Museum of Broadcast Communications

Museum of Broadcast Communications We believe in the power of broadcast, be it radio, television or the digital world. We also believe

We are a hub to inspire inquiry, respectful discussion, thoughtful examination and celebration of entertainment and news. We teach historical framing to make the past relevant to today and tomorrow while ensuring the inclusion of diverse voices. We design and support exhibits, curriculum and programs to serve as a bridge between producers, consumers, academics and students.

Can you believe it's already December?If you're planning to visit us this holiday season, we'll be closing early on Dec ...
12/15/2022

Can you believe it's already December?
If you're planning to visit us this holiday season, we'll be closing early on Dec 24 & 31, and closed on Dec 25 & Jan 1.
Hope to see you soon!

Today, wireless phones are a part of everyday life, but in 1901 it was unthinkable. That is until Guglielmo Marconi succ...
12/09/2022

Today, wireless phones are a part of everyday life, but in 1901 it was unthinkable. That is until Guglielmo Marconi successfully received a message between St. John's Newfoundland and England on December 12th of that year using a 150 meter long antenna attached to a kite. While he only heard the faint clicks of Morse code, Marconi had changed history and is considered the earliest pioneer of wireless communications which led to considerable advances in technology that we enjoy today.


Tis’ the season and once again the city is filled with cheer. Whether you’re shopping on Michigan Ave, visiting the wind...
12/07/2022

Tis’ the season and once again the city is filled with cheer. Whether you’re shopping on Michigan Ave, visiting the window displays at the old Marshall Field’s building, or ice skating in Millennium Park, there’s always plenty to do this time of year. And if you need a break from the holiday hustle and bustle, come to the MBC and take in some amazing exhibits including A Century of Radio, the Chicago School of Television and more. We’re located right in the middle of all the action so stop by Thursday-Saturday (10am-4pm) and make the MBC part of the festivities. You'll also love our gift shop--lots of holiday stocking stuffers and gifts to choose from. See you soon!

High-Yo Silver! Away! In December 1933, WGN Chicago began airing The Lone Ranger three nights a week from WXYZ Detroit. ...
12/02/2022

High-Yo Silver! Away! In December 1933, WGN Chicago began airing The Lone Ranger three nights a week from WXYZ Detroit. What made this radio broadcast special was that the two stations were independent of each other until ten months later when the Mutual Network was formed - kicking off what some people call the “Golden Age”of U.S. Radio Dramas.” Another popular show, The Adventures of Superman was also broadcast and out of four of the major radio networks at the time, the Mutual Network had the most affiliates in the U.S. For decades the network ran strong, but never expanded into television and was eventually sold to Westwood One in 1985.

Support the power of broadcasting! MBC relies on donations from media professionals, enthusiasts & scholars like you to ...
11/29/2022

Support the power of broadcasting! MBC relies on donations from media professionals, enthusiasts & scholars like you to support our education and archival missions. Please consider including us in your Giving Tuesday plans this year at https://tinyurl.com/MBC2022Gift

Every year since 1973, kids and adults alike have gathered round to watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving television spec...
11/25/2022

Every year since 1973, kids and adults alike have gathered round to watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving television special. Originally airing on CBS, this classic, Emmy winning show contained one of the most famous scenes of any Peanuts special with Lucy pulling the football away just as Charlie Brown runs up to kick it – resulting in Charlie falling on his back. The special, which runs for 25 minutes total, moved around to different networks over the years with ABC, The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon airing it. This year it airs on Apple TV and we’re looking forward to watching it almost as much as the holiday itself.

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One of the most beloved broadcasts over the holidays is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Held in New York City, the p...
11/23/2022

One of the most beloved broadcasts over the holidays is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Held in New York City, the parade was the result of the expansion of the Macy’s department store in 1924, making it the largest store in New York at the time. To celebrate, Macy’s decided to throw a parade to kick off the season with a procession which ran for six miles through Manhattan. The parade was filled with massive balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns and more. The parade was first televised on Nov. 27, 1953, and ever since has pulled viewers of all ages. This year, it will be broadcast on both NBC and CBS from 8am-11am. Kick off your Thanksgiving with an event steeped in tradition and fun for the whole family.

