The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation is proud to announce the 2022 Local Broadcast Legends honorees:
· Jonathan Green was a staple of afternoon radio in Milwaukee for 41 years and is known for his authenticity, good humor, and community service.
· Mike Hayes has been the morning voice on WIZM-AM in La Crosse for more than 35 years, interviewing thousands of people as part of his effort to serve the people of the La Crosse area.
· Terry West spent 40 years in broadcasting with a reputation for her hundreds of compelling interviews of Country music legends.
· Tom Zalaski has been on the air in northeast Wisconsin for more than 42 years anchoring more than 70,000 newscasts, guiding viewers through all the major stories over those many years.
The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Local Broadcast Legends Award was established in 2015 under the direction of Bruce Grassman, owner/president of Results Radio. The Local Broadcast Legends Award is a great honor and recognition for individuals that work behind the scenes and within their communities fulfilling the commitment broadcasters have made to serve their local communities. They are individuals who exemplify localism. This award is a means to extend recognition of these individuals beyond their local communities.
Individuals with 15 years or more service in Wisconsin broadcasting may be nominated by their company, co-workers, community leaders, family members, and friends. The station or organization which the nominee is associated with submits the nomination on behalf of the nominating individual(s).
The WBA is grateful to Bruce Grassman for his vision to establish a means for dedicated local broadcast employees to be recognized for their contributions to Wisconsin broadcasting. This award is for those who unconditionally support their stations and community.
Profiles of past Local Broadcast Legends can be found at the Wisconsin Broadcasting Museum website.
This year’s honorees will be recognized during the keynote luncheon at the 2022 WBA Summer Conference on June 23 at the La Crosse Radisson.
The 2022 WBA Hall of Fame inductees will be announced Tuesday.
Our 2022 Local Broadcast Legends honorees are as follows:
Jonathan Green was a staple of afternoon radio in Milwaukee for 41 years and is known for his authenticity, good humor, and community service.
After several radio jobs in his native Ohio, Jonathan spent his military obligation in the US Army as a journalist in Turkey and then as the morning show host on the American Forces Network in Frankfurt, Germany. He joined WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee in 1969 hosting WTMJ’s afternoon drive show which he called The Green House.
Uniquely, on several Earth Days Jonathan canoed to the studio on the Milwaukee River reporting on the morning show using a walky-talky. His passion for riding led to WTMJ’s connection with Harley-Davidson during its anniversary celebrations, which welcomed thousands of Harley enthusiasts to Milwaukee.
Jonathan started the Kids2Kids Toy Drive in 2006, teaching listeners’ kids about the spirit of giving while collecting more than 250,000 toy donations for needy kids. He also led the WTMJ’s Teddy Bear Patrol with local law enforcement agencies.
Jonathan’s proudest accomplishment is his intern program: The Green House Air Force. Many young and ambitious kids got to be a part of the show, leading to many future careers in broadcasting.
Jonathan’s peers say his popularity is the result of humor and authenticity. He has demonstrated talent, passion, and willingness to inspire others.
He retired in 2010.
Mike Hayes has been the morning voice on WIZM-AM in La Crosse for more than 35 years. In that time, he’s interviewed thousands of people as part of his effort to serve the people of the La Crosse area.
Mike is known for his gift of gab and his willingness to talk to anyone about anything and keeping his audience informed about what’s going on in the world. He is credited with connecting his audience with a great diversity of interview subjects and viewpoints from his guests. He is also known for allowing a wide range of opinions on the air and interview subjects say Mike treats them fairly.
Generations of WIZM listeners have learned about government, activism, services, and local businesses through Mike and his morning show.
In a true sign of his dedication to La Crosse, Mike was married, live on the air, on a riverboat, the La Crosse Queen, on the Mississippi River.
Active in the community, Mike is also involved with the Pump House Regional Arts Center, serving on that board and also the board of the local chapter of Big Brothers, Big Sisters. He is involved in local community projects and station initiatives, like Freedom Honor Flight.
Mike is described as consistently honest, forthright, and sincere in his efforts to provide an informative show for his audience.
Terry West spent 40 years in broadcasting with a reputation for her hundreds of compelling interviews of Country music legends.
Terry started her career in 1980 when she was named one of only two winners of a Brown Institute School of Broadcasting scholarship. Her first on-air job was at KKXL in Grand Forks, North Dakota where she was the first woman on the station.
In 1983 Terry moved to Eau Claire where she was on the air at WIAL until 1992 when she moved to WAXX where she was on the air hosting middays until she retired in 2021.
Terry interviewed more than 200 County music stars like Blake Shelton, Shania Twain, Luke Bryan, Martina McBride, Clint Black, and Faith Hill, to name only a few. Her interviews at Country Jam USA in Eau Claire and Country Fest in Cadott were a staple on WAXX from the late 80s until her retirement.
Terry took on community work with several different local charitable organizations during her career and she earned a WBA award for her public service interviews on behalf of Transitus House. In 1995, Terry was named a Woman of Distinction by the American Girl Scout Council.
Her peers say Terry “related to her audience very well through her devotion to providing well-prepared, insightful interviews. They describe Terry as passionate, prepared, and persistent.
Tom Zalaski has been on the air in northeast Wisconsin for more than 42 years anchoring more than 70,000 newscasts. As an anchor on WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Tom was there, guiding viewers through all the major stories over those many years.
Tom has a reputation for discussing political, public safety, and community issues in a fair and balanced manner that seeks to enlighten rather than hype. He has demonstrated the discipline to keep the subjects of his story in focus and never wants to steal the spotlight from a deserving person or group.
Tom has mentored many journalists and penned several books to help the public get a better understanding of how the media works.
Tom is dedicated to veterans causes and supports the Pearly Gates Veterans Ride which established an annual scholarship for veterans and their dependents to continue their education. He’s also the host of the annual Appleton Christmas and Flag Day parades and the Northeast Wisconsin July 4 fireworks celebrations.
Tom also shares his love of music on the radio, spending many years on WAPL in Appleton giving history lessons on legendary rock bands.
His peers say Tom has a heart of gold and, “Everyone who encounters Tom feels as if they have been recognized, respected, and better for the experience.” He is described as a caring co-worker and cool under pressure.