Officers, Directors, and Staff

The National Capital Radio & Television Museum relies on volunteer docents and others to staff the majority of its needs. The executive director/curator, officers, and board members all serve without pay. The deputy director is the Museum’s first professional staff member and works full time. Many of us were first drawn to the museum by our interest in radio or broadcasting history. Indeed, many of the Museum’s leaders and volunteers are collectors of radios, other equipment, or books and documents about radio’s more than century-long development.

Officers & Staff

Brian Belanger with his radio collectionExecutive Director/Curator — Brian Belanger

One of the founders of the Radio History Society, volunteer Brian Belanger is the Museum’s executive director and curator. Prior to his retirement in 2000 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, he held several senior management positions there, including Deputy Director of the Advanced Technology Program. He was a Commerce Department Science and Technology Fellow in 1983 and a recipient of Bronze and Silver medals from the Department. An electrical engineer, with a bachelor’s degree from Caltech and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, Brian also was a research engineer at the General Electric Research and Development Center early in his career. He is an amateur extra-class ham operator with call letters KB3PRS. He is the co-editor of Radio Age, the newsletter of the Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club, and the editor of Dials and Channels, the journal of the Radio & Television Museum. He was the recipient of the 2001 Antique Wireless Association’s Houck Award for Documentation for his many articles on antique radio topics, and also served as the first vice president of that organization.

head shot of Laurie BatyDeputy Director — Laurie Baty

Laurie Baty has worked in museums for over 25 years. She has a B.A. in History/Secondary Education from Gettysburg College (PA) and an M.A. in American Studies, Smithsonian Program in Material Culture, with a concentration in Museum Studies, from the George Washington University (DC). Laurie began her museum career as a summer seasonal at Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore and most recently was the senior museum professional at the National Law Enforcement Museum startup in Washington, DC. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the Society of American Archivists. Laurie joined the Museum in mid-2011.

Chris SterlingChair — Christopher Sterling

For three decades, Chris was a faculty member at the George Washington University, mainly in the School of Media and Public Affairs. He taught from 1982 until his faculty retirement in 2011. He is presently an associate dean in GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Chris holds a Ph.D in media communication from the University of Wisconsin, and has authored or edited more than 30 books on broadcast and telecommunications history. Perhaps best known is Stay Tuned: A History of American Broadcasting (3rd ed., 2002), and Electronic Media: A Guide to Trends in Broadcasting and Newer Technologies, 1920-1983 (1984). More recent is his co-authored Sounds of Change: A History of FM Broadcasting in America (2008), copies of which are for sale at the Museum. He also edited the multi-volume Encyclopedia of Radio (2003) and two updated spinoffs issued in 2010-11. See his website for more information.

head shot of Ken MellgrenVice Chair — Ken Mellgren

Ken is the Museum’s immediate past president (2005–08). A long-time member of the Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club, Ken was a board member of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, and also served for several years on the board of the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. He is an officer of the National Press Club and has arranged several of the Museum’s exhibits there. A resident of Rockville, Ken was program director/operations manager for WRC Radio and regional manager of operations for Metro Networks, each for several years. Prior to moving to the Washington area in 1984, he was in radio station management, and was a radio and television announcer in Boston. He recently retired as manager/affiliate relations with the Associated Press broadcast division in Washington.

Treasurer — David Green

David first became interested in radio as a youth, building Heathkit radios, test equipment, and even a calculator. He discovered the Museum as a visitor. Intrigued by the Museum, its collection, and its knowledgeable staff, he volunteered and became a docent, where he enjoys sharing his enthusiasm about the history of radio and television with the visitors. After a year as docent, he was asked to fill the position of Treasurer, which he was honored to accept. More of a tinkerer than a collector, he enjoys taking apart and putting back together old radios, seeing how they work and studying the history of technology. In particular, he is fascinated by the myriad ways engineers have found to solve problems as technology has evolved. David has a BS in Biochemistry and an MS in Pathology and works as a Physicians’ Assistant in Pathology. He was a graduate program director at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and The Ohio State University.

Directors

Angela BalsamoAngela Balsamo
Angela is a self proclaimed “news junkie,” having spent the beginning of her professional career as a television news producer at several area stations, including WJZ-TV in Baltimore and an independent news agency in Washington D.C. where she covered the White House and Capitol Hill. Following a brief stint in film production (Ladder 49), Angela joined her husband, Tom, in the wonderful world of entrepreneurship. She currently serves on the board of directors for Opportunity Builders, Inc. (OBI), a non-profit that works with developmentally disabled adults to provide them with life skills and meaningful work opportunities. Angela is the current President for the Pasadena Business Association. Angela and Tom reside in Pasadena with their daughter, Rose.

