Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

WBA updates job postings process

Posted On: December 31, 2019
From MushyTaters on Morguefile

The WBA is updating its job postings system which, we hope, will mean an easier experience for those posting jobs available on our website.

The new job posting form lives in the “MyWBA” area of the WBA website. If you’ve already created a login to get into the MyWBA area of the website, you’re good to go. If you haven’t yet done that, please start here. (If you’ve posted a job to our website in the last four months, you’ve already got a MyWBA login.)

To post a job available,  ... Read More

Weekly Radio Addresses focus on adoption, criminal justice reform

Posted On: January 17, 2020

This week’s Weekly Radio Addresses from Wisconsin lawmakers focus on the Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption and criminal justice reform. These addresses are available for Wisconsin broadcasters to use as they see fit. Here are the summaries from WisPolitics:

— State Rep. Evan Goyke in this week’s Democratic radio address slammed Republicans for not taking up Dem criminal justice reform efforts.

The Milwaukee Dem said 45 states “have engaged in some degree” of reforms, as well as the federal First Step Act signed into law by President Trump last year.

“Wisconsin is, unfortunately, an outlier due to our continued Republican inaction to address these major issues facing our criminal justice system,”  ... Read More

Webinar: What happened at CES

Posted On: January 16, 2020
Program Date: January 28, 2020

Every year, Jacobs Media travels to Las Vegas for CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show, to see what new technological trends will impact the radio industry. This year, 60 radio broadcasters joined them for this journey to see the future.

Please join them for a free webinar in partnership with Inside Radio to learn about the new trends on display at CES 2020 – and what they mean to radio:

  • The ever-changing dashboard
  • Voice command devices & why they are so important to radio
  • How the retro movement is reviving interest in radios
  • Why it’s all coming together – 5G,
  •  ... Read More

WBA searches far, wide for awards judges

Posted On: January 16, 2020

After all your award entries are submitted for the WBA Awards, you might ask yourself who will be judging the results of your hard work. Your WBA makes sure award entries are being judged by professional broadcasters who can review your entries impartially.

Once submitted, your entries are judged by professional broadcasters in a rotating series of other states. Each year there’s one state designated to judges Wisconsin’s entries. Broadcast associations in other states help the WBA find judges. In return, the WBA asks our members to help when other states are seeking judges for their awards contests.  ... Read More

Sheffield, Kaul to headline WBA Winter Conference

Posted On: January 16, 2020

UW Volleyball Head Coach Kelly Sheffield and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul will speak at the business luncheon during the upcoming WBA Winter Conference in Madison. The conference will be held Jan. 29 at the Madison Concourse Hotel and is also part of the WBA State Legislative Day.

In six years at Wisconsin, Kelly Sheffield has brought the Badger volleyball program back to national prominence. He has led UW to six-straight NCAA Sweet 16 tournament appearances, including a berth in the 2013 national championship match in his first season. Wisconsin has also finished among the top-four teams in the Big Ten Conference in five of the past six seasons.  ... Read More

Webinar: Combating Randsomware

Posted On: January 15, 2020
Program Date: January 22, 2020
From MushyTaters on Morguefile

Along with Guidehouse, Cybersecurity pros Brian Finch, Deb Thoren-Peden and Mercedes Tunstall are helping companies get up to speed on a now common threat: Ransomware.  ... Read More

Campaign sets record, raises 4.67 million meals

Posted On: January 15, 2020

A Madison TV station’s annual holiday campaign to fight hunger broke a record for a third straight year.

NBC15 (WMTV-TV) raised 4.67 million meals during its Share Your Holidays campaign, topping the 4.5 million meal goal set for the 24th annual campaign. The campaign benefits Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin which serves 16 counties in southern Wisconsin.

“This is another example of how our local communities shine a little brighter than others,” said Don Vesely, NBC15 Vice President/General Manager. “Our viewers, and the communities they reside in, come to the rescue every time they are asked.  ... Read More

Wausau stations raise $100K for charity

Posted On: January 14, 2020

Wausau TV stations WSAW-TV and WZAW-TV raised $100,091 during its annual Share Your Holidays Campaign.

The money was donated to The Salvation Army of Wausau and The Neighbors’ Place. The total broke the previous record of $100,001 which was set in 2018.

