Tag Archives: VOA Bethany

Clyde Haehnle: Loss of a broadcasting icon

(Source: The VOA Museum via David Snyde)

Museum Icon Passes Away

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting mourns the loss of one of its major leaders and benefactors. Clyde Haehnle passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 8th.   Over the years, this icon in the development of broadcasting technology, not only locally but nationally, was the driving force behind the museum.

A veteran broadcasting engineer and executive, Mr. Haehnle was instrumental in the early meteoric development of Powel Crosley’s WLW. While working at WLW, fresh out of electrical engineering school at the University of Cincinnati, he was assigned in 1942 to work on design and construction of VOA-Bethany Station, the transmission facility of the newly- minted Voice of America. The facility operated from 1944 thru 1994 and beamed programs worldwide from the highest power shortwave transmitters built in the world at that time.

The rhombic antenna design requiring extensive mathematical calculations fell to Mr. Haehnle. His work accomplished with pencil, paper and a slide rule resulted in some of the most efficient antenna arrays ever built and enabled the VOA programs transmitted from the hilltop north of Cincinnati to be heard by eager listeners worldwide. P of Engineering at AVCO Broadcasting. He held many patents in electronic technology and continued to be a curious and thoughtful proponent of technology well into his ninth decade.

Mr. Haehnle’s untiring leadership and support has enabled the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting to develop into a rich educational institution celebrating the role broadcasting has made in the dissemination of programs globally encouraging democratic principles to truth-starved audiences.

The Museum plans a celebration of Mr. Haehnle’s extraordinary life later this spring.

Read more about Clyde.

Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists meeting at National VOA Museum of Broadcasting

(Source: Southgate ARC via Kris Partridge)

‘Who can I trust to give me the real news?’

Where and how should American citizens access trustworthy news, how do journalists determine real from fake news, and how can the average citizen identify fake news and avoid accidentally promoting it through social media?

These questions and more are of great importance to citizens across greater Cincinnati and the nation.

They’ll be addressed by the Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists and other area media on Thursday, April 26 at a panel discussion in conjunction with the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester on the topic of “Who can I trust to give me the real news?”
The event is being underwritten by Kehoe Financial Advisors.

Panelist moderator will be Tom McKee of WCPO, with panelists Hagit Limor of the University of Cincinnati journalism program; Jim Bebbington of Cox Media Group; Ann Thompson of WVXU; and Kevin Aldridge of the Enquirer.

Admission will  be the same as last year– $10 for adults and $5 for students. Since this was a standing-room only event last year, we’re encouraging people to order tickets in advance of the event.

Melinda Zemper
Board Member
National VOA Museum of Broadcasting
(513) 706-3737

Crosley biographer to speak at National VOA Museum of Broadcasting

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Best-selling Crosley biographer to speak at National VOA Museum of Broadcasting Nov. 10

Rusty McClure, author of the New York Times bestseller, Crosley: Two Brothers and a Business Empire that Transformed a Nation, will speak Friday, Nov. 10 at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester.

Cost to attend is $25, which includes a copy of McClure’s book, a $15 value. Attendees can also view the ongoing Crosley exhibit at the museum, which displays some of Crosley’s most engaging inventions and products. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the lecture beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are payable at the door.

To reserve a place at the Nov. 10 lecture, call (513) 777-0027 or email admin@voamuseum.org .

McClure will also be on hand at the museum on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. to discuss Powel and Lewis Crosley’s extraordinary lives and work and sign books, said museum director Jack Dominic.

Powel Crosley, Jr., inventor, industrialist, entrepreneur and founder of the Crosley Corporation, is considered the Henry Ford of radio. When his son wanted a radio in the early 1920s, he thought they were too expensive, so built one with him instead.

Blast from the past: The Shelvador refrigerator, which featured shelves and a built-in AM radio in the door, is one of the fun and innovative Crosley products on display at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting. (John Kiesewetter Photo)
The Crosley Radio Corporation that resulted from that innovation quickly became the largest radio manufacturer in the world.

Crosley and his brother Lewis built a business empire that included WLW radio station, the concept of radio advertising, ownership of the Cincinnati Reds, the creation of many household products, and an economy automobile known as the Crosley car. Crosley Corporation engineers built the rhombic antennas at the VOA-Bethany Station and operated it during World War II and part of the Cold War.

An exhibit featuring Crosley products such as the Shelvador refrigerator; a “Reado,” home Fax machine; and Xervac hair-growing machine is free with regular museum admission.

The VOA museum is now open each Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children.

