WINK Radio Back In Fort Meyers Studio

Radio broadcasters, the local everyday folks who live and care about the community and share in both smiles and heartaches are in our hearts and back on the radio broadcasting from their studio. Thanks for what you all do at WINK.

From CNN…“Southwest Florida news station WINK headed back late Monday afternoon to its Fort Myers studios after having spent days broadcasting from a makeshift studio setup at its transmitter site. (Photo above.) The station had been forced to take extraordinary measures to stay on the air after storm surge from Ian coursed through its offices last week, damaging much of the outlet’s equipment and forcing staffers to temporarily move to that remote location. WINK’s senior EP Lenny Smith, however, shared the update that employees had returned. “I left my headset in the [WINK] control room when [Ian’s] storm surge started flooding our building,” Smith tweeted. “Five days later, I’m putting it back on.””

Doty Land Podcast: Memories Of Trans American School Of Broadcasting, 41 Years Later

With fondness and laughter Bruce Miller, George Manesis, and Gregory Humphrey trek back 41 years to reminisce about the Wausau, Wisconsin broadcasting school.  From how these young men saw themselves at the time, to how radio impacts their lives today, this podcast episode surely mirrors the hundreds of graduates over the years.  From the school owner, Ray Szmanda, to the iconic Scott Street Pub these three guys regale memories that will transport all those who once harbored ‘radio fever’ to a place of youthful nostalgia.  An episode that has a professional touch,  a human connection. Darius Rucker, The Knack, and Connie Smith add the melody.

George Manesis, Bruce Miller, Gregory Humphrey seated.
Gregory, Bruce, and George coming up to the third-floor studio.

Trans American Broadcasting Reunion On Madison Isthmus, 40 Years of Friendship

The annual Trans American weekend reunion was held on the Madison Isthmus. Granted, this is not the largest reunion in the state, but since we are not aware of any other broadcasting students from Wausau or former on-air talent connecting in this way we are proud to post some pics. Every third weekend in September our gathering coincides with a neighborhood festival and a small parade that passes in front of our home on Sunday. Saturday afternoon we gathered on the lawn overlooking Lake Monona, with dinner that followed. A 30-minute ‘in the studio’ podcast of our thoughts and recollections will be posted here in about a week. For now, Bruce Miller is in white, George Manesis is in black, and Gregory Humphrey is in yellow. What is most certain is that radio management changes and announcers come and go, but friendship remains. These guys have been a part of my life for 40 years. From vacations together, to weddings, to laughs, and at times tears we have been a part of each other’s lives. And it all started because we had an interest in radio.

Penny Mustard Furnishings’ Ads Harken To What Is Best About Radio

I very much enjoy the radio, with WGN (AM 720) in Chicago being the home spot on the dial for at least 40 years. While there have been many wonderful personalities over the years who were invited into my home or car such as Paul Harvey, Orrin Samuelson, Steve and Johnnie, and the “Girlfriends” as they made me think, laugh, or cry there have also been radio ads that linger.  Not as brain worms because they are so awful there is no way to remove them but rather because they are perfectly done, year after year after year.  Well-crafted ads that remain long after the radio is turned off due to the way they play to the strengths of the medium which benefits advertisers and listeners, alike.

The Huth Boys growing up.

Penny Mustard Furnishings radio ads are ones that I never tire of hearing, and with their newest freshly opened store located in Madison, more people will get the chance to know what I mean. The business is located in the former Ganser Company and Pier 1 Imports along the Beltline. 

The ads feature folksy humor and down-home values at times about family and the importance of being a good person.  I have, over the years, much enjoyed their ads on special days like Thanksgiving or Mother’s Day.  While the ads are clearly aimed to sell home furnishings, they also underscore what radio is best at doing.  Creating images in one’s mind and being a companion either while home chores are underway, or a car tip is in progress.  No rudeness or bombast or trash talk—just sharply written and genuinely presented radio ads that do not seek to insult but to make for a smile among listeners and, hey, let’s check out that business for our next home needs. As a former radio broadcaster, I value their style of radio ads.

I constantly applaud those who respect radio listeners and know ad buys connect best when businesses know the importance of being invited, just like one would a person at the front door, into the home. Penny Mustard Furnishings is such a business, and while I have no stake in the company I do thank them for having high standards for their ads and public relations. The type of folks it would be a pleasure to chat with over a cup of coffee.

