By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Aug 18, 2014 at 3:19 PM Photography: Steve Kabelowsky

For the past four years, Time Warner Cable’s Wisconsin SportsChannel has hosted "Talking the Talk," a competition where one Wisconsin sports fan will win the opportunity to be a guest on "The Roundtable" with five-time Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year Dennis Krause.

Earlier this month, Jacob Westendorf appeared on "The Roundtable" with a taping in the Fox Valley studio in Appleton with Krause and Packers beat writer Paul Imig of

"I was expecting I would do well,"said Westendorf, a student at UW-Green Bay, after the taping.

Westendorf has been studying to be an on-air broadcaster at UWGB. He views "Talking The Talk" as another step to get him where he wants to go.

"I just really enjoyed the whole experience."

"The Roundtable," which airs 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. weekdays on the SportsChannel, features Krause and a rotation of the state’s top sports journalists analyzing Wisconsin’s local sports teams and the day’s top sports news.

"Talking the Talk" is a contest to earn a spot at "The Roundtable." Area residents are invited to send an e-mail and supporting video to Time Warner Cable SportsChannel explaining why they would make an informative and entertaining guest on "The Roundtable."

The finalists’ come into the Time Warner SportsChanel studio and tape a segment with Krause. Those clips are posted online and OnDemand. Each view OnDemand counts as a vote for the contestant.

"This is the first year we added the online voting," Krause said of his fourth time through the process. "If you are able to get the opportunity, I tell them to be cool and confident. It’s not easy to do. Sell it like, ‘I belong here.’"

This program is a great way to get the local viewership truly interactive with the content that is being produced for them in this market. In addition to "The Roundtable" getting another guest, Lisa Manna hosted a behind-the-scenes show on the SportsChannel chronicling the participants’ path to "The Roundtable."

By using the OnDemand free channels and the electronic voting on the web, Time Warner Cable is able to truly create something unique in the community and hours of local content.

"’Talking the Talk’ has been incredibly successful for the past several years and we are proud of the champions who have appeared on ‘The Roundtable’ multiple times after winning the contest,"  Tom Kurtz, Senior Manager of Production for Time Warner Cable SportsChannel in Wisconsin, said in a release. "The overwhelming response from past competitors is that they loved the chance to discuss sports with the local media and give their own opinions."

That sentiment carried over from each season.

"It was just so remarkable. I felt like I won a million bucks. I just thank Time Warner Cable for the opportunity and I am just truly grateful and thankful for the experience," said Eugene Pitchford, 2013 "Talking the Talk" winner.

Westendorf impressed Krause and Imig at the show taping.

"He was not in awe of the situation and was comfortable," Krause said. "He has the experience to do well …"

Imig said that Westendorf did really well as "The Roundtable" covered Brett Favre’s number retirement at Lambeau Field and what to expect this season with the Packers.

"I wish I got to do something like this," Imig said of his early days on television. 

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.