WEST CHESTER, Ohio — Efforts to transform the southwestern Ohio museum that focuses on the Voice of America and its role in World War II into a popular modern center are moving ahead.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that 37-year Cincinnati broadcasting veteran Jack Dominic has been chosen as the first executive director of the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester Township. Dominic will assume the position after retiring at the end of February as executive vice president and station manager of WCET-TV, the public broadcasting station in Cincinnati.
"There's a very significant story to tell at the VOA locally and worldwide," said Dominic, who turns 67 in January.
The VOA Bethany relay station, built by local Crosley Broadcasting and AVCO employees broadcast news and cultural programming on short-wave frequencies to Europe and South America for 50 years. The broadcasts continued from World II through the end of the Cold War, with the station decommissioned in 1994.
Millions of people in totalitarian countries relied on the VOA for news and information, said Ken Rieser, chairman of the museum's volunteer board.
The museum's board is working on a long-term major fundraising effort to raise $12 million for the museum that is also meant to preserve Cincinnati broadcast, wireless radio and amateur radio history. Rieser said earlier this year that the museum needed someone to head "that continuing push forward" for crucial fundraising, activities and maintenance.
West Chester Township, with state grants, restored the building near Interstate 75 just north of Cincinnati to its World War II look. It already houses some VOA displays and there are plans for multi-media and interactive exhibits and an upgrade of utilities and visitor amenities.
Dominic, who helped develop public TV projects at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., will oversee creation of VOA exhibits and a time line.
"This is really a diamond in the rough" Dominic said of the museum. "It's a Cincinnati story, because Crosley and AVCO built equipment that couldn't be built. And it's a story about broadcasting that goes around the world."
The museum is open for public tours the third Saturday afternoon each month.
Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com