Capitol News Illinois partners with ‘Illinois Lawmakers’ program to bring it back to air

Capitol News Illinois partners with ‘Illinois Lawmakers’ program to bring it back to air

Capitol News Illinois announced today it will produce the long-running “Illinois Lawmakers” program this spring, in partnership with longtime host and producer Jak Tichenor.

“This new partnership is absolutely critical to providing Illinois residents with reliable, independent, in-depth, up to date coverage from the Illinois Capitol after many newspapers and broadcasters shuttered their Statehouse bureaus over the last decade,” Tichenor said of the announcement.

“Illinois Lawmakers” is the longest-running television series offering continuing coverage of the Illinois General Assembly, having done so for the past 38 years. Capitol News Illinois will continue producing the respected program in a manner that largely leaves the show’s familiar format unchanged, but with a significant upgrade in its distribution. Beginning with the first episode this May, “Illinois Lawmakers” will be distributed to all radio and public and commercial broadcast outlets across Illinois and its border states.

The program debuted statewide on the state’s nine Illinois public television stations in 1986 with political analyst Bruce DuMont as host and WTTW Chicago’s Marty McLaughlin as executive producer. “Illinois Lawmakers” was launched by the Illinois Public Broadcasting Council and a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers who sought to create a series on the General Assembly that was impartial, bipartisan, and in-depth in the spirit of the “PBS Newshour.” The program frequently offers breaking news coverage with lawmakers coming right off the floor to debate the issues of the day.

“I couldn’t be happier in this new venture,” CNI Broadcast Director Jennifer Fuller said. “In making this great coverage available for all of our broadcast partners, we’re continuing our mission of providing reliable, experienced reporting to a larger audience – keeping the public informed about what’s happening in their government.”

Legislative leaders of both parties, committee chairs, as well as rank-and-file lawmakers from border to border are regular guests on set in the Speaker’s Gallery in the Illinois House of Representatives. Live coverage of the governor’s annual State of the State speeches and budget messages have been a staple of the series from the very start, along with the annual fall veto session.

CNI also announced that several sponsorship level opportunities are available to offset production costs.

“Although the show is free for its viewers, there are costs associated to produce the episodes,” CNI Executive Director Jeff Rogers said. “To help offset these costs, we have established several sponsorship levels and are seeking financial support to ensure that this important programming remains on air beyond this legislative session.”

Programs will begin weekly production in May and continue through the end of the spring legislative session. You can find each episode at capitolnewsillinois.com/illinois-lawmakers. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Jeff Rogers at [email protected] or call (815) 238-7806. You may also reach out to Jennifer Fuller at [email protected] or call (217) 241-3366 ext 108.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of print and broadcast outlets statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

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