Wisconsin Broadcasters Association

The member stations of the WBA this summer approved changes to the WBA bylaws. The changes were initially approved at the WBA Winter Conference and the second vote was to occur at the membership meeting at the Summer Conference. Because the membership could not meet this summer, the vote was conducted remotely through the submission of consent forms from representatives of all stations that approved of the changes. At least 80 percent of WBA member stations had to approve for the changes to be made official. Consent forms were received from 81.9 percent of the member stations and the changes went into effect July 30.

The changes to the bylaws were in response to the 2019 WBA Task Force findings and a State Ethics Committee ruling that disallows legislative receptions. It was proposed that elements of the WBA Winter Conference be held in conjunction with the WBA Student Seminar later in the spring. The WBA State Legislative Day would be scheduled as needed to improve our member’s strategic advocacy effectiveness. As such, the WBA would eliminate its winter membership business meeting, and maintain the summer membership meeting.

Because this change would affect WBA bylaws, the WBA worked with its attorneys to draft changes to the bylaws. During this process, the attorneys found other changes for members to consider.

–Article IV: The changes remove references to specific annual meetings and leave it to the board chair and president to determine when and where the annual meeting will happen. The intention is to hold the annual meeting at the Summer Conference.

–Article IV and V: Updates and clarifies rules regarding electronic meetings (via teleconference) when in-person gatherings are not possible.

–Article X: The current bylaws require two consecutive votes of the membership to amend the bylaws. The proposed change gives that power to the board OR the members and gives the members the power to override the board. It establishes a notice period for proposed changes, but eliminates the need for two consecutive votes. WBA attorneys advise that this is default practice.

Because of the elimination of the Winter Conference in January 2021, the officers elected in January 2020 will serve until summer 2021. Officers terms will be one year after that, with new officers selected every summer.

A copy of the revised bylaws can be obtained by calling the WBA office at 608-255-2600 or emailing contact@wi-broadcasters.org.

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