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The Crown Family makes a major gift to WTTW and WFMT in honor of Renée Crown

For immediate release
Chicago, IL - February 24, 2014

Window to the World Communication (WWCI), parent organization of WTTW and WFMT, is to receive a major gift from the Crown family. The gift has been made in honor of Renée Crown, a longstanding WWCI trustee and Vice Chair of the organization. In recognition of this gift, WWCI will name its campus the “Renée Crown Public Media Center” and refer to the center on its digital, radio and television platforms. WTTW and WFMT will each retain its station name and identity, and all other existing acknowledgements remain in place. The previously unnamed media center is located in northwest Chicago. WTTW and WFMT have served the greater Chicago community for six decades. WTTW features popular programming such as Chicago Tonight and Downton Abbey, in addition to educational programs for children, and WFMT features original programming such as Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, Introductions and Live from WFMT.

The entire Crown family chose this naming opportunity to celebrate the tremendous contributions of Renée Crown to the organization. Renée has been an extraordinary trustee and leader of WWCI since 1981. She serves on the executive, development, governance and WFMT Radio Network committees. She and her husband co-chair the annual gala which provides crucial general operating support for both WTTW and WFMT. The May 1, 2014 gala, themed “Come & Play,” will celebrate the organization’s commitment to exceptional children’s programming and services.

“Renée believes passionately in WTTW and WFMT. Our family could not imagine a more perfect gift than to surprise Renée on her birthday with naming the Renée Crown Public Media Center in honor of all that she has done for WTTW, WFMT, PBS and the city of Chicago,” said Lester Crown, her husband of more than 60 years.

“WTTW and WFMT help every Chicagoan imagine more about our world – about our city, about our culture, about stories and ideas that matter. This unprecedented gift from the Crown family is transformative. Our public media organization will serve a global Chicago with more content across our many platforms, connect our community with stories and resources for real-world issues, and build for tomorrow as a flexible, active and technologically-enhanced media company,” said WWCI President and CEO Daniel Schmidt. “The Renée Crown Public Media Center celebrates in perpetuity the legacy of a true visionary who tirelessly champions excellence, innovation and accessibility in public media. The naming of the center extends far beyond simply our physical structure at 5400 North Saint Louis Avenue. It is what emanates from the building, and it is who we are.”

WWCI Chairman Norman Bobins said: “Every story we tell on WTTW and WFMT represents what Renée does in the community – celebrating the arts, advocating for the health and wellbeing of children, sharing educational discoveries, engaging in civil discourse and endorsing scientific advancements. We are all deeply indebted to Renée for her tremendous leadership and to Lester and the entire Crown Family for this incredibly moving and thoughtful gift to honor Renée. Their generosity will truly inspire us all to imagine more.”

About WTTW and WFMT:
WTTW is the Midwest’s premier public media organization, committed to creating and presenting unique and trusted television and digital media content. WTTW is dedicated to bringing Chicago and the world together to explore the arts, sciences, humanities and public affairs across four distinct television channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, the Spanish-language channel WTTW V-me and WTTW Create/WTTW WORLD, and on, where visitors can connect with others in the community and access a full library of local and national video content for kids and adults, interactive features, event and membership opportunities and robust sites dedicated to WTTW series and specials. WFMT recently marked its 62nd anniversary on the air, providing the best and broadest selection of classical music and fine arts programming heard anywhere, and is accessible across America and globally via online streaming and other content at