Serving as storytellers is more vital today than ever before for the Lakeshore Public Media TV and radio teams.

“Shortly after COVID started, we were telling the stories of how people in the community were helping others. Many of those stories were around businesses,” says Lakeshore Public Media President and CEO James A. Muhammad. “We featured such businesses as 18th Street Brewery, which produced hand sanitizer for first responders, and restaurants providing meals. These kinds of stories put out there what businesses were doing to contribute to our communities.”

Muhammad joined Lakeshore in 2013 after serving at a PBS station in West Virginia. He has worked to redirect the station that first hit the air as PBS affiliate WYIN Channel 56 in 1987. Today, the station strives to curate the top NPR, PBS and local content through its TV and radio channels by connecting to its Chicagoland audience on a personal level.

“We have worked hard to restructure our content to be more meaningful and relevant to the communities we serve. We place an exceptionally strong emphasis on quality. I want people in and from Northwest Indiana to see themselves in the powerful stories that we tell,” Muhammad says.

On the TV side, “Friends & Neighbors” is a new series launched in 2019 that spotlights the people, places and activities around the Chicagoland area. The segments are in 3- to 6-minute formats that can be collected into a half-hour program. “Eye on the Arts” also spotlights entrepreneurs. This series was recently nominated for a Chicago Emmy.

“These are fascinating stories that we want Chicagoland to be aware of. We are able to support small business owners as we focus on artisans and artists who run businesses sharing their stories and passions,” Muhammad says. “Businesses are comprised of people and there is such a variety of different people to talk about. We are able to export what is in the region.

“Our Emmy nomination gets back to the quality of individuals and communities that we have here.”

On the radio side, “Let’s Eat, With Chef Nick” serves up tales of restaurants and how they are coping during COVID.

“We are very proud to support our small businesses and tell the stories of the people here and how they continue to serve our communities,” Muhammad says. “We realize the importance of working along with our community and partners to reflect the greatness of our region.”


Lakeshore Public Media

8625 Indiana Place in Merrillville