ENTERTAINMENT

‘This studio is your place’: Ryan Seacrest opens broadcast studio at Primary Children’s Hospital

Dec 5, 2023, 5:10 PM | Updated: Dec 6, 2023, 5:50 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Ryan Seacrest came to Primary Children’s Hospital on Tuesday for the opening of Seacrest Studio, a new area in the hospital lobby designed for patients and caregivers to create programs and broadcast entertainment throughout the hospital.

“This studio is your place where, kids, you get to make all the decisions. No one can tell you what to do. You don’t have to do anything. So, let your family watch through the glass and have fun,” Seacrest said.

This is the 14th Seacrest Studio created by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, a charitable organization run by the American game show host who is set to start as the new host of “Wheel of Fortune” next year.

His sister, Meredith Seacrest Leach, said the footprint of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation at the hospital will continue to grow after Tuesday’s launch.

“What we love is that all these studios can connect. So, it’s becoming this network of children’s hospitals sharing content and experiences for patients,” she said.

Seacrest said in almost every hospital in which he has placed a studio, patients who previously fought coming in for treatment will now ask their parents when they are coming in because they’ll want to use the studio, play games and see who might stop by for an interview — like Seacrest, himself.

Ryan Seacrest and his sister, Meredith Seacrest Leach, executive director of the Seacrest Foundation, speak with reporters before the opening of the Seacrest Studio at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.
Ryan Seacrest and his sister, Meredith Seacrest Leach, executive director of the Seacrest Foundation, speak with reporters before the opening of the Seacrest Studio at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. (Photo: Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com)

Hospital staff can host game shows using the studio, and patients can participate from their rooms and even get prizes. Patients at Primary Children’s Hospital will also be able to showcase their own talents, performing music and talk shows.

Seacrest said Primary Children’s has been on their list of places in which to build a studio for a long time — they try to put studios at hospitals where patients get the best care and Primary Children’s has patients from many communities. He said the timing worked out, so they could have a “magical space.”

Special moments for children

Payson Inkley, a patient at Primary Children’s, talked about interacting with Seacrest at the studio the day before its official opening. He said Seacrest was “really friendly.”

Inkley had leukemia at age 7 and spent a lot of time at the hospital. He’s now 13 and told reporters on Tuesday he has “kicked leukemia in the butt.”

Inkley is excited to use the green screen at the hospital’s new studio.

“It was really hard when I was in the hospital … (the studio is) just another thing that will make those days a little less sad,” he said.

The teen said he wants to be an actor when he grows up and Seacrest encouraged him to follow his dreams.

Payson Inkley, a patient at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, poses on the red carpet before the opening of the hospital's new Seacrest Studio on Tuesday. Celebrity talk show host Ryan Seacrest and his sister, Meredith Seacrest Leach, executive director of the Seacrest Foundation that created the broadcast studio, were on hand for its grand opening Tuesday.
Payson Inkley, a patient at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, poses on the red carpet before the opening of the hospital’s new Seacrest Studio on Tuesday. Celebrity talk show host Ryan Seacrest and his sister, Meredith Seacrest Leach, executive director of the Seacrest Foundation that created the broadcast studio, were on hand for its grand opening Tuesday. (Photo: Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com)

Katie Welkie, CEO at Primary Children’s Hospital, said they have been planning for this for years and it is an incredible opportunity to partner with an organization with such passion for children.

She is excited to watch the kids and see the difference the studio makes for them.

“Things like the Ryan Seacrest studio give kids an opportunity to … have special moments — to have a part of their healing be participating in things that really make them feel like normal kids and, actually, special kids,” she said.

Welkie said the studio will help kids make connections with each other and with children at other hospitals because they can collaborate with other Seacrest Studio locations.

“When you see a kid’s, you know, face light up because of something that they’ve done, or an interaction that they’ve had, there’s nothing like that,” she said.

Interaction with celebrities

Andy Grammar, a singer and songwriter, said creating places where kids having a hard time can find joy is important. He has been in the studio before and found one child there so good, he invited him onto the stage for his concert in Salt Lake City.

“He was incredible,” Grammar said, and he was planning to sing with him again on Tuesday.

“It’s so sweet to be around children,” he said.

Zachary Levi, an actor known for roles in “Shazam!” and “Tangled,” said he has been coming to Seacrest Studio locations for years and, each time, it is a special experience.

“I hope that by coming out here, kids see that they’re ‘sold out,’ like, we care about them. There are so many people here — not just us celebrities, but just people in general —who really care, including superheroes,” Levi said.

Zachary Levi, an actor, takes a selfie with an Intermountain Health employee Tuesday prior to the grand opening of the Secreast Foundation's newest Seacrest Studio, located inside Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Zachary Levi, an actor, takes a selfie with an Intermountain Health employee Tuesday prior to the grand opening of the Secreast Foundation’s newest Seacrest Studio, located inside Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. (Photo: Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com)

He said it is a unique opportunity for children to get to play in “the sandbox of media,” and learn how to be a radio DJ, an actor or something else.

It was the first time at a Seacrest Studio for Miles Teller, known for his role in “Top Gun, and he found it very special to be a part of it and meet the children. He said the studio can inspire a lot of interest in the children and get them excited about something, which is needed during hard times.

As a child, he said he did a TV camp and this experience would blow that out of the water. He said arts can be a way to express yourself and can be therapeutic for children.

“It gives … kids an opportunity to let loose and have fun. That’s what it’s all about,” Teller said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Entertainment

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, left, greets actor Matthew McConaughey at the 2024 summer meeting of the Nat...

Hannah Schoenbaum and Mead Gruver, Associated Press

Actor Matthew McConaughey tells governors he is still mulling future run for political office

Actor Matthew McConaughey continued to tease he might run for political office to a room full of governors Friday, joshing about drinking his brand of tequila with at least one of them the night before and taking advice from another to be himself if he ever does run.

10 hours ago

Shelley Duvall and Robin Williams in "Popeye." (Walt Disney/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock via CNN Ne...

CNN

Shelley Duvall, star of ‘The Shining,’ dead at 75

Shelley Duvall, best known for her roles in “The Shining” and several acclaimed Robert Altman films, has died, according to reports, citing a family spokesperson and her longtime partner.

2 days ago

Ashley and Ryan Smith spoke to KSL TV about their vision and passion to revitalize Salt Lake City. ...

Carole Mikita

Ryan and Ashley Smith have a vision for future of downtown, and believe it’s possible

Ryan and Ashley Smith imagine a revitalized downtown Salt Lake City and they believe it's possible.

3 days ago

husband and wife looking at each other...

Carole Mikita and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Meet the couple trying to revitalize Salt Lake City: Ashley and Ryan Smith

Ryan and Ashley Smith are Utah's new power couple. As owners of the Utah Jazz and the new NHL team, Real Salt Lake, and more, they find themselves in a position of influence.

4 days ago

FILE - This aerial photo shows part of the Bonanza Creek Ranch film set in Santa Fe, N.M., Oct. 23,...

Morgan Lee

Alec Baldwin arrives at courthouse for pretrial hearing over fatal shooting of cinematographer

A New Mexico judge is considering an array of restrictions on evidence, testimony and arguments ahead of a trial for Alec Baldwin.

5 days ago

Delaney Bayle, juggling bowling pins inside her famous living room....

Peter Rosen

The trick to Utah woman’s world-class juggling: Her living room

A Salt Lake City woman has been making a big name for herself in the juggling world and has been called a “phenom” and “the best female juggler ever.”

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

‘This studio is your place’: Ryan Seacrest opens broadcast studio at Primary Children’s Hospital