“I’m so overwhelmed,” Jeff Thelen, WSAW anchor and campaign coordinator said. “The generosity from the people in central and north central Wisconsin just never fails to amaze me. That $100,000 will become 300,000 meals for people who might otherwise not have something to eat. Thank you so much for the donations!”

Viewers also donated more than 6,000 pounds of non-perishable food.  ... Read More

Stations gather donations for animal shelter

Posted On: January 14, 2020

A group of six radio stations in Manitowoc gathered more than 400 items and donations to support a local animal shelter.

Seehafer Broadcasting used Operation Santa Paws to collect food, toys, cleaning supplies, treats, litter and $5,432 to support the Lakeshore Humane Society. One anonymous donor brought a donation of $5,000 to the station.

Listeners were asked to stop by the studio to select a paper ornament off the Giving Tree located inside the lobby. Each ornament listed an item to donate that will help care for the nearly 1,500 lost and homeless animals sheltered each year by the Lakeshore Humane Society.  ... Read More

Digital resources in 2020 will focus on digital revenue

Posted On: January 13, 2020

For the past several years, Jacobs Media has provided the Digital Hotline to WBA members.  In this role, we have taken your questions on all things digital, including social media, mobile applications, email database marketing, and more. We’ve attended your conferences, conducted webinars, and taken your phone calls in order to help Wisconsin broadcasters identify digital opportunities and implement them.

Because digital is an ever-changing target that is wide-ranging (ask ten broadcasters what “digital” is and you’ll get at least ten different answers), we felt it was important to reach out to you, WBA’s membership, to help set our agenda as we embark on a new decade.   ... Read More


Grant takes new approach to supporting future of broadcasting

Posted On: January 8, 2020

Michelle Vetterkind WBA President & CEO

While the WBA’s scholarships continue to support students looking to start a career in broadcasting, one of our scholarships is changing to a grant aimed at helping young broadcasters who might want help paying down their student debt.

The Results Broadcasting Scholarship is now the Results Broadcasting Education Debt Assistance Grant.

Grant originators Bruce and Don Grassman are interested in helping those who have committed themselves to a career in broadcasting by providing $1,000 in student debt relief.

We’re accepting applications now through Feb. 28 and will recognize the recipient at the WBA Summer Conference.

Young Professionals of the Year

And…we have another first in this newsletter. We’re listing the first two Young Professional of the Year honorees. Heather Storm and Eric Bartos are the first two of six Young Professionals we will recognize ahead of the WBA Summer Conference where we will name one of the six as our WBA Young Professional of the Year.

Do you have a YP on your staff who you think should be honored next year? You can submit nominations anytime

Fast turnaround on your survey answers

Thank you to those of you who responded to an online survey from Jacobs Media that we sent to our members. We wanted to know about the greatest challenges you’re facing regarding digital media.

The results of the survey were very clear: You want help with monetizing your digital efforts.

Well, we’re listening and so is Jacobs Media. Paul Jacobs is coming to Madison on Tuesday, Jan. 28, a day ahead of the Winter Conference, to make a presentation about monetizing digital. Jacobs Media is also going to focus on that topic in their columns and we will continue to work with Jacobs Media on other ways to help members with this critical topic.

Body cams likely to lead on State Legislative Day

We hope you will consider joining your fellow broadcasters on Wednesday, Jan. 29 in Madison to spend time with our state lawmakers. State Legislative Day is part of our Winter Conference.

This year we expect to be talking to lawmakers about a bill that would set rules regarding police body cameras, which include new rules about the release of video recorded by these cameras.

If you’ve never joined us for State Legislative Day, we can team you up with broadcasters who’ve done it before. Getting to know your local lawmakers can be an interesting and enlightening experience. We encourage you to get involved. Contact us to learn more.

Making a Difference

Wisconsin’s broadcasters have a lot to be proud of and it’s made so clear during the holiday season. Please check this out to get a taste of what your fellow radio and TV station members did to make the season brighter for people in their communities. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised and countless hours were dedicated to making life better for the people of Wisconsin. Your generosity knows no bounds!

You might already be a member

As we wrap up the membership renewal season, it’s a fitting time to remind you that anyone who works for a station that is a WBA member is, themselves, a member of the WBA.

