Is MPTV-Friends merger really “amicable”?

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Milwaukee magazine takes an in-depth look at the tumultuous history leading up to the proposed merger between Milwaukee Public Television and its Friends group. In a nutshell: The Milwaukee Area Technical College, which runs channels 10 and 36, “has been at odds with the Friends group for more than a decade and wants to crush it.” Indeed, Current covered the controversy in October and November 1999.

Ellis Bromberg, MPTV general manager, told the local Journal Sentinel that the merger negotiations are “amicable talks.” Friends board president David Stroik declined to comment — “but there is good reason for this,” Milwaukee magazine says. “The proposed agreement has a gag order: ‘Neither MATC nor the Friends shall issue any press release (or make any other public announcement) related to this Agreement. … Neither party shall make any critical, negative, or disparaging public statement or announcement about the other party, its personnel, operations, activities, conduct of its activities or management.'”

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