Tony J. Yuscius, (wife Sharon), a 1979 graduate of Griffin High School, is a second-generation entrepreneur as founder and president of Springfield’s Advanced Digital Media. Advanced offers video crews for hire, and more noteworthily, a website called blueroomstream.com that live-streams unedited coverage of virtually every news conference in the Blue Room of the Illinois Statehouse, as well as other political and government events, including some committee hearings and rallies.
Tony’s innovative business grew out of his many years with the Illinois Information Service, helicoptering around the state with Illinois governors Thompson and Edgar, recording gubernatorial public appearances and speeches with his trusty minicam.
He got his start as an intern with the Illinois Information Service his senior year of high school, when Tony remembers being pulled out of class on a moment’s notice to travel with “Big Jim” Thompson all over the state. It was the dawn of the transition from bulky, stationary video cameras that used film to more portable ones that “taped.” And, so one reason Tony was so invaluable to IIS, while just an intern, was that he was the first and almost only staffer willing and able to master the new 50-pound video recorder that was the first equipment in its genre portable enough to properly be called a “minicam.” (He also the only one with the drive and patience to work with IIS’s technical staff to decipher the new camera’s operator’s manual written only in Japanese.)
As you might guess, Tony’s internship led to a job offer he couldn’t refuse upon his graduation from Griffin. A critical part of IIS’ mission was to provide video for use by TV news. For several years, Tony worked as an IIS camera operator and video editor who could be counted on not to miss big “gubernatorial” moments and key camera angles in everything from inaugural speeches to events on the campaign stump. After that, Tony “migrated” to PIO (public information officer). Then, at the start of the George Ryan administration, he moved over to Springfield’s Channel 20, where he worked the TV news before starting his own company in 1992.