Wisconsin Broadcasters Association
Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Milwaukee TV, radio stations team up for gubernatorial, U.S. Senate debate

Posted On: August 15, 2018

Tammy Baldwin and Leah Vukmir

A TV and radio station in Milwaukee are teaming up to host a gubernatorial and U.S. Senate debate ahead of the fall election.

WTMJ-TV and WUWM-FM will air debates between Republican Governor Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tony Evers and Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin and Republican challenger Leah Vukmir. They will be simulcast it on WGBA-TV in Green Bay. A date has not yet been set for the debates.

WTMJ-TV news anchors Charles Benson and Shannon Sims, along with WUWM’s Mitch Teich, will moderate the debates.

The debates are in partnership with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and USA Today.   ... Read More

WBA Foundation announces dates for gubernatorial, U.S. Senate debates

Posted On: August 15, 2018

Jill Geisler

The WBA Foundation Board will continue its 30-year tradition of holding statewide televised debates for Wisconsin’s voters by airing debates in the Wisconsin Governor and the U.S. Senate races.

Gubernatorial candidates Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tony Evers have been invited to participate in a debate hosted in the Madison market on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. U.S. Senate candidates Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Republican challenger Leah Vukmir have been invited to participate in a debate hosted in the Wausau/Rhinelander market on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.

Both hour-long debates will be made available to radio and television stations throughout Wisconsin for live or delayed broadcast.  ... Read More

Video: Email Marketing for Broadcasters

Posted On: August 15, 2018

Seth Resler

The WBA and Jacobs Media are teaming up to bring members a video series aimed at helping stations build their digital strategies.

The seventh video titled “Email Marketing for Broadcasters” is available now in the WBA website’s Members Only section and in the videos section of the WBA app. The videos are produced by Jacobs Media’s Digital Dot Connector, Seth Resler.

This is a FREE service from your WBA.  ... Read More

New rock station on the air in SW Wisconsin

Posted On: August 14, 2018

Dodge Point Broadcasting is on the air with a new rock station for southwest Wisconsin.

96.9 Z-Rock is based in Dodgeville and has new call letters WZRK.

The new station is a sister station of Outlaw Country D99.3.  ... Read More

Montotos profiled by Univision

Posted On: August 14, 2018

Luis and Lupita Montoto on Univision

The couple behind La Movida Radio in Madison was profiled this week by Univision.

WBA Board member Lupita Montoto and her husband, Luis, started the radio station that is now part of Mid-West Family in Madison. It was twice named WBA Station of the Year, including the most recent round of awards given out in May.

 ... Read More

Webinar: Lessons From Radio’s First Ever Talent Survey

Posted On: August 13, 2018
Program Date: August 30, 2018

In partnership with Don Anthony and Talentmasters, Jacobs Media has conducted the radio industry’s first-ever anonymous survey designed for radio talent! We asked over 1,100 on-air personalities, hosts, and producers to tell us how they feel about key issues affecting their jobs, and now we’re sharing the results with you.

You’ll learn:

  • How much show prep do radio personalities really do?
  • What motivates radio personalities?
  • How are radio personalities negotiating their salaries?
  • What on-air features do they find most effective?
  • Where they see the broadcast radio industry in five years?
  •  ... Read More

WBA Hall of Famer, pioneer for women in broadcasting dies

Posted On: August 10, 2018

Jean Gitz Bassett

Jean Gitz Bassett, one of the first women broadcast station owners/managers in the nation and a member of the WBA Hall of Fame, has died.

Her broadcast career spanned over a 28 year period, beginning in 1955 at KRDO-AM, Colorado Springs and KOIA-AM, Des Moines. Gitz Bassett became part of a partnership that purchased WLCX-AM, La Crosse, in 1957. In addition to her ownership role, at WLCX-AM, from 1957 to 1983, she also served as the station’s program director for 20 years and then as its President and CEO from 1977 to 1983.  ... Read More

WISN-TV adds 11 a.m. newscast

Posted On: August 9, 2018

WISN-TV in Milwaukee is adding a new one-hour weekday newscast at 11 a.m.

“WISN 12 News at 11 a.m.” will begin Sept. 10. Melinda Davenport will anchor the new newscast with meteorologist Sally Severson.

“We’re very excited to expand our news into a new daypart, and provide our viewers with more opportunities to receive WISN 12’s important local news coverage,” Jan Wade, WISN 12 president and general manager, said.

Davenport joined WISN from Hearst sister station WMUR in March 2014. Davenport’s first role at the station was as the breaking news anchor for “WISN 12 News This Morning.” From there,  ... Read More

DOJ suggests fees for copies of public records

Posted On: August 8, 2018

 Courtesy WBA Newsroom

The Wisconsin Department of Justice on Wednesday issued a release in response to concerns about rising fees for access to public records and suggesting fees for records custodians. Here are some key quotes:
“Copying fees should be based on the actual costs of the copy machine or contract, and the… – MORE –  ... Read More

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WBA Hall of Fame takes center stage at Summer Conference

Posted On: July 9, 2018

Michelle Vetterkind

The WBA Summer Convention was an extra special one this year because it was hosted at the site of your WBA Hall of Fame at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. This beautiful hotel is a wonderful home for our Hall of Fame and a great place to hold a WBA convention.

