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Radio, TV broadcasters launch history museum

North Carolina radio and television broadcast leaders this week announced the launch of the North Carolina Broadcast History Museum, a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving the state's broadcasting legacy.

North Carolina has a rich broadcast history starting as early as March 1902 when radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden transmitted a 127-word voice message from his Cape Hatteras transmitter tower to Roanoke Island. Fast forward to July 23, 1996, when WRAL-TV became the first television station in the United States to broadcast a digital television signal.

North Carolina is home to a number of legendary broadcast personalities, including Andy Griffith, born in Mount Airy, Charles Kuralt and David Brinkley from Wilmington, Jim Nantz, ABC sportscaster from Charlotte, and National Public Radio newscaster Carl Kasell from Goldsboro.

The museum is seeking assistance from the public and people who worked in broadcasting to collect artifacts, documents, photographs and recordings that chronicle the history of prominent radio and television stations, broadcasters, programs and events. Through exhibits and collections, the museum seeks to highlight the contributions made by North Carolina broadcasters in shaping the industry and the state's culture landscape.

A distinguished group of broadcast professionals leading the effort include Don Curtis, CEO, Curtis Media Group; Jim Goodmon, CEO, Capitol Broadcasting Co.; Wade Hargrove, media lawyer; Harold Ballard, Broadcast Engineer; Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Media Group; Carl Venters Jr., Broadcast Executive; David Crabtree, CEO, North Carolina Public Media; Dr James Carson, Broadcast Executive; Jim Babb, Broadcast Executive; Cullie Tarleton, Broadcast Executive and former member of the N.C. House of Representatives; Dave Lingafelt, Broadcast Executive; Carl Davis, Jr., Broadcast Engineer; Jim Heavner, Broadcast Executive; and Mike Weeks, Broadcast Executive.

The North Carolina Broadcast History Museum website will serve as a digital repository accessible by the public that will grow in content and importance as items are gathered and displayed. The museum website is under construction and available at Future plans include a brick-and-mortar facility for education, inspiration and enjoyment.