Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

WBA website launches new member service, directories

Posted On: July 15, 2019

The WBA website has launched a new member login to give members access to more member information, including a new member directory, and set the stage for future enhancements.

There are now new public and member-only directories on the WBA website. The public “Find a Station” feature will be updated live and always up-to-date. As will the member-only directory, which will be included in the new “MyWBA” section of the website.

“MyWBA” will provide members with additional resources, with more to come in the future. The members-only pages on the WBA website will continue to exist and users will now login using their “MyWBA”  ... Read More

Support WBA Foundation’s new celebrity golf outing

Posted On: July 17, 2019
SentryWorld Golf Course
SentryWorld Golf Course

The WBA Foundation is planning its first ever WBA Celebrity Golf Outing. Mark your calendars for Aug. 4, 2020 and plan to join us at SentryWorld Golf Course in Stevens Point. SentryWorld was recently ranked the number 34 best public course in America!

A committee of WBA members has been working the past few months on planning this event, which includes seeking sponsors. The following sponsors have already confirmed their support (as of June 18):

  • 4imprint
  • Armada Media
  • Good Karma Brands
  • Gray Television
  • Koser Radio Group
  • Lake Broadcasting
  • Marketron
  • Nielsen
  • Sentry Insurance
  • Shockley Foundation
  • WISN-TV
  • Woodward Radio Group

“Hopefully your station(s) can participate as a sponsor of the event,” said WBA Golf Chair Chris Bernier.  ... Read More

Theme set, fees to increase for WBA Awards

Posted On: July 17, 2019

Are you ready for an evening in Paris?

That’s the theme for the 2020 WBA Awards Gala as decided by the WBA Awards Committee.

The committee also approved fee increases for the 2019 Awards competition. The new fees are:

Radio: $35/entry
TV: $45/entry
LPFM: $20/entry

Other changes to the awards categories were also approved at the meeting. Look for those in the new brochure. We’ll let you know when it’s ready.  ... Read More

Hodges to lead stations in Bemidji

Posted On: July 16, 2019
Jim Hodges
Jim Hodges

James Hodges has accepted the position of General Manager and Sales Manager for Hubbard Broadcasting‘s five station radio cluster in Bemidji, Minnesota (Paul Bunyan Broadcasting).

One of the stations, KB 101, has won six NAB Crystal Awards and its morning host, Todd Haugen, has been a top five nominee finalist for a Marconi Award twice.

Hodges can be reached at jhodges@pbbroadcasting.com.  ... Read More

Digital myths don’t compare to realities

Posted On: July 15, 2019

I spend a lot of my time inside of stations, meeting with sales teams, management, and even clients. One of the most frequent things I hear from broadcasters is denial that digital is a big thing – it’s a passing fad, broadcasting is free, and data plans are too expensive, and there’s not enough revenue in digital to make it worth the investment.

As a broadcaster who is deeply invested in digital, let me try to sort through the myths and realities based on two simple graphs:

Recently Nielsen issued their Total Audience Report.  ... Read More

President’s Column: FCC visits Wisconsin

Posted On: July 15, 2019

Michelle Vetterkind WBA President & CEO

Representatives of the FCC’s Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division visited Wisconsin in June as part of a two-state swing through the Midwest to talk to residents about consumer issues.
WBA was represented at all the public meetings and local broadcasters promoted and attended the visits.

Nelson family announces new scholarship

The family of newly inducted WBA Hall of Fame member David L. Nelson announced at the Hall of Fame ceremony the creation of a new WBA scholarship in Nelson’s name.

The new $1,000 scholarship will be available along with four other previously created scholarships during the next cycle of scholarships available through the WBA.  ... Read More

WXRO switches to Hot AC format

Posted On: July 12, 2019

WXRO-FM in Beaver Dam is switching formats to Hot AC.

95X will continue its morning show with Rick Armon, Sheri Sackett, and Thomas Rehfeldt. “The Barn Show” will move to WXRO sister station WBEV-AM.  ... Read More

Wisconsin Broadcaster available now

Posted On: July 10, 2019

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

    • WBA Chair Steve Lavin writes about the importance of local elections.
    • WBA President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind highlights the major headlines from the WBA.
    • New award recognizes young professionals
    • A new celebrity golf outing is in the works
    • FCC officials were recently in Wisconsin
    • Paul Jacobs debunks myths about the future of digital media.
    • Photos and highlights from the WBA Summer Conference
    • Young Professionals restock their Toolbox
    • Photos from the WBA Awards Gala
    • UW-River Falls students learn from international collaboration
    • A new scholarship is announced at the WBA Hall of Fame induction.
  •  ... Read More

Storytelling workshop with international collaboration sends powerful messages

Posted On: July 9, 2019

The act of collaboration or working with others as a team applies to many aspects of life and certainly the work that we as storytellers and educators do with our students and colleagues. The reasons for collaborating vary from using resources to sharing ideas, which can result in wonderful and unexpected outcomes.

