Larry Wert, one of Chicago’s most prominent media executives for nearly three decades, has been elected interim chairman of the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
As head of the seven-member executive committee, Wert is expected to help secure new funding and oversee a reorganization of the museum’s leadership. Bruce DuMont, who founded the museum, earlier this year announced plans to retire as president and CEO on or before his current term expires in December 2017, depending on when a successor is named.
“I am honored to lead the Museum of Broadcast Communications at this pivotal time in its history,” said Wert, a longtime member of the board. “I am pleased to be working with Bruce DuMont to see his dream live on for decades to come.”
The position of chairman has been vacant since 1995 when the late Arthur C. Nielsen Jr. stepped down after 11 years.
Wert continues as president of broadcast media for Tribune Broadcasting, overseeing 42 television stations nationwide and other broadcast and cable entities for the Chicago-based company. He previously served as president and general manager of NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, and president of Evergreen Media Corp., former parent company of WLUP FM 97.9 and WMVP AM 1000.
“We’re very fortunate to have Larry step up,” DuMont said. “He’s always been a great supporter of the museum.”
Appointed to head the search for DuMont’s successor and identify a permanent chairman is Ron Culp, veteran corporate and agency communications executive and director of a graduate program at DePaul University. “Securing the commitment of Larry Wert to serve as interim chairman of the MBC is step one,” Culp said.
In addition to its themed exhibits on the history of television and radio in America (with special emphasis on Chicago), the museum at 360 North State Street also houses the National Radio Hall of Fame and the broadcast studio for “Beyond the Beltway,” the weekly political talk show DuMont has hosted since 1980.
The museum plans to celebrate its 30th anniversary in June 2017.