Thinking Inside the Box

Urgent: A Critical Congressional Vote on Public Broadcasting Funding

by Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV

Hi, Ellis Bromberg with a special edition of Thinking Inside the Box -- with word that Congress is poised to take a critical vote very soon to eliminate ALL federal support for local public television and radio stations. Beyond making you aware of this, I'm hoping you'll take some action - and no, not by writing a check, at least not this time.

You know, federal funding provides about $1.7 million annually to the Milwaukee Public Television budget. It helps us deliver: educational and commercial-free programming like SESAME STREET that expands children's minds; impactful local projects like our FINDING WORK INITIATIVE; series like NOVA and Ken Burns' NATIONAL PARKS that open up new worlds; trusted news programs like THE PBS NEWSHOUR that keep you informed; MPTV productions like THE MAKING OF MILWAUKEE and OUTDOOR WISCONSIN that celebrate our region; and great performances and masterpieces of music, theater, dance, and art. It's the kind of content you can't find on the cable networks and commercial stations -- and is exactly the kind of content we might lose if public funding is eliminated.

Now some say there's no longer a need for federal support for public broadcasting. But others believe it's one of the worthiest places to invest federal dollars. You know where we stand: such an attempt by Congress to eliminate funding for a vital public service is misguided, and it could have a devastating effect on public broadcasting stations across the country.

But more important is what you think and what you're willing to do to ensure that the MPTV programs and services you value will continue.

We're asking you to call your congressional representative today -- their phone numbers are listed on the screen right now (also see text below) -- and tell them what you think of public broadcasting and the proposed cuts. Congress could take action in the next few days, so please call now.

The future of MPTV -- actually all public broadcasting -- is at stake. It's important that your elected representatives hear directly from you about whether or not funding for public television and public radio should be continued.

Now every month, 170 million Americans use and enjoy public broadcasting programs and services -- and you're one of them! To receive updates about this fight to preserve public funding for public broadcasting, all you have to do is click on the 170 Million Americans icon -- you'll find it in the right column on the homepage.

We can never thank you enough for watching and supporting MPTV -- it's been more than five decades that we've been on the air now! I hope you'll do what you can to help us at this critical time. Thank you.


Congressional Contact Information:

-U.S. House of Representatives-

Rep. Paul Ryan
Wisconsin - 1st Congressional District
call: 202-225-3031

Rep. Gwen Moore
Wisconsin - 4th Congressional District
call: 202-225-4572

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner
Wisconsin - 5th Congressional District
call: 202-225-5101

Rep. Tom Petri
Wisconsin - 6th Congressional District
call: 202-225-2476

-U.S. Senate-

Sen. Herb Kohl
call: 202-224-5653

Sen. Ron Johnson
call: 202-224-5323

To contact other U.S. Representatives and Senators go to: and