Springfield to be featured on national public television show

Aerial view of downtown Springfield looking northeast on April 24, 2017. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Aerial view of downtown Springfield looking northeast on April 24, 2017. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Springfield will be featured in a program that will air on national public television and local leaders said this week it could bring additional attention to the region.

The Success Files is a three to five-minute segment that airs on public television and is hosted by Rob Lowe, who has starred in shows like “The West Wing” and “Parks and Recreation.” The show’s staff contacted local leaders late last year about producing a show on Springfield, said Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the Greater Springfield Community Improvement Corp.

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Much of the show would likely focus on the region’s ability to attract Topre, an auto parts manufacturing firm that has pledged to invest $55 million and create 85 jobs in Springfield, Hobbs said.

The only issue is who should pay for the show, he said.

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The cost to underwrite and produce the show is about $27,000, which has already been paid by the CIC, Hobbs said. But he said that could impact other projected spending by the CIC, so board members were asked to discuss whether the CIC should eat the cost or ask other entities should chip in.

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The program will air on public television stations nationwide, Hobbs said, and could reach as many as 60 million households.

“It’s a huge splash for the money for the community,” he said.

The biggest benefit, Hobbs said, is that because it will air on national television it will bring positive attention to the region. No date has been set to film the show.

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Local leaders should encourage the show to film sites in both Springfield and outside the city limits if possible, Clark County Commissioner Melanie Flax Wilt said.

Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland said he planned to encourage city commissioners to approve some funding for the project.

If the CIC doesn’t receive assistance paying for the project, Hobbs said cuts would come from other parts of the CIC’s budget. That would likely mean less involvement at trade shows to promote the region.