Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Take time to unplug

Posted On: June 2, 2020
Cory Gylock
Cory Gylock

As a young professional, it’s easy to be absorbed in your career aspirations and your pursuit of advancement but don’t underestimate the importance of unplugging. Finding a work-life balance that works for you is a crucial process that takes years of learning even after you’ve begun your career.

Read more here.

Cory Gylock
WLAX/WEUX, La Crosse


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Station airs concert to benefit hungry students

Posted On: June 1, 2020

Eagle River radio station WRJO aired a concert featuring local artists to benefit a charity that feeds school-aged children from food insecure homes in the Northland Pines School District.

The concert aired May 23 and raised more than $40,000 for “F.O.R.K” (Feed Our Rural Kids). About half of the funds raised came from a $20,000 match provided by Margaret Baack and Mike McAdams of Land ‘O Lakes.

Performers included Bret and Frisk Miller, Scott Kirby, Michael Saint, Pete Stoltman, Chris McFarland, Mark and Michelle Zanoni, Mark Wayne, Gerry Plank, and Taylor Rae Bolte. The event was held at Eagle Waters Resort in Eagle River by host Laura Koranda.  ... Read More

Merrill radio station helps food pantries with pre-recorded concert

Posted On: May 29, 2020

Merrill radio station Bluejay 96.3 (WJMT) hosted a concert of pre-recorded performances to raise money for local food pantries during the pandemic.

The three-hour “Hometown Concert for the Cause” aired May 8 and featured performances from Merrill area singers, students, the city band and songs from some of Merrill’s most popular rock ‘n’ roll and country bands from the 60s and 70s.

The station collected more than $11,000 at multiple live remote broadcast locations. The money was distributed to the city’s food pantries.  ... Read More

Weekly Radio Addresses focused on wearing masks, issues with unemployment claims

Posted On: May 29, 2020

In this week’s Weekly Radio Addresses, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers talks about the importance of wearing masks and Senate President Roger Roth highlights issues with unemployment claims filed with the state.

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 encourages Wisconsinites to wear masks when going out to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

Evers said wearing masks protects health care workers, like his daughter, and allows them to continue doing their part in treating the sick.  ... Read More

Ladysmith stations lead effort to help feed families

Posted On: May 28, 2020

A pair of radio stations in Ladysmith is giving away food to help those affected by the economic downturn resulting from the pandemic.

WLDY and WJBL hosted a Facebook giveaway that started with five $100 grocery gift cards. It grew to 15 $100 gift cards as the grocery store matched the stations’ five gift cards and other a local accounting firm pitched in another five cards.  ... Read More

ESPN Wisconsin radiothon raises $205K for pandemic relief

Posted On: May 27, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton hosted Capture Sports Marketing’s Athletes Doing Good Radiothon on ESPN Wisconsin and raised a total of $205,859 for COVID-19 relief during the 11-hour event held Thursday.

The $205,859 includes a match of all donations from Herb Kohl Philanthropies. The money will be donated to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin and Connaughton’s With Us Foundation.

Funds were raised through donations, a silent auction and the purchase of buy-it-now items. Fans can still donate or purchase two canvases of Connaughton from this year’s dunk contest, with one of him dunking over Giannis Antetokounmpo and one of him dunking over Christian Yelich,  ... Read More

Virtual Job Fair

Posted On: May 27, 2020
Program Date: July 20, 2020

Stations: This virtual job fair can provide your station with a common-sense approach to using the internet as a recruitment tool and to satisfy part of your FCC EEO requirement.

To register for the job fair, fill out the form below.  The cost for each fair is $75 per exempt or non-exempt Station Employment Unit (SEU) for members. Further instructions will be sent to your hiring agent after registration.

Registration for station participation ends on Wednesday, July 15.

Job seekers!  The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Virtual Job Fair is coming up in July! From Monday,  ... Read More

First Results Broadcasting Education Grant awarded

Posted On: May 26, 2020
Rachel Frye
Rachel Frye

A morning producer at WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee is the recipient of the first ever Results Broadcasting Education Grant.

