Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

WBA Student Awards submissions are closed

Posted On: January 18, 2019

Submissions for the WBA Student Awards for Excellence are now closed. 

Make plans to join us March 2 at the Madison Marriott West for the WBA Student Seminar when we will recognize the winners.  ... Read More

Gousha to end hosting duties

Posted On: January 16, 2019
Mike Gousha
Mike Gousha

Veteran journalist and WBA Hall of Famer Mike Gousha is ending his role hosting a public affairs program to focus on his duties at Marquette University Law School.

Gousha hosted “UPFRONT” on WISN-TV for 11 years. He serves as a Distinguished Fellow in Law and Public Policy at Marquette.

“Mike is so well-respected throughout the city and state, for that matter,” said Jan Wade, president and general manager of WISN 12. “He’s earned an impeccable reputation for fairness and professionalism and has an uncanny ability to connect viewers to Wisconsin’s most important stories and newsmakers.”

“I’m grateful for the opportunity WISN 12 provided with ‘UPFRONT’ and for the viewers who regularly tuned in,” Gousha said.   ... Read More

Wisconsin voices on takeaways from CES

Posted On: January 16, 2019
Tom Walker
Tom Walker

Wisconsin Broadcasters Association President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind and Tom Walker from Mid-West Family Broadcasting appeared on a video published by Radio Advertising Bureau about takeaways from CES 2019.

Both Vetterkind and Walker were in attendance at the conference in Las Vegas in January.

Watch the video here. Their appearances begin at 8:50.

CES Bonus Report Tuesday January 15th from Radio Advertising Bureau on Vimeo.  ... Read More

Major General Dunbar to address WBA members at Winter Conference

Posted On: January 15, 2019
Gen. Dunbar
Gen. Dunbar

Wisconsin Adjutant General Major General Donald Dunbar will address WBA members during a luncheon Jan. 30 at the Madison Concourse Hotel during the WBA Winter Conference.

Gen. Dunbar commands the Wisconsin National Guard and is responsible for Emergency Management. He also serves as Wisconsin’s Homeland Security Advisor, chairs the Homeland Security Council, and serves as the senior state official for cyber matters.

Gen. Dunbar’s remarks will kick off the luncheon, which will also include the presentation of the first WBA Distinguished Service Award to former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Find out more and register here.  ... Read More

Webinar: How to Launch a Podcast

Posted On: January 14, 2019
Program Date: January 17, 2019

Seth Resler

Is your radio station ready to start podcasting? In this webinar, I will show you how to plan and execute your first podcast in a few easy steps.

You’ll learn:

  • What formats and topics work well for podcasts
  • How to map out your podcast-creation process
  • What tools you’ll need
  • How to promote your podcast

With Seth Resler from Jacobs Media  ... Read More

WISN-TV changes up evening newscasts

Posted On: January 11, 2019

WISN-TV is changing the schedule for its late weekday newscasts and has plans to add a new evening newscast this spring.

The Milwaukee station is returning its 10 p.m. news to a 35-munute format starting Jan. 14 and starting its late night line-up at 10:35 p.m. with Jimmy Kimmel Live and Nightline at 11:37 p.m.

The station will launch a new 9 p.m. newscast this spring on Justice Milwaukee which airs on multicast channel 12.2.

“We look forward to the opportunity to provide news to a new audience at an earlier hour,” said Jan Wade,  ... Read More

Station’s annual effort to fight hunger breaks record

Posted On: January 11, 2019

A Madison TV station’s annual effort to fight hunger has broken a record.

NBC15 (WMTV-TV) raised 4.45 million meals during its annual Share Your Holidays campaign. The 23rd annual campaign eclipsed the previous year’s record total of 4.18 million meals by 270,000 meals.

The annual food drive benefits Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.

Share Your Holidays has raised nearly 45 million meals through food donations, public monetary donations, and business sponsorships and donations since the first event in 1996.

In 1996, NBC15 Anchor Mike McKinney was looking for the station’s next big community project.  ... Read More

Rudolph joins CBS 58 as sales manager

Posted On: January 10, 2019
Lon Rudolph
Lon Rudolph

Lon Rudolph is joining CBS 58 (WDJT-TV) as the station’s sales manager.

Rudolph comes from WTMJ-TV where he spent 25 year on the sales team, most recently as national sales manager.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join the station and work with the sales management and team, as we continue toward success.” Rudolph said.

Rudolph will take over sales manager duties from Jenny Maroney, who has been named the station’s Director of Sales.

“Lon brings many relationships on both the local/national level as well as great market knowledge,” Maroney said.

Rudolph has more than 30 years in the broadcasting business.  ... Read More

WBA Award submissions break another record

Posted On: January 10, 2019

Wisconsin’s radio and TV stations broke another record by submitting 1,786 entries to the Wisconsin Broadcasters Associations Awards for Excellence. Last year stations submitted 1,784 entries. Submissions have increased during each of the last 14 annual competitions.

The submission deadline for the 2018 awards was Wednesday night. A total of 123 stations participated.

Stations are competing for awards in numerous categories for news, sports, weather, advertising, public service, and digital and social media. Stations are also competing for Station of the Year and News Operation of the Year awards that are determined based on points earned by winning awards in other categories.  ... Read More

Broadcasters mark the season by helping others

Posted On: December 27, 2018

Michelle Vetterkind

I hope you all had a joyous holiday season!  And….I’d like to extend a very special thank you to those of you who made year-end donations to your WBA Foundation!

We would also like to thank our valued members as…

Broadcasters made a difference while spreading holiday cheer

We are proud to say that radio and TV stations throughout Wisconsin celebrated the holiday season by helping their communities.

