Western Reserve Public Media
Regional Productions 2000-2018

In addition to creating many of its own regional productions, Western Reserve Public Media works closely with local independent producers to premiere their works and to provide content to Northeast Ohio on our Western Reserve PBS and Fusion channels. Most programs are available as video on demand at WesternReservePublicMedia.org.

46 Days: The Confessions of Ned Kellogg (2016)
Independent Production
This local production investigates the controversial murder cases of two Kent, Ohio, women more than 70 years ago. Police charged Ned Kellogg, a local mill worker who had the mental age of a 7-year-old, with the murders. The documentary explores the cases and examines the place of the intellectually disabled in the eyes of the police, courts and local community at that point in history. Veteran broadcast journalist John Butte narrates the documentary. Written and produced by Fred Endres, Kent State University professor emeritus in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

2010 Moving Ahead: A Forum for Reporting Progress (2003-08)
This series of quarterly broadcasts updates viewers on the most recent developments in the Youngstown 2010 revitalization process. Launched in 2003, the station presented 17 programs in the series over five years.

Act of Duty (2000)
Northeast Ohio men and women share their firsthand experiences of battle and how it has shaped their lives. The program also features an interview with retired General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who shares his insights as commander of the Persian Gulf War, as well as opinions about his time in Vietnam and the role veterans play in America. CNN’s Martin Savidge (a one-time Cleveland news reporter) narrates the documentary.

Akron Women: Another Look at History (2005)
Independent Production
Celebrating the significant contributions of Akron women to the city’s history. The documentary is narrated by Heather Burns, radio host of WAPS (91.3) FM. Produced by Kathleen Endres of The University of Akron’s School of Communication.

Along Water Street at the Akron Art Museum (2009)
This documentary tells the story of Columbus, Ohio, artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. The program celebrates the artist’s exhibition that opened Jan. 31, 2009, at the Akron Art Museum.

The Angie Haze Project Presents: The Bigger Picture (2017)
Independent Production
Rising star Angie Haze brings her dynamic musical talents to the Miller South School for the Performing Arts in Akron. Produced by Wasted Talent Media.

Around Akron with Blue Green (2016-current)
Independent Production
This monthly half-hour series is the work of Akron producer Blue Green, who says, “The goal of the show is to shine a spotlight on all of the good things that Akron has to offer.” Each show consists of four stories, including segments on dining, arts and culture, history, business, and movers and shakers.

The Battle for the Right to Vote (2017)
Independent Production
This local production tells the story of the women’s suffrage movement, weaving in stories of Northeast Ohio leaders and pioneers. Produced by Larry Baker Productions and Western Reserve PBS.

Beyond the Limits: The Regional View (2006)
For years, business and community leaders have discussed issues of regionalism — the many ways that cities and towns throughout Northeast Ohio are bound by economic, ecological and societal issues. But what does the term “regionalism” really mean and how does it affect citizens living in areas as varied as Cleveland and Norwalk? What ties bind Northeast Ohio’s larger cities to the surrounding suburbs? This local production is a joint programming effort with WKSU-FM.

Beyond the Powder: The Legacy of the First Women’s Cross-Country Air Race (2015)
Independent Production
This documentary follows the 2014 Air Race Classic racers as they make their way across the country, while telling the story of the original race of 1929, also known as the Powder Puff Derby. Produced by Hemlock Films and Western Reserve PBS; directed by Kara Martinelli. Narration provided by actress Michaela McManus.

Blimp! Sports, Broadcasting and the Goodyear Airship (2017)
Independent Production
This local production tells the story of the Goodyear blimp from the perspective of sports and broadcasting. Produced, written and directed by Kathleen Endres of The University of Akron’s School of Communication.

Caring for Your Parents: Local Follow-Up (2008)
This local follow-up to the national PBS program “Caring for Your
Parents” includes on-air and online content on topics including signs of decline in the elderly, geriatric assessment and options for caregiving.

A Closer Look: Mitochondrial Disease (2014)
This Western Reserve Public Media production offers important information about mitochondrial disease, a debilitating and often fatal condition, through personal stories plus interviews and discussion with Akron Children’s Hospital health care professionals.

A Closer Look: Palliative Care (2013)
Western Reserve Public Media presents a panel discussion about palliative care, which is specialized care for people with serious illnesses. Host Toni Kayumi welcomes guests from NEOMED University and Akron Children’s Hospital — both located in Northeast Ohio.

Clyde Singer: An American Artist (2008)
This 30-minute documentary on Malvern, Ohio-born artist Clyde Singer
coincided with the September 2008-January 2009 joint centennial
exhibition of the artist’s work at The Butler Institute of American Art in
Youngstown and the Canton Museum of Art.

