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WIU alumnus Michael Curkov is pictured doing a broadcast from the recent Chicago Auto Show.
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WIU alumnus Michael Curkov, right, is the co-producer of a new WGN home improvement show called "Weekend Workbench." He is pictured with Weekend Workbench photographer Greg Harshbarger.
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Western Alumnus Producing Chicago Home Improvement Show

February 25, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – A Western Illinois University alumnus is behind the production of a new television show to help motivate Chicago do-it-yourselfers.

Michael Curkov, a 2006 graduate with a bachelor's degree in broadcasting, is working for Oak Brook Productions in Chicago. The company is part of WGN-TV and Tribune Broadcasting in Chicago.

Curkov had been working as a part-time freelance worker for the company, but recently signed on full-time to become co-producer of the new WGN show "Weekend Workbench." The show will air on Sundays, debuting at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, April 7 on WGN-TV.

Working as one of the show's producers, Curkov is responsible for having all of the necessary materials on hand for shooting and for making sure the cameras are capturing the right shots to fill a show. He will also help produce the commercial content to accompany the 30-minute show.

"I really like the production end – it's challenging," Curkov said. "There is no other show like it right now. We're doing things like replacing the belts on a snow blower, building a planter box and installing shelving, things the average homeowner should be able to do themselves."

November, December and January have been spent in pre-production for the show, and filming on 13 episodes began several weeks ago. Half of the show was shot at The Rebuilding Exchange, a Chicago-area construction materials retail store that saves usable building materials from construction sites from going to the landfill.

The balance of the show is shot in a local handyman's home, where projects such as installing a ceiling fan and replacing a bathtub drain are featured.

Prior to moving back to the Chicago area, Curkov worked in Rockford, IL, and Wichita, KS, as a sports reporter and anchor. He began his career as director of media relations for the Schaumburg Flyers professional baseball team shortly after graduating from WIU.

Curkov is also currently working as play-by-play announcer for Chicago area high school sports at High School, a rapidly growing company that streams prep sporting events from around the country. He said the part-time job is a way to stay connected to his love of sports.

While at Western, Curkov was a commentator for WIU basketball games for the Prestige Communications of Macomb's station, WJEQ-FM, and all Leatherneck sports for WIU-TV channel 3.

He has also worked on a variety of shows with Oak Brook Productions, including "Living Healthy Chicago" and "Chicago's Best."

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