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Every year between November 13 and 19th is Transgender Awareness Week – a time when trans people and their allies bring ...
11/18/2022

Every year between November 13 and 19th is Transgender Awareness Week – a time when trans people and their allies bring attention to their community while raising awareness around issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence towards those who identify as transgender. In the media trans people have begun to see and create positive representation through various outlets, some of which include Trans Radio UK, This Way Out Radio and TV programs with trans actors and characters in shows such as Work in Progress, Billions and Orange is the New Black. And while there's a ways to go when it comes to transgender representation and rights, these shows and others are paving the way and making a positive impact on viewers and listeners for the future.

Coming downtown for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival this weekend?  Stop in to warm up and get a start on your holid...
11/17/2022

Coming downtown for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival this weekend? Stop in to warm up and get a start on your holiday shopping! The Hardrock, Coco and Joe DVD is back in stock, and we just got really great mugs and water bottles with our new logo. If you can't make it in person, check the online museum store at www.museum.tv

In 2005, Ted Koppel, one of the longest running anchors of ABC’s Nightline retired after 25 years. His final broadcast o...
11/16/2022

In 2005, Ted Koppel, one of the longest running anchors of ABC’s Nightline retired after 25 years. His final broadcast of Nightline was unique in that it didn’t feature star studded interviews or famous moments from the past, but rather focused on his 1995 interview with college professor Morrie Schwartz, who was suffering with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. As part of the broadcast, he also interviewed sports journalist Mitch Albom, a former student of Schwartz who was inspired to visit him once a week. These visits became the basis of the best-selling book Tuesdays with Morrie, chronicling life lessons as told by Schwartz - giving Koppel's last broadcast the kind of impact that few TV anchors have been able to achieve.

Veteran broadcaster, Radio Hall of Fame inductee, and long-time Radio Hall of Fame ceremony announcer Jim Bohannon passe...
11/12/2022

Veteran broadcaster, Radio Hall of Fame inductee, and long-time Radio Hall of Fame ceremony announcer Jim Bohannon passed away today at 78 years of age. During his long and celebrated career, Bohannon anchored the 'America in the Morning' news magazine show, as well as hosted the 'Jim Bohannon Show' for over 30 years. His distinctive voice will be missed.

For more about his life and achievements, see https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/legacyremembers/james-bohannon-obituary?id=37339790

This week, NBC’s Meet the Press, one of the most influential and longest running political talk shows on television, cel...
11/11/2022

This week, NBC’s Meet the Press, one of the most influential and longest running political talk shows on television, celebrated its 75thanniversary. Starting in 1945 as a radio program, the show evolved into a forum for interviews with top political figures covering a wide variety of topics including politics, economics and foreign policy with roundtable discussions which provided opinions and analysis. One of the most notable moderators of the show, Tim Russert helped guide the show into new territories and as a result, was a staple in the political talk show world. Come see the final set he used during his tenure as host.

Longtime WGN-TV and WGN Radio meteorologist Roger Treimstra passed away this week at the age of 92. Beginning his weathe...
11/04/2022

Longtime WGN-TV and WGN Radio meteorologist Roger Treimstra passed away this week at the age of 92. Beginning his weather career in the Air Force's Strategic Weather Command, Treimstra worked at WLS before moving to WGN in 1967, where he remained until his retirement in 1998.

Tonight, we celebrate the Radio Hall of Fame's 2022 class of inductees, Broadway Bill Lee, Carol Miller, Chris 'Mad Dog'...
11/01/2022
2022 Inductees — Radio Hall Of Fame

Tonight, we celebrate the Radio Hall of Fame's 2022 class of inductees, Broadway Bill Lee, Carol Miller, Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo, Ellen K, Jeff Smulyan, Lon Helton, Marv Dyson, Suzyn Waldman and Walt 'Baby' Love. Congratulations to these industry veterans on their well-deserved honors! https://www.radiohalloffame.com/2022-inductees

Congratulations to this year’s inductees who will be honored in-person at the 2022 Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, November 1 at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. .

