Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Radio station collects $19K granting holiday wishes

Posted On: December 10, 2019

Magic 98 (WMGN) in Madison has raised $19,775 for local families by granting holiday wishes for its listeners.

The “Holiday Wishes” campaign has been around for 30 years. For 12 hours last Friday the station played any song requested by listeners in exchange for a donation.

Sponsors also contributed to the fundraising total.

The station has shared the holiday wish stories here.  ... Read More

Webinar: Changing Tech Habits of Radio Listeners

Posted On: December 10, 2019
Program Date: December 17, 2019
Fred Jacobs
Fred Jacobs

Jacobs Media Strategies will host a free webinar on the insights gained through Techsurvey over the past fifteen years. Techsurvey, the radio broadcasting industry’s largest online survey, is conducted by Jacobs Media Strategies every winter to gain insights into how radio listeners use technologies, gadgets, and platforms to consume media.

The webinar will be hosted by Jacobs Media’s President, Fred Jacobs. It will examine how Techsurvey has measured how key media trends have evolved over time, including:

  • How radio listening habits are evolving
  • How devices like the smartphone and the connected car have impacted radio listening
  • How new audio outlets,
  •  ... Read More

Student Awards competition opens today

Posted On: December 9, 2019

The WBA Student Awards for Excellence competition opens today and closes Jan. 17 at 4 p.m. CT.

Students can submit their work here. High school students are also invited to participate in the high school award categories. Award categories remain unchanged from the previous year.

Learn about the rules and all award categories here.

The WBA is also seeking nominees for the Student Leadership Award. The award is given to a broadcasting or broadcast journalism student of junior standing or above at a Wisconsin college or university who has most noticeably developed and exercised effective and creative skills in leadership.  ... Read More

Madison station provides grant to dental care nonprofit

Posted On: December 6, 2019

Madison radio station 106.7 The Resistance (WRIS) is providing a $15,000 community awareness grant to a nonprofit that provides access to quality dental care to Medicaid, BadgerCare, and uninsured populations in south central Wisconsin.

The Mid-West Family Community Awareness grant will provide More Smiles Wisconsin with $15,000 in advertising over the 2020 calendar year. Nonprofit applicants were considered based on multiple factors including the organization’s history of community service, connection to the community, mission within the community, demonstration of need, population served, and geographic region served.

The Resistance aims to help More Smiles Wisconsin in its goal of increasing funding and awareness so it can grow the number of patients its serves.  ... Read More

Espeseth remembered for starting WAXX, leading, WEAU-TV

Posted On: December 5, 2019
Allan Espeseth
Allan Espeseth

A lifelong broadcaster is being remembered in Wisconsin for starting radio station WAXX-FM and serving as general manager at WEAU-TV, both in Eau Claire.

Allan Howard Espeseth, 81, died Nov. 20 near his home in Roseville, CA.

His obituary states that Espeseth knew at age eight that he wanted to be a broadcaster. He started while in high school at a radio at a station Thief River Falls, Minnesota and graduated from Brown Institute of Broadcasting in Minneapolis. He worked at stations in Minnesota before moving to Eau Claire where he started working in ad sales and delivering weather reports on WEAU-TV.  ... Read More

Station raises $133K for Milwaukee food bank

Posted On: December 5, 2019

A Milwaukee TV station’s phone bank raised $133,082 to support the city’s only free and local food bank.

WISN-TV partnered with Hunger Task Force for the “Food For Families Phone Bank” which is in its eighth year. The campaign ran Nov. 26-27. WISN-TV journalists, public officials, and more than 60 volunteers accepted donations.

On top of the viewer donations, Walmart contributed $10,000 to the fundraising effort. Wells Fargo Advisors provided staff to answer phones and a $20,000 matching gift, and Rexnord provided volunteers and matching turkey donations.

The campaign generated enough for more than 1,000 holiday meal boxes to be provided by the Hunger Task Force to families in need.  ... Read More

Think about setting when considering customer service

Posted On: December 4, 2019

Terry Stevenson Seehafer Broadcasting, Manitowoc District 6

As Disney explains in “Be Our Guest: Perfecting The Art of Customer Service”, setting includes the work of maintaining and enhancing the environment and objects within in. Even the best-designed setting must be continuously maintained and improved.

In broadcasting, our setting goes beyond our office buildings. Our setting is wherever our customers (our listeners and viewers) meet us. Ask yourself: is your organization constantly maintaining, upgrading and improving its setting? Not only is it important to showcase a professional atmosphere, we must continue to evolve with today’s current and future tech.

Understanding the importance of setting will only help your organization further your long-term success.   ... Read More

Get the training you want: 13 webinars added to WBA 2020 schedule

Posted On: December 3, 2019
Morguefile license

We know you want more professional development, and the time to get it. The WBA is providing FREE webinars for WBA members which will upgrade your knowledge without draining your time or budget.

The WBA recently added 13 webinars to its schedule and wants members to mark their calendars so they don’t miss any of these educational opportunities:

January 16, 2020
2020 Election Cycle FAQ
Presented by Pat McGee & Trevor Heaton, Katz Media

January 16, 2020
2020 Election: Making Local Reporting Resonate
Presented by Emily Lawler,  ... Read More

Consider career goals in your New Year resolutions

Posted On: December 3, 2019

New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for quitting a bad habit or getting in shape, they can also boost the quality of your career.  Here are Top Resume’s New Year’s Resolution Ideas: 17 Career Goals You’ll Be Able to Keep.

