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OPINION - 10 years later

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Today (Sun, Jun 1) is my 10 year anniversary with Midwest Communications.

It's a remarkable milestone for me. For most of my broadcasting 28-year broadcasting career I'd been a journeyman. My first job was in New Hampshire at a very small radio station. I stayed there for two years and moved to something much bigger on Long Island. From there I moved to Ithaca, back down-state to Westchester County, and then to suburban Connecticut.

I remember exactly why I came to Wausau. Ten years ago Midwest Communications had an application pending with the FCC to raise WSAU's wattage from 5,000 to 25,000 watts. That was novel - a company that was willing to invest in its AM stations at a time when many broadcast newsrooms were being cut. Many of the AM news talk stations I'd worked at were in decline, living on their reputations from years ago. I came to work for Midwest because I believed their stations would be more in the future than they are today.

I'm very happy to say that's how things worked out. WSAU is indeed a bigger, better radio station than when I started. We've added an FM signal, our web sites have distributed our product even further, and our ratings and revenue have grown. Our other Wausau stations have grown as well.

As you may have heard, the company is growing too. We had 40 stations when I started; we have 72 now. We're a company of broadcasters, not bean counters. And broadcasters see things differently... that stations can grow when the right situation exists. Over the last ten years I've learned that investment -- in money, people, and time, can still pay dividends. And I'm thankful for that.

Chris Conley