Engineer Carl Germann (left) and executive producer Ron Jankowski helped Channel 4 in Palos Heights to a successful 2021. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Engineer Carl Germann (left) and executive producer Ron Jankowski helped Channel 4 in Palos Heights to a successful 2021. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Broadcast news — Palos Heights’ Channel 4 has big 2021

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By Jeff Vorva

The first Palos Heights city council meeting of 2022 featured a few minutes of bragging about Channel 4’s success in 2021.

The local cable channel had a record-breaking year and Alderman Jerry McGovern was more than happy to run down the happy totals at Tuesday’s board meeting at City Hall.

There were 240 shows that originated from the studios in Palos Heights and it exceeded 620 hours.

“These shows were focused on the Palos Heights community and regional areas televising government transparency, city events, economic development, local small business promotional exposure and help produce student and adult classes to further education in our local colleges,” McGovern said. “This includes non-profit agencies, for example, (a) battered women’s shelter with hotlines for immediate help, social services for the aging, police alerts et cetera.”

A team of volunteers helped by logging 2,100 hours in 2021 and for the first time in the channel’s history it was able to provide live coverage of events outside of City Hall.

“We tried so hard to recover from 2020,” said executive producer Ron Jankowski, who started the station in June 1999. “Once we worked out problems with people being afraid to come in because of COVID, we had less problems getting people in here.”

Live broadcasts are something Jankowski is proud of. The station did a few in 2021 and hopes to do more in 2022 if the volunteer manpower is there.

“If there is function in the city that people can’t make it to, that gives them an opportunity to be there,” he said. “If it’s a parade or something special like the Christmas tree lighting, that’s where it helps.”

McGovern read a letter from Comcast Senior Manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs Yohan Fernando lauding Channel 4.

“As always, your team continues to set the bar for [Public, Educational and Government] operations in our South area footprint,” Fernando wrote. “Congratulations on another very active production effort, especially in light of the prevailing conditions.”

Jankowski said when the station started there was just one Radio Shack camera and he had to purchase used equipment in order to expand.

“I never imagined it would get to this point,” Jankowski said. “When we started, I didn’t even have a budget. We took a band-aid approach. When we did have a budget, I was always cautious of what I was buying.

“Now, we have the best-of-the-best.”

Jankowski and his engineer, Carl Germann, are the two main guys who run the show, and both turned 84 in December.

Jankowski said he is always on the lookout for volunteers as a few that he counted on left in 2021. He can be reached at 708-480-3013.

1 Comment

  1. Dan on January 21, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Great that Alderman McGovern and City officials acknowledge the effort. Ron, Karl, and channel 4 volunteers are and have been an asset to The community for a long time. Congratulations for the success. Palos Heights is fortunate to have you,



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