Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

Webinar to help stations with tax changes

Posted On: January 19, 2018

A webinar scheduled for Feb. 8 will help Wisconsin businesses, including WBA members, with tax changes related to the personal property tax.

The state budget passed in 2017 included a repeal of the personal property tax. Your WBA was part of a coalition that supported the change. WBA President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind testified twice in support of the repeal.

Now that the change is coming, we’re here to help you navigate the tax changes.

A free webinar is scheduled for Feb. 8 aimed at helping Wisconsin businesses comply with the new tax regulations.  … Read More

Live code tests scheduled for April 12

Posted On: January 19, 2018

In cooperation with Wisconsin Emergency Management, the National Weather Service will conduct two tests of the real Tornado Warning EAS Code, one in the afternoon and a second one in the evening, on April 12, 2018 as part of Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. The State of Wisconsin has received a waiver from the FCC to use the actual EAS Tornado Warning Code for these statewide tests. If there is a threat of severe weather at the time of the afternoon test, then both the afternoon and evening tests will be postponed until April 13, 2018. If there is severe weather on April 13,  … Read More

Eau Claire area broadcasters mourn loss of ‘great guy’

Posted On: January 18, 2018

Rick Wold

A veteran broadcaster who continued to work in broadcasting even after his time as an employee at an Eau Claire TV station has died.

Rick Wold was an employee of WEAU-TV in the late 70s and early 80s and continued to be a friend of the station after he left. Wold was instrumental in the production of the UCP Telethon and he also worked with WEAU on countless other projects including the Eau Claire Winter Parades, according to WEAU Director of Promotions & Creative Services, Andrew Felix.

“Rick was truly a great guy who spent his entire career teaching,  … Read More

WUWM hires managing editor, announcer

Posted On: January 18, 2018

Maternowski, Jones

WUWM has hired a new managing editor and midday announcer.

As managing editor, Michelle Maternowski will report to the station’s news director and coordinate all content produced by WUWM journalists across all platforms. She will also back up the news director and executive producer of Lake Effect as needed.

Maternowski was previously WUWM’s Digital Services Coordinator.

Lauri Jones joins WUWM as midday announcer after working at Jammin’ 98.3, V100.7 and FM106 in Milwaukee. She also worked at the now defunct Smooth Jazz 106.9 and Big Buck Country 106.9.

She has also worked in Cincinnati and Minneapolis.  … Read More

Vetterkind appears in RAB video about CES

Posted On: January 17, 2018

WBA President and CEO Michelle Vetterkind was included in a video from the Radio Advertising Bureau about the recent CES event in Las Vegas. Vetterkind was there on a tour put together by Jacobs Media.

Vetterkind’s comments can be seen about three-and-a-half minutes into the video.

   … Read More

Eau Claire host retires after 40 years

Posted On: January 17, 2018

By pjhudson on Morguefile

An Eau Claire broadcaster with 40 years in morning radio has retired.

George House retired in December from WIAL-FM where he’s been in the air the last five years. He spent most of his career at WAXX-FM.

House told the Leader-Telegram he loves radio and he’s had a blessed career.  … Read More

Webinar: The 10 Things We Learned At CES (That Affect Radio)

Posted On: January 16, 2018

Jacobs Media is back from CES 2018 and ready to share the experience with radio. In partnership with Inside Radio, Jacobs Media and jācapps have put together a free 30-minute webinar.

Jacobs Media present the latest and greatest at CES, with a focus on smart speakers, connected cars, and new audio applications and gadgetry. The webinar will connect the dots to help the radio industry better understand how technology is changing our lives, our careers, and our business models.   … Read More

Madison news director promoted

Posted On: January 16, 2018

WISC-TV’s Executive Director of News and Operations has been promoted to Vice President of News for Morgan Murphy Media.

Colin Benedict will work with news directors in the company’s six markets to develop strategies to grow ratings and digital platforms. He has been with the company for more than 19 years and has been news director at WISC-TV for nearly 10 years.

He will continue to serve as Executive Director of News and Operations for WISC-TV.  … Read More

Milwaukee TV station adds meteorologist

Posted On: January 15, 2018

WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee added a full-time meteorologist to its weather staff.

Meteorologist Elissia Wilson joined the station in early December and was on the air the week of Christmas.

She was previously a meteorologist for Alabama News Network, doing broadcasts for the ABC and CBS affiliates in Montgomery.  … Read More

President’s Column

Michelle Vetterkind WBA President/CEO

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


As a follow up to the article on the front page – we’re so excited about the new WBA Hall of Fame promotional spots! The idea stemmed from WBA Hall of Famer and WBA Foundation Board Member Bruce Grassman during the WBA/WBA Foundation Joint Board Meeting this past June. Bruce suggested we highlight the new home of the WBA’s Hall of Fame that we’re so proud of at the Milwaukee Hilton City Center and offer a means for Wisconsin’s Radio and TV stations to help promote the Hall of Fame throughout the state.  From there, discussion ensued and WBA Foundation Board Member Chuck Steinmetz graciously offered the services of his station to produce the spots.  Thank you to Bruce for a great idea and thank you to Chuck for giving us his On-Air Promotion Manager, Bill Chappie. I’m sure you’ll agree that Bill did a GREAT job for us!

