It looks like The Real World co-creator is celebrating the recent ratings high the show saw on MTV last week. Jon Murray of Bunim/Murray productions decided to donate a hefty $6.7 million to the University of Missouri School of Journalism in order to create a documentary journalism program.
Jon Murray, who is the chairman of Bunim/Murray productions is a 1977 a journalism alumnus. The Read World chairman’s goal is to establish the Jon Murray Center for Documentary Journalism. As some of you may know, Murray, with his late business partner Mary-Ellis Bunim, started Bunim/Murray and pioneered the way we look at reality television by starting the shows The Real world, Road Rules, and The Bad Girls Club.
In addition to co-creating The Real World, Murray has found success in having his hand in Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Project Runway. In order to give back to his alma mater, the producer started the process a year ago by talking to journalism administrators.
In a statement co-creator said:
“It’s fortunate that I’ve done well financially, and when I think about places that have had a profound impact on my life, this is one of them.”
Dean Mills, who is the dean of the School of Journalism said of Jon Murray:
“Jon is simply one of those alums you would like to clone.”
Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin seemed to be happy to talk about Jon Murray’s generous donation to the school, having said:
“We had the pieces already, but this plows new ground for the (journalism) school.”
Continuing the chancellor said:
“Mr. Murray’s gift creates a unique opportunity that adds to a remarkable curriculum that has made the MU School of Journalism the best in the world. It also complements community efforts such as the True/False Film Festival, making Columbia, Mo., a true force in documentary storytelling.”
As we previously reported Jon Murray’s signature show The Real World introduced and in many ways grew the brand of documentary TV eventually turned into reality television. After a few years of seeing a ratings slump, his new format for The Real World saw a ratings high that hasn’t happened in the last two years. His show Real World: Ex-Plosion isn’t expected to change anything we don’t already know about reality television, but it might put Murray back in the conversation of television. If not the series, then for sure his generous donation.