Moris returns ‘home’ to airwaves
By Correne Martin
It’s been almost four months since Dan Moris took over for Norb Aschom at WQPC Radio in Prairie du Chien, and the transition seems to have gone smoothly for the current news director and station manager.
“I’ve heard from many people and they’re so glad I was selected (for the position). I’m very humbled,” said Moris, who returned to WQPC in April and resumed his news reporting in May. “Everything’s been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve made a conscious effort to maintain many of the things Norb was doing. I also want to do more to drive discussions in the community about what’s happening in the news.”
Moris is certainly not new to the ways of the local radio station. He got his first start at WQPC when he worked as an intern in 2004. Back then, he operated the board, covered weekend shifts and broadcasted Sunday mornings on the air.
Shortly after graduating from UW-Platteville in December of 2004, Moris became employed full-time at the station. Within a month, he became the morning show personality, replacing Ed Brady, in 2005. For five years, he held that position and even worked his way into the assistant program director’s seat, which involved some promotional and sales work as well as scheduling. One of his main roles was also calling play-by-play for many high school sporting events.
By 2009, a typical workday for Moris went from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then again from 5 to 11 p.m. He found himself feeling burned out and wanting to spend more time with his family, which was also growing and becoming more involved in the community and youth activities at that time. So when an opportunity presented itself elsewhere—at the Opportunity Center in Prairie du Chien—he took it.
“It was one of those situations where, I always knew that I enjoyed radio, but you don’t know how much you miss something until it’s gone,” he stated.
So, after a hiatus from 2009 to 2012, Moris returned to his roots at the radio station upon Aschom’s retirement.
But the truth of the matter is that he never really left. During those three years, he filled in part-time for vacations. Also in January of 2012, he started hosting the Dan Moris Radio Show for a few hours each afternoon, to supplement his income after leaving the Opportunity Center to pursue his personal freelance business, Driftless Creative Media.
“Things were going well, and when Norb retired, I wasn’t really interested in taking the job full-time,” he said. “But then, when I was putting together the tribute to Norb, I found some old audio he had recorded on reel-to-reel. He was about my age and he was recording his kids. I thought to myself, ‘That’s me.’ I’m not the one to make emotional decisions, but that was certainly a nudge in changing my direction in life.”
When Moris expressed interest in the news director position, he also worked out an agreement that gave him the station manager role as well.
“I wanted to be in a position where I had some influence on the future of this radio station,” he explained.
A few changes are already in store for the near future at WQPC. At the end of the month, programming on the FM station will have a different lineup each weekday. Gabe Buch will continue the Morning Show from 6 to 9 a.m. The Dan Moris Radio Show will be on air from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Laurie Wild will broadcast from 1 to 5 p.m., and Jared Schultz will host at night from 5 to 10 p.m.
Also, this fall, WQPC/WPRE is anticipating installation of a translator for its AM station, which will rebroadcast it on 104.3 FM.
“With that will come programming changes on that station too,” Moris said. “It could be a different genre of music, news talk or sports talk, or something else. It’s going to take a collaborative effort to make that decision.”
Now that Moris is back where he says he belongs, “just talking to people,” his goal is to produce the best radio possible.
“To me, great radio is a reflection of what’s happening on the street. I think what any media can do is report on it and drive the discussion for something better,” he said.