Conversation on Education Forums (2008)
Coverage of two of Gov. Ted Strickland’s 12 “Conversations on Education,” which focused on the six principles for education reform as laid out in his 2008 State of the State address.

Country Crush (2010)
Independent Production
Molly Merryman, a Kent State University sociology professor, tells the story of the annual combine demolition derby held annually in Columbiana County.

Dean Mitchell at the Canton Museum of Art (2010)
This 30-minute documentary takes a look at the works of contemporary watercolorist Dean Mitchell, whose subject matter is drawn from his African-American roots in the American South.

Detroit Disassembled at the Akron Art Museum (2010)
Viewers see the artist at work in this program about Andrew Moore’s critically acclaimed photographs of a crumbling city.

Dirty Little Secrets: Foundations From the Past (2001)
In the 1920s, deep-earth core samples were collected during construction of Tower City in Cleveland, Ohio. Only recently, a team of scientists from Cleveland State University and The University of Akron began analyzing the samples, which hold the region’s geologic record of events over a 20,000-year period.

Doris O’Donnell’s Cleveland (2007-09)
Independent Production
Produced by Storytellers Media Group of Lakewood, this series is based largely on Doris O’Donnell’s memoir, Front Page Girl (Kent State University Press, 2006). Winner of multiple regional Emmys.

Final Edition: Journalism According to Jack and Jim Knight (2009)
Independent Production
This one-hour program tells the story of the newspaper giants. Winner of the 2010 Ohio Society of Professional Journalists’ Best Documentary (All Markets) award and a 2009 regional Emmy.

Floating on Air (2001)
Independent Production
Lighter-than-air enthusiasts share the fond memories and fascinating history of Akron’s unofficial mascot of the skies. Eric Brothers, author of When Giants Roamed the Sky, helps to tell the story of these amazing flying, floating machines and how they work. Produced by Phil Hoffman, of The University of Akron’s School of Communication, and Western Reserve PBS.

Flying Turns: Resurrecting a Legend (2016)
Independent Production
Follow the resurrection of a wooden bobsled-type roller coaster at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pa. Produced by StoryWorks.TV in Cleveland. Gary Manke, who works for both Western Reserve Public Media and StoryWorks.TV, and his wife, Therese, are executive producers.

Generations: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (2009)
This first-time, one-hour documentary on Ohio’s only national park tells its story through the voices of people from all walks of life — park visitors, park personnel, historians, environmentalists, educators, artists, businesspeople, government leaders and many others. The documentary looks at all dimensions of the park, including its natural features and its social history. Winner of a 2009 regional Emmy in videography. In its premiere week, the program reached record-level viewing audiences for the station.

God as We Understand Him: A Film About Faith and the 12 Step Movement (2008)
Independent Production
Produced by Joshua Tree Productions of Akron, this documentary explores how recovering alcoholics work the 12 Steps program of Alcoholics Anonymous, regardless of their particular faith and creed.

Gospel Meets Symphony: Celebrating 16 Years! (2009)
Western Reserve PBS chronicles the history of the Akron Symphony Orchestra’s annual Gospel Meets Symphony event and follows its success as one of the longest-running Gospel Meets Symphony events in the nation.

Gospel Meets Symphony: Let Freedom Ring! (2009)
Western Reserve PBS presents highlights of the Akron Symphony Orchestra’s 2009 Gospel Meets Symphony concert and captures Maestro Christopher Wilkins leading the combined orchestra and the 200-voice volunteer gospel choir from over 50 area churches. Released for distribution to the nation’s public television stations.

Guns N’ Pubs: CCW and Ohio SB 17 (2011)
Premiering on the day that changes to Ohio’s concealed carry laws went into effect, this program explores how concealed-carry permits work in the State of Ohio and what the new changes from Ohio Senate Bill 17 means.

Hammer on Steel: Bad Boys and Genius (2011)
Hammer on Steel: The Concert (2011)
Independent Productions
The history and heart of steel drum music and its journey from tropical Trinidad to The University of Akron’s music school are explored. Produced by Phil Hoffman of The University of Akron’s School of Communication.

Hammer on Steel: Steel Band Paradise (2013)
Independent Production
The University of Akron’s Steel Drum Band takes you on a tropical trip back to Trinidad and Tobago in its latest concert. Featuring steel drum legend Ray Holman in his first performance in the United States in decades, the concert also spotlights renowned calypso singer Keet “Designer” Styla. Enjoy a mix of jazz, calypso and traditional steel drum music. Produced by Phil Hoffman of The University of Akron’s School of Communication.

