge Weekly and Local Broadcast Sales in order to continue to provide you, our valued WBA members, with these popular services.

Insight Edge Weekly Advertiser Intelligence Service give you access to the industry’s premier newsletter service giving you quick, useful, and current highlights of 14 key advertising categories: automotive, department stores, digital media, dining/grocery, electronics, employment, entertainment, financial, furniture, health care, media recap, real estate/home improvement, telecom, and travel. 

WBA general managers and sales managers receive an email every Monday from your WBA to help you get your week started in a customer-centered manner.  … Read More

Station helps collect more than 100K pounds of food

Posted On: November 28, 2017

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

CBS 58 is partnered with the Hunger Task Force and Brewers Community Foundation for the Thanksgiving Drive Thru Food Drive on Nov. 22 at Miller Park. The community donated 102,000 pounds of food and 421 turkeys.

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

“The Thanksgiving Drive Thru Food Drive has become a holiday tradition,” said Mark Strachota, CBS 58 Vice President/General Manager. “The generosity of the CBS 58 viewers toward the Drive Thru Food Drive has been nothing short of amazing.  … 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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Ken Beno, Hall of Fame Inductee 2017

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