While we anticipate stations being able to run these spots for years, we think the kick-off is most timely with the WBA’s Summer Conference taking place at the Milwaukee Hilton City Center this year where we will celebrate our Hall of Fame. NOTE: Airing these spots is completely voluntary (and this is NOT a part of the WBA’s NCSA/PEP program).   


Also, as we welcome in 2018, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight a few of our events and deadlines that will be coming up in the next two months. You’ll find more detailed explanations of these items within this issue of the Wisconsin Broadcaster:

  • WBA Awards For Excellence deadline – Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 11:59 p.m. CDT – Please don’t wait until the last minute to enter. Plan to get it out of the way sooner rather than later. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Make sure to join us for the WBA’s Social/Digital Media and Young Professionals Sessions “What Can You Do on Social Media” and “8 Reasons Why YOU are the Future of Broadcasting (And One Reason You Might Now Be) and the WBA Social Reception on Tuesday, Jan. 30 and our Winter Conference/ State Legislative Day on Wednesday, Jan. 31. We really NEED you – especially for the State Legislative visits and the reception.  
  • 31 is the registration deadline for the WBA’s upcoming DC Trip taking place Feb. 28 and March 1. I think you’ll agree that there will be no shortage of Federal/FCC-related issues in 2018. This trip always makes an impact on our members of Congress.   
  • Is there someone you’d like to nominate for the WBA Hall of Fame or Local Broadcast Legends? If so, don’t forget that the nomination deadline for both is Feb. 15.

Have I mentioned lately that it’s never boring at your WBA? 

So here’s to a happy, healthy, and I might add prosperous (as that certainly doesn’t hurt) 2018!

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

Promoting cohesion between programming, sales

There’s an age-old problem in radio stations. That is a chasm between sales and programming. Some have solved it by making both departments very important and respectful of each other. It’s a subject I wanted to address. But our programming consultant, Tim Moore, said it better, so I’ll relinquish space for Tim:

Tim Moore

Tim Moore

If you think about it, radio is the only business with two completely different sets of customers; only Alpo Dog Food can make that claim. Today, we may be farther apart than ever and there are a thousand reasons why. Because we’d rather it not be true doesn’t change anything.

Our firm’s programming history has ranged from market rank No. 1 to No. 251. The scope may change, the process never does. Today with large groups in high seas, you have to wonder how much “development” is going on, or how much either side of the building really understands about the other. We hear it often, though the tenor and severity ranges from tolerably typical to toxic (“sales pukes,” “talent egomaniacs,” and other endearing references). The greater question asks, “Why does leadership tolerate this stand-off?” In theory, it’s costing radio a lot of gross revenue and on the other side, through more subtle nuances, talent performance, and ratings.

As an owner of stations earlier in my career my staff was required to do a “changing socks” exercise with regularly scheduled rotation. It went like this: the seller who occasionally drifted into the “if it weren’t for him…” mantra referencing a talent, or the talent who quipped “all he/she cares about is making money” (duh). We kept this to a minimum and those who knew our stations and remember them today will attest to the high level of play in our buildings, thank to our people and their leadership. So, select talent and sales people would study each other’s’ roles.

A seller would be required to come into the studio at 6 a.m. joining the morning show. Following that experience the seller would usually say, “My God, I had no idea…like air traffic control in there, can’t believe what it takes” and other superlatives. Then an air talent would be asked to accompany a seller to a bona fide first encounter where a seller was asked to do a client needs assessment. One really good afternoon guy came back from a call, popped into my office and recapped: “I got queasy guts, just watching the handshake. I can’t believe how she deflected the pressure and convinced the guy to accept another meeting to hear a campaign proposal!”

I suppose we could reduce it to the blunt premise: the sales team’s job is to get the money, the client’s job is to keep it. If talent understood revenue-producing pressure while at times is unnerving, it’s a pretty cool way to become a media professional.

If sellers understood only a small percentage of human beings will ever go into a control room and filet themselves in front of the neon Nielsen scoreboard, often with all the security of the Flying Wallendas, they’d acquire more understanding and empathy for that side of their building.

Some traditional greats such as Cox, Susquehanna, Lincoln Financial, New City and Bonneville seemed to really understand that when relationships broke down, business broke down. Talent or seller, you were required to understand. Today we’ve seen a few buildings where the divide is so toxic one wonders how the cluster survives. Then a week later we’ll be unduly impressed with how much collaboration and empowerment appears to exist in a given cluster with resulting pride in ratings and revenue.

If this sounds “preachy” so be it. The responsibility of an exceptional radio manager is to create the basis for hope with his or her sales department, while acknowledging and inspiring their programming staff. In comparison, nothing else matters.

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