“America’s Broadcasting Pioneer: WGPR TV62” is the name of the museum project that is seeking funds to design an exhibition of the nation’s first African American owned TV station.
Visitors to this exhibition will learn how station founder William V. Banks was able to: obtain a broadcast license, raise one million dollars to the launch the station, produce numerous original programs and become a career springboard for hundreds of aspiring journalists and broadcast professionals.
Remember “The Scene” Dance show with Nat Morris, or the Electrifying Mojo’s broadcasting on WGPR 107.5 FM? If yes, then you experienced some the influence of WGPR. Founder William V. Banks first owned radio station 107.5 FM before he founded WGPR TV62. Both properties operated under same roof.
And that is just the tip of WGPR’s rich history! Our vision is to move the exhibit, at its conclusion of its run at the Detroit Historical Museum’s Community Gallery, to the original studios of WGPR to for a permanent museum. WGPR TV62 went on the air, September 29, 1975 and continued for the next 20 years to be a broadcast pioneer.
This effort is being managed by the WGPR TV Historical Society, a registered non-profit organization. We are working with museum fabricators and exhibit professionals to help craft an engaging museum experience from a treasure trove of photos, artifacts, videos and a congratulatory message from then President Gerald Ford. The exhibit will open on January 23, 2016.