A rising star on the Chicago media scene, Jennifer Christenson hopes that “Positive,” a weekly magazine show celebrating uplifting news stories, many from viewers themselves, will boost the city’s civic pride.
Starting July 5, half-hour “Positive” will air on Ch. 20 Saturdays at 11 a.m. The show is the brainchild of Ricky Cottingham, executive producer of 1st Klass Productions.
Cottingham, the show’s director/cameraman and editor, says the idea evolved after years of editing TV news shows, where “they say, if it doesn’t have blood and guts, it’s not a story.”
At just 22, Christenson graduates from presenting on WCIU-Ch. 26’s “Chicago Insider” to her first anchor role. Five-time Emmy-winner Kenny McReynolds, a former Ch. 32 sports reporter and anchor, covers sports, while newcomer Roselle Millsapp rounds out the team as a field reporter.
“Positive” shoots interviews on location and guests so far have included Donna Summer, Mario Lopez, Chaka Khan and Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, who talked about his family’s battles with diabetes.
Half of the 13 episodes of the series have been taped.
Viewers are invited to submit their own story ideas. “This is a platform for Chicagoans to tell us to what pride they have in the city, and what they are accomplishing,” says Christenson. “For me there’s no such thing as celebrity. Everybody should be celebrated.”
Christenson, who joined “Positive” as a producer/presenter in January, compares the format to a Chicago-centric “Entertainment Tonight.”
“We don’t have any gossip or exploitative stories, though,” she notes. “It’s about bringing information and accomplishments and inspiring other people through positive stories.”