Stations held food drives, phone banks, contests, and other promotions to raise money and food to help causes in their communities and help those less fortunate during the holiday season.

Here’s a video that highlights just a few examples. If your station did something to help out, please let us know. Email kgeissler@wi-broadcasters.org.

Come to Your WBA Winter Conference and State Legislative Day

Your WBA Winter Conference and State Legislative Day agenda is set and we’re hoping to see you at the Madison Concourse Hotel on Jan. 30.

The day starts with the job fair followed by a valuable EEO session and our business luncheon where we will be honoring former Governor Tommy Thompson with the first ever WBA Distinguished Service Award.

That’s followed by the introduction of our new Legislative Committee, a legislative briefing, our annual visits to the State Capitol, and the legislative reception at the Concourse.

We hope you can also make it to Madison the day before the conference (Jan. 29) for a special session aimed at stations interested in podcasting and another aimed at young professionals.

Seth Resler from Jacobs Media will be at the Concourse that afternoon to talk about how to get started in podcasting, and if you’re already podcasting, how to grow your audience.

The young professionals’ session later that afternoon will be about state politics and will meet at the State Capitol. The group will tour the Capitol and then meet with Michelle Kussow from The Capitol Group who will talk about how laws are made and changed at the Capitol. The young professionals will also hear from veteran political reporter Jessica Arp. We hope the attendees will consider joining State Legislative Day the following day.

We will finish with a chance to mix and mingle at a fun venue on the Capitol Square. All broadcasters are welcome to join us at Cooper’s Tavern.

Please consider sending your staff members to these insightful (and fun) sessions.

WBA Awards competitions underway

The WBA Awards for Excellence competition and WBA Student Awards are both open and taking submissions. Don’t put off making your submissions!  Truly, we can’t stress that enough. The deadline for the WBA Awards for Excellence is Jan. 9 at 11:59 p.m. CT and the Student Awards close on Jan. 18 at 4 p.m. CT. Disqualifications have grown over the last two years, and many of those disqualified entries are submitted at the last minute. Awards Committee member Tom Swigert complied some tips to help you avoid disqualifications, and we even produced a fun video to help you as well. Find both here.

Nominations Open for WBA Hall of Fame and WBA Local Broadcast Legends

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 15, but don’t delay! Learn more here:

WBA Hall of Fame

WBA Local Broadcast Legends

Finally, I’d like to highlight another popular WBA Member Service:


We’ve added a wonderful assortment of useful webinars for you (and your teams) for 2019. Put them on your calendar now before your schedule gets cluttered.

Jan. 8 – Drive Them To The Website – What Your Clients’ Broadcast Ads Must Do to Increase Online Sales

Jan. 17 – Creative Sales Ideas from Paul Weyland

Feb. 21 – Dealing with Consumer Anxiety about Fake News with Esther Thorson, Michigan State University

April 18 – Updating Website TOS Agreements

May 16 – Programming: You Are Doing It Wrong with Kevin Robinson

July 18 – Chief Operator Rules with Larry Wilkins, Alabama Broadcasters Association

Sept. 19 – What the Future Sales Team Looks Like and How You Can Prepare with Laurie Kahn, Media Staffing Network

Oct .17 – Recruiting and Hiring Better Sales People with Chris Lytle

You can find many of our webinars archived on our website. As always, our webinars are FREE to all WBA members.

As we turn to 2019, it promises to be an eventful year for your WBA! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2019!

Thank you, as always, for your time and support.

Wex’s WBA New Year’s Resolutions

Posted On: January 1, 2019

Happy New Year to Wisconsin’s local broadcasters. It’s been an honor to serve as your Chair during this turbulent, exciting, and challenging year. I’ll leave you with some resolutions that I hope we all can agree are good for our industry, our state association and each other.

Resolution No. 1: Become a First Amendment zealot. The freedoms of the media, guaranteed in our sacred Constitution, have never been under attack in the manner they are today. State legislators try to gut Wisconsin’s open records laws. The President of the United States refers to the free press as the “enemy of the people.” Regardless of your political leaning, we need to be vigilant and more aggressive in protecting the First Amendment on behalf of our audiences and fellow citizens.

Resolution No. 2: Recommit to the WBA. Your state association advocates and serves on your behalf. Let’s reciprocate in bigger and more meaningful ways. Attend our conferences (and send more of your fellow employees), make donations to the WBA Foundation to help ensure our legacy, serve on WBA committees that interest you, run the NCSA/PEP schedules (this is our No. 1 funding source!). In short, our association needs all of us like never before. Let’s step up.

Resolution No. 3: Lobby with the WBA. Our state and federal elected officials work for us. Time and time again, when we’ve spoken with a strong and unified voice, we are heard. Join us for our state Legislative Day and the Federal Legislative trip to Washington, D.C.

Resolution No. 4: Invite young people into your business. Look around the management and ownership tables and you’ll likely see a group of dedicated professionals who love television and radio. But how many of them represent the next generation of professionals who will be making important decisions about our future? Speak to students. Invite younger broadcasters into the fold. Mentor a student. Our future depends on it.

Resolution No. 5: Be a change embracer. I decided a while ago to stop pining for the past. The future is here, it is now, and yes: everything is changing. Our industry has seen changes in technology, audience behavior, content and delivery of our products at breathtaking speed. But isn’t it reassuring that regardless of how we deliver our products, there is strong demand for information, entertainment, and local commerce solutions in our markets? 

Finally, thank you for your support of your WBA and to Michelle, Linda, Kyle, and Liz for “herding cats” and keeping us moving forward to our next year, which will undoubtedly be full of new challenges and opportunities. 

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