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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Aug. 29, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Joe Poss, the vice president and GM at WGBA-TV Ch. 26 in Green Bay, will be the new GM at WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee.

WTMJ-TV names Poss new VP and general manager


Last week, I outlined some of the changes taking place at Journal Communications, the parent company of WTMJ-TV Ch. 4 and WTMJ-AM 620 and WLWK-FM 94.5. Some of the executives changed roles, and that may translate to some changes at each of the media outlets.

On the TV side, Journal Broadcast Group promoted Joe Poss to vice president and general manager of the local NBC affiliate, WTMJ-TV, on Monday afternoon.

"With his successful background in broadcast leadership and media sales, and his great rapport with clients and colleagues, Joe will be a welcome addition to the TODAY'S TMJ4 team," Debbie Turner, executive V of television for Journal Broadcast Group, said in a release.

"We are excited for the enthusiasm and expertise he will bring to the Milwaukee television market."

The release went on to report that since 2011, Poss has been the GM of Journal-owned WGBA-TV NBC 26 and WACY-TV MY 32 in Green Bay.

Beyond leading the network affiliate and independent station in Green Bay, Poss was the point person during Time Warner Cable's dispute over retransmission fees, appearing on the air at the station, much like Steve Wexler did here in Milwaukee while he was in the GM role.

In Green Bay, WGBA usually ranked fourth among the local news outlets, struggling for ratings in the diary market. I usually base my overall ranking in a market on the results at the 10 p.m. broadcast and from sign-on to sign-off.

As similar as the markets are in viewing habits by Wisconsinites, the designated marketing area (DMA) is quite different as the Green Bay stations cover a larger geographical area, including reaching into areas of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The market is also tracked for ratings by a different mix of written diaries and digital meters.

"Prior to becoming general manager for Journal's Green Bay television duopoly, Poss was the stations' general sales manager for six years. He also previously served as local sales manager of Journal's Las Vegas television station, KTNV-TV, and in regional sales and account executive roles at Fox Television stations in Miami and Minneapolis. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota," the release said.

Poss will begin in his new role on Feb. 17, which is in the middle of the sweeps month and during the coverage of the Winter Olympics.

FROZEN CHOSEN: As the 2014 Sturgeon Spearing season is underway, Wisconsin Public Television will be airing an encore presentation of "The Frozen Chosen" on Thursday, Feb. 13.

"The Frozen Chosen" is a documentary about sturgeon spearing on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin. Produced and directed by five-time, Emmy award-winning filmmaker and Wisconsin native, Steve Boettcher, "The Frozen Chosen" is the culmination of 75 hours of footage shot during two spearing seasons.

Boettcher followed local families and sturgeon spearing experts, sometimes braving sub-zero temperatures and thin ice. He lost two cameras to water and cold, but, in the end, Boettcher says it was more than worth it.

"Some days it felt like we were just surviving, but that's part of the draw to the story and why the title, 'The Frozen Chosen,' is so fitting," says Boettcher. "Sturgeon spearing is just unique, it's special and it's so Wisconsin."

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