The museum, located at 8070 Tylersville Road, just commemorated the Sept. 23, 1944 dedication of the VOA-Bethany Station with a successful fundraising gala. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the Voice of America.

For 50 years, the VOA-Bethany Station transmitted Voice of America broadcasts to countries worldwide that lacked a free press, first in Europe during World War II and to South America during the Cold War. The station was decommissioned by the federal government in 1994.

VOA museum marks 75th anniversary with gala

(Source: Journal News via Howard Bailen)

WEST CHESTER TWP. The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting will host “Celebrate the Voice of America under the Stars,” a romantic, Big Band dinner-and-dance party on Sept. 23 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the VOA museum.

The event will mark the 75th anniversary of the Voice of America and commemorate the Sept. 23, 1944 dedication of the VOA-Bethany Station.

Carmon DeLeone and his New Studio Big Band will provide entertainment and record a program for later broadcast on public radio station WVXU.

[…]For 50 years, the VOA-Bethany Station transmitted Voice of America broadcasts to countries worldwide that lacked a free press, first in Europe during World War II and to South America during the Cold War. It was decommissioned by the federal government in 1994.

The iconic art deco building has been developed into the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting with the help of the entire community, mostly with volunteer labor. Contributions and grants have been secured from local, regional and national companies and foundations.[…]

Read the full article at the Journal News online.

Click here to view our photos from the VOA Bethany Museum.

VOA Museum celebrates VOA 75th anniversary

Photo from the control room at the VOA Bethany museum.

(Source: Southgate ARC)

National VOA Museum to celebrate 75th anniversary of Voice of America

There’s an important birthday celebration in West Chester this year: the 75th anniversary of the Voice of America.

“We’re planning a series of events and exhibits this year to celebrate the VOA’s commitment across America and the world to embrace best practices in telling the truth in order to let the world decide,” said Jack Dominic, museum executive director.

The VOA was formed in 1942 as a way to counteract Nazi propaganda in Germany and provide war news to American troops and Allies overseas.

“WLWO, a division of WLW, was transmitting news via shortwave radio overseas long before 1942,” said Dominic. “In fact, broadcasters from WLWO provided the nucleus of the early VOA broadcasting team. Cincinnati’s shortwave technology and its broadcasters truly helped the U.S. win the war.”

The reentrant rhombic antennas at the VOA-Bethany station in West Chester were so powerful that they became quickly known as the “siege guns of radio” for their capacity to reach the far corners of Nazi-occupied countries with little audible distortion. A frustrated Adolph Hitler was known to call the VOA “those Cincinnati liars.”

The VOA-Bethany station transmitted VOA news to Europe during WW II and South America during the Cold War through its innovative shortwave rhombic antenna network developed by the Crosley Corporation. The Bethany station was decommissioned by the federal government in 1994, after shortwave radio technology was supplanted by television and satellite technology.

“The men and women who made up the VOA broadcasting system were our journalistic beacons of light during the 20th century,” said Ken Rieser, president of the VOA museum board.

“Elmer Davis, John Houseman, Edward R. Murrow and Robert Bauer all had positions of leadership within the VOA.

“We hope that the VOA enjoys many more years of embracing the highest of journalistic standards in its reporting so it inspires people in war-torn and oppressed countries to hope, dream and work toward democracy.”

The Voice of America, based in Washington, D.C., is the world’s largest international broadcaster, providing balanced and comprehensive news and information in 47 languages to 236 million people each week, according to the VOA website. It continues to reach people in countries lacking a fee press today and its languages include: Russian; Ukrainian; Azerbaijani; Serbian; Armenian; Thai; and Somali.

The National VOA Museum of Broadcasting is located in the art deco Bethany station building and houses three collections: Gray History of Wireless radios; VOA-Bethany station’s Voice of America control room; and the Media Heritage Cincinnati Museum of Broadcast History. The West Chester Amateur Radio Assn. operates station WC8VOA from the museum building.

The VOA museum now offers an annual $50 membership that provides free admission for the member, an adult guest, and up to three children under 12. Members also receive updates and advance information about new exhibits and programs.

For $250, members receive the benefits above, as well as a 50 percent discount on any and all lectures, programs or visiting exhibit tickets.

The National VOA Museum of Broadcasting is open the third Saturday of each month from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children. The museum is located at 8070 Tylersville Road in West Chester.

Museum will be open this Saturday, Feb. 18

For more information, visit the VOA Museum website at www.voamuseum.org or call (513) 777-0027.

To access Voice of America programs, visit www.voanews.com

The VOA Bethany museum is certainly worth a visit! I went there in 2015 and was most impressed with the work these volunteers have accomplished.

Click here for our short photo tour.