The WGPR-TV Historical Society is a registered 501 (3)(c) non-profit established by former WGPR employees, many of whom launched their careers at the station. The origin of Society came from a realization that the story of WGPR needed to preserved and that a museum was the best cultural institution to collect, archive and present the station’s history.
The WGPR TV-62 Historical Society established and operates the William V. Banks Broadcast Museum. Over a 24 month period the Society collected photographs, oral histories, artifacts and memorabilia on station history. They worked with a museum designer to create exhibit that was first seen at the Detroit Historical Museum’s Community Gallery from January to April of 2016. The exhibit story panels were designed to be portable and were stored while the original studio of TV62 was converted and renovated to create space for the William V. Banks Broadcast Museum & Media Center. Sponsorship support from the International Masons and WGPR Radio Inc. made this possible.
Organizational Timeline of Key Events
In the span of six years, the Detroit Historical Society went from organizing as a non-profit to opening a museum. Members of the Society, all former WGPR TV employees gave generously of their time, expertise and funding to make the William V. Banks Broadcast Museum a reality.
▪ January 2011 WGPR-TV Historical Society becomes a registered non-profited organization.
▪ September 27, 2013 The WGPR-TV Historical Society officially announces plans to establish a museum at the studios of the first black owned and operated television station in the country, located in Detroit, Michigan at 3146 East Jefferson.
▪ February 21, 2014 The WGPR-TV Historical Society hosts its first major fundraising event at the Detroit Historical Musuem to raise monies to bring the vision of a WGPR-TV Museum to life.
▪ January 2016
- The America Broadcast Pioneer exhibit on the history of WGPR opens at the Detroit Historical Museum’s Community Gallery
- A Michigan Historical Marker is erected at 3146 East Jefferson, the location of WGPR TV and 107.5FM
▪ January 2017 The William V. Banks Broadcast Museum official opens on January 16, 2017, Martin Luther King Day.