Rachel Frye graduated from Western Illinois University in 2013 and began her career with a six-radio station cluster in Macomb, Illinois before taking a job at WTMJ-AM in June 2014. She started part time as a reporter and board operator and in February 2016 was hired full time as producer of Wisconsin’s Morning News. Her duties have since expanded to include producing digital content and leading station events.

Vice President and Market Manager Steve Wexler said Frye is the kind of employee every employer would covet.  ... Read More

Waupaca stations sold to Tower Road Media

Posted On: May 26, 2020

A pair of radio stations owned by Laird Broadcasting have been sold to a new broadcasting company.

Tower Road Media purchased WDUX-AM/FM in a deal that closed May 13. Tower Road Media is owned by Keith Bratel and Don Grassman who both live in the area.

WDUX-FM went on the air with a new format on Wednesday. The new station, “Lakes 92.7,” plays classic top 40 hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

The station has a new studio and work is underway on WDUX-AM, according to Bratel.

 ... Read More

Pandemic shows power of broadcasters to bring community together

Posted On: May 1, 2020

Michelle Vetterkind WBA President & CEO

Simply amazing.

There’s no other way to describe the work you and your fellow broadcasters are doing to help your local communities through this devastating pandemic. At the same time, your own businesses are suffering from an incredible loss of revenue.

We’ve heard stories from many of you over the past weeks. We hear the heartbreak and stress, but we also hear the pride in the critical role you’re playing. You should be proud. And know that your WBA is proud as well.

Be sure to check out what your fellow broadcasters are doing in their own communities. It’s most definitely inspiring.

WBA events affected by pandemic

I’m sure you’ll agree that the WBA Awards Gala and Summer Conference are huge events for you, our valued members, and canceling them was an extremely difficult, but necessary decision. I’m pleased and excited to report that we are reconstituting the gala as an online video event over three days with the aim of giving your stations an occasion to celebrate their work. After all, you deserve a bit of celebration now more than ever. Stay tuned for more on that.

We will hold our next Summer Conference in 2021, but are working on hosting a virtual job fair and EEO webinar this summer to continue our commitment to YOU with our WBA Assistance Action Plan for EEO Compliance. More to come on that as well.

Hall of Fame, Local Broadcast Legends, YP of the Year announced

This newsletter is full of recognition. We are proud to announce the 2020 WBA Hall of Fame inductees:

  • Thom Gerretsen
  • Jack Mitchell
  • Wayne Larrivee
  • Nancy Zieman

You can read about them here. We are also proud to announce the 2020 Local Broadcast Legends honorees:

  • Erin Davisson
  • Karen Dalessandro
  • Bill McCollum and John Moser
  • Peter Murphy

You can read about them here.

Last but certainly not least, we’re proud to announce our first Young Professional of the Year (drum roll please….): Terry Stevenson. We have a wonderful profile of Terry you can read here.

Everyone listed above would have normally been recognized at the WBA Summer Conference. Because of the conference cancellation, they will be recognized at the 2021 Summer Conference, along with Dick Zaragoza, our WBA Distinguished Service Award recipient.

Legislative Committee busy calling on DC

Please know that your WBA Legislative Committee has remained busy through the pandemic maintaining contact with lawmakers in DC about how the pandemic is affecting our local broadcasters and how the federal government can support our local broadcasters’ public service mission.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who’s been involved in making calls and sending emails on behalf of your fellow broadcasters. Please check out the recent legislative headlines to see the strong support broadcasters are getting from our Congressional delegation. Yes, you truly make a difference!

Your WBA is here to serve you

Broadcasters continue working through pandemics and that also holds true for your WBA. Your WBA Board held its first meeting via video conference on April 15.

We absolutely can’t wait for the day when we can all celebrate the work you’re doing right now! Nothing can replace the value that you, our Wisconsin broadcasters, bring to your communities. In the words of one of your fellow members from a recent legislative call, your are not only essential, you are critically essential. Stay safe. We need you!