Chuck Lorre, also known by his given name Charles Michael Levine, is an American film & television director, writer, pro...
10/28/2022

Chuck Lorre, also known by his given name Charles Michael Levine, is an American film & television director, writer, producer, composer and actor. Originally a musician who played guitar and sang, he spent more than a decade on the road before deciding to go into television – starting off as an animation script writer for DC and Marvel Productions. Lorre's big break however came in 1991, when he became a supervising producer of the ABC mega hit comedy Roseanne. Working his way up to co-executive producer, he helped bring the show to a high level of critical and popular acclaim which earned him the title: "King of Sitcoms". And for good reason. His other creations include other hit shows like Grace Under Fire, Cybill, Dharma & Greg, Two and a Half Men and more. All hail the king!

Jules Bass, a pioneer of stop-motion animation, died this week at 87 years of age. His work is perhaps best known from 1...
10/27/2022

Jules Bass, a pioneer of stop-motion animation, died this week at 87 years of age. His work is perhaps best known from 1964's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and 1969's Frosty the Snowman, which were painstakingly shot frame-by-frame using jointed dolls making small, precise movements along with his producing partner Arthur Rankin, Jr. Bass was also a lyricist on several of his films, writing such familiar songs as "I Believe in Santa Claus" and the "Snow & Heat Miser Song."

RCA (Radio Corporation of America) was a major player for decades in the communications industry. Founded in 1919, it wa...
10/26/2022

RCA (Radio Corporation of America) was a major player for decades in the communications industry. Founded in 1919, it was initially owned by several companies including General Electric, Westinghouse, AT&T and the United Fruit Company. In 1932 however, that all changed when RCA became an independent company as part of the settlement of a government antitrust suit. As a stand-alone firm, RCA dominated the electronics and communications sectors and was on the cutting edge of the radio industry in the 1920’s. As a major manufacturer of radio receivers, RCA also created the first nationwide U.S. radio network, known as the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). As if that wasn’t impressive enough, they also pioneered the development of black and white and color TV’s.

In October of 1984, BBC TV made journalism history with its coverage of the famine in a remote region of northern Ethiop...
10/21/2022

In October of 1984, BBC TV made journalism history with its coverage of the famine in a remote region of northern Ethiopia. Reported by Michael Buerk, and filmed by Kenyan cameraman Mohammed Amin, this powerful report showed this crisis firsthand and despite the lack of social media and other digital news outlets, the story was picked up by over 400 stations worldwide including NBC which kept Buerk’s dialogue intact (instead of dubbing his voice for American audiences) which was unheard of at the time. The report spawned several charitable movements. The most famous of which was the Live Aid concert in July of 1985. Featuring an all-star lineup of artists, it raised millions for Ethiopians affected by the famine, making for another historic moment in modern media history. Without Buerk’s initial report however, none of this would have happened, making it one of the most important broadcast events of the 20th century.

In 1974, NBC vice president of late-night programming, Dick Ebersol was asked to create a show for the Saturday night sl...
10/19/2022

In 1974, NBC vice president of late-night programming, Dick Ebersol was asked to create a show for the Saturday night slot. Ebersol approached Lorne Michaels, who had an idea for a variety show with comedy sketches, political satire, and musical guests that targeted the 18- to 34-year-old demographic. On Oct. 11, 1975 the first SNL aired. It was a hit that launched film careers for many cast members including greats such as John Belushi, Chris Farley and Chevy Chase. To keep things interesting, the live aspect of the show resulted in several controversies and acts of censorship, with mistakes and intentional acts "off-script" by performers as well as guests. After four decades on air, Saturday Night Live has received 252 Primetime Emmy Awards, six Writers Guild of America Awards, and two Peabody Awards. In 2000, it was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

We're celebrating the 75th anniversary of Kukla, Fran, and Ollie today! We'll be screening classic episodes starting aro...
10/15/2022

We're celebrating the 75th anniversary of Kukla, Fran, and Ollie today! We'll be screening classic episodes starting around 1:30pm, followed at 3pm by a 'broadcast' from Co-Prosperity of live, new “episodes” where the descendants of the Kuklapolitans learn about the history of puppetry, KFO, and children’s TV in Chicago. Brought to you by the Chicago History Museum, Museum of Broadcast Communications, and the Newberry Library. Join us for this look back at what made KFO special, and how it still resonates with audiences. The program is included with your museum admission today!

