Renee Crown Media Center new name of WTTW building

Renee Crown, whose name now graces WTTW’s broadcast facility (Photo, John Reilly)

After more than 50 years of simply being called “the broadcast facility,” WTTW’s three-storey building at 5400 N. St. Louis on the Northeastern University campus, will have a meaningful new name. 

As of April 15, the building will be known as “The Renee Crown Public Media Center,” made possible through the generosity of a gift from the billionaire Crown family of Chicago.

Well worthy of the naming honor, Mrs. Crown for more than three decades has been a tireless leader and supporter of the station.  She is a trustee of Window to the World Communications (WWCI, parent of WTTW/11 WFTM), and serves on the executive, development, governance and WFMT Radio Network committees.

On April 15, plaques with the new Media Center name will be erected outside and inside the building and a portrait of Renee Crown will hang in the reception area.

All digital, radio and television platforms will refer to the Media Center. WTTW and WFMT will each retain its station name and identity, and all other existing acknowledgements remain in place.


Mrs. Crown and her husband, Lester, the Crown family’s patriarch, are co-chairs of the stations’ annual gala, May 1 at WTTW, which raises general operating support for WTTW and WFMT. The gala is themed “Come & Play” in recognition of the station’s dedication to children’s programming and services.

Two of the gala’s special guests so far have been announced: Soprano Jackie Evancho, a winner of “America’s Got Talent;” 14-year old music prodigy Ethan Barnick, star of a PBS special, and members of the Chicago Children’s choir.

“With the Crown family’s unprecedented gift, says WWCI president/CEO Dan Schmidt, “We will serve a global Chicago with more content across our many platforms, connect our community with stories and resources for real-world issues, and build for tomorrow as a flexible, active and technologically-enhanced media company.”