Alternative sports show producer NeWave aims for 100 shows and $2.5mm in sales this year

If NeWave Productions signs with a cable outlet for one more TV series, “we’ll have reached our goal of producing 100 nationally televised shows this year,” said Steve Grein.

“We’ll break $2.5 million in sales if we sign one more series,” he said. As of now, the total stands at 70 shows.

But with NeWave in the running for three alternative motorized sports series they specialize in, Grein is confident of signing at least one more.

Summer will be intense for the Palos Hills full-service production company as they shoot three off beat series for cable outlets. “We’ll be gone every weekend this summer,” said Grein, executive producer on the shows and president of the 11-year company.

First up, starting March 12, NeWave will travel throughout the U.S. shooting a 26-week speed truck challenge for the Outdoor Channel. He describes the challenge as “truck racing on round track racing, like NASCAR all over the country.”

Director is Tom Gee of Clearwater, Florida, a former executive at the now-defunct but once imposing Diamond P Sports.

On May 7 they start covering IHBA boat drag racing and immediately thereafter embark on a second 26-episode round of “On the Edge,” an original idea NeWave pitched and sold last year to the Speed Channel.

Grein describes “On the Edge” as an “off the wall sports event, like demolition derbys, that include figure eight trailer races, snowmobile drag racing on grass and car rock crawling.

Ratings were “phenomenal,” said Grein, and a new season was recently signed. Producer/director is Jen Ashley, who moved over from Digital Realm last year. The show is due to air next November.

Currently keeping NeWave busy are nine, hourlong Northwestern collegiate wrestling shows for Comcast, airing through January and February.

When Grein, a videographer who worked for local cable companies, decided he wanted to go out on his own, he borrowed money from his father to buy his first camera. After six months of freelancing, ESPN called asking if he could be in Memphis the next morning to shoot a car race.

Grein grabbed his then production assistant Scott Mailin (now account exec) and they drove south all night and, with two hours sleep under their belts, shot the race.

“ESPN apparently loved our work and gave us a ton of jobs thereafter,” said Grein, 35, a Tinley Park native, “but we wanted to produce more of our own shows.” By 2000 NeWave had begun to crack the alternative sports market.

The company owns its own equipment: four avid Adrenalins and three Sony D600 beta sp cameras.

Editors are Michael Smith, Archie Cocke, Joel Denbow and Otis Schmidt; cameramen are Greg Harshbarger and Steve Koehler. Eric Romstad is graphics director and Sue Degutis is office manager.

NeWave hires one freelance director per series.

Grein expects to expand current 4,000-sq. ft. offices within its present office building by spring.

NeWave Productions is located at 9944 S. Roberts Road, Palos Hills; phone, 708/598-6900. See