Thinking Inside the Box


by Ellis Bromberg, General Manager of MPTV

I've written before in this column about the importance of local production at Milwaukee Public Television. We produce more local programming than most other public television stations. We are also the only station in Wisconsin regularly producing local programs in HD (high definition).

I am proud that we have several walls and showcases full of awards we have won for our work. Just last month, three of our productions - the documentary SPANISH SPOKEN HERE, OUTDOOR WISCONSIN, and ADELANTE! - were all recognized with awards for their excellence in different competitions.

As you look through the February schedule on-line or in our member magazine FINE TUNING, you'll see familiar titles of a number of weekly MPTV productions including GREAT LAKES GARDENER, OUTDOOR WISCONSIN, TRACKS AHEAD, INTERCHANGE, 4TH STREET FORUM, BLACK NOUVEAU, INTERNATIONAL FOCUS, I REMEMBER, and ADELANTE! I'm proud of the work our producers, videographers, production teams, and MATC students do to bring you these programs week-in and week-out.

This commitment - to a number of ongoing series that cover a wide variety of subjects of interest to viewers in southeastern Wisconsin - is unique. No commercial station or cable channel offers anything like it. If you haven't looked in on these fine series recently, I encourage you to do so.

And let me call your attention to four additional local production initiatives premiering this month on MPTV-10.

* Saturdays at 1 p.m., join us for COOKING SIMPLY FOR THE SOUL. Hosted by Tyler Brown and produced by Cindy VanVreede, this new 13-part series mixes motivational messages with down-home cooking. It's decidedly different from most cooking series you have seen, and we are eager to hear what you think of it.

* MPTV also serves as a showcase for works by some of the area's finest independent producers. On Tuesday, February 21, at 10 p.m., you won't want to miss INDEPENDENT LENS: ALMOST HOME, produced by Lisa Gildehaus and Brad Lichtenstein. Chronicling a year at the Saint John's on the Lake nursing home in Milwaukee, it focuses on a revolutionary approach being implemented to deal with issues of aging. It's an excellent documentary, worthy of your time.

* On Saturday, February 25, at 8 p.m., we present a live broadcast of the MILWAUKEE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA under the direction of Andreas Delfs in an all-Tchaikovsky program. Pianist Vladimir Feltsman is the guest artist. Although MPTV's Bill Werner produces several MSO concerts for broadcast every year, this will be the first one shown both live from Milwaukee's Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and in HD. So it is something of a milestone for us and for the MSO!

* And on Tuesday, February 28, at 9 p.m., tune in for CREATING THE LIFE YOU WANT featuring author and motivational speaker Susan Wehrley. Viewers have responded favorably to similar PBS programs we have broadcast, and we are pleased to introduce you to Susan, whose enthusiasm and techniques help people stay calmer, be more confident, and deal more easily with difficult people and situations. The goal of her lecture, taped at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center in Brookfield, is to enable viewers to "live from love, not fear," and to create lives they envision.

We celebrated one of our most popular local productions at the annual OUTDOOR WISCONSIN Banquet on February 22. Dan Small and the whole OUTDOOR crew hosted the evening, which included a great dinner, vocal and silent auctions, raffles, and door prizes.

Special thanks to our members and local program underwriters for their support. We could not provide the quantity and quality of local services we do without you!

Ellis Bromberg
MPTV General Manager