By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published May 16, 2011 at 11:00 AM

The pairing of PBS' new "Freedom Riders: American Express" at 8 tonight on Channel 10, and Milwaukee Public TV's "Freedom Walkers for Milwaukee," preceding it at 6:30 is a wise bit of programming.

Well, they could actually have been run back to back, rather than with an hour of "Antiques Roadshow" to separate them.

However it's scheduled, the story of Milwaukee's role in the Civil Rights movement is a crucial part of the city's history that needs to be remembered; and "Freedom Walkers" helps keep it alive with plenty of footage and conversations with many of the participants in the struggle for open housing and school desegregation.

The 30-minute "Freedom Walkers" was written and produced by Everett L. Marshburn, co-producer of "Black Nouveau." Associate producer on the project was a familiar Milwaukee TV name, former Channel 6 anchor/reporter Joanne Williams.

But the most important names are the interview subjects in "Freedom Walkers," including activists Lillie Pittman, Laurie Wynn, Peggy Rozga and Squire Austin, who share their stories of the struggle.

An hour later, PBS offers its two-hour "Freedom Riders." Here's a preview:

Jon and Bill go at it tonight: Comedy Central's fake news anchor Jon Stewart's has accepted Fox News Channel's mudwrestler-in-chief Bill O'Reilly invitation to debate the merits of the rapper Common – who read his poetry at the White House last week.

The rumble starts at 7 tonight on Fox News.

On radio: WUWM-FM (89.7) is targeting businesses on Tuesday with an on-air drive, using testimonials from current underwriters to bring in new money to the public radio station.

  • Radio call letters don't mean as much as they used to, but Milwaukee Christian music station WKMZ-FM (105.3) – once known as "The Fish," but now playing the K-Love format – has changed its call letters to WLVE. The change is designed to focus that whole K-Love thing.
  • NPR has named Audie Cornish as the new host of its "Weekend Edition Sunday," replacing the retiring Liane Hansen, who broadcasts her final show after two decades on Sunday, May 29. Cornish, a reporter and substitute NPR host since 2006, will start this fall. The show airs locally from 7 to 10 a.m. Sundays on WUWM.
  • WAUK-AM (540), better known to listeners as ESPN Milwaukee, has added the Milwaukee Mustangs to its lineup for the remainder of the current season and during 2012. Veteran AFL announcer Matt Menzl do play-by-play. Games will also air on
  • Sirius XM Radio has picked up "TMZ Live," a one-hour entertainment show hosted by Harvey Levin and also airing online at Starting next month, it'll air at 5 p.m. weekdays on SiriusXM Stars (Channel 107).

Long live Ron Swanson: NBC's "Parks and Recreation" has just continued to improve throughout this season, and Nick Offerman's "Ron Swanson" is one of the biggest reasons to watch the show.

Last week, Offerman visited NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," to offer a little of the best of Ron Swanson with the Ron Swanson Turkey Burger:

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.