Thinking Inside the Box

MPTV Personalities On Air and Around Town

by Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV


Hi, Ellis Bromberg with another video "Thinking Inside the Box." You know, the big programming event on public television this fall is, without question, Ken Burns' latest film, THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA. If you just heard that title, you might think it's a beautiful travelogue. But if you know Ken Burns, you know that this will be much more. As he did with BASEBALL and JAZZ, Ken elevates the subject beyond just pretty pictures. As he and his co-producer Dayton Duncan have explained, the concept of national parks is a uniquely American, even a radical, invention: that the most special places in our nation will be preserved not for the private pleasure of royalty or the wealthy. No, America's national parks are accessible and belong to all of us. And that's why, the national parks are "America's best idea." You're going to enjoy this gorgeous and powerful mini-series immensely, and I hope you'll tune in. We'll be showing it several times before the end of the year.

And in case you didn't know it, Wisconsin is home to four national parks sites, the Ice Age Trail, the St. Croix Riverway, the Apostle Islands Lakeshore, and the North Country Scenic Trail. Their stories will be told in a companion piece premiering this month, NATIONAL PARKS: WISCONSIN. It's a co-production with our colleagues at Wisconsin Public Television, and co-hosted by Dan Small and Patty Loew. Don't miss it!

And speaking about great documentaries, we are delighted that the executive producer of the superb PBS series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE will be visiting us on October 1. Mark Samels -- he's a Wisconsin native, by the way -- will be the featured guest at our Community Cinema screening, again October 1, 6:30 p.m. at Discovery World in Milwaukee. He'll be showing clips from his new film about the Civilian Conservation Corps. Community Cinema, by the way, is a monthly special event of the station, it's free and open to the public, and I hope you'll join us for that.

Another great opportunity to hear from one of our favorite public television journalists occurs November 7, when Judy Woodruff of the PBS NEWSHOUR joins us for dinner and conversation at the Woman's Club of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. She'll be here for our major fall fundraiser for MPTV. I'm sure she'll have a lot to say about the goings-on in Washington, the White House, Capitol Hill, and so forth. If you're interested in tickets please contact Marina Tanzer at MPTV: the number is 414-297-8026.

Now I've got a couple of local on-air additions and kudos to share with you.

Denise Callaway joins us this fall as a regular panelist on our Friday night news analysis series INTERCHANGE. Denise is the director of communications for the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. She's often moderated our 4th STREET FORUM, and she's going to be a great addition to our weekly issue-oriented "food-fight," INTERCHANGE -- it's Friday evenings at 6:30 on MPTV-HD-10.1.

Over on the BLACK NOUVEAU set, we welcome a new co-host this fall: Milton Dockery, who's chairman of the History Department at MATC. He joins Faithe Colas in reporting about the events, issues, and personalities in our African American community -- that's Wednesday evenings at 6:30 on MPTV-HD-10.1. And while we're at it, a tip of the cap to NOUVEAU producers Liddie Collins and Everett Marshburn. They just won a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for the series' coverage of the Milwaukee Fatherhood Summit. So congratulations to both of them.

A number of Jim Peck's interviews from our I REMEMBER series have been selected for inclusion in the Wisconsin Museum of Broadcasting; it's the brand new on-line museum of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation. That goes on-line this fall.

And if you're planning to visit Cooperstown, New York, in early October, look out for the recent MPTV documentary A BRAVES NEW WORLD, the story of the Milwaukee Braves, produced by Bill Povletich. That program will be shown as part of the 4th Annual Baseball Film Festival at the National Baseball Hall of Fame -- and that's quite an honor.

Finally, congratulations to our own Bill Werner, the longtime producer and director of many, many specials and series on MPTV, from 4th STREET FORUM, to our telecasts of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Skylight, Milwaukee Ballet, other performances, to our Emmy-award winning history series THE MAKING OF MILWAUKEE. The Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is inducting Bill and five other outstanding Milwaukee broadcasters into their prestigious Silver Circle. Kudos to you, Bill.

I am so proud to be associated with all these fine professional producers and journalists on our local and national programs, and I hope you'll join me in congratulating them.

And until next time, thank you for continuing to watch and support our work here on MPTV.