The WBA offers memberships for retired broadcasters, associate members, but of course, most of our members are the radio and TV stations of Wisconsin and all the wonderful people who work at those stations.

I hope you and your families and friends a safe, happy, and fulfilling 2020.

Local newsrooms strive to inform communities without bias

Posted On: January 9, 2020
Steve Lavin
Steve Lavin

My name and email address is listed at the top of the station management contact page on our station website so viewers tend to send me the most emails with their questions or concerns. I get comments about anything you can imagine, and some are downright silly. A couple weeks ago I found out how critical “General Hospital” is to several viewers in our area. I guess live breaking news coverage of a violent attack on a school resource officer and the safety of 800 local high school students was not enough of a concern for them. Some viewers can’t understand why they received six inches of snow at their house when our meteorologists predicted 3-5 inches. Others are critical of our talents’ hairstyle or wardrobe. I could do a whole column on that subject.

The concern that I have seen most often lately are the comments like, “Although I have been watching your news religiously for 25 years, I can’t watch it anymore because your news is biased.” They rarely give specifics. They just claim bias. I enjoy corresponding with these viewers so I can learn more about their accusations. It’s funny how a local news station can be both conservatively biased and liberally biased all on the same day.

Can our local news organizations survive in our markets if we served up a favored slant in our local news coverage? The last time I checked, Wisconsin is a solid purple state. We would lose half our local news audience if we actually catered to one view or the other.  

I have had some conversations with others in the business, and this is what I think:

  • Cable outlets devote prime-time hours to opinion hosts giving their takes and perspective on the news. Many cable show hosts would admit they are not journalists as they clearly favor a certain political view.
  • For those who consume a steady diet of partisan cable news programming, watching (or listening to) local news outlets reporting facts without speculation or emotion can be quite jarring.
  • People hear what they want to hear.
  • Some news consumers are too willing to attack the messenger with accusations of bias even when established facts are reported.
  • These news consumers take out their fury on people who are thousands of miles away from where the national story is unfolding.

Wisconsin’s local broadcast newsrooms are full of excellent reporters and newsroom managers. They live and work in their local communities. They are focused on events in their communities and how events (both local and national) might affect the entire community. Their duty continues to be to inform, not entertain.

Steve Lavin, WBA Board Chair


Getting back to basics

Posted On: January 8, 2020
Cory Gylock
Cory Gylock

As a young professional, I find that circling back to the basics is a great reminder on how to approach every day in the workplace.

I think this article does an excellent job highlighting some key traits that are critical for young professionals to consider in their young career paths. I would encourage new YPs and veteran YPs alike to consider Paul Jankowski’s advice in this article.

One of my favorite lines in this piece is actually not even in his “16 Tips” on which the article is based. It’s the line right under the “16 Tips”; “Motto to live by: Don’t tell me, show me.”

Cory Gylock, WLAX-TV, La Crosse 

Young professionals recognized for contributions to broadcasting

Posted On: January 8, 2020
Heather Storm and Eric Bartos
Heather Storm and Eric Bartos

Young professionals are making their mark on broadcasting in Wisconsin and the WBA is recognizing them.

The WBA Young Professional of the Year Award seeks to recognize young broadcasters who have made a significant impact on their stations and communities. A subcommittee of the WBA Board of Directors selected six young professionals to recognize in 2020, and one of those six has been identified as the first “Young Professional of the Year.”

The five other honorees will be identified and profiled in this and the next WBA newsletter and the Young Professional of the Year will be announced in the May/June newsletter and awarded at the WBA Summer Conference on June 17 in La Crosse. The five honorees will also be recognized at the conference.

Our first two honorees are Heather Storm and Eric Bartos:

Heather Storm

Heather Storm

Company: Woodward Radio Group 
Position: Music Director and Air Talent for WKSZ and WKZG
Years at station: Coming up on a decade! 
Started in broadcasting (year): Interned at Pittsburgh’s WQED in 2004, starting getting paid as a board op in 2005 (owned then by Infinity Broadcasting).

How did you get into broadcasting? I chose Broadcast Communications as a college major with an interest in news. With a choice of four practicums, radio was listed first so I assumed it was required and fell in love from there.

How do you view the role of young professionals in broadcasting? The role of the young broadcaster is to keep everyone evolving and moving forward. The world and how we consume news and information changes rapidly, and so must our forms and style of broadcasting. We tend to learn more when we are uncomfortable with change, and those already familiar with it help move us forward. 

