WTTW station IDs | What’s up with that?
How channel 11 casts its station-identification clips.
I’m a longtime watcher of WTTW. For just as long, I’ve wanted to do one of those “Hi, I’m [insert name here], and you’re watching WTTW channel 11” station-identification clips. Do I just have to be at the right Chicago museum or park at the right time?—Nick, Lakeview
Acknowledging the glut of viewers yearning to get their 15 seconds of fame on the beloved public broadcasting station, Window to the World Communications hosted a “My ID” contest in 2009. It invited fans to submit station-identification videos and vote on their favorites online. (The winning entry stars a pair of tweens barreling down a Slip ’n Slide before saying their lines.) While Channel 11 no longer accepts homemade vids—and it has no plans to run another contest—there’s still a chance to get your mug on TV. “WTTW’s camera crew goes out periodically to film station IDs in the area,” spokeswoman Julia Maish says. “We try to get out once per season change, so we can rotate [videos] through spring, summer, fall and winter. We try to hit places with lots of foot traffic: museums, the lakefront, Millennium Park, Daley Plaza.” (Your next best chance is when the leaves start turning.) When deciding whom to put in front of the camera, Maish says, the crew is attracted to someone who has “energy, personality and a great smile.” But she concedes the castings are serendipitous encounters. “It really is a case of being in the right place at the right time.”