Broadcast Museum Celebrates First Anniversary

A Detroit museum dedicated to the achievements of the nation’s first black-owned television station will hold its anniversary on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The WGPR-TV62 Historical Society says the January 15 event at the William V. Banks Broadcast Museum & Media Center will include a black media history quiz and video clips of speeches by King, a civil rights icon.

The museum is named after WGPR’s founder and is located at 3146 East Jefferson Ave., in the same building where the station’s original television and radio studios operated.

Banks launched Michigan’s first black-owned FM station, 107.5, in 1964. Also a minister, he switched the call letters from Grosse Pointe Radio to Where God’s Presence Radiates.

The goal was to provide training so African-Americans could become a greater part of the broadcast industry, and dictate their own story.

With no TV stations operated by blacks, he applied for a TV license.

WGPR-TV started broadcasting on Sept. 29, 1975 and remained on-air until it was sold in 1995 to CBS.