What advice would you give to other young broadcasters? Dive right in. Get involved in as much as you physically can. This is one rule of thumb that has not changed and most likely will never will.

What does the future of broadcasting look like to you? The future is bright.  It just looks different than it did 50 years ago, or 10 years ago, or even one year ago. This is a profession that reflects the world surrounding us and we must evolve to mirror those changes. Our community is full of young, intelligent people who are ready to hustle. 

Eric Bartos

Eric Bartos

Eric Bartos

Company: Wisconsin Public Radio
Position: Broadcast Network Manager
Years as station: Two
Started in broadcasting (year): 2013

How did you get into broadcasting? I have been interested in all things audio since probably middle school, however I didn’t take a huge interest in radio until I found out there was a college radio station at Michigan Tech University, WMTU. The first thing I did when I got to Michigan Tech was go to a WMTU meeting, I started as just a DJ, but slowly worked my way onto the all student staff in the productions department making liners and underwriter announcements. I was then the production manager for about a year before the station needed a head audio engineer. I took on that role for about two years then I spent a little bit of time as the general manager until I graduated. Once I graduated, I was then hired on as a full time broadcast engineer for the station. I then left that position in 2017 for my current position at Wisconsin Public Radio.

How do you view the role of young professionals in broadcasting? As a young professional in broadcasting I think the most important role we have is to keep finding ways to improve radio and use all this new technology to our advantage, while sharing the knowledge with the older engineers. The radio engineering industry as a whole seems to be falling behind when it comes to technology. Using the old stuff is not going to be sustainable for much longer, which is why it is so important for young professionals to keep pushing the boundaries of technology and not letting radio fall behind or become irrelevant in the future.

What advice would you give to other young broadcasters? The best advice I could give is to learn a little bit of everything. Don’t just focus on one aspect of broadcast engineering. It’s just as important to know how to configure a Cisco network switch as it is to troubleshoot a transmitter. The studio side of radio is turning into a datacenter with audio in it. If you know how to run a VM host and a solid network you will be able to learn the radio side of it in no time. However, if you don’t want to deal with the IT side of things as much, learn all things RF. Good RF engineers are starting to become a rare breed. If you have a solid RF background or a solid IT background you will have great success in the broadcast industry.

What does the future of broadcasting look like to you? To me, the future of broadcast is leaning more towards a fully virtualized radio studio, meaning that the entire station could run on a pair of servers and a pair of network switches. I could even see this letting hosts run shows from anywhere in the world, and not be tied to a studio anymore. I do think it is possible that someday a radio station could run in the cloud, however I don’t think that will be happening any time soon.

Nominations for next year’s Young Professional Award can be submitted here. Nominations close Sept. 30, 2020.

Clearing the clutter

Posted On: January 7, 2020
Amy Pflugshaupt
Amy Pflugshaupt

Coming back to work in 2020 after a week off for the holidays, I noticed my desk at the office was cluttered with piled with papers – notes for stories I was working on, scripts revisions from previous stories, contact information, and invites to upcoming events. Then I came across this post on Facebook from Darcy Luoma Coaching and Consulting, LLC.

It caused me to stop and think about all this “stuff” on my desk and how it’s impacting my daily success in the newsroom. Luoma states that all this “stuff” is distracting and once distracted it can take up to 25 minutes to get back on task. 25 minutes! Anyone working in broadcasting knows time is money and when it comes to deadlines we don’t have time to spare.

Check out Luoma’s full article on clearing the clutter in your life to help you start 2020 on a productive note.  

Amy Pflugshaupt, WMTV, Madison

Clark joins WBA Young Professionals Committee

Posted On: December 31, 2019
Jerad Clark
Jerad Clark

Jerad Clark, the General Sales Manager at Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Madison, is joining the WBA Young Professionals Committee.

Clark started his career with Mid-West Family in La Crosse in 2010 as an account executive. In 2013 he continued with Mid-West Family with management roles in Madison and in 2015 took a position in Springfield, Illinois. He moved back to Madison early in 2018 to take up his current role.

Clark has sat on boards for the American Advertising Federation in Madison and Sangamon County CEOs, which is a mentorship program for high school students.

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