WGN reporter Marcella Raymond having a laugh at Escape Factor during a WGN segment that featured Forest Park. (Credit: WGN Screenshot)

Three Madison Street businesses — Accents by Fred, Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor and Escape Factor — were featured live on WGN TV last Saturday for the station’s Weekend Break segment of the Saturday Morning News.

WGN reporter Marcella Raymond interviewed Fred Bryant and his wife Ann Hanson live at 7:40 a.m.  The camara person, Maria Cummerford, started her work at 7 a.m., filming Bryant making beads in the back room and showing her around the store, pointing out that 95% of what is displayed had been made by himself or his wife.  Cummerford also filmed Hanson creating one of her homemade greeting cards.

The WGN crew then hustled down the street to interview Connie Brown in her ice cream parlor and then a few blocks east to Escape Factor to interview owners Dexter Cura and Jonathan Biag.

Lisa Ripson, who is retained by Visit Oak Park to do media relations for Visit Oak Park — a tourism bureau which serves Oak Park and 19 other Western Cook County communities — was the person who contacted WGN as part of their media relations outreach.

Forest Park Chamber of Commerce members were naturally thrilled by the exposure the Madison Street business district was getting. Cura said, “Because most of our advertising is done through word of mouth and through social media, being on WGN will definitely give us broader reach.”

As she was leaving Accents by Fred and rushing to the Brown Cow, Raymond turned and said to Hanson and Bryant, “Expect a lot of phone calls. That always happens after we do a segment for Weekend Break.”