The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) rededicated its Edward R. Murrow Transmitting Station on May 2 during a ceremony in Grimesland, N.C., that honored Murrow, the renowned broadcaster and director of the USIA (1961-1964), and recognized World Press Freedom Day.
Speakers included Congressman Walter Jones; Casey Murrow, son of Edward R. Murrow; BBG Governor Victor Ashe, and International Broadcasting Bureau Director Richard M. Lobo. Speaker Bios
Edward R. Murrow’s legacy as a journalist and his rich understanding of the importance of press freedom as part of the bedrock of democracy along with the key role of U.S. international broadcasting as a model of a free press will be highlighted in the ceremony to be held in the lead-up to World Press Freedom Day, May 3rd.
The transmitting station, a 24/7 broadcast facility, supports the mission of the Broadcasting Board of Governors to “inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy” through about 2,200 hours of transmissions each month.
The Murrow Transmitting Station
The Edward R. Murrow Transmitting Station is the largest BBG transmission facility in the United States. It is a 24/7 shortwave facility, broadcasting about 2,200 hours each month. Over 80 percent of these transmissions are Radio Martí Spanish-language broadcasts to Cuba, and the balance is Voice of America programming to Latin America as well as VOA English, Portuguese, and French to Africa.
The station is located on 2,715 acres of land and is equipped with eight high-power shortwave transmitters, including five 500 kW and three 250 kW transmitters. The station has nearly 40 broadcast antennas in an arc around the main building to provide the maximum flexibility in reaching audiences overseas.
President John F. Kennedy formally dedicated the station on February 8, 1963, and in October 1968 it was named the “Edward R. Murrow Transmitting Station” in honor of the renowned wartime broadcaster and director of the USIA.
Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow was a pioneering newsman whose distinctive baritone voice and devotion to the truth forever shaped the field of broadcast journalism. Beginning with his ever-calm reporting of the bombing of London during World War II, Murrow’s career spanned 25 years in both radio and television with CBS, then three years as director of the U.S. Information Agency.
Called the “Father of Broadcast Journalism,” Murrow began his broadcasts during the war with a matter-of-fact statement: “This…is London.” He survived the bombings, flew dozens of combat missions, and was among the first civilians to enter liberated Nazi death camps.
After the war, he hosted news and interview programs at CBS, including a 1954 broadcast that took on, and ultimately undid, the red-scare campaign of Senator Joseph McCarthy. He ended his career at CBS in 1961 when President Kennedy named him to head the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), where he brought his dedication to truth and accuracy to the field of public diplomacy. He died of cancer at 57 in 1965.
Broadcasting Board of Governors
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal government agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international broadcasting. Our networks—the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio and TV Martí, Radio Free Asia (RFA), and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks’ (MBN) Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa—serve as indispensable sources of news for people who often lack access to independent information.
They inform, engage, and connect with international audiences across television, radio, Internet, and mobile devices in 59 languages in more than 100 countries.
In 2011, the BBG had one of its most successful years ever; our broadcasts reached a record 187 million people every week, up 22 million from 2010. We reach people in their languages of choice; in countries where independent journalism is limited or not available; and where governments jam broadcasts and censor the Internet. The International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) provides transmission, marketing, and program placement services for all BBG broadcast organizations.
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The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG broadcasts reach an audience of 187 million in 100 countries. BBG networks include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Martí).