March Madness is here, and the basketball action heats up in Milwaukee this week as the Bradley Center hosts the Midwest and West regional rounds of the "big dance." With fans flocking from near and far, the editorial staff at OnMilwaukee.com thought we'd help greet our new visitors with a week's worth of features and guides to everything that makes our city a great place to visit. It's "Welcome to Milwaukee Week" at OnMilwaukee.com!
If you're visiting town this week for the first round of the NCAA college basketball tournament, or if you're new to Milwaukee, trying to find something on radio.
It's been years since regular radio listings were published anywhere, and spinning through the dial -- or scanning through a car radio -- can be frustrating.
So let's start with our own scan of radio offerings.
Sports: Since basketball is on the minds of a flood of visitors this week, it's good to know that there are three outlets where you can hear lots of sports talk. There are two 24/7 sports-talkers, ESPN radio affiliate WAUK-AM (540) and WSSP-AM (1250).
In addition, Milwaukee's "heritage" radio station and biggest AM outlet, WTMJ-AM (620), offers two hours of weeknight sports talk hosted by Bill Michaels at 6 p.m.
Talk: If you need your daily fix of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity, the biggest national talkers, go to WISN-AM (1130), where Beck airs at 8 a.m., Limbaugh starts at noon and Hannity starts at 6:30. WISN's also home to Milwaukee's biggest conservative voice, Mark Belling, from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays.
WTMJ goes conservative from 8:30 to 2 p.m., with local talkers Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner. Its focus is less ideological in the early morning, when it dubs itself "Wisconsin's Morning News," anchored by Gene Mueller and John Jagler. It's afternoon "Green House," hosted by Jonathan Green, is a blend of Green's musings; and lots of news, weather, traffic and sports.
If you're looking for liberal talk, Racine's WRJN-AM (1400), airs Ed Schultz at 11 a.m., and Alan Colmes at 9 p.m. Reception isn't perfect, but it's as close as the area comes to liberal talk radio.
Milwaukee's African-American community is the focus of Earl Ingram's show from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays on WMCS-AM (1290).
Non-commercial radio: Milwaukee has four very different non-commercial outlets. Two offer quirky music lineups, WYMS-FM (88.9), which calls itself 88Nine Radio Milwaukee; and WMSE-FM (91.7), which calls itself "Frontier Radio," and has been around for nearly three decades.
WMSE divides its programming into specific genres, while WYMS' playlist is a blend of musical types.
There are also a pair of more conventional public stations, WUWM-FM (89.7), which carries the big NPR programs, like "Morning Edition," and "All Things Considered," and WHAD-FM (90.7), which broadcasts the Ideas Network of Wisconsin Public Radio, a lineup of call-in and interview shows.
Music radio: There's an array of the usual music formats on Milwaukee's radio dial, from alternative WLUM-FM (102.1) to hard-rocking, WHQG-FM (102.9), better known as "The Hog," which airs the market's biggest morning team, "Bob and Brian," who are also syndicated around the state.
For oldies, there's WRIT-FM (95.7), you'll find country music on WMIL-FM (106.1), and for younger listeners, there's WXSS-FM (103.7), which uses the label "Kiss FM," for its top-40 format, hip-hop has a home on WKKV-FM (100.7), and you'll find R&B on WJMR-FM (98.3). Another long-time morning radio team, Dave Luczak and Carole Caine, headline classic hits WKLH-FM (96.5).
If you want more music and less deejay, WLWK-FM (94.5), calling itself "Lake FM," promotes its playlist over its personalities.
If you're looking for something that you won't find in most radio markets, try WTKM-AM (1540)/-FM (104.9), from nearby Hartford, which plays tons of polkas.
In Spanish: If you like to listen to your sports in Spanish, WRRD-AM (1510) broadcasts ESPN Deportes Radio, one of several Spanish-language outlets in the area, which include WJTI-FM (1460) and WDDW-FM (104.7).
On TV: Milwaukee's TV dial is full of the usual suspects: NBC is Channel 4, Fox is Channel 6, ABC is Channel 12, the CW is Channel 18 and CBS is Channel 58 (that's Channel 5 on Time Warner Cable, the biggest TV service in southeast Wisconsin).
We also have two public TV outlets, Channels 10 and 36.
In the digital TV era, there's also a growing number of sub-channels if you're watching over-the-air television. This week, the most important is 58.3 -- where you'll find CBS' second NCAA game. The main game, of course is on Channel 58.1 That sub-channel, which carries a format of reruns and old movies as ThisTV, is Channel 983 on Time Warner Cable.
Other sub-channels include 4.2, which offers non-stop weather, and 6.2, which airs Retro TV, another rerun outlet.
In print: Yes, there are still print publications in town, starting with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the state's biggest daily newspaper.
Free weeklies include the Shepherd Express, the old underground paper that long-ago came above ground; The Onion; and the area's newest newspaper, the Wisconsin Gazette, a gay weekly. There's the monthly Milwaukee Magazine and on-line only Third Coast Digest.
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.