Press Release

Ben Franklin To Join Eyewitness News Team! CBS 3 Selected As Exclusive Broadcast Media Partner For Ben Franklin Exhibition At National Constitution Center

  • September 29, 2005


Philadelphia's most famous publisher, commentator and scientist is joining the Eyewitness News team. Ben Franklin (as channeled by local actor Ralph Archbold) made a special appearance on Eyewitness News today as a guest weathercaster to celebrate the station's new designation as the official television sponsor of the exhibition celebrating his 300th birthday. CBS 3 has been selected as the exclusive television media partner for the world premiere of the international traveling exhibition, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World at the National Constitution Center from December 15, 2005 through April 30, 2006.

CBS 3 will produce two half-hour specials on the much-anticipated exhibition – a live preview special hosted by Anchors Larry Mendte and Alycia Lane to air from the National Constitution Center December 14th and a half-hour documentary on Franklin's life and impact on the world hosted by Mendte which will be broadcast on CBS and UPN stations in 23 markets, including Philadelphia. This will bring the exhibition into nearly 51 million homes across the country, covering more than 46 percent of the nation. In addition, CBS 3 has arranged to have the documentary air in other Pennsylvania markets. Both CBS 3 and UPN 57 will also air vignettes detailing Franklin's many contributions to the country and the city he loved so well.

The exhibition coincides with the 300th anniversary of Franklin's birth, and will debut in Philadelphia, Franklin's home and a city rich with his legacy, before traveling to St. Louis, Houston, Denver, Atlanta, and Paris. It will immerse visitors in Franklin's world, expose them to his ingenious problem-solving methods and leave them inspired by his example. Anticipated highlights are a 25-foot model ship that visitors can climb aboard to recreate Franklin's method of charting the Gulf Stream; a whimsical video animation of a young Franklin swimming with a kite to save energy; and five of America's key founding documents, all signed by Franklin.

“It is quite an honor to be chosen to help tell the story of Ben Franklin, not just to our viewers but to audiences across the country,” says Michael Colleran, president and general manager of CBS 3 and UPN 57. “As Philadelphia's first television station, we take pride in celebrating the man who was the architect of so many Philadelphia firsts and whose spirits is so alive in the city today.”

National Constitution Center President and CEO Richard Stengel says, “We at the National Constitution Center are thrilled to partner with CBS 3 and UPN 57 on this blockbuster exhibition. The combined power of CBS 3's regional and national family of stations will provide tremendous reach for this exciting project.”

Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World makes its world premiere at the National Constitution Center, located at 525 Arch Street on Philadelphia's historic Independence Mall, from December 15, 2005, through April 30, 2006. Tickets for the exhibition, which also include regular museum admission, are $14 for adults; $12 for children ages 4-12, seniors, and college students; and $8.50 for groups of 20 or more. For tickets, call 215-409-6700. For additional ticket information or more information about the exhibition, related programs and traveling to Philadelphia, visit

About the Celebration

Ben Franklin 300 Philadelphia is a year-long celebration of Benjamin Franklin's 300th birthday, marketed by the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, the National Constitution Center and CBS 3. Festivities will run from fall 2005 through 2006 and will focus on the world premiere of the international traveling exhibition, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World at the National Constitution Center. The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, a non-profit organization, is supported by a lead grant of $4 million from The Pew Charitable Trusts and established to reaffirm Franklin's enduring legacy in his 300th birthday year. The Tercentenary was founded in 2000 by the American Philosophical Society, The Franklin Institute, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the University of Pennsylvania.

CBS 3 (KYW-TV) and UPN 57 (WPSG-TV) are owned and operated by the Viacom Television Stations Group that now consists of 40 stations, including 21 CBS, 16 UPN and three stations not affiliated with the major networks.

Media Contact

Cindy L. Jobbins