Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ryan Seacrest opens Children’s Hospital studio

by John Kiesewetter

Ryan Seacrest couldn’t have provided a bigger distraction or diversion Monday at Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
The “American Idol” host signed on the hospital’s new closed-circuit WKID 33 TV channel with the help of singers Jason Derulo and Drew Lachey from the new glass-enclosed Seacrest Studios, while a huge crowd of patients, their parents and staffers watched.
The 1,000-square-foot multimedia studios, the largest of the six funded by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, were conceived “to provide a distraction or diversion” for parents and their families “to take their mind off why they’re here,” Seacrest said before the inaugural broadcast.
Manning the studio’s audio board, as if he was broadcasting his national radio show heard on KISS107 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), he asked Derulo if his hit single “Marry Me” puts pressure on him to propose to girlfriend Jordin Sparks, the 2007 “American Idol” winner.
“I know it will be pretty soon. I never intended it to be a hit,” said Derulo, who came to Cincinnati from performing in Dubai Friday with Alicia Keys.
Seacrest, who also hosts and produces ABC’s “Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” and E! channel’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” said Monday he encourages celebrity friends to visit his foundation’s studios in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Dallas, Orange County and Cincinnati hospitals.
Britney Spears soon will visit Orange County, while Justin Timberlake will go to the Atlanta studios in a couple of weeks, he said.
“That’s the kind of activity we hope you’ll see here,” he said.
After the ribbon cutting with two young patients, and broadcasting for about a half-hour on WKID33, Seacrest posted for pictures with dozens of patients in a private reception behind the studios.
Seacrest, Derulo and Lachey also drew a huge media crowd before the ceremony. They did interviews with all four TV stations, Jenell Walton from “The List” and “Entertainment Tonight.” (Then they posed for pictures with many of the reporters.)  I also asked him about the new “American Idol” season starting Jan. 15.  Jennifer Lopez returns for the 13th season “with her wardrobe,” he said, to judge with Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr.