Museum of Broadcast Communications

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The Museum of Broadcast Communications is an American museum, the stated mission of which is "to collect, preserve, and present historic and contemporary radio and television content as well as educate, inform and entertain through our archives, public programs, screenings, exhibits, publications and online access to our resources."[1]

The museum is located in Chicago, Illinois.

The museum building[edit]

The museum first opened in June 1987 in the River City apartment complex and remained there until Summer 1992 when it moved to the Chicago Cultural Center where it remained until the end of 2003, with plans to move to a new location in 2005 on State Street and Kinzie Street. But the planned museum move had delays in its development resulting from a fiscal stalemate with the state of Illinois. It was originally scheduled to open in Spring 2005 and later in 2009, but its half-completed building was then slated to be sold due to lack of funds, which CEO Bruce DuMont blamed on lack of state funds.[2] On November 7, 2009, DuMont announced that funding for the museum from the state of Illinois had been obtained and that construction would be restarted.[3]

In June 2010, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn stated that Illinois would give a $6 million capital grant to help complete the museum.[4] The new 62,000-square-foot Museum was back under construction in 2010. It includes expanded areas for collection development, two exhibit galleries and working radio and television studios.[5] The State of Illinois set a deadline of May 2011 to finish basic interior work and landscaping. Because of cold weather, the museum had been given a 30-day extension on an original April 30 deadline.[6]

The museum reopened in the new building on June 13, 2012.[7] The pre-opening ceremony included such notable guests as actors John Mahoney and Betty White, and newscaster Hugh Downs.[8]

Encyclopedia of Television[edit]

The museum's online resource, the Encyclopedia of Television, includes original essays relating to historic moments and trends, major policy disputes and such topics as violence, tabloid television and quiz show scandals. It also includes histories of major television networks, as well as broadcasting systems around the world, and is complemented by resource materials, photos and bibliographical information.[9] However, much of the Museum's radio and TV archive is not available online.

The Great Debate and Beyond[edit]

Chicago hosted the first televised presidential debate, between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy. It took place September 26, 1960, at WBBM-TV's former studios on McClurg Court. The Museum created an interactive, multimedia online exhibition celebrating this long relationship called "The Great Debate and Beyond: The History of Televised Presidential Debates".[10]

National Radio Hall of Fame[edit]

The second floor of the museum is home to the National Radio Hall of Fame.[4] The Radio Hall of Fame(RHOF) previously resided within the MBC at the Chicago Cultural Center before moving to its new location on State Street.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". Museum of Broadcast Communications. 
  2. ^ "Meet Bruce Dumont". Beyond The Beltway. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  3. ^ "Construction of broadcast museum resumes". Marina City Online. 13 June 2010. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  4. ^ a b "Governor Quinn To Announce $6 Million Capital Grant for Museum of Broadcast Communications" (Press release). Illinois Governor News Network. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  5. ^ Dahlman, Steve (21 March 2011). "Broadcast museum unrolls floor plans". Marina City Online. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  6. ^ "Broadcast museum moves offices into new building". Marina City Online. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  7. ^ Konkol, Martin. "New broadcast museum to open — minus historic dress". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  8. ^ "Broadcast Blitz". Chicago Sun-Times. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  9. ^ "Encyclopedia of Television". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  10. ^ The History of Televised Presidential Debates. The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 2010-08-21.[dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°53′21.16224″N 87°37′42.44″W / 41.8892117333°N 87.6284556°W / 41.8892117333; -87.6284556