The University Record, June 10, 2002

Great Lakes Television wins two Emmy awards

By Donovan Reynolds
Director of Michigan Public Media

Great Lakes Television (GLTV), the documentary television service of Michigan Public Media at the University, won two local Emmy Awards June 9. The Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded the GLTV twice for its first broadcast effort, the locally produced two-part documentary "The Sprawling of America which aired last year.

The two-hour series examines the social, economic, and environmental impacts of urban sprawl in the United States. Both segments, "Inner City Blues" and "Fat of the Land," 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. "Inner City Blues" received its Emmy for editing, while "Fat of the Land" achieved top honors in the competitive public affairs category. Emmy Award winner Christopher Cook produced, directed, and wrote both segments.

“The Sprawling of America is exactly the kind of programming we want to produce in the future – an in-depth, important series examining meaningful issues facing communities,” said Donovan Reynolds, Director of Michigan Public Media. “We are delighted that the success of our first effort in television proves that audiences want, and will watch, quality programs.”

"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, Veterans Affairs loans, and Federal Housing Administration loans accelerated urban sprawl and fueled poverty inside cities. "Fat of the Land" takes an unsettling look at how America lives today, examining what we lost by abandoning the inner city, and how our increasingly isolated suburban lifestyle is connected to a wide range of social ills. "The Sprawling of America" featured a number of urban planners and academic experts including Douglas Kelbaugh, dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Initial broadcasts of the series received tremendous ratings in Detroit, capturing one of the largest-ever audiences for a public television program.

Great Lakes Television is a service of Michigan Public Media. Michigan Public Media is Michigan Radio (91.7 FM Ann Arbor / Detroit, 104.1 FM Grand Rapids, 91.1 FM Flint), Michigan Television (formerly University of Michigan Public Television), Great Lakes Television, and the Great Lakes Radio Consortium.

GLTV is on the Web at www.gltv.org.