Wisconsin Broadcasters Associations

The incoming chair of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA), Nancy Douglass, resigned from the post shortly after coming under scrutiny for her participation in an attack ad on Democratic congressional candidate Randy Bryce, calling him a “deadbeat” in the ad. Douglass, a longtime member of the Board, owns hot AC “Lake 96.1” WLKG Milwaukee.

In the ad, Douglass talks about being a single mom and her daughter’s struggle to receive child support from the father of her child, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. "Randy Bryce did the same thing to his own family,” she said in the TV spot. “Refusing to pay child support. Randy Bryce is a deadbeat. He's not fit to serve in Congress."

Both Douglass and the WBA initially defended her participation in the ad released by the super PAC, Congressional Leadership Fund, which is endorsed by Speaker Paul Ryan and top House Republicans. The Republican candidate challenging Bryce for the seat is former Ryan staffer Bryan Steil.

Saying Douglass was not representing the WBA in the ad, the trade organization released a statement that read in part, "We cannot prevent our members from speaking on issues that are important to them outside of their roles within the WBA."

Douglass also said she was not representing the WBA. "The decision was based on my personal experience in my life,” she told the Journal Sentinel earlier in the week. “I have never compromised my objectivity."

Liberal group, One Wisconsin Now, said Douglass appearing in the spots damaged the credibility of the broadcasters association. "The hardworking reporters across Wisconsin doing phenomenal work deserve better," Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now executive director said. Ross added that Douglass couldn’t “be a trusted representative of the trade group for the industry people rely on for unbiased information.”

On Wednesday, Douglass sent her letter of resignation to the Board. "The WBA Board thanks Nancy for her many years of service on the board," a statement read.