By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Sep 06, 2012 at 1:04 PM

If you follow the local arts community, listen to Dave and Carole on WKLH-FM 96.5 or watch Milwaukee and Wisconsin Public Television, then chances are you know who John McGivern is.

His latest venture has him traversing across the state, profiling communities in a half-hour program called "Around the Corner with John McGivern."

Historian and writer John Gurda – who McGivern leans heavily on to provide a historical look at the communities – producers, videographers and other TV crew members have been traveling with McGivern to put together the second season of the popular, locally produced show.

"John gives the audience an intriguing look at some very special places," Lois Maurer, MPTV producer and director, said in a statement. "And he finds people who embody the spirit of these communities."

The shows currently in production will start airing in January and will feature Sherman Park, downtown Waukesha, Walkers Point, Neenah, Port Washington, Wisconsin Dells, Whitewater, downtown Kenosha, Mineral Point, northern Door County, Waupaca and the Chain of Lakes, downtown Madison and Shorewood.

If you didn't see the first season you are in luck, as MPTV will re-air them at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays starting Sept. 20. Those shows featured the people and places in the communities of Bay View, Wauwatosa, Riverwest, Cedarburg, Sheboygan, King Drive, Burlington, Brady Street, Racine, the Third Ward, Greendale, Lincoln Village and East Town.

McGivern, an Emmy Award recipient, was honored for his work on "Early Stories of John McGivern," which featured many of the stories he brought to life as part of his theater performances.

He brings that same sort of delight and energy through the interviews and the places he profiles on "Around the Corner." I really enjoy the presentation, in which McGivern and Gurda find that balance between history and entertainment.

MPTV will be making DVDs of the series available as well. Information can be found under "Store" on its website at

SETTING THE SCENE: A production company filming crew was seen shooting around A.J. Bombers this week Downtown. According to some of the staffers there, the crew shot outside while working on a new dating show for MTV on Tuesday. We'll have to wait and see if the eatery appears on a future broadcast ... maybe for the replacement show to take the "Jersey Shore" time slot. The network announced last week that the current season will be the popular show's last.

ARRESTED: WISN-TV Ch. 12's sports director Dan Needles was arrested following what is being called a domestic violence incident in Waukesha last weekend. The TV station posted the information on its website here. The Waukesha County DA is reviewing the case and will decide if charges will be levied. Needles was released after posting bond.

WORST-KEPT SECRET: Michael Strahan was announced and presented as Kelly Ripa's permanent co-host on the newly christened "Live with Kelly and Michael" this week. News of the former football player's new gig originally was leaked when his agent was seen leaving the show's offices a few weeks ago. Whether people knew or not didn't seem to matter, as the syndicated daytime talker took first place in 14 of the top 15 markets. In Milwaukee, even back in the days of Regis Philbin, the show is traditionally tops in the ratings for WISN-TV Ch. 12 at the 9 a.m. time slot.

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.