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The Museum of Television & Radio Announces New Name

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA—Frank A. Bennack, Jr., chairman of The Museum of Television & Radio (MTR), and Pat Mitchell, president and CEO, announced today that the thirty-one-year-old institution will be renamed The Paley Center for Media to better reflect MTR's evolution to a center that convenes media leaders and enthusiasts for programs that explore and illuminate the immense and growing impact of all media on our lives, culture, and society. The new name, approved by the board, is effective immediately.

The name takes its inspiration from William S. Paley, the institution's founder, a pioneering innovator in the industry who built the CBS Network, launched an early foray into cable programming, and diversified the numerous elements of his broadcasting empire to include music, sports, entertainment, and other enterprises. Paley's legacies as an innovator and arbiter of quality content are the founding principles of the institution and are underscored even more strongly in the programmatic plans under the new name.

In a world where media is all-pervasive and increasingly influential, The Paley Center for Media will continue to collect, preserve, and make available to the public a top-quality collection of radio and television programs. The Paley Center will also strengthen its work as a center where media executives, cultural thought leaders, and the public convene to discuss the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly evolving landscape of media technologies and businesses. Events and activities at the New York and Los Angeles locations leverage the collection, offering informative and entertaining evenings with casts and creative teams of current popular series, premieres of new and innovative work, and panel discussions that focus on media as a lens through which we see ourselves and the rest of the world.

Going forward, the Paley Center will offer more of these discussions to the public through their redesigned website and through content partnerships with prominent Internet portals and broadband companies, including Yahoo! and Comcast, who will offer the content on their websites as well. Users will be able to access Paley Center events, such as cast discussions with some of the most recognized award-winning shows in contemporary television including 24, CSI, The Daily Show, Desperate Housewives, Entourage, Family Guy, Grey's Anatomy, House, Law & Order, Lost, Sex and the City, South Park, and Weeds.

"The media world has changed dramatically since our founder, William Paley, created the Museum as a way to preserve our cultural heritage as expressed through television and radio," said Frank A. Bennack, Jr. "Today, while these media remain hugely important, media as a whole, across all platforms and national boundaries, has changed how we receive news and entertainment, and in the process, how we think about ourselves, our culture, and other societies. The new name reflects the reality of a more fully converged world."

Pat Mitchell said, "We believe our role as a convener and community connecting point for industry leaders and the public is more essential than ever. In a society that is rapidly evolving, no industry is transforming faster. We're at the forefront of that change and uniquely well-positioned to analyze and interpret it."

"William Paley stood for innovation and quality," Ms. Mitchell explained, "and so will the center that carries his name. When he established this institution in 1975, he said media ‘has become so much a part of our daily experience that I think we often forget just how major an impact it has had on us in such a relatively short time.' He was speaking, of course, about media on your television and radio sets, but today he could have been talking just as easily about your cell phone, computer, mp3 player, and any number of other platforms." 

The announcement of the new name follows a highly successful spring season for both the New York and Los Angeles locations, including the launch of a new initiative, Media as Lens, which brings together journalists, experts, and media executives from many countries to explore in depth the relationship between media and culture and the social, political, and economic significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms. 

The Paley Center for Media has also expanded its celebrated Media Council (formerly the Media Center) that brings together senior media executives from a variety of areas for discussions of issues impacting the media. The Paley Center's International Council, a worldwide media forum that connects industry leaders with their counterparts from other countries, will convene in Silicon Valley later this month, which underscores the institution's intensified focus on new media and the new technologies that fuel them. The 2007 International Council is hosted by Google, Sun Microsystems, and Yahoo! 

The Paley Center for Media will continue to preserve programming, providing a valuable tool for the public, students, and scholars who would otherwise not have access to these materials. With more than 140,000 programs and advertisements covering almost 100 years of television and radio history, The Paley Center for Media will remain among the most important collections of original programming.

Mel Karmazin, CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, and a vice chair of the board, said, "Ultimately the Paley Center will stand out in a very crowded media environment for the same reason MTR stood out—the exceptional variety of quality programming that is thought-provoking and entertaining. What distinguishes the Paley Center is that it sits in Los Angeles and New York at the crossroads of media, with an unmatched ability to attract the most insightful and creative voices from around the world to explore what is cutting edge and entertaining as well as informative and inspiring."

"In this digital era," Peter Chernin, a board member and the president and COO of News Corporation, said, "The Paley Center for Media is challenged—just as the major media companies are—to use digital technologies to expand and engage audiences in new ways. The new name reflects a shift in direction that increasingly will take the institution beyond its eight walls and keep it on the cutting edge of where media is going. No one would have appreciated the need to adapt and expand better than Bill Paley—one of the most innovative media pioneers of the last century." 

Landor Associates, a strategic brand consulting firm, assisted The Paley Center for Media on the name change, as well as the design of a new logo and graphic identity.

The Paley Center for Media, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public. Drawing upon its curatorial expertise, an international collection, and close relationships with the leaders of the media community, the Paley Center examines the intersections between media and society. The general public can access the collection and participate in programs that explore and celebrate the creativity, the innovations, the personalities, and the leaders who are shaping media. Through the global programs of its Media Council and International Council, the Paley Center also serves as a neutral setting where media professionals can engage in discussion and debate about the evolving media landscape. Previously known as The Museum of Television & Radio, the Paley Center was founded in 1975 by William S. Paley, a pioneering innovator in the industry.  For more information, please visit