New SportsChannel Studios Are State-of-Art

By Cox, Ted | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), July 24, 1997 | Go to article overview

New SportsChannel Studios Are State-of-Art


Cox, Ted, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Ted Cox TV/radio columnist

There are still guys walking around carrying ladders and paint cans, and the actual studios aren't yet completed, but SportsChannel is settling into its new digs downtown in the Apparel Center.

The offices in "the SportsChannel bunker," as it's already affectionately known, are painted with bright, primary colors to make up for the lack of windows. But that's to be expected when you're in the basement. Besides, when station executives said they were moving downtown for the "increased visibility," they meant a heightened profile for the station as an entity, not a beautiful view of the skyline.

"I think it will make us more visible to the community - and the advertising community," says General Manager Jim Corno.

"I think it's a great image thing too," adds Rex Lardner, vice president of programming, "because we've doubled the space and added state-of-the-art studios."

So, after outgrowing its Oak Park offices, SportsChannel now has the room and the new technology that will allow it to grow some more.

Although most of SportsChannel's in-house productions are on hiatus until the new studios are ready - probably around Aug. 1 - the station signal is already being run through the downtown facilities. "The SportsChannel Report," meanwhile, originates nightly at 10 from Michael Jordan's Restaurant while finishing touches are being put on the show's new set, which has the faux-brick backdrop of a converted warehouse and room to accommodate guests and interviews on the side. The anticipated guests are an added benefit to the downtown location.

"With the proximity to the United Center and Comiskey Park," Lardner says, "we're going to try to get more people involved - celebrities, sports stars." And also, he hopes, more viewer involvement, perhaps through a new call-in show or something along those lines.

"We want to get the community involved," he adds. …

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