New morning show ‘Living Today’ to highlight Toledo cultureWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Kevin Moore, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
“Living Today,” a Toledo-based arts and entertainment television program, will premiere on WNWO 24 this fall. The new show will highlight all things Toledo, from the city’s art scene to its local businesses.
“I think a lot of people living in Toledo are not aware of the rich culture right in their backyard,” said Cori Rist, one of the show’s hosts and executive producers. “They ask things like ‘Is there anywhere new to eat’ or ‘Where can I go with my kids?’ They think that if they want to do something fun they need to travel somewhere like Ann Arbor.”
“Living Today” will air on Sundays at 7:30 a.m. before “The Today Show,” and will be available for streaming through AOL’s Console video platform. Every episode will be shot on location somewhere in Toledo to highlight a place of interest in the city.
“We want the show to be as interactive as possible between us, local businesses and the viewers,” Rist said. “We’ll go into, say, a local restaurant and they’ll teach us how to make their most popular dish, or we’ll answer viewers’ questions like ‘What is latest fashion to wear for a night on the town?’”
This interactivity is at the heart of the “Living Today” model.
“A studio setting is no where near as interactive,” said Rist’s co-host and fellow executive producer, Natalie Pohorecki, who as a makeup artist also hosts WNWO’s “Makeup Mondays” segment. “It is one thing to read about going somewhere or hearing about it, but we want viewers to watch a segment and see the location and ‘meet’ the people there. The goal is for viewers to feel like they’ve been there.”
The pair met in December 2012 during a photo shoot in Downtown Toledo sponsored by the beer brand Pabst Blue Ribbon. Rist, a veteran of the modeling industry, organized and posed for the event, and Pohorecki did the makeup.
“Living Today” will showcase roughly three businesses, organizations or major events from in and around Toledo each week. Each episode will end with a brief segment listing what notable happenings are scheduled for the following week.
Rist and Pohorecki have several plans to build the show’s audience and get viewers involved with their programming.
“Local businesses have given us a great response and they want to be a part of what were doing,” Pohorecki said. “We’re going to have a lot of contests and giveaways. Many of the hometown staples are behind us.”
The inspiration for “Living Today” is a desire for people to change their point of view about living in Toledo.
“Most people don’t realize we have all the things you would find in a larger city,” said Rist, who lived in New York City for 10 years working as a model. “We have farmers markets, wine tastings and a uniquely ‘Toledo’ fashion style that’s coming from our growing hipster culture.”
Toledo’s economic woes are no secret, and the hosts are concerned that the city is too quickly discounted as a center for entertainment and culture. However, they recognize a phenomenon where people who leave the area often return to start their families. Both Rist and Pohorecki are Toledo natives who eventually returned to the area after moving away for a time.
“It’s a great area for families with good schools and a strong sense of community,” said Pohorecki, who previously lived in Ann Arbor with her husband for four years.
The hosts of “Living Today” know the kind of value that a media outlet that highlights small businesses can have from firsthand experience. Both women run their own local businesses. Rist owns a Toledo-based interior decorating and organizing solutions company called Simply Put Life and operates a website, MyItThings.com, that follows international trends in luxury living. Pohorecki is a nationally recognized makeup artist, having worked with such brands as Estee Lauder and Chanel, whose company Bridal Makeup by Natalie specializes in makeup art for weddings.
For more information on “Living Today,” visit Northwestohio.com or Facebook.com/LivingTodayTV