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OPINION - The New Year

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU)  Instead of resolutions I prefer to take stock at the end of one year and the start of another. 2013 has been a year of tremendous success at WSAU. We've had number-one rated shows in the past, but in 2013 we became the number-one rated overall station in Central Wisconsin. And we' ve opened up a big enough lead that under the two-survey moving-average method that ratings are reported, it's almost a certainty that we'll be number-one again when the next ratings report comes out later this month.

Our ratings growth starts with our flagship program, the WSAU Wisconsin Morning News. Since Seth Mela joined as host we've had the top rating morning program for two ratings sweeps in a row. There are many, many good things about our morning show -- we have the best news, the most popular meteorologist, the best local sports reports -- but the host is the most important piece. Seth is glib and entertaining and genuinely funny, and people are naturally attracted to him. The program will grow even more in the years ahead.

I don't know what 2014 will be like. I suspect it will be a year of establishing a 'new normal' that won’t be nearly as good as what we've come to expect. I imagine unemployment will continue to drift lower, but employment participation rates will be historically low and part-time jobs will still win out over full-time. The Obamacare mess will continue. It will be important not to focus on temporary problems, like web sites that don't work, and remember the bigger, systemic problems, like the premium increases that are coming again next year from not enough younger people signing up. 2014 will see a nasty and close race for Governor in Wisconsin. And even nastier midterm congressional elections. We'll pine for the "good old days," which aren't always good, but will be better than what lies ahead in the short-term.

But the most memorable events of any year are usually things that happen to us... the achievements of our children, the milestones of our lives, our successes at work, the births and deaths that surround us. With that, I hope good fortune finds you in the new year.

Chris Conley

Image: Times Square New Years Eve by Rob Burdon / Flickr via WikiCommons.com