4 to be honored as Local Broadcast Legends

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation is proud to announce the 2023 Local Broadcast Legends honorees:

· Dan Breeden‘s name is synonymous with weather in the La Crosse area because of his dedication to meteorology and the many connections he’s made in the community.

· Doug Erdman is a Shawano County institution with a reputation for hard work, professionalism, and community service.

· Gene Mueller is known in Milwaukee radio for his humor, quick wit, deep knowledge of news, politics, sports, pop culture, and for having a legendary work ethic.

· John Murphy has been on the radio in the Eau Claire area since 1982, embedded in the community and making a difference in local charitable efforts.

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Local Broadcast Legends Award was established in 2015 under the direction of Bruce Grassman, owner/president of Results Radio. The Local Broadcast Legends Award is a great honor and recognition for individuals that work behind the scenes and within their communities fulfilling the commitment broadcasters have made to serve their local communities. They are individuals who exemplify localism. This award is a means to extend recognition of these individuals beyond their local communities.

Individuals with 15 years or more service in Wisconsin broadcasting may be nominated by their company, co-workers, community leaders, family members, and friends. The station or organization which the nominee is associated with submits the nomination on behalf of the nominating individual(s).

The WBA is grateful to Bruce Grassman for his vision to establish a means for dedicated local broadcast employees to be recognized for their contributions to Wisconsin broadcasting. This award is for those who unconditionally support their stations and community.

Profiles of past Local Broadcast Legends can be found at the Wisconsin Broadcasting Museum website.

This year’s honorees will be recognized during the keynote luncheon at the 2023 WBA Summer Conference on June 15 at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake.

The 2023 WBA Hall of Fame inductees will be announced Wednesday.

Our 2023 Local Broadcast Legends honorees are as follows:

Dan Breeden

The impact of Dan Breeden’s career as a meteorologist in western Wisconsin goes well beyond his time in front of the camera. His dedication to community service and education has earned him the recognition and respect of the communities he serves.

Dan started as a meteorologist at WXOW-TV in La Crosse in 1986 and dedicated himself to serving the Coulee Region since then. As a forecaster, Dan is devoted to his job and will head to the station at a moment’s notice if the weather changes for the worse. He’s credited with saving lives, while not creating panic when severe weather strikes.

He’s known for the presentations he makes to local classrooms to talk about forecasting and weather safety. He works closely with the National Weather Service office to make sure forecasts are always improving. He has a strong love of science and learning.

He’s served as a mentor to countless young meteorologists who’ve gone on to their own successful careers. He’s eager to share his knowledge and experience, leads through his actions, and cares about saving lives.

Beyond his forecasts, Dan’s name has become synonymous with weather because of the many connections he’s made in the community. His humble demeanor, conversational skill, and good humor have won the affections of his viewers.

Doug Erdman

Doug Erdman is an institution in Shawano and Shawano County. In his 35 years at Results Broadcasting, he’s earned a reputation for hard work, professionalism, and community service.

Doug is the host of the WTCH morning show and Breakfast Club. He’s credited with using his position in the community to build relationships and get valuable information out to his listeners. He’s earned the trust and respect of local law enforcement agencies, which he works closely with.

Doug is described by community leaders as fair, honest, and always having a pulse on what’s happening in the Shawano area. He’s always looking for opportunities to promote wonderful things happening in the community.

Over the years Doug has held numerous responsibilities at the station, including news director. He’s known as a hard worker who’s always willing to step up to help. He’s respected for his accountability and responsibility. 

He’s also known for continuing to always improve his skills. He makes the effort to make himself a better host and community servant.

Outside the station, Doug is Vice President of the Shawano Police and Fire Commission and an active member of the Shawano Optimists Club. His fellow community members say the community is a better place because of him.

Doug is described as an inspiration to his fellow employees and the community. 

Gene Mueller

Through Gene Mueller’s long and varied career in Wisconsin radio, he’s become known for his humor, quick wit, deep knowledge of news, politics, sports, pop culture, and for having a legendary work ethic.

Gene started in radio while still in high school in his hometown of Sheboygan. He took his first professional job as a part-time announcer at WHBL-AM/FM in 1974. He went to college at UW-Stevens Point where he served as news director at the student run radio station, WWSP, while also working part time in the news department at WSPT in Stevens Point. He became a full-time anchor/reporter in 1977. He moved to Milwaukee in 1981 to work at WQFM to join a successful morning show.

In 1982, Gene joined Bob Reitman in WKTI at Milwaukee to form the legendary team of Reitman and Mueller, where they remained on the air for nearly 25 years. When Reitman retired in 2006, Mueller moved to sister station WTMJ-AM where he co-hosted “Wisconsin’s Morning News” where he continued to talk with prominent newsmakers, athletes, and celebrities.

Gene worked with numerous charities throughout his career, including Penfield Children’s Center, cystic fibrosis, and MACC Fund. He’s praised for having always done what’s best for the community he serves and having earned the trust and respect of his listeners.

He retired in 2022.

John Murphy

The Eau Claire area has known John Murphy (Murph) since 1982, from his broadcast career on WAXX 104.5, WAYY and Greatest Hits 98.1 (WISM-FM).

John has served in numerous on-air roles including morning show host, co-host, traffic reporter, news reporter, movie critic, and talk show host. 

John has been recognized during his career as a CMA and Marconi Award Personality of the Year.

Beyond the studio, John is deeply embedded in the community. He is a frequent emcee at local events. He has served as president of the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild Board, a United Way Marketing Committee Chairman, Voice of the Future Committee member for Boys and Girls Club of the Chippewa Valley, and Literacy Chippewa Valley tutor.

John spearheads the annual Festival of Toys toy drive and Back to Schools Bucks and Books school supply drive. Under John’s direction over 15 years, the two drives combined have helped to raised more than $ 350,000 in books, school supplies, and toys for those in need in the greater Eau Claire-Chippewa Falls area. 

He’s described as versatile, a tireless promoter, funny and fun to work with.

John said he is forever grateful for the ability and opportunity to do what he loves to do as a broadcaster, and is particularly grateful to his wife, Juli Murphy, for letting “Murph be Murph.”

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