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Behind the Scenes with WPT at the 2018 State of the State Address

Behind the scenes of Wisconsin Public Television preparing for the live broadcast of the State of the State Address on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Every year the governor delivers a State of the State Address to the citizens of Wisconsin from the State Assembly chambers and, since as far back as 1979, Wisconsin Public Television has broadcast this speech as a public service.

Producer Joel Waldinger

This year’s broadcast went live at 3 p.m. on Jan. 24, but planning for the event began back in late November and early December when the producer of the event’s broadcast, Joel Waldinger, met with Capitol officials and representatives from the Governor’s office discussing logistics for capturing the speech for television.

Crew members stand in as cameras and lights are put into position in the parlor next to the Assembly chambers.

On the day of the event, the WPT production crew gathered at the station at 8 a.m. to load up the live truck and travel to the State Capitol.

The Wisconsin Public Television broadcast crew meets in the parlor, next to the Assembly chambers, before getting into position for the live broadcast.

Part of the set up includes loading in five cameras. Three of the cameras are in the Assembly chambers for the speech and two in the parlor next to the chambers where hosts, Frederica Freyberg and Shawn Johnson, sit.

WPR’s Shawn Johnson and WPT’s Frederica Freyberg get set up for the live broadcast.
A camera operator performs tech checks before the live broadcast.

Once the cameras are in place, cords with the camera feed are connected to the live truck outside.

Remote productions supervisor Russ Awe connects the feed from inside the State Capitol to the live truck.

Lights, audio, prompters, graphics and a slew of the other production elements must be put in place, adjusted and readjusted before the crew considers everything ready to go.

Director Ben White stands in during set up where the Assembly Minority Leader will sit for his response following the governor’s address.
Kurt Kaspar adjusts the lights in the parlor.

Gov. Walker touched on a number of topics including health care, taxes, jobs and education.

The Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, delivered a five-minute response immediately following the address.  To watch the address and the minority response, visit our website or check us out on Facebook.

Victorious Blog, Season 2: Warp and Weft/The Sins of the Father

This is part of the Victorious Blog series. Click here to read the series.

I have always recommended Victoria on Masterpiece, but the first part of this episode had me seriously reconsidering if that recommendation would cast a dark cloud over viewers’ Sunday evenings. “Emotionally devastating” is the only way I can describe “Warp and Weft.” Luckily, part 2, “The Sins of the Father,” swooped in to pick us up of the floor.

As always, if you have some catching up to do, you can watch past episodes of Victoria on-demand on our website by clicking here. If you’re caught up and ready to recap episode 2, your weekly dose of Victoria gossip can be found below.

Continue reading Victorious Blog, Season 2: Warp and Weft/The Sins of the Father

What We Watch: Kristin Korevec, Special Events Manager

Kristin Korevec is the Special Events Manager at WPT.  For the February issue of our member program guide, Airwaves, we caught up with Kristin to learn about her role – and what she likes to watch on WPT when she’s not busy making event magic happen!

“My co-workers are the best part of my job. I’m inspired and challenged by the people around me every day.” -Kristin Korevec

Continue reading What We Watch: Kristin Korevec, Special Events Manager

Victorious Blog, Season 2: Season Premiere!

It’s back! Our weekly emotional rollercoaster, history lesson and fashion show all in one. Cue the music … Gloriana … Hallelujah!

If you’re looking to catch up on the last season before delving into this one, recap the entire first season in a three-minute video. You can also explore our previous Victorious recaps on our blog.

But we’re here to talk about Season 2! In the premiere (streaming online now), we reunite with new mother Victoria – who’s impatient to return to ruling. Meanwhile, Albert attempts to protect her from news about British soldiers in Afghanistan, and some familiar faces and brand-new characters grace the screen. If you’re not ready to read about all of that quite yet, here’s your spoiler alert! Read on for a recap of the season premiere …

Continue reading Victorious Blog, Season 2: Season Premiere!

Q&A: Meet Tegan Griffith of “American Creed”

In American Creed, premiering 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, historian David Kennedy and a diverse group of Americans come together to explore whether a unifying set of beliefs – an American creed – can prove more powerful than the issues that divide us.

Watch a trailer here.

One of the people who share their stories is Marine veteran and college student Tegan Griffith. A Wisconsin native, Griffith grew up in tiny Wittenberg, in Shawano County, and now attends UW-Stevens Point.

WPT spoke with Griffith to learn more about her background and her take on what unites us.
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Q&A: John McGivern

As the new year begins, John McGivern is on the road once more, visiting cities across Wisconsin to uncover unique locations in each neighborhood – and meeting the interesting people who make our state’s communities thrive.

We caught up with the host to talk about Around the Corner With John McGivern ahead of the show’s seventh season premiere 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 on Wisconsin Public Television.

You can catch up with McGivern, too, in a series of free community screenings premiering new episodes in the communities they profile!

  • Appleton: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17
    Fox Cities Exhibition Center
  • Middleton: 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22
    Performing Arts Center, Middleton High School
  • Viroqua: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31
    Historic Temple Theatre

Check in for more details posted soon at

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My Favorite Things: Jonna Mayberry

As 2017 winds to a close, we’re looking back on some of our favorite memories of the year. From favorite programs to community events, this was a big year, with fun run-ins and meaningful moments.

Today’s memories come from Jonna Mayberry, a publicist at Wisconsin Public TelevisionRead on to find out what she’ll remember the most!

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Tribal Histories Come Full Circle

With the final three of twelve Tribal Histories programs premiering in December on WPT, each of Wisconsin’s sovereign Indian nations has now shared some of their own stories, in their own words, with the state.

Mik Derks

“When you hear the word ‘history,’ you don’t know what to expect,” says series producer Mik Derks. “What you expect is not what you’re going to get.”

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe History, the first of the new episodes,  airs 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14.

Derks spoke with Airwaves staff about the project’s culmination. Read on to learn more!

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“Our House: The Wisconsin Capitol” – Coming Nov. 27

Michael Bridgeman hosted Wisconsin Public Television’s Remarkable Homes of Wisconsin in 2015. As an architecture aficionado and history buff, he brought curiosity and appreciation of the homes’ forms as well as their very human functions. Now, Bridgeman returns to television with a portrait of the state’s architectural crown jewel.

Our House: The Wisconsin Capitol premieres 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27 on WPT.

We asked Bridgeman to share his thoughts on the many reasons this building resonates with the state’s residents. Read on for more!

Continue reading “Our House: The Wisconsin Capitol” – Coming Nov. 27