WTMJ's Dan O'Donnell moves over to WISN
In the Milwaukee radio market, and its full and rich history, having one person jump from a station to another isn't anything new. It is, however, even more rare these days as there are fewer people employed in the field, and competition clauses in contracts makes it a little more notable when it happens.
"There were talks here and there, and things were finalized on Monday," said Dan O'Donnell, who this week jumped from WTMJ-AM 620 over to news and talk rival WISN-AM 1130.
"I had a meeting at Clear Channel this morning, and everyone was so welcoming," O'Donnell said in an interview on Thursday.
It will be a while before he gets on the air on a regular basis, as transitions tend to be fluid as paperwork is updated and there's new equipment and procedures to learn he said.
"It's been an eventful week. It is amazing how quickly things can move. I wasn't really looking to make a move," he said, talking about how in this industry people know each other and conversation start, and sometimes opportunities present themselves.
Also, what he will be doing at WISN will be a little fluid, as well, as he kept this information a little closer to the vest. But, then again O'Donnell has always been able to change and evolve based on the station's needs while he was at WTMJ.
"I started at TMJ when I was 19, in an internship and worked there through college," O'Donnell said. While in law school in Madison, he would travel back to Milwaukee on weekends for radio shifts. "My first full time job was as a news broadcaster, this was my first adult job."
As cliché as it may be to say, O'Donnell said his move is bittersweet because he is truly parting ways with his work family – people he has worked with and learned from for more than a decade.
"It is just starting to hit," O'Donnell said, "I had to say goodbye to the atmosphere where I developed friendships, some I would call life-long."
O'Donnell said he is truly blessed to be able to be presented a personal opportunity in the same community he grew up in and calls home. He said that he knows that people in this industry work for years in other markets and rarely get the chance to make their way back home.
"I have two small ones – a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old – and not having to face the need to uproot them at this point … and have to move somewhere half-way across the country …" he said.
The show host, news broadcaster, writer, sometimes sports reporter and anchor will be able to tap into all of his previous experiences with the new post at WISN. O'Donnell said that he'll be leading the station's efforts online and on social media platforms to further the reach among its audience. He said to expect to hear him on the air in the next few weeks.
SUPER GIG: CBS Sports announced on Thursday that Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews will be joining their broadcast team to help cover the Super Bowl on Feb. 3. Matthews will be a contributing analyst, joining hosts James Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason, along with Greg Gumbel, on the set in New Orleans.
Will really miss Dan O' Donnell at wtmj. He was a true professional with a good sense of humor and I enjoyed his brewers extra innings show. I can't make the switch over to wisn though. Perhaps when I find out when he is on I will listen to him there.
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