Chet Daniels, Big Radio, Janesville  ... Read More

Sanks, Jorstad retiring from WBA Foundation Board

Posted On: November 5, 2019

Michelle Vetterkind WBA President & CEO

Please join me in giving a heartfelt thank you to WBA Foundation Board Chair David Sanks and Vice Chair Laurin Jorstad for their outstanding service on the board.  

David Sanks

David Sanks

David has been an active member of the WBA for more than 33 years. There’s no doubt that his leadership has left an indelible mark on the WBA and the WBA Foundation. We are so very grateful for his many years of service and wise, eloquent counsel.  We wish David the best in his retirement and trust that we will continue to see him at WBA events.

Laurin Jorstad

Laurin Jorstad

Laurin’s can-do attitude has earned him a reputation as someone the WBA Foundation can count on to get things done (albeit, often behind the scenes).  His megawatt smile lights up a room and his effervescent presence will be missed. Laurin plans to spend more time out of state visiting his children and grandchildren. Enjoy, Laurin!

Both Sanks and Jorstad are hoping their departures will make room for dedicated broadcasters who are currently in the industry to bring fresh ideas to WBA Foundation leadership.  Your WBA Foundation Board will determine its next steps when it meets on Jan. 28.

Sanks’ farewell is included in his Foundation report in the most recent issue of the Wisconsin Broadcaster.

29 states represented at Broadcasters Clinic

The WBA Broadcasters Clinic was a huge success again this year, drawing hundreds of broadcast engineers and vendors from 29 states and Canada. SBE National was on hand for Clinic this year. Thank you to all the attendees, vendors, and sponsors for making this such a valuable event.   And a special thank you to our own Linda Baun, committee Chair Kent Aschenbrenner and the rest of the fabulous Committee. Read more here.

WBA represented at Radio Show, SMTE

 Your WBA was on hand for the NAB Radio Show in Dallas and Small Market Television Exchange in Austin in September. We’re always excited to see our members at these important national events.


At the Radio Show we celebrated NRG Media Chairman and CEO Mary Quass who received the National Radio Award. Congrats!

WBA launches podcast with Hall of Famer

WBA Hall of Famer Bob Barry conducted hundreds of celebrity interviews during his amazing career in Milwaukee radio and he was looking for a place to share his best recordings. Your WBA just launched a podcast for Bob to do just that. “Bob Barry’s Unearthed Interviews” podcast is available most places you can find podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, and they’re also on the Wisconsin Broadcasting Museum website. New episodes are released each Wednesday. Be sure to subscribe and if you’d like to put any of these recordings on the air, you can! Just let us know.  And trust me, you NEED to listen.

The podcast is funded through a donation from fellow Hall of Famer Terry Baun who is now also part of the WBA Foundation Legacy Club. Thank you, Terry, for your special gift!

Members are the voice of WBA

When there’s an issue important to broadcasters up for debate among lawmakers, they want to hear from YOU.

WISN-TV News Director Ben Hart recently provided testimony during a public hearing on a bill regarding police body cameras. Others, like Sean Dwyer (WXOW-TV) and Jim Murphy (WRJC-AM/FM), have also recently provided testimony.

These members, and everyone who makes calls at State Legislative Day, are representing all WBA members. For that, we thank you!

We hope to have a strong showing for the next State Legislative Day on Jan. 29. If you’ve never come before, please consider it. Lawmakers want to hear from their constituents, and that includes their local broadcasters.  Call us or email contact@wi-broadcasters.org to get involved.

On behalf of Linda, Liz, and Kyle, your WBA Team would like to wish you a happy, safe, and relaxing holiday season. We can’t wait to see what the new year brings!  As I seem to say repeatedly…..it’s never boring!

Broadcasters to reach out to lawmakers on body cameras bill

Posted On: November 6, 2019
Steve Lavin
Steve Lavin

I’m proud to say that Wisconsin’s broadcasters are part of a legislative effort that exemplifies an ideal model of making public policy. Let’s see to it that it gets put to a vote.

In the last legislative session, broadcasters and law enforcement were at odds over a proposed bill that would have set rules for the use of police body cameras and the release of video recorded by these devices. The bill put many lawmakers at odds as well.

This previous bill didn’t get a vote in the last session, but the situation prompted legislative leadership to establish a Legislative Study Committee to study the many complex issues surrounding body cameras. That committee included representatives of broadcasters, law enforcement, attorneys, newspapers, and both political parties.

The committee was given a tough job, but it worked hard on issues that few agreed on when they started. The members debated and compromised, and after many long meetings, they agreed. All but one of the ten members of the Legislative Council Study Committee on the Use of Police Body Cameras approved of a proposed bill that was then approved unanimously by both the Legislative Council and, more recently, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.

The bill, in part, maintains Wisconsin’s current standard of public records being assumed accessible to the public, unless a records custodian rules against openness using the balancing test. The bill uses the balancing test to determine if video should be released, and asks records custodians to take into consideration the expectation privacy for anyone who appears in the video and the treatment of victims and minors. The bill also directs records custodians to use redaction where necessary to allow for a video to be released.

All stakeholders gave something, got something, and in the end, came up with solutions that would largely address their concerns. It was compromise in the most positive sense of the word. They did what few might have expected when they started: They agreed.

With few legislative days remaining on the calendar, broadcasters must do their part to make sure this hard work isn’t squandered. Votes must still be scheduled in the Senate and Assembly.  Broadcasters will be calling on lawmakers and legislative leaders to schedule votes for this bill, and will be asking other groups involved in the drafting of this bill to do the same.

You can expect to hear more about this from the WBA in the coming weeks. Please consider reaching out to your state lawmakers on this important topic.


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