Good-bye Museum of Television and Radio, hello Paley Center for Media. It’s no secret the NY- and LA-based institution has faced some hard times of late, like many a non-profit these days. (Full disclosure: I have a soft spot for the erstwhile MT&R, an org that has always been gracious to me in terms of offering me classy panel-moderating gigs, my pick of Paley Festival sessions, etc.) The MT&R has always had support from the industry’s top movers and shakers — just take a look at its board of directors — but nonetheless the handful of major media giants that rule the biz can only write so many checks a year. So I suppose the donor base will be greatly enlarged under the larger Center for Media umbrella. MT&R founder William Paley, who was a businessman through and through (he formed the institution in 1975 as the Museum of Broadcasting), no doubt would have approved. Besides, his name’s on the door now.
Let’s just make sure they keep up the MT&R’s one-of-a-kind program archives. I mean, it’s always comforting to know that somewhere in the world, someone has a climate-controlled vault preserving rarities like “You’re In the Picture,” the Jackie Gleason hosted game show from 1961 that was so bad that the Great One apologized to viewers in its second airing for “that bomb,” bagged the game show format and turned it into a talk show that ran a few more weeks on CBS under the “Jackie Gleason Show” moniker.
(pictured above, L-R: Queen Noor of Jordan, CBS Corp. CEO and Paley Center board member Leslie Moonves and Paley Center prexy Pat Mitchell were on hand to toast the name-change Tuesday evening at a reception at the Paley Center’s Gotham HQ.)