Don’t let WBA awards rules confuse you

In the News

By Nancy Douglass, WLKG-FM

You know how sometimes you can read something ten times and still not get it? Or look for something over and over and it’s right there in front of you? 

The WBA Awards Committee does not want that to happen to you. So, I’ve been assigned the task of explaining a few of the Awards Entry Rules that we get questions about year after year! 

First of all – that pesky word: “compilation.” The Official Webster Dictionary definition: “a group of things (such as songs or pieces of writing) that have been gathered into a collection.” The categories you’ll need to gather pieces for a “compilation” are highlighted in the Awards Brochure, this year, in GoldThese categories REQUIRE multiple audio/ video clips of different lengths, compiled into one entry. 

This brings us to a question stations ask every year – “if I submit a great interview in my Best Morning Newscast “compilation,” can I enter that same interview by itself in the Best Hard News Category?” The short answer is – YES!  You can enter a clip you’ve included in the Gold highlighted categories in un-highlighted categories, BUT – you cannot enter the same fantastic interview in both the Best Spot News and Best Continuing Coverage categories, as both of these fall under the un-highlighted section of the rules.    

Time limits – the longest time limit in the rules is 15 minutes. That’s it. If it goes over that limit, your entry will be immediately disqualified. This is also true for commercial entries – 60 seconds. Judges pay attention to those details. Don’t get your best commercial in five years disqualified because its 61.5 seconds long!  UGH!!

Significant Community Impact. This category is all about the impact our ACTIONS have on the community. Not the impact of an announcement. You can include a portion of, or a whole spot, in the audio portion of your entry, but submitting a commercial announcement alone is not enough. You have between 5 and 15 minutes to stir the emotions of the judges – a spot alone will not suffice. Put together a “compilation” that will show them how your station’s actions brought about positive impact on your community. 

SNIPPETS.  We all have favorite parts of our entries. The AHA! moment of an interview. The screams and cheers when the underdog takes the championship. A punchline during an interview. PLEASE allow the rest of us hear those wonderful moments when you win! Indicate the start and stop time during your entry to be used for your snippet!

Last, but not least, each radio station must decide whether or not they are News / Talk or Music before entering any category. Once they make that decision, they cannot cross over to the other categories. For instance, if I decide to declare WLKG a News/Talk station this year, I cannot enter any of the Music categories, and vice versa. All of my entries will compete against the other News/Talk stations. So, if you are a Music station, and you have a really good Editorial or Commentary, sorry – you’ll have to find a category within Music to enter it. And yes, we have many FM stations who are declaring themselves News/Talk – the times they are a’changing. AM and FM stations are not exclusively, respectively, News/Talk and Music anymore. So yes, you, as an AM News/Talk radio station, might find yourself competing with a FM station who decided to stray from their normal Music distinction, and try their hand at entering all News/Talk categories.  Again, as long as the ONLY enter News/Talk categories, it’s fair game. 

December 1st – Mark your calendars today. Add entries little by little, through the deadline. It’s not so overwhelming that way. Don’t wait until the day before – Murphy’s Law… Something will crash and you’ll have all these winning entries and no way to upload them. Don’t take that chance!! Start uploading on December 1st.

The Awards Committee likes to keep things fresh. We try to make appropriate rule changes to coincide with the ever changing scope of what we do – be it Social and Digital media, to live streaming, to simply making sure we are constantly encouraging the best in broadcasting in Wisconsin.  Please do not hesitate to call Linda (608-729-1480) and ask for a rule clarification – we encourage it!

See you at the Awards Gala first Saturday in May!