–by Mary Helen Darah
PUBLICATION DATE: Mar 15, 2021
Tom Cole is host to a new public television discussion program presented by WGTE. Cole, a 1969 graduate of St. John’s Jesuit High School and Ohio Wesleyan University, has been active in the community for decades. He has coached at high school and collegiate levels for 25 years, served as a sports commentator for BCSN and BGSU sports broadcasts and is a published author. His new show highlights respected community professionals and offers their insights on varying topics.
Cole’s coaching career inspired the idea for the new show. “Coaching certainly gave me the idea for 4 Corners,” he stated. “In basketball there is an offensive move called the “four corners” in which four players stand in the corners of the offensive half-court while the fifth dribbles the ball down the middle. I thought this would be an interesting concept for a show, where I am in the middle of four professionals discussing one topic. I try to find agreement and commonality out of diverse opinions as the four guests discuss issues affecting society. There is real power and positivity in that.”
The show has been successful in spite of launching during a global pandemic. Guests can come into the studio to film in a private room or be interviewed via Zoom. “When a guest chooses to come into the studio they are put in a separate space to be videotaped so it looks like everyone is on Zoom, which keeps things visually consistent,” explained Cole. “I have to give credit to Content Director Ray Miller at WGTE. He has been a driving force on the show. Also credit is due to editors and producers Bill Steward and Nathan Hursh who have been instrumental for the success of the show. The show’s setup was extraordinary during a pandemic as it brought people together safely. Although the show was ideal during COVID, as things open up, we will still keep the format of a Zoom show.”
Cole, who has been part of numerous broadcasts during his 30-plus year career, is thrilled that the show is running smoothly and is being well-received. “The guests have been tremendous,” stated Cole. “We have gotten so much positive feedback. I was concerned that it would be difficult to get guests during the pandemic but everyone has been receptive. I haven’t been turned down by anybody I have asked so far.”
The veteran broadcaster feels that each show is like one of his children. “The shows are like my kids. I have enjoyed them all and I can’t say which one I like best,” he said. “I have been pleased with the show we had on leadership and our second show on the issues facing the media. We just filmed a new show regarding aging and the issues Boomers face. An upcoming show will focus on the transportation of Toledo such as Amtrak, the airport, Uber, and what the future of transportation might look like. Future shows will feature coaches who have made a positive difference and I will talk with four local musicians in the area. It is great to have such a wonderful, eclectic mix of topics to cover. It is a privilege to be able to host the show. I love talking with talented, positive people in our community. To be in the middle of 4 awesome corners is a pretty great place to be.”
The show 4 Corners appears on WGTE the third Wednesday of the month at 8:30 pm. Past shows can be streamed by visiting pbs.org/show/4-corn.