DeLisio brings game home to listeners

DeLisio brings game home to listeners


DeLisio brings game home to listeners


Since 1985, area sports fans who weren’t able to make it to sporting events in person could have the games brought to them courtesy of WDLB sport broadcaster Gene DeLisio.

“At WDLB our focus is mostly on local sports, so a lot of time is spent on that,” DeLisio stated. “We broadcast as many as two games a day usually four to five days a week.”

DeLisio’s approach to broadcasting hasn’t changed much in those 27 years, during which unbelievably he has only called in sick four times.

“Come prepared with stats and other relevant information on players and coaches of both teams, make a concerted effort to incorporate them when appropriate, with the main intent to accurately report game happenings to listeners.

“There’s an ongoing dispute as to what is your role, broadcaster or entertainer, ” said DeLisio. “I was taught it was ‘you are a reporter’.” That’s not to say a little witty banter added to the mix at times can’t actually spruce up a broadcast ala Bob Uecker. Something DeLisio may not admit to but does very well.

“Of all the sports, baseball is my easiest to cover because it’s slower paced. There is always so much dead time to be filled in which I personally like,” he said. “But there are times when it can also be the absolute worst, like when some one can’t get the ball over the plate. I once did a game when a guy walked 24 batters in one inning. That was excruciating.”

Born in New York’s Rockland county to Rocky and Virginia DeLisio, Gene attended Spring Valley High School in an area that produced talents such as Paul Wagner and the Packers’ Ryan Grant.

“There were a lot of top notch athletes in that area, unfortunately I was not among them,” said DeLisio. “That plus I seriously injured my knee in eighth grade, an injury that bothers me yet today. So I was never much of a factor playing sports in high school.”

His continuing love for sports steered him more in the direction of sports reporting. For example, as a sophomore he had his own radio show, a first step toward his eventual destination.

“I think I just had a calling to do that,” said DeLisio, who after graduating attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where his major was mass communications. From there he got his professional start. “I kind of fell into a job at WISN and the sports director there (Bill Hazen) noticed me, must have liked what he saw and hired me full time.”

DeLisio eventually took root in Marshfield when WDLB’s sports director at the time left in mid-year.

“It was the worst possible time for them to have to get a replacement,” he said. “I remember being called in for an interview in May of 1985 with a soft cast still on my leg. I was hired and began doing games in early June.”

DeLisio’s duties as sports director involves a myriad of sports and requires some mighty long days. For example, a normal game day has Gene clocking in at 5:30 a.m. and can continue on until 10 to 11 p.m. or later, depending on the game site.

Which might lead one to conclude his wife, Patty, who he met and married in 2005, is somewhat of a sports widow. Not so according to Gene. “We talked about it a lot and she knew it coming in and has accepted it,” he said. ” We use our times together well, finding other ways of doing lots of things together to help offset that, which has worked out very well.”

Denny Tauscher hosts “Beyond the Game” on Marshfield Community Television, at 10 a.m. Saturdays and on AM 1450 WDLB radio.


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