Broadcasters step up to help Wisconsin through pandemic

Posted On: May 1, 2020

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. It is what good broadcasting stations have and why our listeners and viewers tune in. Sure, they want to be entertained with good programming, but if we are not keeping them informed on what is going on in the market, we will lose them. They will find it someplace else.

When discussing this with our programming people I emphasize FOMO. Be topical but also be pertinent. Give our listeners something they can use or need to know about current conditions. A great compliment for our announcers is when a listener says “… did you hear what (the announcer) said this morning”. To our sales staff, FOMO is a key asset of our stations and the most important thing we have to sell.

In times like this FOMO is especially important. We need to inform listeners and viewers on the news about the pandemic and what resources are available if they need assistance. Wisconsin broadcasters have really stepped up, airing announcements at no charge to let people know about businesses that are still open in whatever capacity, doing fundraising events for needy individuals and organizations like food pantries, and the Red Cross. This has always been our mission. Way to go Wisconsin broadcasters!

We have lost several WBA Hall of Famers this year. One that I would like to mention is Willie Davis. Most people in Wisconsin know him as a legendary Green Bay Packer. We were fortunate to know him as a broadcaster. Those of us who were lucky enough to meet him know him as one of the genuinely greatest people you will ever meet.

Stop using ‘in these uncertain times’ in your ads

Posted On: May 6, 2020
Chet Daniels
Chet Daniels

We’re several weeks into ‘Safer at Home’ in Wisconsin and if your schedule is anything like mine right now, you’re consuming more media than ever. 

We’ve all seen and heard the ads: gentle piano music, images of empty streets and businesses turning their storefront sign from open to closed, and a somewhat melancholy voiceover saying “in these uncertain times.”

What seemed like quick and thoughtful action on the part of advertisers and their partners in media a few weeks ago, is starting to feel more disingenuous with each passing day. Nat Ives from the Wall Street Journal shares some thoughts and data on why advertisers should shift their messaging

Chet Daniels, Big Radio, Janesville

Wisconsin radio stations join national pandemic relief effort

Posted On: May 6, 2020

Heather Storm

More than  10,000 radio stations nationwide, including dozens in Wisconsin, raised money for pandemic relief efforts during an emergency radiothon.

With a one-day event soliciting donations for Feeding America, in conjunction with local charters, radio raised more than $500,000 and provided five million meals to fill food banks, shelters, and meal programs in this time of need.

Wisconsin participants included Woodward Radio Group, Cumulus Green Bay and Appleton, Heart of Wisconsin Media, LaCrosse Media Group, and many more.


When choosing a role, be a hero

Posted On: May 6, 2020
Katie Warren
Katie Warren

Donald Miller (the creator of Story Brand) mentions the roles of our personal characters. In all of us, we have a villain, a victim, a hero, and a guide. 

  • The Villain in you experiences a negative emotion and wants everyone else to feel it too. The problem? It leads to self destruction and compliant minions rather than friends.
  • The Victim in you wants to attract resources and be rescued to avoid responsibilities. The problem? the Victim never transforms and never gets the glory. 
  • The Hero is the toughest role because the hero faces a challenge head on. The push through uncertainty and act in faith, always reaching for hope.The hero transforms.
  • The Guide helps other heroes win. They want to help and use their wisdom/experiences to help others. 

The goal? Be courageous and play the hero so that you can later become the guide. Can you pinpoint each of these emotions throughout the day? Self awareness is the first step to changing your mindset!

We all have tendencies of each of these characters throughout every day.  Which character will you give the energy to?

Katie Warren, Midwest Communications, Green Bay

Broadcasters should embrace change

Posted On: May 5, 2020

As the world around us continues to change, so must we. It’s honestly that simple.

We as broadcasters need to embrace change daily, and we need to start looking for new ways to engage with our audience, our community, and our clients. We cannot simply rely on our go-to, “normal” from the past.

Broadcasting has, is, and will continue to evolve. During times like this more than ever, it’s important not to get stuck in past ways of thinking but rather to continue to look to the future.

The question therefore is: What does change look like in our industry, and how do we rise up to be the change-makers?

Terry Stevenson, Seehafer Broadcasting, Manitowoc


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