Sports anchor also loves lakes

Published 6:39 pm Sunday, March 4, 2012

Niles native and local sports anchor Allison Hayes, middle, will co-host a new television series devoted to exploring the lakes lifestyle in Michiana and beyond. Standing around Hayes are show creator and co-host Jack Olesker, left, and producer Angel Hernandez.

Niles native and local sports anchor Allison Hayes has a love affair with lakes.
As a kid, she would visit Michigan’s Barron and Diamond lakes and wish her family lived near a body of water.
The 1996, Niles High School graduate got married at Weko Beach in Bridgman and recently purchased a home on a small lake in South Bend.
“I literally love being on water, seeing it, smelling it, being around it,” Hayes said. “For me, as much as I love to travel and go to big cities, nothing feels more like a vacation to me than being on a body of water.”
It is fitting then, that Hayes will be co-anchoring a new television show devoted to exploring lakes lifestyle in northern Indiana, southwest Michigan and Illinois.
The weekly series, called “N.I. Lakes,” is based on N.I. Lakes Magazine.
It will, among other things, highlight families who live on the area’s many lakes or vacation on them, including celebrities such as comedian Jeff Daniels, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and basketball icon Larry Bird.
“The cool thing about it is we’ll have all different types of features,” Hayes said. “It’s not just for people who live on or near a lake; it’s also for people who enjoy being around it and want to incorporate that into their own lifestyle.”
Taping for the show is expected to begin this spring. The first show is tentatively set for sometime in September, and the time and day of the week in which the show will air is still being finalized. It will air on local PBS affiliates.
Jack Olesker, CEO of 24/7 Production and creator of the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” will co-host alongside Hayes.
Hayes met Olesker by chance while shopping for Christmas trees in Indiana last fall. Hayes was asked to anchor the show a short time later.
“It was so totally random. We didn’t know each other at all. We just got chatting and one thing led to another,” Hayes said.
The show is being produced by 24/7 Production, WNIT Public Television and N.I. Lakes Magazine. Producers are in the process of securing the final funding for the project.
Hayes is looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about the area’s lakes lifestyle.
“I really love getting out and experiencing the little festivals and community events,” Hayes said. “I am really excited to learn about the new things we can get out and experience as a family.”