While it was a rainy week outside, the weather held for the annual golf tournament on Wednesday. The golfers traveled to Fire Ridge Golf Club in Grafton to enjoy some time on the course.

Anyone who came to the hotel got a chance to meet Millie, the “Canine Concierge.” She spent her days in the lobby greeting all our conference guests, and even got involved in our luncheon. For more on that, keep reading.

There was also a lot going on at the hotel on Wednesday, starting with Engineering Day that kicked off with a talk about the challenge of maintaining bases for AM towers from Rich Wood of Resonant Results and discussion on the early stages of the television repack with Kent Aschenbrenner, Senior Director of Engineering for E.W. Scripps.

The engineers then joined a session open to everyone about safety for journalists and broadcast station sites with a panel that included Dan Shelley, Executive Director, RTDNA; Ben Hart, News Director, WISN-TV; David Oxenford, Partner, Wilkinson, Barker, Knauer; Michael Kass, Brown Deer Police Chief; Mike Kemmeter, News Director, Woodward Radio Group; and Katie Crowther, Reporter, WTMJ-TV. The panel was moderated by Juli Buehler, News Director, WLUK-TV and WBA Board member. It was an important conversation that will likely be taken up again at future conferences.

Jack Zavoral, Director of Member Development, Local Media Association, also hosted a session about how digital products fit within the marketing scheme for local businesses. Jack would like to share his session for a wider audience in a WBA webinar. Register today!

A team of speakers took on the topic of data analytics and discussed how it could be used to help broadcasters. Lindsay Wood Davis, Broadcast Management Strategies led the conversation with two experts in the field, Heather Storm, Music Director, Woodward Radio Group and Diny Hurwitz, Business Analyst, Chicago Bears.

The engineers started their afternoon hearing from Eric Reese, Customer Development and Applications Engineering, Americas, Sennheiser Electronic Corporation, about what wireless mic manufacturers are doing to keep mics working after the TV repack and recent white space rulings. That was followed by a panel of millennials who took questions from broadcast veterans about how the younger generation views their work in broadcasting…and that was followed by roundtable discussions with general managers and human resources personnel to discuss what was learned from the millennial panel and how it could be used to help recruiting.

Thanks to the millennial panelists: Justin Hull, Brand Manager, WHBY/WSCO; Marty Mangerson, Chief Engineer, WJFW-TV; Justin Van Hout, Broadcast Technician, Woodward Radio Group; and Britny Williams, Broadcast Specialist, WPR. And thank you to our roundtable moderators: Joe Poss, General Manager, WTMJ-TV; Anna Engelhart, Station Manager, WKOW-TV; Kelly Radandt, General Manager, Woodward Radio Group; Don Vesely, General Manager, WMTV-TV; and Jeff Ver Voort, Director of Human Resources, Morgan Murphy Media.

The Job/Career Fair was held in the beautiful Empire Room, which was followed by our EEO session with Binnu Palta Hill from the UW Business School. She talked about inclusion, diversity, and recognizing and overcoming unconscious bias in your decision making.

In the legislative update, we heard an update on federal issues from David Oxenford and state issues from Brandon Scholz from the Capitol Group.  WBA State Legislative Chair Kelly Radandt and Federal Legislative Chair Roger Utnehmer offered their final reports. WBA and NAB Board member Tom Walker also offered a report on ownership issues.

The exhibit reception was well attended and there were many raffle prizes to give away. Congratulations to Jim Steinert, WISN-TV who on the 50/50 raffle and walked away with $840. Thanks to everyone who bought tickets in support of the WBA Foundation.

The weather cooperated and we had dinner and dessert outside the hotel on a beautiful courtyard. Our friends at Tri-Marq added lighting to make it a special evening. The hotel was impressed enough that it might copy our setup! Many guests stayed until after the sun had set.

Thursday started with our business breakfast and economic report from BMO Private Bank, followed by concurrent sessions. Robert Russo, President and CEO, RNR Media Consulting, held two separate sessions on selling broadcast versus local cable. One session was geared toward radio and the other toward television. At the same time, attendees heard from speaker and author Rita Emmet who talked about overcoming procrastination to be more successful and Bill Marklein, Founder, Employ Humanity, who explained how to use emotional intelligence to improve interpersonal skills.

At lunch we honored four Local Broadcast Legends in the Empire Ballroom. Kathy Keene, Margaret Neader, John M. Wadd, and Jeff Wagner were recognized for their contributions to their local communities. The families of Margaret Neader and John Wadd accepted the posthumous honors.

A true highlight of the conference was NAB President and CEO Sen. Gordon Smith who delivered a keynote speech to a full room, reflecting on the contributions broadcasters make in their communities. He was joined by NAB Senior Vice President of State Associations and Board Relations Sue Keenom. Sen. Smith also attended the WBA Hall of Fame on Thursday night and spoke to the Toolbox event on Friday. We thank him for coming to the convention.