On October 9th, 1986, The Late Show first aired on what was then a new network called Fox. Unrelated to CBS' later itera...
10/14/2022

On October 9th, 1986, The Late Show first aired on what was then a new network called Fox. Unrelated to CBS' later iteration of The Late Show, the new Fox series was hosted by comedian Joan Rivers. It was positioned to compete with the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson which angered him as Rivers was a regular guest host on his show and didn’t mention she had her own show in the works. Her show wasn’t as successful as the Tonight Show and the ratings soon dropped – putting Rivers at odds with Fox executives who eventually fired her in 1987. For her last hurrah, in true comedic fashion, she left a “parting gift”, which consisted of vandalizing the set with toilet paper and shaving cream.

In October of 1992, the Cartoon Network launched the first 24-hour channel featuring animation as its main focus. Owned ...
10/07/2022

In October of 1992, the Cartoon Network launched the first 24-hour channel featuring animation as its main focus. Owned by Warner Bros, the network launched with a special event called Droopy's Guide to the Cartoon Network hosted by MGMs Tom & Jerry and cartoon character Droopy. The channel’s initial programing consisted exclusively of reruns of classic Warner Bros. cartoons, such as “Looney Tunes”, “Popeye”, Cartoons from MGM studios as well as Hanna-Barbera – making for a fun and hilarious outlet for those seeking a quick laugh or reminisce about the golden days of animation. It has now become a television staple with other successful shows such as “Ed, Edd n Eddy” “Johnny Bravo” and the “Powderpuff Girls” to name a few.

Congratulations to Alan Krashesky ABC7 on his well-earned upcoming retirement! We've welcomed him into our homes for the...
10/05/2022

Congratulations to Alan Krashesky ABC7 on his well-earned upcoming retirement! We've welcomed him into our homes for the last 40 years at ABC 7 Chicago and it will be bittersweet when he signs off his last newscast on November 22.

In 1946, pioneer Raoul A. Cortez launched KCOR 1350 AM in San Antonio, Texas. It was the nation’s first Hispanic owned-a...
10/05/2022

In 1946, pioneer Raoul A. Cortez launched KCOR 1350 AM in San Antonio, Texas. It was the nation’s first Hispanic owned-and-operated Spanish-language radio station and served as the foundation for Hispanic media in the years to come. In addition to radio, Cortez also launched KCOR-TV, Channel 41, the nation’s first full-time Spanish-language TV station which was purchased by an investment group in 1962 who used the station as a jumping off point to launch two new media companies which became known as Univision. Today as the leading Spanish-language media and content company in the world TelevisaUnivision is a household name among their Hispanic audience. This powerful network has worked hard to appeal to their growing audience by instituting policies of language neutrality regarding dialects and also prohibited the use of English in its programming, making the network a powerful media outlet aimed to entertain and inform native Spanish speakers through news, shows and other forms of entertainment.

WTTW was founded in 1955 with the goal of providing educational television shows to those without the means or proximity...
09/30/2022

WTTW was founded in 1955 with the goal of providing educational television shows to those without the means or proximity to the city of Chicago. The station’s first program, Report to the Teachers, premiered on September 6 of that year, and was one of what would become 40 regularly scheduled programs which aired each week. After only a year, WTTW was already a trailblazer in television production, providing the first live remote broadcast from Orchestra Hall; the first language course and, with the Chicago’s Board of Education, the first college courses through its TV College series. WTTW was one of the few stations in the nation to offer daily tele-courses which reached approximately 7 million students in the midwest region. As the years went on, WTTW became know for it's engaging, educational and entertaining programming which included iconic kids shows such as Sesame Street, as well as programming for the arts beginning with its groundbreaking Festival series that offered Chicagoans a front row seat to ballet, modern dance, music, satire, and dramatic performances. Some other shows of note included "Chicago: City of the Century", "Curious Traveler" and the well known "Frugal Gourmet" among many others throughout its 60 year history.

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Reflections on joy, friendship, wonder, and happy surprises that help keep us buoyed in tough times.

