How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted WisconsinEye?
WisconsinEye has delivered hundreds of hours of COVID-19 programming, including: official state meetings, interviews with front-line experts, news conferences and more. Our production staff built distribution platforms to deliver live, multi-site programs to keep the public informed on latest news and developments. Month-to-month, the network serves an average 35,000 videos from our archive, in addition to live audiences. With the outbreak of the pandemic that average jumped considerably, producing a record 152,000 video views in March of 2020.
How do elected officials feel about WisconsinEye?
The network is highly valued by elected officials of both political parties. Lawmakers tell us their constituents are better informed and more communicative since the network launched. The Supreme Court greatly appreciates the coverage, and the Governor’s office appreciates the network’s “live” coverage of Executive branch meetings.
How does WisconsinEye maintain balance in programming?
The network’s State Capitol programming is driven by the schedules of the Wisconsin Legislature, Supreme Court, and Governor. On busy days in the Capitol, WisconsinEye will carry up to three events “live” and tape a fourth event for later broadcast/distribution. Partisan news conferences, studio interviews and public events are scheduled throughout the week to ensure fair play and balance.
How does WisconsinEye using social media?
The network’s social media audiences have grown significantly in the last three years. We simultaneously broadcast “live” events via Facebook and the WisconsinEye website, as well as Facebook-exclusive events. We have active and growing audiences: 21,000+ Facebook followers; 2,250+ YouTube followers; 10,400+ Twitter followers; 1,300+ Instagram followers. Social media is used to promote and distribute programming, make announcements of upcoming events, solicit feedback, and inspire civic conversation.
What is WisconsinEye’s viewership?
In 2019, WisconsinEye served more than 450,000 website page views. There were 100,000+ viewers to our website’s “live” landing page, and nearly 80,000 videos served on-demand from the archive. WisconsinEye is shared with traditional news outlets statewide. This initiative extends the reach of our programming, building brand awareness, and making WisconsinEye more attractive to potential sponsors. Following the national trend, the vast majority of our viewers are watching on our website and social media via the Internet and cellular networks, even as we maintain cable TV access via Spectrum cable.
What is WisconsinEye’s budget?
Of the nearly 20 such State Capitol networks in the United States, WisconsinEye has the smallest fulltime staff (8) and the smallest annual budget ($1.25 million), yet produces as much or more original programming (State Capitol & Enterprise) than the other networks. In the last five years, the annual budget has grown by less than a total 6%. This accomplishment is rather remarkable in consideration that during the same period WisconsinEye: launched its classroom civics initiative, built a mobile distribution platform, introduced energetic social media efforts, launched an updated website, produced two award-winning documentaries, and implemented statewide Campaigns & Election programming that included more than 700 long-form candidate interviews from 12 locations statewide and dozens of rallies, news conferences and campaign events.
Is it important that WisconsinEye’s funding is balanced?
Yes. Balanced funding (foundation, business, individual & by known political affiliation) is important in maintaining our reputation for balance and fair play. At the same time, no donor has – or will – influence programming decisions. Major start-up funders who invested significantly to build and launch the network included well-known Republicans (Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation, Terry & Mary Kohler, Ken & Diane Hendricks) and Democrats (Chris Abele/Argosy Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Helen Bader Foundation, Evjue Foundation). At network creation, these early investors were moved by the idea of WisconsinEye and the promise of its success. We are succeeding. WisconsinEye stands alone in the country as the single, non-government funded and influenced network of its kind.