Lakeshore Public Television is betting a Southerner with a growing Chicago area television presence will snag a new audience in Northwest Indiana.
The station is adding The Whitney Reynolds Show to its lineup beginning April 6 to air at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and rerun each week at 10:30 a.m. Sundays.
Unlike typical talk or news shows, the program delves into a single topic from multiple perspectives. The new season’s first episode to air on the station will focus on efforts to return military veterans to the workforce.
“It’s a show of inspiration,” said Sheryl Rosen, the show’s supervising producer.
Its season premiere will not be “your typical veteran show,” she said. “We are also looking at what is the future. And the future is how they can come back and go to school and start their own business.”
Thirteen shows are set to air between April and November.
The show began in 2010 — eventually moving to WTTW in 2012 from its online roots and a stint on NBC-5 Chicago. The show also airs on WQPT, a PBS affiliate in the Quad Cities.
Executives at the Merrillville-based station hope the show will have the same something-for-everyone appeal of shows like NOVA.
“Universal appeal is definitely what public television is about,” said Roger Wexelberg, Lakeshore Public Television’s vice president of development and public relations. “We also think that she’s somebody on the rise that has a lot of connections in Chicago.”
With its expansion to the station — and its estimated 3.5 million potential viewers across the Region, Chicago and its suburbs — Reynolds said she was banking on topics ranging from exploring puppy mills to people that had survived hardships and illnesses would appeal equally in Northwest Indiana.
“These topics are not just universal to one market,” said the 28-year-old Reynolds, who is originally from Oklahoma. “The thing is, with our show, we are not talking about topics that are unrelatable.”
Her producer is also confident Reynolds’ personality will be part of the show’s appeal.
“Whitney is a very appealing person. She is vivacious. She is curious,” Rosen said. “She is just someone you want to know and invite into your house.”