WYSO is one of seven public radio stations across Ohio that will collaborate to create and operate The Ohio Newsroom, which launches today.
The Ohio Newsroom will be the state’s largest daily statewide radio and digital news service, thanks to a two-year, $375,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The funds were awarded to Ideastream Public Media, the organization managing The Ohio Newsroom, and will help support the implementation of the service, including leadership, governance, staffing and content development. In addition, WYSO and its partnering statewide public radio stations are now conducting a nationwide search for The Ohio Newsroom’s first managing editor.
Every public radio station that broadcasts NPR in Ohio is invited to join The Ohio Newsroom. In addition to WYSO, these stations have signed on to participate in and contribute to the collaborative news service: Cincinnati Public Radio, Ideastream Public Media (Cleveland), WCSU (Wilberforce, Ohio), WGTE (Toledo, Ohio), WOSU Public Media (Columbus, Ohio) and WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio).
“WYSO has tripled its reporting staff in the last couple of years, becoming a leading source of local and regional news as well as content that has statewide significance,” said Luke Dennis, WYSO general manager. “We are eager to bring our expertise and vision to the table and to work with all of these public radio newsrooms to shape, contribute to and benefit from this service.
Future Ohio Newsroom reporting can be found on The Ohio Newsroom page on WYSO’s website.
Wendy Turner, Ideastream Public Media’s first general manager of Ohio public media services, is leading The Ohio Newsroom in addition to managing The Ohio Channel and the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau on behalf of all Ohio public television and radio stations. Turner is also part of Ideastream Public Media’s executive leadership team. Prior to joining Ideastream Public Media, she served as the general manager of WKSU public radio in Kent, Ohio.
Turner is responsible for hiring staff for The Ohio Newsroom with full consultation from the newsroom’s statewide station partners. Staffing begins with securing the newsroom’s managing editor. A national search is taking place to find the right candidate to fill this integral position. Job seekers can find information about the managing editor role and apply online at https://www.ideastream.org/about/careers. Additional positions will be added to The Ohio Newsroom as its implementation continues.
Turner said, “Securing The Ohio Newsroom’s first managing editor, and later, more reporters, will mean more in-depth stories, expanded digital content and even better statewide coordination on breaking news.” She added, “Ohio’s public media organizations have a long history of collaboration. We look forward to continuing this tradition of successfully serving Ohioans through The Ohio Newsroom.”
For years, the partner stations have worked together to share collaborative content initiatives and reporting that are relevant to a statewide audience. The Ohio Newsroom expands their ability to continue with this important work in a cohesive, strategic manner. Examples of past collaborative projects include “Learning Curve” and “Justice Matters.” The partners are also working on a new collaborative editorial project that will launch this spring — the first content initiative that will be released under The Ohio Newsroom.
Plans for The Ohio Newsroom began in July 2019 as a concept for developing a statewide news collaborative, with a $70,000 grant from The George Gund Foundation to conduct consumer research. In October 2020, Ideastream Public Media, Cincinnati Public Radio and WOSU Public
Media announced that they had been awarded a $56,500 grant from CPB to develop a business plan and a sustainability model for the collaborative. Then, as plans were further solidified among Ohio’s public radio stations, CPB awarded the project $375,000 in October 2021 to begin the collaborative’s implementation.
Said Dennis, “These funders have made it possible for public radio stations in Ohio to become an even more valuable source of unbiased news and information. WYSO is grateful for their support.”