Thinking Inside the Box


by Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV

From the mailbox:

"Could you add a showing of CHARLIE ROSE in the afternoon? It's my favorite show but it's on too late."

"The best time for THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER would be during the evening. What a great alternative that would be to the local news at 9!"

"What are the chances for a weekend repeat of BILL MOYERS' JOURNAL? We're always out at a fish fry on Friday nights and I miss him."

"I count on MPTV for insightful documentaries and public affairs, and wish you had time for more of that."

We've got good news for the viewers who made these comments! Starting August 15 at 6:00 a.m., MPTV WORLD, our newest multicast digital channel, will fulfill all these requests.

More and more people are learning about our multicast channels - they represent the future for MPTV. Every new TV built today is mandated to have a digital tuner, so even sets that sell for under $199 are able to pick up these new channels. Add an inexpensive antenna, and you should have no problem!

Cable is another way to watch MPTV's family of digital channels. The tens of thousands of viewers who subscribe to Time Warner's digital tier have access to our stations on channels 550-554. (If you ask for an HD converter box from Time Warner, you can also watch MPTV-HD on channel 510!)

So what exactly are all these channels?

* MPTV V-ME, channel 10.2 on your digital TV set (551 on Time Warner Cable), launched this past May, has the best of public television - all in Spanish! V-me, pronounced "vay may," means "watch me."

* MPTV KIDS, channel 10.3 (552 on Time Warner), was introduced in 2001 and is the home for public television's educational children's programs day and night.

* MPTV CREATE, channel 10.4 (553 on Time Warner), began in 2006, and offers a lively schedule of lifelong learning - cooking, travel, gardening, painting, sewing, auto and house repair, you name it! If you want to find out "how to do" something, this is the channel for you!

* MPTV EXTRA, channel 10.5 (554 on Time Warner), was added to our lineup in 2001. It's a mix of soothing classical music plus the latest weather maps and live southeastern Wisconsin traffic cam.

And now...

* MPTV WORLD, channel 10.1 (550 on Time Warner). For the many viewers who turn first and foremost to MPTV for non-fiction - science, public affairs, history, news and analysis - this is the place to turn 24-hours a day.

Many regular scheduled programs on channels 10 and 36 will enjoy additional broadcasts on MPTV WORLD that will be more accessible to some viewers. TAVIS SMILEY airs on MPTV WORLD weekdays at 11 a.m., CHARLIE ROSE at 4 p.m., THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER at 9 p.m., and BBC WORLD NEWS at 10:30 p.m. And our Bill Moyers fans will be able to find his JOURNAL Sundays at 8 p.m.

The first few weeks of MPTV WORLD also feature such excellent fare as WIDE ANGLE, NOVA, ALAN ALDA IN SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN FRONTIERS, HISTORY DETECTIVES, CEO EXCHANGE, NOW, THE McLAUGHLIN GROUP, WILD CHRONICLES, NATURE, as well as engaging specials and mini-series, all at times that differ from those on channels 10 and 36.

Historically, public television has distinguished itself with gavel-to-gavel coverage of such special events as hearings for Supreme Court nominees and political conventions. The Watergate hearings and the impeachment hearings for President Clinton also received extensive coverage from public television. Now such lengthy programs can find a home on MPTV WORLD without disrupting the regular schedules of channels 10 and 36.

You'll be able to find the MPTV WORLD schedule on the website, and our members will see it listed in Fine Tuning magazine beginning in September.

The addition of MPTV WORLD is the latest of our new services being introduced to mark the 50th anniversary of MPTV. As you've probably heard on the air, the theme for our celebration is "the best is yet to come." MPTV WORLD is a great example of that!

I'm always interested to know what you think about our services - particularly new ones like MPTV WORLD. Please drop me a line when you get a chance.

Ellis Bromberg
MPTV General Manager