WBAY AT 70: Susan Finco

Susan Finco
Updated: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:10 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - WBAY-TV went on the air on March 17, 1953. As we get ready to celebrate 70 years in broadcasting, WBAY is revisiting the people who made this station a legacy in Northeast Wisconsin.

It’s been more than a few years since Susan Finco worked in our newsroom, but she says her time here still has a big impact on her life.

“Oh my god, that picture’s up there!” she laughs as she sees a larger-than-life photo from her time with Action News in the 1980s. “That is funny.”

Finco has lots of memories of WBAY from a different era.

“I worked at TV 2 for about 10 years, during the 1980s, right when they were really staffing up the newsroom. They were hiring a lot of people at once.”

Susan Finco on the news desk in the 1980s
Susan Finco on the news desk in the 1980s(WBAY)

Finco says the people made it such a great place to work.

“Originally hired as a reporter, quickly transitioned to co-anchoring the noon show, and went on to do co-anchoring duties at 5:00 and 6:00 and then went into medical reporting, so a little bit of everything,” she said.

Finco had a few more career moves before she found her main professional role after TV news.

“I co-founded the P.R. firm that I’m involved with now.” Her partner in the firm was the late Charlie Leonard, the WBAY news director who hired her in 1979.

Leonard & Finco, based in Green Bay, is one of the most prominent public relations firms in Northeast Wisconsin, helping businesses, non-profits, and others get their message out.

“Good public relations will help a reporter get the information that they need. People sometimes mistakenly think it’s putting a spin on things. You know, really our approach is, if you don’t tell your story, somebody else will tell it for you.”

Finco says her time as a reporter helped her be a better P.R. professional.

“Being a journalist, you learn how to talk to anyone. And it’s a skill that I’ve used my entire life. It didn’t matter if you were in a farm field, talking to someone planting a new crop, or if you were talking to an international CEO. You learned how to talk to everyone.”

In addition to her work, Finco also gives her time to different non-profit and corporate boards. She’s the lead director and vice president of the Green Bay Packers board of directors.

She’s proud to say she covered the news of Northeast Wisconsin at WBAY.

“Local journalism is so essential. With the globalization of news, you can jump online and read something or you can watch a video on YouTube. But where do you find out local news? You need local media, and they still have that credibility.”