The SPI Files: Larry Unger, Maryland Public Television

By Rachel Lim, Station Products & Innovation

In this week's edition of The SPI Files, we've traveling to Maryland, our neighbor state, to speak to Larry Unger, President and CEO at Maryland Public Television. Larry, who has fifteen years of experience in public media, speaks to us about MPT's emphasis on community engagement and their plans for the future.

Who are you and what do you do?
President and CEO at Maryland Public Television

How long have you been at MPT?
Over 14 years.

Before MPT, what did you do?
I was in the financial services industry for more than 25 years.

What skills did you gain in the banking world that you were able to integrate into your role at MPT?
The general managerial skills as well as strategic planning and financial planning.

MPT is a true community station – you produce a lot of local programming and are very active with community events. How has MPT managed to remain so successful over the past 40+ years?
The community is at the center of everything we do. My mantra has been more local programming, more education and more outreach initiatives.

What is the next big thing for MPT?
Fresh local programs which we are discussing now, plus possible entry into online local news.

What do you see as the future for public media and how does MPT fit into that vision?
Public media still has to find its voice in this decade and needs to be seen as an indispensable entity. MPT is attempting to be intertwined into its community and become that indispensable organization.

And – just for fun – a few quickfire questions:

1. iPhone or Android? iPhone
2. Dogs or cats? Dogs
3. Elmo or Grover? Elmo - of course!
4. I am currently listening to… Adele and Uncle Cracker
5. I am currently reading… Tom Clancy
6. I’m currently watching… Everything PBS
7. Most overused phrase: "to be honest." Are you not always honest?

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