Fan Pier’s Joe Fallon Backing “Style Boston”

‘styleboston’ sets sights on Chicago

By Frank Quaratiello  |   Friday, September 9, 2011  |  Courtesy of:  |  Business & Markets

Hub-based TV show “styleboston,” which kicks off its third season tomorrow night, has big plans to bring its mix of fashion and lifestyle programming to the Windy City next year.

“It’s always been our vision to create the show in Boston and expand to other cities,” said CEO and creator Terri Stanley. “We are in discussions with a major broadcast station in Chicago. We’re talking about September 2012 to possibly launch.”

The half-hour show started on NECN in September 2009, but after moving to WCVB-TV Channel 5 in December 2010 and landing a prime Saturday night spot after the evening news, its ratings have soared to more than 100,000 viewers last weekend.

“What we do is celebrate the city we’re in. We’re feel good,” said Stanley. “That’s why I think in this down economy people gravitate toward it.”

Bill Fine, president and general manager of WCVB-TV, said “styleboston,” which competes against “Saturday Night Live,” is “doing fine and will only get better.”

“It’s relatively new in the time period, and people are still finding it,” said Fine. “Most stations can’t compete with ‘Saturday Night Live’ at all and they’re doing pretty good, especially for a locally produced show.”

Stanley, a former executive editor of Boston Common magazine with no prior TV experience, and nine staffers produce 32 original shows and 20 re-edited programs a year out of their “Innovation District” studio. She said a Chicago roll-out won’t change things much.

“We’d have satellite crews in each city,” said Stanley. “All the production would still be done in Boston.”

Fine said he wasn’t worried about the show expanding to Chicago. “I only care about Boston. I’m sure they’ll keep it up here,” he added.

“Styleboston” has the backing of some Hub business titans, including former Arnold Worldwide boss Ed Eskandarian, Back Bay landlord Charles Talanian, Fan Pier developer Joseph Fallon and Kevin McCafferty of New England Capital Partners.

“I was approached by Terri. I looked into it and thought the concept was extremely strong,” said Eskandarian, who retired from ad agency Arnold Worldwide last December. “A show in the 1970s was similar — ‘Evening Magazine.’ They expanded it into major markets and then it disappeared.”

Stanley credited Eskandarian as one of the driving forces behind the show.

“He was one of the first to understand the show and push it,” she said.

“We do stories that have a national interest, but with a hyper-local focus,” said Stanley. “On ‘styleboston,’ we take national stories and bring them back to Boston so the viewers can be part of something bigger.”

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