My New Doty Land Podcast: Elvis, Thunderstorms, Dan Rather, And Local Radio

Fond memories of Gregory Humphrey’s first day on WDOR radio with Elvis’ music, recollections of Dan Rather one Sunday morning on a Texas radio station, and a severe thunderstorm in Sturgeon Bay when a Brewer baseball game is knocked off the air as callers light up the phone lines!  Funny memories with another Doty Land professional-sounding podcast.

Doty Land is not the biggest or the best podcast, but it is mine and it makes for lots of smiles and hours well-spent on the Madison isthmus.

City Council Vote Tuesday On New Recycling Fee For Madison Homeowners, WORT Radio Reports, Interviewed This Blogger

Last week the City Finance Committee approved imposing a new fee (a.k.a. tax) on recycling.  The matter will now go before the full City Council Tuesday, April 19th.

The annual $50.00 fee should not need to be imposed, as the reason we pay property taxes is for basic city services. For me it is the principal of this matter, and not the fee amount.

This new fee has not even been enacted and council members, such as tax sponsor Alder Furman, are suggesting more new taxes to come so as to have unlimited sources of new revenue, (unlike your income).   “This will only get worse,” he said, saying the 2023 budget will need to be even more clever with how it addresses budget gaps. 

During the finance committee debate, the supporters/city staff said that the new fee has to be a flat fee per property, not number of bins, and with no opt out; or, otherwise, the city would be encouraging people not to recycle. 

Given that Mayor Rhodes-Conway made the unprecedented move of replying to constituent emails to defend her recycling tax, she must be concerned that city residents can defeat this.  Already, three of the six alders who co-sponsored her recycling tax have withdrawn their names as co-sponsors!!  In other words, even if Madison taxpayers have already done so, please contact your alder and all the council to express your opposition. 

WORT news reported on this recycling fee and asked for an interview. The story starts at about the 14-minute mark. I provided the balance about the role of property taxes and basic services. I find it interesting that the report did not entertain one idea or foster a viewpoint about cutting city government and programming.   Just taxing more.

Click on the link below, then click the audio archive for Wednesday, April 13th. (My gain should have been higher on the soundboard as it sounds like I am a low talker.)

I must admit when the mayor talked about ‘putting on thinking caps’ in this news report I did gasp upon hearing it. I swear that those words from an adult outside of a first grade class is remarkable. But her term in office falls under the snarky-phrased term remarkable, too.

My bottom line is too many at the city level have cast this debate about recyling instead of the way certain taxes are to pay for certain projects in a city. With news media playing to the same tune as the ones promoting this fee there is no doubt the measure will pass Tuesday night.

The consequences for alders at election time next year, well, that is a promise many will carry until balloting in the spring elections.

And so it goes.

Doty Land Podcast: Dane County Alzheimer’s Episode Gains Traction

Doty Land is not the biggest or the best podcast, but it is mine and it makes for lots of smiles and hours well-spent on the Madison isthmus.

Radio and broadcasting was my first love as a boy, working at WDOR was a thrill for years, and my home studio for podcasting now is the perfect niche.

I am super pleased with how my Alzheimers episode has landed with listeners, which is what is reflected in the downloads. I used contemporaneous notes from the time and recorded the episode in under 30 minutes. Adding the bumpers and editing and the project was completed in a couple hours.

Stories of laughter and also tenderness deals with the final chapter of the life of Albert Trull. It makes for a somber podcast. But one that is aimed to reach out and ask what role all can play with the elderly people needing friendship and companionship within our communities.

I find the tone of what I hope to achieve on my podcast episodes mirrors what I heard coming over the radio airwaves while growing up in Hancock. Respect your audience, be professional, and have fun, too. Check, check, and check.

And so it goes.

Walter Cronkite As Radio Show Actor In WWII, Reporter Showing Journalism’s Push For Democracy

One of the joys of this blog is to divert off the front-page headlines of the morning newspaper into a topic that warms my heart.

From Chapter Seven of Cronkite, Douglas Brinkley’s perfectly-toned biography about ‘Uncle’ Walter comes this nugget.

Cronkite and legendary Edward Murrow remain heroes to me. The nostalgic history of radio and the role it made for itself with news reporting from Europe during World War II is among the best pages to be studied from the late 1930s and into the 1940s.

The role of radio broadcasters in the war zones was as much about giving the American public the facts of the military campaign, but also to bouy the mood of the public. Driving home the need to understand reporters were helping uphold democracy was also stressed.

That was the role Cronkite added when he played a part in the radio series Soldiers of the Press.

Here then is Program #27: United Press syndication, World lateral transcription. “Dry Martini”. U.P. correspondent Walter Cronkite’s story from a U.S. bomber base in England.