Paul Courson
Paul is a reporter and senior producer with CNN, based in Washington. His work includes on-air reports for their television, radio and website arenas. Paul is an amateur radio enthusiast.

Charles Grant
A long-time board member, Chuck is an attorney with a federal agency. He also holds an M.B.A. in finance; his area of graduate research was television and motion picture finance and marketing. Chuck is especially knowledgeable about the early days of television broadcasting in the Washington area. He has been instrumental in building the museum’s growing library of rare and early television programs on videotape and DVDs. Questions about television programs sent to the Museum website are often referred to Chuck for response.

Michael Henry
Michael’s long passion for radio and television history began when he was a teenager in San Jose, California, in the 1980s. He became hooked when KSFO in San Francisco began re-broadcasting vintage radio programs. When he came to Washington in 1991 to attend the George Washington University, he became a regular listener to The Big Broadcast on WAMU and soon began volunteering at the station. Michael began working at the Broadcast Pioneers Library (BPL), a nationally known research library devoted to the history of radio and television broadcasting. Michael remained with BPL when it moved to the University of Maryland and became the Library of American Broadcasting (LAB) in 1994. He has been serving as a docent at the Museum since 2006 and has helped to forge a good working relationship between the LAB and the Museum.

Bob LuffBob Luff
Bob Luff served as EVP and Chief Technology Officer for The Nielsen Company globally and led the development of new and innovative technologies to help measure TV viewing and retail consumer experiences around the World. Bob ran Nielsen’s Emmy winning Media R&D Center with 250 engineers and technicians which developed 100s of patented technologies for measurement of TV, internet usage, video games, smart phone media, geo-tracking, cinema attendance, and shopper movements within retail environments. Before Nielsen, he served as Vice President and Chief Technology Office for NBC’s Broadcast and Network Operations group. At NBC, Bob developed and implemented NBC’s conversion to High Definition TV and new technical infrastructures to optimize traditional content for today’s every increasing digital World.

Bill McMahon
Bill is a charter member of the Museum, an avid radio premium collector, and listens to vintage radio programs for entertainment. He has served on the collections/exhibits committee since it began. To help publicize the Museum, he has set up numerous short-term radio exhibits at a wide variety of functions, including Metropolitan Washington Old-time Radio Club events, Washington Senators baseball team reunions, Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Conventions, NBC’s Digital Edge Expo at the Washington Convention Center, Friends of Old-Time Radio Conventions and the Montgomery County [Maryland] Agricultural Fair. Bill works for the federal government as a program manager specializing in terrain analysis and imagery intelligence.

James O’Neal
James has been involved in broadcasting-related activities for most of his life, beginning with employment at a commercial radio station during his teen years. He spent nearly 37 years in television engineering before retiring in 2005, and immediately began a second career as technology editor for TV Technology magazine. He is an avid broadcast historian, and has published numerous articles on early radio and television. He has been invited to lecture at broadcast engineering conferences, the Smithsonian Institution, and before radio/television history groups. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and a member of several engineering organizations.

Ed Walker
Ed Walker was the Museum’s first president. He is a well-known local radio and TV broadcaster, having been on the air a half century. Old timers in the Washington area will recall that Ed, along with Willard Scott of NBC TV fame, were “The Joy Boys” who captured a large share of the local radio listening audience in the 1950s and 1960s. Today you can listen to Ed on WAMU-FM on Sunday night with his program of old-time radio programs, The Big Broadcast. Ed brings to the Board a “behind the mike/camera” comprehensive knowledge of the radio and TV broadcasting community. In 2009, he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.

David WolfDavid Wolf
David’s interest in radio and television broadcasting began in 1974 when he completed a course with The Columbia School of Broadcasting and subsequently passed the FCC exam for a broadcast license. While he’s not currently on the radio now, you may have seen him as an extra on “The West Wing”, HBO’s “The Wire” or in a public service announcement for The United Way Campaign. David is a graduate of the University of Maryland and holds a BS degree in Finance with a concentration in securities analysis and portfolio management. He holds the designations of Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL®) and Certified in Long Term Care (CLTC). David volunteers his time as a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce and chairs the Business Development Committee. He also volunteers as an advisor for a co-ed Venture Crew for the Baltimore Area Council/BSA where he provides the youth basic firearms safety instruction. He lives in Pasadena, Maryland, with his wife and two children.