Broadcast Museum receives Comcast, NBC/NBC 5 grants

The Museum of Broadcast Communications got its biggest funding boost since Gov. Pat Quinn came through with the $6 million grant that ex-Gov. Blagojevich promised but never delivered: A $2.7 million grant from Comcast Corp., NBC News and NBC 5 Chicago.

The grant will help move forward the long delayed opening of the 62,000 sq. ft. building at State and Kinzie.  MBC has been partially open since December, with public access to the National Radio Hall of Fame Gallery.

It also provides kind promotion through on-air PSAs, exhibits and public programs.

Comcast will donate up to $500,000 of 30-second spots annually for five years to air on Comcast cable systems.  NBC News and NBC 5 will contribute historical artifacts to be displayed in various exhibits. 

The museum’s main presentation area will be named the Comcast NBCUniversal Center and it will feature a video presentation about radio and TV’s historic role in American life.  NBC News and NBC 5 talent will hold at least two public programs there and host at least one annual Career Assembly for inner city students featuring NBC 5 personalities.

The new museum is only one of only three broadcast museum in the U.S. and will offer five times as much space as its previous Cultural Center location, with more room for collection expansion and increased exhibit and programming space.

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

MBC founder/CEO Bruce DuMont says his goal is to open MBC on June 13, 25 years to the day after its original home in the South Loop’s River City opened.  To meet that goal, an additional major grant is being sought from Exelon Corp.

The MBC will celebrate March National Women’s History Month with a special presentation, “Images of Women on Television.”