More treasures from the archive

Media Burn’s paper document collection has been sorted and ready for digitization. These records roughly encompass the last fifty years of independent TV and portable video, most of it shot & edited in Chicago. These materials cover projects previously shown on television (and available to watch on Media Burn’s website), but also include projects previously unseen on television, as well as historical materials relating to the rise of independent television and even some public television channels. This project was supported in part by an award from the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board, through funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), National Archives and Records Administration.

Each project generally includes rare correspondence, press articles, editing logs, and production & distribution notes. Many projects involved people central to Chicago’s history, including Bill Veeck, Studs Terkel, Dan Rostenkowski, Harold Washington, Joe Cummings, Jane Byrne, Richard J. and Richard M.  Daley, and more. Some samples can be seen below:

A press credential to the 1992 Democratic National Convention that was used during the filming of THE 90’s Election Special, “Part 2: The Convention”

A memo by Tom Weinberg, drafting a synopsis for the 1976 documentary “Making It In Hollywood,” which Weinberg produced.

Here is the trailer for Making It In Hollywood. To see the film, click here.


Next is a recap from the June 25th, 1969 broadcast of “A Black’s View of the News,” which Tom Weinberg produced. Obviously, any live news show will have errors and problems, as shown below, but this wasn’t a career-ender for some of the cast: Don Cornelius, future “Soul Train” creator & host, was the sports commentator, and journalist/author Janet Langhart was the weathergirl.

Finally, a letter from former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne, who sent CNTV a letter of support in 1980 to turn Channel 20 into a neighborhood television station. However, the plans fell through.

This is just a sample of the variety of Media Burn’s collection. Expect to see more unique documents & photos on this blog and website soon!



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