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Museum of Broadcast Communications

The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) 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] It is located in Chicago, Illinois.


  • The museum's locations (1987-present) 1
  • Encyclopedia of Television 2
  • The Great Debate and Beyond 3
  • National Radio Hall of Fame 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

The museum's locations (1987-present)

The Museum of Broadcast Communications first opened in June 1987 in the River City condominium complex, located at 800 S. Wells St. It remained there until June 1992, when it moved to the Chicago Cultural Center. The MBC then left the Cultural Center in December 2003, with plans to open in a new building of its own at 360 N. State St. in 2005.[2] However, construction of the new MBC experienced various delays and setbacks, with construction stopping in 2006 and the half-completed building slated to be sold in December 2008, which MBC founder and president Bruce DuMont blamed on a lack of $6 million in state funding that had reportedly been promised to the museum three years earlier.[3]

On November 7, 2009, DuMont announced that funding for the museum from the state of Illinois had finally been obtained and that construction would begin once again.[4] Seven months later, Governor Pat Quinn stated that Illinois would give the MBC a capital grant of $6 million to help complete its construction.[5]

The new 62,000-square-foot MBC was back under construction in 2010. It was set to include expanded areas for collection development, two exhibit galleries, and working radio and television studios.[6] The State of Illinois set a deadline of May 2011 to finish basic interior work and landscaping, but because of cold weather, the museum was given a 30-day extension on its original April 30 deadline.[7]

After being dormant for eight and a half years as a brick-and-mortar destination, the museum reopened in its new location at 360 N. State St. on June 13, 2012, exactly 25 years after it first opened its doors. The pre-opening ceremony on June 12 included actors John Mahoney (Frasier) and Betty White (The Golden Girls) and newscaster Hugh Downs (20/20).[8]

Encyclopedia of Television

The museum's online resource, the 1997 edition of 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 the major television networks as well as broadcasting systems from around the world, and is complemented by resource materials, photos, and bibliographical information.

The Great Debate and Beyond

Chicago hosted the first televised presidential debate, between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy, on September 26, 1960, at WBBM-TV's former studios at 630 N. McClurg Ct. In 2000 the MBC created an interactive online exhibition titled .The Great Debate and Beyond: The History of Televised Presidential Debates

National Radio Hall of Fame

The second floor of the museum is home to the National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHOF), which has been affiliated with the MBC since 1991.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Our Mission". Museum.TV. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Storch, Charles. "Broadcast Museum on hiatus for move". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Dahlman, Steven. "Museum still waiting for state money to finish new State & Kinzie home". Loop North News. Marina City Online. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Construction of broadcast museum resumes". Marina City Online. 13 June 2010. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ Dahlman, Steve (21 March 2011). "Broadcast museum unrolls floor plans". Marina City Online. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  7. ^ "Broadcast museum moves offices into new building". Marina City Online. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  8. ^ Johnson, Steve. "Museum of Broadcast Communications opens doors". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Kening, Dan. "Improved Signal: Reopened Museum Of Broadcast Communications To Sharpen Its Focus On Radio". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 

External links

  • Museum of Broadcast Communications website
  • National Radio Hall of Fame website

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