There Is a New Character on Campus…The Purple Chair!

University Television has come up with a new idea that brings many different aspects and more excitement to Macomb’s local channel 3.  “The Purple Chair”, an original WIU TV series, debuted last Monday, March 18th.

The whole idea behind “The Purple Chair” TV show is to feature unique individuals that bring interesting stories to the university.  Each month, a new guest “sits in the Purple Chair” and is interviewed. These guests are from all different areas of interest including the show’s first guest, Joe Decker, who once received the title, “World’s Fittest Man.” The host, Amanda Shoemaker, introduces each guest at the beginning of each show.  Even though she is only shown on camera during the introduction and closing of the show, Amanda drafts the questions and asks them off-camera.

Amanda explained that the main goal of the show is to allow students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members the opportunity to learn something after they have tuned in. “It will help our viewers get motivated in their own lives,” said Amanda. Each episode is targeted towards a specific topic. For example, the first show with Joe Decker focused on fitness and good health.  April’s show will feature Arun Ghandi, who is the grandson of Mahatma Ghandi. This show will look at peace.

Another member of the production team who helped put this whole idea into action is Phil Weiss.  Phil is the producer of the show and also edits the episodes.  Phil also shoots promotional items for the show.  “I enjoying having a creative outlet for myself through this show,” Phil said.  “This idea is something brand new and has broadened the horizons for University Television.” Phil also mentioned that Darcie Shinberger and Todd Draeger are also part of the production team that has made “The Purple Chair” a reality.

Now this isn’t your typical interview show.  The use of more than one camera and many different angles keeps the show moving for viewers and it’s a first for University Television.  Also, the producers and everyone involved in the making of each episode get to have some one-on-one interaction with some fascinating individuals that are guests on the show.

The Purple Chair has become its own character on campus.  It is an icon that represents what the show is all about. You might have seen the translucent purple chair in photos and videos that have been shot around campus to promote the debut. The producers of the show hope that viewers take away as much as they have by being a part of “The Purple Chair.” Amanda said, “I have enjoyed getting to know every person that I have interviewed.  I have learned something new with every interview.”

As for Phil, he said, “viewers of ‘The Purple Chair’ will get to see how WIU is a part of the universe around us through the stories of our guests.”

 If you missed the debut, make sure to tune in for next month’s episode of “The Purple Chair.” You won’t be sorry!  And if you aren’t in the viewing area, you can stream it online through the University Television’s web site at Once captioned, all episodes will be uploaded to the university YouTube channel.  So be on the lookout for The Purple Chair!


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