Become a Wisconsin Community Media Member
Media Center Memberships
Media centers with cable access channels and LPFM radio stations operating in Wisconsin are eligible to become “Station Members.” Memberships include all people related to your organization. Member Stations designate a “primary contact” and everyone else is called an “Associate Member.” Associate Members include all media center staff (volunteer and paid), commission members, city and school officials, and producers who pay a membership fee to the station. Station membership fees are on a sliding scale based on the station budget.
LPFM stations join at a discounted rate the first two years of membership - $100 for the first year, $150 for the second year.
Any Station or Associate Member may be elected to the 11-member board of directors for a three-year term. Each Station Member gets one vote in board elections and matters that come before a membership meeting.
Stations with a budget under $50,000 - $220
Stations with a budget between $50,000 & $99,999 - $260
Stations with a budget between $100,000 & 200,000 - $290
Stations with a budget over $200,000 - $325
Independent Producers - $45
Annual Independent Producer memberships are $45 and they renew on your anniversary date. We welcome producers working in video or radio and who are distributing their programming through community media centers or LPFM radio stations to join as independent producers. A special perk of this level of membership is the ability to use WCM's MediaFire subscription to distribute shows to all WCM member centers throughout Wisconsin with one upload! Independent Producers may also serve on committees.
New Members: Half-year station memberships are available between July and October and run through March. If you join after October, you join at the full year membership rate and receive a 17 month membership.
Friend Memberships - $15
Annual Friend memberships are $15 and they renew on your anniversary date. We welcome everyone to become a friend, except those who qualify to be station members! Friends receive discounts on all WCM-sponsored events and may serve on committees. At this time, Friend memberships are not tax-deductible. WCM is a 501(c)(6) non-profit.
Emeritus Memberships - $35
You can be an Emeritus member if you formerly worked at a media access center as a staff person or volunteer. Emeritus members are nominated by either a WCM member station or by the WCM Board of Directors in recognition of dedicated years of service to community television. The year of your nomination, the membership fee is waived. In succeeding years, the fee is $35. Emeritus members are able to serve the organization on the Board of Directors. If elected, Emeritus Members serve a one-year term. When the Station Members vote, Emeritus Members in good standing get one vote, too.
Benefits of Becoming a Member
Wisconsin Community Media offers Member Stations (and Associates), Independent Producer Members, Friends, and Emeritus Members the following benefits:
Monthly eNewsletters. WCM’s Member Update features stories about WCM activities and Wisconsin PEG stations, and provides updates on the latest local, state and national news about community television and telecommunications. The Member Update is designed to keep Wisconsin community media professionals informed, inspired, and in touch.
Program sharing. WCM’s program sharing system went digital in Fall 2014 with the use of MediaFire. Station Members and Independent Producer Members are heavily using the service to upload and download programming for play on channels all around the state.
Lobbying. During the 2019-2020 session, WCM is lobbying on the state level for reinstatement of rights cities have under federal law that were lost in 2007. Our legislative priorities: reinstatement of a dedicated PEG fee to support PEG stations, transmission in HD to cable subscribers, program listings in the Electronic Program Guide, provision of transmission lines and equipment by the video service provider, and greater accountability.
Outreach and Promotional Opportunities. The publication, WCM Quarterly, features stories about our WCM member media centers and producers. The Quarterly is distributed in print format to state legislators and digitally to our large database of contacts. WCM is also active on Facebook and Twitter.
Workshops and Conferences. Co-sponsored by the Midwest Region of the Alliance for Community Media, WCM holds a two-day conference each spring. In 2020, the Spring Conference, Best of the Midwest Media Fest Banquet and Show and Exhibitor Fair will be held on May 14 & 15 at the Crowne Plaza in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Each Fall, WCM holds either a one-day workshop at a community television station or a Legislative Day at the capitol. Members attend all events at the discounted member rate.
Best of the Midwest Media Fest. Our annual Media Fest gives professional and amateur community television and radio producers a chance to showcase their programs and receive valuable feedback. For the last six years, the Fest has been open to producers in a nine-state area: Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. Producers are rewarded with trophies, plaques, and certificates. Community television centers and Low-Power FM radio stations use the Fest awards to promote their work, as well as to reward producers. The Fest is open to non-members, but members receive a discount. As a WCM “station member,” all programming produced and/or distributed through your station may be entered at the member rate. Deadline to enter is mid January, 2020.
Information and referral. Do you have a question? Our Executive Director, Mary Cardona, will answer your PEG-related questions, connect you with another member who can, or refer you to an outside source. Mary has worked professionally in the field of community television for more than 30 years, as a producer, community media center manager and a telecommunications consultant to cities.
Media Center Public Search Tool. WCM believes one of the best ways to support our member media centers is to promote their use. The public can use our home page search button to find and contact a member media center near them. Members have access to the full database of information we have on media centers.
Member Surveys. WCM now has an ongoing survey in the form of member station profiles. These profiles contain all the basic information you might want to know about other community media centers in the state. Targeted surveys gauge member interest in conference topics and WCM also conducts salary surveys, the most recent one was conducted in 2018.
Member Forums and Interest Groups. Members can reach the entire membership with a single e-mail uploaded to the Forum. Members talk about technical and management issues, sell equipment, and promote uploaded programs. Smaller communication groups have been organized around our five Regions (Fox Valley, Dane County, Milwaukee Area, Northern, and Southern), Low-power Radio, and our committees. More can be formed at the request of members. Groups can easily communicate via email with each other and access an archive of emailed messages and files.
Member Library. Members have access to our online library, which contains various legal, regulatory, and management materials. WCM also regularly records and archives our conference sessions for review by members.
Connections to national community television organizations. WCM enjoys close relationships with the national and Midwest Region of the Alliance for Community Media, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, and American Community Television.
Collaboration. Through WCM, our 51 member stations act together to protect and grow community television. As a member of WCM, you will be first to know when a situation is developing and you will be a valuable part of the group that takes action together.
Building a strong local media. While this list details how you as a producer and your media center will benefit, the best benefit may be knowing you are helping to build a strong local media network that serves everyone.
Mail checks to Deb, payable to Wisconsin Community Media.
W2548 Violet Lane
Merrill, WI 54452