An international partnership that started in 2011 between the UW-River Falls Stage & Screen Arts Department and the RheinMain University Media Conception & Production Program in Wiesbaden, Germany has resulted in a variety of amazing opportunities for students and faculty over the years, including a live interactive television show,  ... Read More

President’s Column: FCC visits Wisconsin

Posted On: July 15, 2019

Michelle Vetterkind WBA President & CEO

Representatives of the FCC’s Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division visited Wisconsin in June as part of a two-state swing through the Midwest to talk to residents about consumer issues.
WBA was represented at all the public meetings and local broadcasters promoted and attended the visits.

Nelson family announces new scholarship

The family of newly inducted WBA Hall of Fame member David L. Nelson announced at the Hall of Fame ceremony the creation of a new WBA scholarship in Nelson’s name.

The new $1,000 scholarship will be available along with four other previously created scholarships during the next cycle of scholarships available through the WBA.

The Hall of Fame ceremony was an emotional one with great speeches to mark the careers of four amazing broadcasters: Clif Groth, David L. Nelson, Fannie Mason Steve, and Dean Maytag. If you haven’t already checked out their Hall of Fame videos, be sure to visit the Wisconsin Broadcasting Museum where you’ll find them on the homepage.

WBA joins radio executives at NAB fly-in

Your WBA was on hand during for a NAB “Fly-In” event in Detroit in June that brought together radio executives to discuss radio’s partnership with the automotive industry. We learned about the future of audio consumption, how that future is being viewed by the auto industry, and maintaining radio’s prominence in the dashboard.

NAB officials also provided updates from Capitol Hill and talked about the 2020 elections.

This was the first time the NAB held a fly-in in Detroit.

Bucks Senior VP headlines WBA Summer Conference

We were thrilled to have Milwaukee Bucks Senior Vice President Alex Lasry with us at the WBA Summer Conference at the Osthoff Resort. He spoke during the keynote luncheon held June 13. Alex talked about the success of the team, the 2020 Democratic National Convention coming to the Fiserv Forum, and the future of Milwaukee.

Please read about the rest of the conference in the newsletter. We had a full agenda of engaging sessions, special sessions for engineers, a day of training for young professionals, and inspiring recognition of our Local Broadcast Legends and four new Hall of Fame inductees.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for June 17-18, 2020 when the WBA Summer Conference returns to the Radisson Hotel in La Crosse.

Celebrity golf outing event coming in 2020

Your WBA Foundation is excited to bring you a new event in 2020: The WBA Foundation Celebrity Golf Outing.

The event will be held Aug. 4, 2002 at SentryWorld golf course in Stevens Point. Watch for future announcements and the launch of a website dedicated to this event.

We are seeking sponsors as well as stations to commit to running ads about the event in support of our title sponsor. To join this exciting inaugural event, please contact me: mvetterkind@wi-broadcasters.org.

Recognize your young professionals

Finally, we’re creating an opportunity for you to recognize your amazing up-and-coming broadcasters. The WBA Young Professionals Award will be given out at the 2020 Summer Conference, but we’re seeking nominees right now. The nomination deadline will be coming up in September. Read more here.

In the meantime, have a safe, fun summer and make some time to relax and enjoy a warm Wisconsin. We earned this!

Broadcasters emphasize importance of local elections

Posted On: July 12, 2019
Steve Lavin
Steve Lavin

It seems strange to be writing about voting and elections in the off-year of the election cycle. If it were an election year, politics would occupy much of our conversations, commercial time, and news content. State and federal elections are generally good for the broadcast industry, both in advertising revenue and news interest. Pundits would be predicting turnout, discussing various polling data points, and public sentiment.  No worries…that time is just around the corner.

This past spring we all had the opportunity to vote in local elections. As responsible citizens I trust you took full advantage of your right to vote. But it is disappointing to hear that 26.6 percent turnout was considered “strong” for an April election. Those turnout numbers were enhanced by highly contested mayoral races in two of the three largest cities in Wisconsin as well as a race for an open seat on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court. Without the State Supreme Court race or large city mayoral races the spring election would likely have seen turnout in the teens.

Citizens shouldn’t forget that in April we were electing school boards, village trustees, city council members, county supervisors, not to mention voting on numerous school and municipal referendums.  In general, one’s quality of life is affected more by getting value for your local property tax dollar than who we elect to represent us in Washington or Madison.

As broadcasters, we cannot force our viewers or listeners to care more about local elections. We do, however, give them opportunities to pay attention to local issues and local elections. I know our Wisconsin talk and news radio stations highlight local issues and local elections by offering opportunities for interviews. Our broadcast TV news departments certainly cover many of the larger issues, opportunities, and candidates in forums or in interviews.

Based on resources and time, local broadcasters can only highlight a limited number of issues, elections, or candidates and from what I have seen and heard, we do a great job. We might all do well to extend coverage to our digital products like podcasts, digital forums, or OTT opportunities to give more local candidates the opportunity to be heard.

Thank you to those who care enough to run for local positions in town, village, city, and county government and on school boards. They are not doing it for the glamour or the money. They do it because they truly care about the quality of life in your community. They are the ones who get the calls when the roads are not plowed or the garbage is not picked up, and they don’t have a staff to take the calls and respond to constituents.

-Steve Lavin
WBAY-TV

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Featured Video

Dean Maytag, Hall of Fame Inductee 2019

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