This Old House Makes House Call And Finds New Host

April 7, 2003

New York-This Old House announces a new host today. Kevin O'Connor, 34, will join the ensemble cast of America's favorite home improvement team and its companion show, Ask This Old House, to help provide viewers with useful and practical home improvement advice.

His route to the job is as unorthodox as it is unscripted. A short while ago, Kevin, an eager, but somewhat overwhelmed home enthusiast with a major fixer-upper, went searching for help. He and his wife Kathleen were struggling to remove layers of wallpaper in their first home, an 1894 Queen Anne Victorian. They sent an e-mail to the experts at Ask This Old House-the show that provides solutions to home improvement problems by bringing an expert crew to homeowners' doorsteps.

A few weeks later, general contractor Tom Silva and painting contractor Jim Clark, along with a camera crew, showed up to give Kevin and Kathleen advice and a helping hand. As they spent the day filming, the camaraderie was instantaneous. "We had a great day working together, stripping wallpaper and swapping home improvement stories," says Kevin. "It was a fantastic experience. The same guys I watched on television were helping us prepare the walls to wallpaper the front hallway of our new home. It was a dream come true."

Imagine Kevin's surprise when the producers of This Old House, who were in the process of searching for a new host, came calling again. "In Kevin, we found the perfect mixture of optimism and energy, two ingredients an old house owner must have to survive," says Russell Morash, creator, executive producer and director of This Old House and Ask This Old House. "When we later saw him on camera, the 'eureka' bell went off and we said that's our guy, the universal Everyman who wants to fix up his house if only he knew how. He instantly hit it off with the crew, peppering them with questions and absorbing all of their pointers. His curiosity was refreshing. Who better to host the show than a first-time homeowner and a loyal viewer who grew up watching the show?"

"I jumped at the opportunity," says Kevin. "I've admired the This Old House crew for years. Now, I have the chance to ask them the questions from the perspective of a first-time old homeowner. Best of all, I get to work right along beside them."

Having landed his dream job, Kevin will soon be immersed in This Old House "boot camp," working in the field with master carpenter Norm Abram, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

Shooting for the 25th season of This Old House and the second season of Ask This Old House begins in April. The series will debut exclusively on PBS this fall (check local listings).

This Old House and Ask This Old House are produced by This Old House Productions, Inc. for This Old House Ventures, Inc. and presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. This Old House and Ask This Old House creator, executive producer, and director is Russell Morash. Senior producer is Bruce Irving.

This Old House funding is currently provided by Ace Hardware Corporation, GMC, Kohler Co. and State Farm Insurance Companies. Ask This Old House funding is currently provided by Andersen Windows, Inc.; Century 21 Real Estate Corporation; GMC; and Lumber Liquidators, Inc.

This Old House, the No. 1 home enthusiast brand, reaches more than 45 million adults every month*. Its flagship television series, This Old House, is the highest-rated and most awarded home improvement series in television history and continues to be the leading authority on home improvement and renovation. Its second series, Ask This Old House, was recently nominated for three Emmy Awards in its first year. This Old House magazine reaches six million readers a month and www.thisoldhouse.com, an information-driven Web site, offers unmatched expertise and practical advice.

This Old House Ventures, Inc. is an affiliate of Time4 Media® and an indirect subsidiary of Time Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc.

WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of nearly one-third of PBS's prime-time lineup and companion online content as well as many public radio favorites. For more information visit www.wgbh.org. *Source: Fall 2002 MRI

Contact Info:

"Frederika Brookfield, This Old House Ventures, Inc." 212-522-5809

"Leah Orfanos, WGBH Boston" 617-300-5416

"Photography contact: Rebecca Singer, WGBH Boston" 617-300-5305

Shayla O'Neil 617-300-5349