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GLIN==> GLTV releases "The Sprawling of America"



CONTACT:   David Hammond, Director of National Programs, 716-317-3717 or
Donovan Reynolds, Director of Broadcasting, 734-764-9210

 DATE:  May 1, 2001

FOR EMBARGOED RELEASE (until Tuesday, May 1, 2001 at 5:00am)

GLTV RELEASES THE SPRAWLING OF AMERICA


ANN ARBOR - This month, public television stations throughout Michigan will
begin broadcasting The Sprawling of America, the first documentary series
produced by the Great Lakes Television Consortium (GLTV).  The Sprawling of
America is a two-part, two-hour series that examines the devastating social,
economic, and environmental impacts of sprawl on urban and rural
communities.  Over the two hours, this series will document how America grew
from cities to suburbs, how that movement changed society, and how suburban
communities are now re-evaluating their quality of life.

"There is no question that land use is one of the most pressing
environmental issues today," says Donovan Reynolds, Director of Broadcasting
at the University of Michigan and Station Manager of Michigan Radio.  "These
programs document the growing body of information on the damage being done
by uncontrolled sprawl, and present exciting new ideas about how to set it
right."

The first documentary, "Inner City Blues," looks at the history of Detroit
as a case study of how race and racial conflict were at the core of white
flight in hundreds of cities across America.  It also shows how federal
programs like the Interstate Highway System, Veteran's Administration loans
and Federal Housing Administration housing loans accelerated white flight
and fueled poverty inside cities.

The second documentary, "Fat of the Land," examines the economics behind
suburban sprawl, the quality of life in today's American suburbs, and how
suburban development has impacted the family farm.  "Fat of the Land" will
also highlight innovative experiments around the country that are trying to
reinvigorate urban communities, preserve open space, and control sprawl
through regional planning.

EMMY award-winning producer Christopher Cook produced, directed, and wrote
both documentaries.  "I've come away from this project keenly aware of how
much more racially polarized we are today than we were fifty years ago,"
Cook says. "There is no more sensitive and ugly corner in each of us than
how and where whites and blacks live. In my mind, it's the single, biggest,
unresolved issue in our society."

The Sprawling of America signals a return to public and educational
television programming at the University of Michigan.  The GLTV is based at
Michigan Radio, the highly acclaimed public radio system of the University
of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Both PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) and NPR
(National Public Radio) have their roots in Ann Arbor.  NPR grew from the
Ann Arbor-based National Association of Educational Broadcasters and PBS
evolved from National Educational Television and Radio Center.  Former
University of Michigan President Robben W. Fleming (1968-78) was also
President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

"This television programming will help the University of Michigan to once
again become an important broadcast production center," Reynolds says.  "In
the digital age, it's essential that public broadcasting create innovative
programming which can promote the convergence of radio, television, and the
Internet.  This series is an important step in that direction."

To that end, the GLTV has developed a web site (gltv.org) to showcase The
Sprawling of America and will be partnering with Michigan Radio's two other
nationally distributed shows, the Great Lakes Radio Consortium (glrc.org)
and The Todd Mundt Show (toddshow.org) to highlight the issues of race, land
use, and sprawl on those programs.

"To maximize the impact of our programs, we must think broadly about how to
reach the widest audience.  That means we must continually rethink program
distribution and take advantage of all synergies," says David Hammond,
Michigan Radio's Director of National Programs.

In a unique move, the GLTV is also collaborating with commercial television
station, WXYZ-TV.  WXYZ-TV, Channel 7, is the Detroit's ABC affiliate.  One
of WXYZ-TV's premier products is a show called "Spotlight on the News."
Moderated by Chuck Stokes, "Spotlight on the News" is Detroit's longest
running, weekly, public-affairs program and tackles a wide range of
political and social issues.  "Spotlight" has agreed to run edited portions
of The Sprawling of America as a starting point for a panel discussion on
sprawl and race.

Hammond added, "I'm particularly excited about working with WXYZ-TV and
'Spotlight'.  Chuck Stokes is a highly accomplished journalist and his
program has always tackled tough issues, like sprawl, with fairness and
integrity.  I think this collaboration bodes well for fans of quality
television and I hope it will lead to greater cooperation in the future."

The two-part, two-hour series will begin airing on Michigan public
television stations this month.  Check the GLTV website (gltv.org) for
broadcast times for local stations.  Major funding for The Sprawling of
America comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the C.S. Mott Foundation,
and the Frey Foundation.  Grants from these three foundations totaled
$326,377.

Founded in 1948 as a fine arts station, Michigan Radio (Ann Arbor, MI -
michiganradio.org) is the state's largest public radio system reaching a
weekly audience of 260,000 listeners.  The station reaches over 80% of
Michigan's population with 24-hour programming.   In 1998 and 2000, Michigan
Radio was named "National Station of the Year" by the Public Radio Program
Directors and, in 1999, the Public Radio Program Directors awarded Michigan
Radio the national award for "Excellence in On-Air Sound."

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation (Battle Creek, MI - wkkf.org) was established
in 1930 to "help people help themselves through the practical application of
knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future
generations."

The mission of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (Flint, MI - mott.org)
is: to support efforts that promote a just, equitable and sustainable
society.  The foundation's four interest areas are Civil Society,
Environment, Flint, and, Pathways Out of Poverty.

The Frey Foundation (Grand Rapids, MI - www.freyfdn.org) is a family
foundation committed to working together to make a difference in the lives
of individuals, families, organizations and communities.

######



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