With special guest appearances by Gurdeep Pandher Joy Harjo Hosea Sanders ABC7 Museum of Broadcast Communications Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation Dalai Lama Mission:JOY RUMI Divine-Love Quinta Brunson Sheryl Lee Ralph ABC 7 Chicago and more
Andrea Darlas joins WGN Radio’s Dave Plier to talk about The Museum of Broadcast Communications upcoming event ‘An Evening with Lisa Ann Walter and Sheryl Lee Ralph from ABC-TV’s Hit Comedy Series Abbott Elementary’, hosted by ABC7 Chicago’s Hosea Sanders. Tuesday, February 22nd from 7pm-8pm. For tickets to this online event, visit museum.tv.

Friday night from 6-7pm, Dave welcomes America’s original anchorman, Bill Kurtis to talk about his return to A&E’s ‘Cold Case Files’, it’s newest season and nearly five decades since he and Walter Jacobson were paired together on ‘THE 10’Clock News’. Andrea Darlas will join Dave to talk about an upcoming event at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications ‘An Evening with the Stars' of ABC-TV’s Abbott Elementary; plus Mike Toomey from the WGN Morning News will talk about his appearance at next week’s ‘Comedy for Cancer’ fundraiser. It all starts at 6pm CST on AM720, wgnradio.com and on smart speakers everywhere!

‘The Dave Plier Show’ will replay at 5pm Saturday with and encore of his conversation with Bill Kurtis and to celebrate President’s Day on Monday, Dave welcomes renowned American Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Remembering Bill Jackson, BJ '57, who died Monday in California. He was 86. Jackson hosted several Chicago TV programs in the 1960s and 1970s including "The B.J. and the Dirty Dragon," "The Blob" and "Gigglesnort Hotel." Puppets and other items from his shows are featured in an exhibit about Jackson at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.

"After leaving Chicago TV in 1978 Jackson moved west to join California Institute of the Arts, where he taught TV production until he retired in 1990," reports Robert Feder.

Dave Plier Show WGN spoke with Jackson in September 2015: https://wgnradio.com/news/remembering-chicago-tv-legend-bill-jackson/.

Robert Feder: https://www.robertfeder.com/2022/01/19/bill-bj-jackson-1935-2022/.
Pat Brickhouse, wife of legendary WGN sportscaster Jack Brickhouse has died at 91. She was a special friend and very involved in the Museum of Broadcast Communications. When she walked into a room, you know she was there. Back in 2016 when I was visiting her in Phoenix while on business, we watch a Cubs playoff game at one of her favorites places. Many years ago, she attended my 40th birthday at Wrigley Field and attended countless holiday parties in our home. She gifted me a radio that WGN Radio's Wally Phillips gave Jack upon his retirement in 1981. Something I will always cherish. Truly a sweet woman, Thank you for your friendship, Pat. You will be missed.
Happy Heavenly 100th to Betty White! 🌹🎂🌹

Photo of Betty White taken in person by our own Count Gregula in 2012 at the Grand Opening of the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
☹️🎙📻🐻⚾️🐻🏈🏀🏒
Such sad news to hear about the unexpected death of legendary Oak Park actress Betty White at the age of 99 on the last day of 2021. These media photos vere taken in person by Count Gregula as he vas reporting during the Grand Opening Ceremony at the Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) in June 2012. Actor John Mahoney and news broadcaster Hugh Downs vere also in attendance during that event.

Count and Countess seen Betty White again on the second floor inside the museum as she exited the office. They tried to get a photo vith her, but she seemed to be in a hurry to get over to her next stop that day. At least they have these memories. Now all three icons have passed on since these photos vere originally taken. Here is a 2022 toast in Heaven to John, Hugh and Betty! 🥂
Museum of Broadcast Communications remembers Michael Nesmith of the Monkees. 1942-2021.
The earliest commercial for General Boushelle, I remember is this little boy who walked thru some dirt and grime, walked into the house and we heard his mother angering at him.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced that the Radio Hall of Fame has named Jade Springart as its One To Watch award winner. The Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee selects a promising radio personality or team each year for the award.

https://bit.ly/3Gfphjc
In his Monday column, Robert Feder reports on the new Museum of Broadcast Communications exhibit which, among other things, will feature WGN Radio’s original Studio A that we broadcast from, as did Bob Collins, Roy Leonard and Spike O’Dell. Just click the link below to read the entire article.
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