HUDSON — City residents who have faithfully watched Good Day in Hudson on Hudson Community Television (HCTV) for the past two decades are in for a treat this week.
The show will celebrate its 20th anniversary on the air with a 90-minute retrospective program on HCTV at 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3. The show will air multiple times throughout the month.
More than 200 Good Day in Hudson programs have aired since the first program was taped in July 2000. Guests on the inaugural program included then-Mayor John Krum, interior designer Candy Sveda (who designed the HCTV set), as well as archivist and historian Tom Vince, HCTV Programming Manager Barbara Breedon VanBlarcum and John Maher, the three of whom worked with host Frank Youngwerth on a profile about James W. Ellsworth, an important early 20th century figure in the city. That show included a performance by the Del Rezek Band.
"I still enjoy it," said Youngwerth during a taping of the commemorative shows this past week. "It’s been fun. We’re going to keep that going."
Youngwerth said he met VanBlarcum 22 years ago at a meeting of the station’s advisory committee. He recalled that VanBlarcum showed him the HCTV office and from there, he became more involved with HCTV.
VanBlarcum said Youngwerth "provided a personality for HCTV."
Though he studied radio and television broadcasting at Ohio University, Youngwerth said he worked in sales for more than three decades, and "did extremely well." He added his radio and television training prepared him for the business world because it taught him "how to stand up and get my message across."
After retiring from his sales work, Youngwerth said he decided to return to his first love and starting off by serving on the HCTV committee, which included serving as chairman for a few years.
"I was really enthused to get back to do the things that I went to college for," said Youngwerth. "Here was a chance for me to do something I really loved doing and I could do what I wanted to do."
One attraction of volunteering with a public television station is that there is plenty of freedom in the creation and production of shows, he added, noting a friend of his who worked as a television director for 40 years told him that he ‘really never got to do exactly what he wanted to do."
While acknowledging that Youngwerth has enjoyed doing the show, VanBlarcum noted the program also benefited the community. She observed Youngwerth "covered everything" in the Hudson community through his program and wasn’t limited in his interests.
"Any time you asked him to help you on a project, he was right there," said VanBlarcum. "It made all the difference in the world to this station."
Youngwerth noted he’s strived to have a variety of people on his program.
"I always felt that we wanted to have on people who made Hudson a great place to live," said Youngwerth. "And people who Hudson enjoyed."
A favorite program
One of Youngwerth’s favorite Good Day in Hudson programs occurred in 2007 when two local people portrayed historical figures in the city.
In one segment Youngwerth interviewed Richard Grell, who was in character as David Hudson (1761-1836), and then he interviewed Tom Vince, who was depicting James W. Ellsworth (1849-1925). David Hudson was a businessman who founded Hudson Township. Ellsworth was a millionaire who worked to bring modern infrastructure to Hudson in the early 20th Century. Ellsworth is also responsible for hiring an architect to design and build the city’s clock tower. On the 2007 show, Youngwerth introduces the two men from different eras in the city’s history and they have a conversation with one another.
"They walked in, they sat down and they talked for 20-some minutes about things that those two men, if they really were there, would have talked about," said Youngwerth. "Of all the ‘Good Days in Hudson’ I ever did, that was the most important one by far."
Vince, who is also the archivist and historian at Western Reserve Academy, has recorded more than 100 "A Moment in History" segments for "Good Day in Hudson."
Highlights of the anniversary show
Guests from many walks of life will be seen in the anniversary show that will look back on 20 years of programming.
The anniversary program that will be broadcast on Monday will include clips of interviews that Youngwerth conducted during the past two decades with former Sports Illustrated and author Frank Deford, baseball writer Ed Lucas and his son, Chris, actor Neil Thackaberry portraying John Brown, John Ong (a Hudson resident who was U.S. Ambassador to Norway), Cleveland Indians great Bob Feller, Ada Cooper Miller, and Dave Matthews Band road manager Bill Greer.
Greer is the son of Archie Greer, who was one of Youngwerth’s professors at Ohio University.
All of the programs can be viewed by visiting watch.hudsoncommunity.tv and then selecting the archives section.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.