Jay Shefsky gets caught up in other people’s enthusiasm. Whether it’s their love of fishing, raising monarch butterflies, or improving the lives of neighborhood kids, Jay would rather hear the stories and passions of everyday people than just about anything. And he’s lucky enough to spend his days creating video profiles of people all around Chicago.
These stories air first on Chicago Tonight, WTTW’s nightly newsmagazine. Then we arrange them into themes for Jay’s Chicago, like “Life’s Work,” “Bucking Tradition” and “Don’t Try and Stop Me.” The first season of Jay’s Chicago included 50 stories. They are all on this website and you can watch some of our favorites here. Season two began in 2012.
Jay Shefsky has been at WTTW for more than 25 years. Jay spent many years behind the scenes, creating his unique brand of award-winning, human interest documentaries. In 2003, Angels Too Soon told the story of the tragic 1959 fire at Our Lady of Angels School and won a Regional Emmy Award. His 2000 documentary A Justice That Heals was about an Evanston murder and the remarkable reconciliation that followed between the murderer and the victims mother. As Series Producer of Chicago Stories with John Callaway, he oversaw the production of 15 historical documentaries about Chicago.
In 2005, Jay joined the staff of Chicago Tonight and then stepped in front of the camera to tell stories about life in Chicago. Now, those Chicago Tonight feature stories have their own home on Jay's Chicago.
Jay's work has been honored with numerous awards, including Emmys, Peter Lisagor journalism awards, and a Cine Golden Eagle. His work has been broadcast nationally on PBS and on the ABCNEWS Nightline program.
His wife Liz Feldman and daughters Hannah and Leah are the best part of Jay's Chicago.