In 2003, Media Heritage was invited to be a part of the exciting conversion of the former Voice of America’ Betheny Relay Station–once the world’s most powerful shortwave broadcast facility–into the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting.
While Media Heritage was “officially” founded in November of 2000, the roots of the organization can be traced some twenty years earlier to discussions over a permanent archive of Cincinnati broadcast history. Those discussions eventually led to the decision by co-founders Mark Magistrelli and Mike Martini to create a place where radio, television, film and media history would be preserved, restored, archived and celebrated. Initially, Media Heritage was to be a small, online-only research resource with occasional small displays inside a local radio station. But in 2001, Media Heritage, through the generous cooperation of the Electronic Media Division of the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, acquired the internationally recognized Frederic W. Ziv Archive–a massive collection of over 11,000 recordings, photographs, contracts and other memorabilia from the former Ziv Company: the world’s largest syndicator of radio and television in the 1940’s and 50’s. With the “Ziv” as the centerpiece, Media Heritage began to embark on a rapid expansion program by acquiring several important local collections, by expanding its outreach, and developing an important role in the community.