Heart of a Nation: America’s First Ladies (2000)
This production tells the stories of the National First Ladies’ Library in Canton, Ohio, and the roles first ladies have played in our nation’s history.

If You’re Not Dead, Play! (2005)
Independent Production
This production documents the second wave of Akron “garage bands” that continued in the tradition of “the Akron sound” that began with bands like Devo, Tin Huey and The Waitresses. Produced by Phil Hoffman of The University of Akron’s School of Communication.

Interactive Art: The New Age of Holography (2000)
This production reveals the art and science of holograms by touring a unique exhibit at the Canton Museum of Art and by watching holographic artist Douglas Tyler at work.

Inventive. Industrious. Inspired. A History of Akron (2000)
Independent Production
A look at the people, the businesses and the communities that have made Akron unique. Produced for the Summit County Historical Society by Akron attorney and community activist Dave Lieberth.

Invisible Struggles: Stories of Northern Segregation (2007)
Independent Production
This documentary offers personal reflections about the racial segregation experiences of Warren, Ohio, residents in the 1950s and 1960s. It is the product of oral histories conducted by students at Kent State University Trumbull Campus. Directed by Kent State University faculty member Molly Merryman; assistant direction by Kent State University faculty members Kenneth Bindas and Joe Murray.

It’s Close at the Akron Art Museum (2009)
The focus of the program is the Akron Art Museum and its exhibition “Familiar Faces: Chuck Close in Ohio Collections,” which brings together the artist’s works from public and private collections around the state.

It’s Everything, and Then It’s Gone (2003)
Independent Production
This production takes a look back at the Akron “garage band” movement of the 1970s and ‘80s that launched the national careers of several rock bands, including Devo. Produced by Phil Hoffman of The University of Akron’s School of Communication.

Jean-Pierre Gauthier: Machines at Play (2008)
This documentary tells the story of Montréal artist, inventor and musician Jean-Pierre Gauthier. The exhibition, the first survey of the award-winning artist’s work, made its exclusive U.S. appearance at the Akron Art Museum in fall 2008.

Joseph O’Sickey: The Art of Life (2013)
Acclaimed artist Joseph O’Sickey spent seven of his more than nine decades painting and teaching. In this production, we visit the artist’s Ohio home and garden that served as the inspiration for many of his paintings. We learn about the love affair that he had with his belated wife, Algesa. It’s a touching story of the beauty and the brush.

 

Kaleidoscope Quilts at the Akron Art Museum (2011)
Internationally renowned quiltmaker Paula Nadelstern has spent over two decades capturing in cloth the excitement of the ever-changing relationships of color, pattern, light and texture.

Kindergarten Readiness Series (2008-09)
Western Reserve Public Media partnered with the Summit County Department of Job and Family Services, This City Reads, Akron-Summit County Public Library, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority and the Kindergarten Readiness Advantage program to create a series of 25 one-minute videos on teaching parents how to help their children (ages birth to five) to get “ready to learn.”

Lasting Impressions: The Wendell August Forge Story (2000)
The Grove City, Pennsylvania-based Wendell August Forge is the single remaining survivor of what was once the flourishing industry of handcrafted aluminum giftware. Discover the history of this famous forge and meet the men and women who pound out their living in aluminum.

The Living Cities (2008)
Forbes magazine hit a Northeast Ohio nerve in August 2008 when it issued its list of top 10 so-called “dying cities” in the United States — four of which were located in Ohio. This program brought together city and regional leaders to provide a broader perspective on the region’s economic future.

Main Street America (2002)
Is downtown Akron worth saving? Jody Miller of “NewsNight Akron” looks at revitalization projects in four U.S. cities, including Akron, to see once-decayed downtown areas in various stages of revitalization.

May 4th Voices (2013)
Independent Production
Features a play that brings together first-person narratives about the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State University. Written by David Hassler and directed by Katherine Burke, the play is based on the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project.

Micro Business for Teens: Starting a Micro Business (2012)
This special walks teens through the steps to take to start a micro business. Based on host Carol Topp’s book of the same name.

A More Perfect Union (2018)
Independent Production
This production uses the career of the late Ralph Regula of Canton, who was U.S. representative for Ohio’s 16th congressional district from 1973-2009, as an example of the importance of bipartisanship in today’s political climate. Ron Ponder, owner of PonderSystems media production company in Canton, produced the program.

NEOtropolis (2009-2012)
This weekly series — the only regularly scheduled program of its kind in Northeast Ohio — explores the impact of technology, globalization and diversity on Northeast Ohioans as they work, play, live and learn.

