You might have recently received the 2020 WBA Awards for Excellence brochure in the mail. The WBA Awards Committee issued a revised brochure today that is available here. Here’s an explanation from Awards Committee Co-Chair Kelly Radandt:
Dear WBA Membership (especially our radio play by play sports announcers),
We heard you and took immediate action.
On behalf of the entire WBA Awards Gala Committee, Scott and I want to announce that the Committee has taken action to restore the News and Talk Radio Best Sports Play-by-Play category for this year. A very caring broadcaster brought to our attention Tuesday concerns about the decision to suspend the category for 2020. After a meeting of our committee Wednesday morning we concluded that in light of the new information before us now about how important local sports coverage will be to many of our communities this fall, and what some stations did to be creative about bringing sports to our listeners this summer; we should add Best Sports Play-by-Play back into the radio categories. This change is reflected in this brochure we’re sharing today.
At the time the committee originally met to set the brochure for 2020, there were many uncertainties out there. After much discussion, we decided to add three Special Categories because as you all know 2020 has been unlike any other year in our memories. We also wanted to be sensitive to the length of time of the Gala (since that is historically our memberships largest complaint). Looking at all of the awards categories, the two categories that we chose to pause at the time to allow for the Special Categories had been trending down. We were also unsure that any sports would even be played. We made the best decision we could at the time with the information we had at the time.
2020 has been all about learning, adapting, and maneuvering quickly. Thank you to the broadcaster who spoke up for his people. Always speak your minds to our committee. We will always have a conversation and ultimately make the best decision we can at the time.
We will continue to do our best to deliver the best WBA Awards Gala ever.
For those who didn’t receive a brochure in the mail, here’s the letter from Kelly that came with it:
Do Scott and I ever look forward to seeing all of you again in-person and live! We are underway for doing just that in May of 2021. We’ll have no specific theme this time around. We are just planning on one incredible party!
Your WBA Awards Gala Committee has met a couple of times and continues to be full of thoughtful ideas and input on how to make our Gala better and better. Here are some specifics that effect this year:
- Best Coverage of Civil Discourse and Social Change
- Best Pandemic-Related Service to Community
- Best Election Coverage (Not in Music)
Category Temporarily Paused Due to the Pandemic
- Television – Best Sports Promotion
Reduced Fees ($10 savings per entry)
- $35 for Television
- $25 Radio
We also have a few committee updates to make all of you aware of:
- Lindsay Wood Davis is staying on as our Awards Gala voice; however, he has resigned from the committee. He said it was time to officially step aside. We thank him for EVERYTHING he has done for the Gala. We will hear Lindsay guiding us in our heads every time we meet going forwards. His passion and guidance will be missed!
- Dean Maytag has stepped down as my co-Chair. He too thought it was time to officially retire. Thank you, Dean, for all you have done!
- Andrew Felix has left our industry and resigned from our committee for a teaching career. We thank him for all of his years and ideas. My gosh, is he an idea guy!
- Our very own Linda Baun is leaving us for retirement to Indiana. She’s been our wrangler forever. She’ll be dearly missed!
- Scott Chorski (formerly of WKBT-TV) has agreed to co-Chair the Awards committee. He brings a wonderful perspective as a recently retired television broadcaster.
- Heather Reese steps into Andrew’s vacated role on the committee. She is with PBS Wisconsin. It’s good to have public media represented on the committee now.
- We are looking for representation for radio in a large market. If interested, please reach out to Kyle. Come on large market…we need you!
We do want to recognize the committee members that do all of the heavy lifting. This truly is my favorite group of industry professionals to work with. No one is afraid to speak their mind and very passionately. They all do great work and care deeply for our industry and the Awards Gala.
- Elwood – WAPL/WZOR/WZOS
- Nancy Douglass – WLKG FM
- Jill Genter – WKOW-TV
- Robert Kennedy – WTAQ AM/FM
- Heather Reese – PBS Wisconsin
- Tom Swigert – Hearst Broadcasting
Pending anything else getting in our way. We’ll see all of you next year at the Marriott Madison West on May 1, 2021!
Kelly Radandt, Awards Committee Co-Chair