Annenberg Foundation Giving Newseum $15 Million

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By: E&P Staff

The Annenberg Foundation is donating $15 million to the Newseum, the largest single gift ever received by the museum, the Newseum announced Tuesday.

In recognition of the gift, the Newseum is naming its 535-seat theater the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater.

The Newseum opens in a new building in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 15.
With the Annenberg donation, the Newseum has received in the last year $79 million in gifts from 11 media organizations, foundations and families, the museum said.

“This very generous gift continues the tradition of the Annenberg Foundation supporting the advancement of a free press and better journalism,” said Newseum CEO Charles L. Overby.

The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater is the largest of 15 theaters in the new Newseum. In its principal daytime configuration, the Annenberg Theater will present “a customized, high-tech, four-dimensional interactive time travel that transports visitors to great news events of history in a ‘you-are-there’ experience combining museum-quality content with theme-park excitement,” the museum said.

“My husband, Walter, dedicated his life as a publisher, broadcaster, diplomat and philanthropist to communication, education and public service,” said Leonore Annenberg, president and chairman of the Annenberg Foundation. Walter Annenberg was publisher and editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, founder of TV Guide and Seventeen magazines, and ambassador to Great Britain from 1969 to 1974.

Among the museum’s “founding partners” are The New York Times and the Ochs-Sulzberger family; News Corporation; the Greenspun family; Cox Enterprises; Hearst Corporation; ABC News; NBC News; the Pulliam family; Robert H. and Clarice Smith; and Time Warner.

The Newseum in Washington, D.C., was made possible by a commitment of $450 million from the Freedom Forum, including $100 million to purchase the land at Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, NW.

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