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International Correspondent Willem Marx and CBS News producers enjoy a sampling from Ashley's Bar-B-Que on Center Street in Milwaukee. (PHOTO: Joe Laedtke)

Eating Milwaukee blogger in national spotlight

Food blogger Joe Laedtke's stomach is used to experiencing a diverse palate of flavors from some of the most unassuming places around Milwaukee. His stomach isn't used to television news bumps and reschedules, however.

"I'm stressed now," Laedtke said of his involvement in a feature produced for "CBS This Morning" that had been scheduled to air, then rescheduled as news of the day bumped his segment. "This is really cool and I'm amazed at this opportunity."

When the segment does get a chance to air – hopefully it has by the time this is published – he will be featured in a piece put together by correspondent Willem Marx.

"Apparently he heard that more was happening in smaller cities and people he was talking with said places like Cincinnati and Milwaukee," Laedtke said of Marx, who was researching how people now have more experiences with different foods than they ever had before. "So he was researching and saw Milwaukee and it clicked."

Since 2009, Laedtke has made his love for food and photography into a growing hobby of sorts with his blog. In his pledge on the site, he doesn't use advertising, he doesn't take complimentary meals and he's not out to be famous.

"This is really a labor of love," Laedtke said in staying motivated to keep posting. "I may take a hiatus once in a while, but when I'm out and eat something new or different, I think, 'This would be a great thing to post about.'"

That transparent honesty has worked to gain a loyal foodie following on his site. And he has explored some of the best and worst our area has to offer.

His nervousness is from hoping he did Milwaukee proud with where he took the CBS news crew to, and the food experiences he shared.

"I love this city. I was born here, I work here. It needs to be recognized," Laedtke said. "I keep getting asked by co-workers if it aired yet."

At this time, the segment was slated to air Thursday morning. After it airs, Laedtke will offer a link to it on his blog. He also will be participating in a live Google+ talkback segment as well.

When working with production crews there's plenty of footage captured, and it's always a guessing game as to what will be used in the final piece. Laedtke took Marx and his crew to Ashley's Bar-B-Que, as well as the Asian Markets Phongsavan on the city's North Side. The production team also spent some time with local food cheerleader Sister Stella DeVenuta at three stops in Bay View.

"While on tour at the market, we ran into Sister Stella," Laedtke said. They got her all mic-ed up and fell in love. She convinced them to take a tour of Bay View the next day. She has her own garden and actually got her delivering basil to Odd Duck."

NEW FORMAT: Listeners of Big Buck County on 106.9 WZBK-FM already know that the last cowboy has ridden into the sunset. The Milwaukee Radio group made the format change to what it's calling The Energy 106.9. It is currently playing the first 10,069 songs in a row without commercial interruption. Think more Jay-Z, Usher and T.I. rather than Haggard, Nelson and Parton.

There's some history here with radio competition between Saga Communications and Clear Channel going back to 2010 and format changes with the release of first reports from the then new PPM – the portable people meters. My favorite report on this is from Akiem Bailum, who does his own take on news items from around the country on radio and entertainment. You can watch it here:

UPDATE: On Tuesday I wrote about WTMJ-TV Ch. 4 investigator Rob Koebel being cited for an alleged public urination incident near his home in late August. He has since resigned from the news staff. You can read more here from the Journal Sentinel, which, like the TV station, is owned by Journal Communications.


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