Betty White tops broadcast museum’s 25th anniversary salute
Bruce DuMont and Betty White
Mark your calendar: On June 12, the Museum of Broadcast Communications will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a star-studded gala headlined by Betty White.
And the next day, if all goes as planned, the museum will officially reopen in its new 62,000 square-foot facility at 360 North State Street — 25 years to the day after its original home in the South Loop’s River City complex opened. (After five years there, the museum relocated to the Chicago Cultural Center, where it remained through 2003.)
The new site in River North has been partially open since December, with public access to the National Radio Hall of Fame Gallery. More than 400 visitors filled the second floor February 8 for the public memorial service for Don Cornelius.
For Bruce DuMont, founder, president and CEO of the museum, to guarantee the ribbon-cutting on June 13, he still needs to secure a major grant from Exelon Corp. and several others he’s seeking. Without those funds added to a recent pledge from Comcast Corp., NBC News and NBC 5 Chicago, the opening could be imperiled yet again. But as he has proved over and over, DuMont, 67, is nothing if not optimistic when it comes to his museum.
As part of the NBC News alliance, DuMont said, the museum is acquiring the set of Meet the Press from the Tim Russert era to be displayed in a permanent exhibit on the third floor. Historic clips from Meet the Press will be screened continuously.
In preparation for the museum becoming fully operational, DuMont said he’s looking to expand its board of directors beyond the current 13 members. Prerequisites for membership, he said, are “being aggressive in asking for money and having a passion for driving the museum to the next level.”
Summer interns also are being sought in the fields of new media, design, library and museum studies, and communications.