NewsNight Akron (1998-2010)
A roundtable of local journalists discuss greater Akron headlines every Friday evening. This series was created in 1998 to fill the news gap created when commercial TV left Akron.

NewsNite (2010-2013)
The reenvisioned and refashioned “NewsNight Akron” features segments that spotlight news from Akron, Canton and other communities whose stories are not covered by the network news operations in Cleveland and Youngstown.

Norman Rockwell at the Akron Art Museum (2007)
This 30-minute program includes a tour of the exhibition “American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell.”

Northeast Ohio Times (2005-2006)
Introduced in 2005, this Western Reserve PBS production features interesting people, places and events in Northeast Ohio. Producers of the quarterly series search the cities, suburbs and countryside for outstanding examples of what makes the area unique.

Ohio Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial: A NewsNight Special (2009)
The program includes footage from the Clinton, Ohio, park’s dedication ceremony and interviews with local veterans.

Pattern ID at the Akron Art Museum (2010)
The “Pattern ID” exhibition features 15 artists of diverse origins who have seized on pattern and dress as powerful visual connectors between themselves, their histories and their audiences.

Paul Stankard Glass at the Akron Art Museum (2012)
This documentary captures the essence of artist Paul Stankard’s intricate glass art objects and features discussion with him about artistry. It also includes a visit to the Akron Art Museum to view the world’s largest public collection of Stankard’s work.

Portraits of Life, Love & Legacy Through Pediatric Palliative Care (2013)
This production features the Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center at Akron Children’s Hospital, which provides care for children facing complex and potentially life-threatening medical conditions.

Q&A: Medicare Part D (2006)
Answers may be just a telephone call away for area seniors who are confused about Medicare Part D, the new voluntary prescription drug benefit. Veteran newscaster Ed Esposito hosts.

Radio Daze: Cleveland’s FM Air Wars (2008)
Independent Production
The fascinating history of the rise and fall of the legendary rock station WMMS-FM. Produced by Mike Olszewski, author of Radio Daze: Stories From the Front in Cleveland’s FM Air Wars. Winner of a 2008 regional Emmy Award.

Ralph Regula: The Gentleman from Ohio (2017)
Independent Production
This documentary chronicles the life and career of Ralph Regula, who served Ohio’s 16th district for 36 years, from 1973 to 2009. It features his own recollections, as well as those of family, friends and colleagues. Producer Ron Ponder.

Reclaim the Dream Forum (2008)
In partnership with the Akron Beacon Journal and WKSU-FM, Western Reserve Public Media presented this town hall meeting to explore socioeconomic pressures on Akron’s middle class.

Rebels on Lake Erie (2012)
Independent Production
In September 1864, a college-educated pirate from Virginia sailed out onto Lake Erie, intent on liberating Confederate officers imprisoned on an island. That’s just part of the story of intrigue and adventure told in this documentary by Kathleen Endres of The University of Akron’s School of Communication.

Red Tail Reborn (2007)
Independent Production
The story of the Tuskegee Airmen and a restored P-51C Mustang, one of the famous roaring fighter planes these men flew in combat. Produced by Adam White of Hemlock Films in Cleveland; winner of three regional Emmy awards and released nationally by PBS.

Reinventing Akron: Stories of a Generation (2001)
Independent Production
An exceptional group of Akron men and women, born before World War II and responsible for reshaping the community over the last 50 years, are profiled in this documentary. Produced by Akron attorney and community activist Dave Lieberth.

Reporting the War: The Journalists’ Perspective (2007)
Host Eric Mansfield, himself a veteran of the Iraq war, talks with area journalists including Leon Bibb, Virgil Dominic, Larry States and others about their experiences as reporters, soldiers or both. A special edition of “NewsNight Akron.”

The Restorers — They Were All Volunteers (2011)
Independent Production
Produced by filmmaker Adam White, owner of Hemlock Films in Cleveland, this documentary follows a B-25 bomber from Minnesota as its all-volunteer crew stakes time, money and lives to fly to a reunion of WWII Doolittle Tokyo Raiders in Dayton.

Road Kid to Writer: The Tracks of Jim Tully (2015)
Independent Production
This documentary is based on the definitive book about the life of a remarkable author and journalist, Jim Tully. It compellingly describes the hardscrabble life of Tully from his immigrant roots, rural Ohio upbringing, time in an orphanage and life as a hobo. Produced by Mark Wade Stone, owner of StoryWorks.TV.

