WELY Wins the Minnesota Twins "Affiliate of the Year" !
By Tom Coombe, Appeared in The Ely Echo on August 24, 2013
WELY Radio’s relationship with the Minnesota Twins goes back decades, perhaps even to the team’s inception in 1961.
But that link was made even stronger last weekend when the Ely radio station was named the Twins’ Radio Affiliate of the Year.
In addition to the trophy recognizing WELY as the Twins’ second-ever recipient of the John Gordon Award, named after the now-retired Twins radio voice, $5,000 will be directed to the Ely Little League program from the Twins Community Fund.
Station manager Joany Haag and several other staff members were on hand when the award was announced by Twins President Dave St. Peter, during an affiliates reception held at the Ford Center, across the street from Target Field.
Twins General Manager Terry Ryan, radio voice Cory Provus and Minnesota News Network executive Penny Meier were also on stage when WELY was announced as the winner of an award that’s chosen from 81 Twins radio network affiliates.
The award, just in its second year, goes to the Twins radio affiliate “that demonstrates the best of Twins Territory in their commitment as advocates of the Minnesota Twins in their community.”
Stations were asked to submit a packet of information with their application, and WELY also submitted a five-minute video produced b y morning host and local public access television producer Mike Jankovec.
Featuring several WELY staff members and highlighting the station’s involvement with local baseball, the video was cited when the station landed the award.
WELY also deveoped its own Twins baseball talk show, was a host for the Twins winter caravan, put together a Twins-themed float for Ely’s July 4 parade, and held on-air and social media contests promoting the Twins.
Haag said WELY has been a Twins’ affiliate “longer than anybody who has worked here,” and the relationship dates back at least to the 1970s, and perhaps into the 1960s. Twins baseball was heard for years on WELY’s AM 1450 and the broadcasts are now carried on FM 94.5.
Staff instrumental in securing the award included Haag, Jankovec, program director Brett Ross, sports director Tom Coombe, sales executives Scott Stowell and Diane Plath and production technician Eli Bissonett.
The video can be accessed on WELY’s website (www.wely.com) while the trophy is on display at the WELY studios at 133 East Chapman Street.
The name of WELY Radio, which is owned by; the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, is also now permanently etched on a plaque that hangs in the Herb Carneal Press Box at Target Field.