The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association recently handed out their annual awards for broadcasting excellence and Sun Prairie’s own 103.5 FM The Sun Community Radio scored with five awards.
Entering in the Large Market Radio category specializing in a music format, 103.5 FM was ironically awarded four awards for its non-musical programming.
Heading the list of winners was Dan Presser, whose “Sun Prairie In Focus” won First Place for Best Newscast. Though also produced for video, WBA voters decided that the audio version was strong enough on its own to be honored.
“We do Sun Prairie In Focus because there is a place for a local broadcast news program in Sun Prairie,” said Presser. “With the Sun Prairie Media Center, we have an excellent resource for producing original programming, including a news broadcast like In Focus. We have been producing the show for almost a year now and I think we keep getting better at it, in part because the show continues to be embraced by more people watching and more people who want to help out.”
Speaking to the fact that the first place award was presented for the radio version, Presser joked, “Apparently it’s not a detriment to not be able to see me during my own show!”
SPMC director Jeff Robbins clarified this point: “Our TV stations are not considered broadcast because cable is the main means of distributing them. So we don’t enter in the television side of the WBA awards. But our radio station is considered broadcast, so we are eligible in WBA’s radio categories.”
103.5 FM’s sole Second Place award winner – for Best Pandemic-Related Service to Community — also went to a production originally produced for video, a series of public service announcements produced in collaboration with the Sun Prairie EMS Department and Healing Hearts Family Counseling regarding maintaining good mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elsewhere, 103.5 FM took home three Third Place showings in three very competitive categories: Best Morning Radio Show for Bill Baker’s “Good Morning Sun Prairie: Baker Street,” Mark Gonwa’s “Song Archaelogy” for Best Radio Show, and “Homeroom with Brad Saron” for Best Specialty Programming. “Homeroom” is hosted by Todd Milewski and produced in conjunction with the Sun Prairie Area School District.
Want to be part of this award-winning team? The Sun Prairie Media Center is currently looking for radio and podcast producers to take advantage of its awesome studio facilities and excellent staff. Anyone interested should call 608-837-4193, email SPMC director Jeff Robbins, or check out sunprairiemediacenter.com, where program ideas can be submitted directly to SPMC staff.
Episodes of 103.5 FM’s award-winning programs can be accessed for on-demand listening by downloading the Sun Prairie Media Center app, available for free from the App Store or Google Play.