A museum about one of the country’s first African-American owned and operated television stations is set to open in Detroit next month.
The William V. Banks Broadcast Museum & Media Center details the historic achievements of WGPR-TV 62. The museum also highlights Detroit media personalities and the growth of African-American media ownership in cable networks and internet platforms. The museum’s media center will train middle school and high school students how to operate television cameras and editing equipment.
It opens on Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The grand opening will include public remarks, a ribbon cutting and exhibit tour for special guests. The museum will then open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We are extremely excited to see this long-awaited project come to fruition,” said Joe Spencer, former WGPR program director and spokesman for the WGPR-TV Historical Society.
The museum, named after the late founder of the TV station, is inside the building that housed the original studios.
“WGPR-TV was a trailblazer in many ways, and visitors to the museum will see the amazing ways the station paved the way for minority programming and updated technology, as well as launched the careers of many successful African Americans in the media,” said Spencer.
WGPR-TV’s first broadcast was in 1975 on Channel 62 in Detroit. For 20 years the station remained on air until it was sold to CBS in 1995. The station’s sister radio station, 107.5-FM, remains on the air.