Oprah, lakefront attracted show
By Rhonda E. Sobecki
“Good Morning America” producers found Michigan City’s lakefront perfect for filming after being coaxed by talk-show host Oprah Winfrey to check out Indiana for a segment of its broadcast today called “Getaway Friday.”
Michigan City Mayor Sheila Brillson said Thursday when producers decided to film in Chicago, Winfrey, who owns a country estate on County Road 600N in rural LaPorte County, told them Indiana was worth a visit.
The “Good Morning America” crew left Washington Park early Thursday evening to fly to Chicago, where it will film today with clips of Winfrey and Sawyer at an exercise class and the hosts at Buckingham Fountain.
Brillson said producers, in an effort to find the right site, began at the Illinois-Indiana state line and moved east two weeks ago. Starting at East Chicago and Hammond, the crew looked at and nixed a number of communities, including Chesterton, Valparaiso and Portage.
“They were at the lake before they came to my office,” Brillson said. “After they saw our lakefront, they weren’t looking any further. Then they asked ‘What else do you have?’.”
Brillson said the entire “Good Morning America” visit was pulled together in one week.
And the day “went off without a hitch,” she noted.
And the many police officers who worked security and provided traffic control for the GMA crew did not report one problem, according to Michigan City Police Department Public Information Officer Mark Harris.