Millie nearly stole the spotlight during Sen. Smith’s keynote address. During his speech, she loudly pounded on the door to the room, no doubt looking for leftovers from lunch. She was turned away until Sen. Smith was done speaking.

The Thursday sessions ended with an uplifting presentation from Mike Hulvey, COO, Neuhoff Communications, who spoke about the honor of serving as broadcasters. It was a wonderful session to lead into the Hall of Fame event Thursday evening.

The Hall of Fame reception was held at the WBA Hall of Fame on the lobby floor of the Hilton. It was an electric atmosphere for the induction of Chris Lytle, Tom Koser, Gary Timm, and Bob Smith. The Crystal Ballroom was decorated beautifully. The induction videos and subsequent speeches offered a dramatic cross section of the many powerful ways broadcasters, like our honorees, serve their communities and fellow broadcasters.

The conference continued Friday with the Young Professional’s Toolbox event produced by and for young professionals in broadcasting. We were proud to see more than 50 highly engaged young broadcasters talking about important issues and sharing their experiences. You can read more about that day here.

Thank you to the WBA Conference Committee for putting together a wonderful agenda, and thank you to the WBA team, Linda, Liz, and Kyle, for your dedication to this event.

As always, thank you to our conference partner, the Wisconsin Army National Guard, and to all the sponsors who supported the event. We couldn’t do it without you!

Please check out the photos from the convention here


We recently sent stations a new PSA for Wisconsin Honor Flights featuring Wisconsin’s own 12-time PGA Tour winner and Wisconsin native Steve Stricker. Stricker was recently named the PSA spokesperson for Wisconsin Honor Flight.

The PSA is focused on getting Vietnam Era veterans signed up for Honor Flights. For now, this is a radio only campaign, but we’ve been told that a TV spot is also under consideration. The PSA expires June 1, 2019.

If you’ll recall, in 2014, your WBA implemented a promotional campaign for Wisconsin Honor Flights, working with all six Wisconsin Honor Flight hubs. We developed a website featuring a one-stop easy access tool for all six honor flight hubs.

Running this PSA is purely voluntary. Stations do not have to report airings to the WBA, and this is NOT part of the WBA’s NCSA/PEP Program.

If you need assistance getting access to the PSAs, please contact the WBA office.

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of our short, but fabulous, Wisconsin summer!

Embracing change important to broadcasting’s future

Posted On: July 11, 2018

Robert Kennedy said “20 percent of the people will be against anything.” Baseball great Casey Stengel once said “The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.” Casey and Kennedy were on to something!

During times of continuous change, people quickly align themselves into one of three camps, according to management change expert Price Pritchett.

The first group, typically about 20 percent of the group, embraces change. They are immediately energized and excited about change – sometimes before they even know everything about it. They are innately curious and ready to challenge the status quo. “Starting today, we’re changing how we do things!” you announce. Your change embracers immediately sign on and can’t wait to help you implement your changes even though they don’t know every detail.

The second group is a tougher audience. Fifty-percent of people will sit on the fence. They’ll ask questions. They’ll get together in small groups to decide whether they like the change or not. They’ll withhold judgment on the change. At times, they’ll simultaneously endorse the change (“This is great. I’m so glad we’re finally doing this differently.”) … but they privately work to destroy it (“I can’t believe we’re doing this. It’ll never work.”) The good news: This 50 percent will eventually take sides, depending on which way the wind is blowing.

The third group, call it 30 percent, are active change resisters. They hate change. They love the status quo. They work overtime to protect their job, their turf, and their way of doing things. The moment they sniff change in the wind, they click into gear to overturn it, and even sabotage it.

Whether you’re an owner, a manager, or a state broadcast association, you have to figure out how to put together a majority of people to help you change, grow, and ultimately succeed.

According to Pritchett, most of us make the mistake of trying to romance that stubborn 30 percent who hate change, hoping we can turn them into change embracers. It’s not going to happen.

A better strategy is to spend time and energy first with the 50 percent of people who want to understand the change, how it benefits them and the organization, and why change is important and necessary. This is your highest-leverage group, and they are worth your time and energy. Talk to them. Engage with them. Explain the change and your own reaction to how changes will affect the group.

Next, encourage the 20 percent who love change. Thank them for their spirit. Tell them you need their help and are counting on them. Since they love change so much, let them know that once these changes start working, there’ll be more change to come. They are your evangelists!

This is harder to do, but just as important: We pretty much have to ignore the 30 percent of naysayers. They will get louder and more difficult to manage, but you will expend important energy and credibility by spending hours unsuccessfully trying to convince them that change is necessary and good for them.

Trying new approaches that challenge the status quo takes courage and vision. Surround yourself with enough change embracers and well-intentioned fence sitters and we’ll be successful evolving and growing. 

Our business, our industry (and yes, our state association) will continue to change as we tackle new challenges. Our ability to embrace change will go a long way in determining our success in the years to come.

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