Séances and Slot Machines: The Story of Brady Lake Park (2014)
Independent Production
Brady Lake Park, located between Kent and Ravenna, Ohio, opened in 1891 as a beautiful, rustic resort offering picnics and pony rides to the upper class. It closed six decades later as a tired and seedy gambling den run by the Cleveland mob. Fred Endres, Kent State University professor emeritus in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, tracks the history of the popular park.

A Simple Life (2002)
Explore Amish country in Holmes County. Visit the people and the places that populate the beautiful rolling hills and farms of this rural Ohio county to find out what draws the millions of visitors each year. Produced by Phil Hoffman of The University of Akron’s School of Communication and Western Reserve PBS.

The “Sojer Boys” of Portage County (2013)
Independent Production
Some 2 million men fought for the Union during the American Civil War. More than 2,000 of them came from rural Portage County, Ohio. This compelling new documentary tells the story of seven of those young men. Fred Endres, Kent State University professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, uses the letters and diaries of the men to take a close, personal look at the war.

Stark Contrast: A History of Stark County (2009)
This documentary looks at Stark County’s communities, industrial development, educational and cultural institutions, sports, art, culture, transportation and more. It also follows two groups of residents representing the county’s older and younger generations. Ted Henry, retired WEWS-TV news anchor and Canton native, narrates.

Studio C Sessions (2015-current)
Recorded live in a subterranean bunker of a studio on the backstreets of Akron, Studio C Sessions are live performances that capture artists and audiences connecting in the closest of confines. To experience these unique concerts live, you have to be a member of The Summit FM, a public radio station serving Akron, Canton and Youngstown. But now Western Reserve PBS and The Summit have teamed up to share highlights of these intimate music moments on Western Reserve PBS.

Twenty-Four Hours (2001)
A telling, behind-the-scenes look at how local news is constructed. Over one 24-hour period, the documentary follows local news broadcasts to see what each station deems “important news.” The one-hour documentary is a companion piece to the national PBS production “Local News.” Mark Urycki of WKSU-FM hosts.

Turn Blue: The Short Life of Ghoulardi (2009)
Independent Production
At WJW-TV 8, Ernie Anderson was working as an announcer when the station asked him to wear a wig and serve as the host of a late-night horror movie series. Ghoulardi was born. Within just a few short weeks, Clevelanders were shouting phrases including “knif,” “Oxnard” and “turn blue.” Produced by Phil Hoffman of The University of Akron’s School of Communication.

A Tree Grows in Washington: The John F. Seiberling Story (2013)
Independent Production
This program follows the career and life of John F. Seiberling, who was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1918. He was first elected to Congress in 1970 and was reelected seven more times. We hear from his siblings and children, as well as Congressman Ralph Regula and Congresswoman Betty Sutton. The program is narrated by Michael Douglas, editorial page editor of the Akron Beacon Journal, and produced by Paul Jacoway.

Urban Innovators Speaker Series: University Park Alliance (2010-11)
Western Reserve Public Media recorded the presentations of three urban development specialists who look at interesting new ways to invigorate the urban environment in the interest of economic development.

Where We Stand in Northeast Ohio (2008)
Experts from Northeast Ohio discuss the education system’s strengths and weaknesses. The half-hour program examines preparing students to succeed in a global economy, mentoring teachers and partnering with parents and business leaders. The production is a companion piece to the national PBS production “Where We Stand: America’s Schools.” Hosted by news reporter Cynthia Barnes.

Who Shot Rock & Roll: Akron Art Museum (2010)
Based on the Akron Art Museum exhibition “Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present,” this production enhances the photographers’ stories by talking with historian Gail Buckland and some of the photographers in the exhibition.

Who’s Your Boss? (2009)
The achievements of six young entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio and the organizations that support them in their work are celebrated.

William Wegman: Fay at the Akron Art Museum (2009)
The extraordinary relationship between a man and his dogs comes to life in the art of William Wegman.

The Women Who Helped Win a War (2018)
Independent Production
This documentary tells how during World War II, as men were called up for duty, women took their places on the factory production line in Akron. Archived interviews with Edith White Franks, originally from South Charleston, W.V.; Helen Farley Argenio, an East Liverpool native; and Oma Kline Porter, originally from Steubenville, tell their compelling stories. Steve Mitchell, a retired educator and volunteer at MAPS Air Museum in Canton, produced the program.

Zoar Levee: To Preserve and Protect (2012)
Zoar, Ohio, sits at the base of a levee built in 1936 as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ water management program in the region. Today, the levee is failing and the Corps by law must consider all options to fix the problem. This program explores the town’s options.

Last update: April 2018

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