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Comcast, NBC pledge $2.7M to broadcasting museum

Fri, 01/27/2012 - 2:58pm
Mike Robuck

Comcast, NBC News and NBC 5 Chicago jointly announced today that they have pledged more than $2.7 million worth of in-kind and financial support to the Chicago-based Museum of Broadcast Communications.

The new 62,000-square-foot Museum of Broadcast Communications is slated to open later this year. The museum will include exhibits, public programs, publications and online resources related to the history of the TV and radio industries.

Under the partnership with the museum, Comcast, which serves the Chicago area, will donate up to $500,000 in 30-second advertising spots every year for five years to air on Comcast cable systems to help advertise and promote the museum.

"Comcast is excited to play a significant role in launching and promoting the Museum of Broadcast Communications," said David Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast. "This major addition to Chicago promises to educate visitors about the birth and the evolution of electronic media, and we look forward to being a part of that."

To aid the museum in fulfilling its mission of telling the story of the history of television, NBC News and NBC 5 will make available select historic artifacts to the facility that can be displayed as part of temporary or permanent exhibits and donate video clips to museum archives to enhance its collection.

In addition, NBC News had previously committed $200,000 to the museum to help complete construction of the exhibits and presentation areas.

Other components of the new partnership include:

  • Naming the museum's principle presentation area the Comcast NBCUniversal Center. The Comcast NBCUniversal Center will be a venue for industry pioneers, visiting personalities, authors, journalists and scholars to present on the media and its future. Public presentations in the Comcast NBCUniversal Center may be recorded and shared on-demand and via video streaming.
  • Producing an introductory 8 to 10 minute video presentation for the Comcast NBCUniversal Center that will explore radio and television's historic role in American life and its evolving impact on society worldwide.
  • Creating a 30-minute documentary on the early days of television for local airing on NBC 5 Chicago.
  • Holding at least two public programs a year featuring NBC News and NBC 5 talent.
  • Hosting at least one annual Career Assembly for inner-city Chicago Public School students featuring NBC 5 journalists or executives.

The new museum, located in downtown Chicago at State and Kinzie streets and one of just three broadcast museums in the United States, will feature five times as much space as the previous location in the Chicago Cultural Center, which closed in 2003 so the staff could focus on the new facility.

With the additional space, the museum will be able to serve a wide range of audiences, expand its collections, and increase exhibit and programming space. On-site features include more than 15,000 square feet devoted to the exhibition of television and radio history, state-of-the-art television and radio studios for hands-on experiences, and a media-equipped education center for group orientation and teaching.

"We are grateful to have Comcast, NBC News and NBC 5 Chicago – institutions that have contributed so much to the history of television – show so much support for our new facility," said Bruce DuMont, founder, president and CEO of the Museum of Broadcast Communications. "We are excited to open our doors and share the experience with visitors."

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