Open Meeting Policy
All meetings of WYSU-FM’s Advisory Board, Youngstown State University’s Board of Trustees, and Youngstown State Universities Board of Trustees’ Institutional Engagement Committee are open to the public.
The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees is WYSU-FM’s supervisory board, so the meetings that might address WYSU-FM business are the General Meetings and the Institutional Advancement Committee Meetings.
The WYSU-FM Advisory Board does not make station policy, but it is open to the public for observation and comments. Notices for all meetings will be posted on the WYSU-FM website – wysu.org/advisoryboard.
On-air announcements for all meetings will be made on WYSU-FM, 88.5 MHz.
Any questions about WYSU-FM’s open meeting policy can be addressed to Gary Sexton, station director, or by phone at 330.941.3363.
Closed Meetings: YSU Board of Trustees Insitutional Engagement Committee and General Meeting (The committees that oversee WYSSU business.)
- September 2015 Meetings - No executive sessions.
- December 1, 2015, 5:30 pm - The YSU Board of Trustees Institutional Engagement Committee went into executive session to consider matters required to be kept confidential by federal law or regulations or state statutes.
- March 2016 Meetings - No executive sessions.
- June 2016 Meetings - No executive sessions.
- June 2016 Meetings - No executive sessions.
- September 2016 Meetings - No executive sessions.
- November/December 2016 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
Donor List and Political Activities
WYSU-FM is in full compliance with the CPB Donor List and Political Activities Requirements.
- WYSU-FM annually certifies to CPB of continued compliance with the laws and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service, and with all other applicable Federal law or regulations governing political activity and lobbying in effect at the time of certification;
- WYSU-FM does not sell, rent, lease, loan, trade, give, donate, transfer or exchange their membership or donor names to, with or from any candidate for Federal, State or local office, political committees, or political parties for any purpose whatsoever, except as otherwise required by law or judicial process;
- WYSU-FM maintains active control of their contributor and donor lists, and take all appropriate measures to ensure against unauthorized use of such lists including requiring any third party, including but not limited to list brokers, mail-list management organizations, Friends organizations, fundraising organizations, or advertising or public relations agencies, to abide by a grantees’ compliance requirements, except as otherwise required by law or judicial process;
- WYSU-FM refrains from disclosing contributor or donor names or other personally identifiable information to any nonaffiliated third party unless, before the time that such information is initially disclosed, they clearly and conspicuously disclose to contributors and donors that such personal information may be disclosed to a nonaffiliated third party. If such disclosure is not required by law or judicial process, the grantee shall give the contributor or donor the opportunity to direct that such information not be disclosed to a nonaffiliated third party, and give the contributor or donor an explanation of how to exercise that nondisclosure option; and
- WYSU-FM periodically remind contributors or donors of any potential for sale, rental, lease, loan, trade, gift, donation, transfer, or exchange of their names and personally identifiable information, and offer a means by which the names and other personally identifiable information may be suppressed upon request; and suppress the names as requested, except as required by law or judicial process.
- WYSU-FM maintains complete, accurate, and secure records of all uses of membership and donor lists for fundraising purposes, and must furnish such records to CPB on request.
YSU Board of Trustees
A list of YSU Board of Trustees members can be found on the YSU website Board of Trustees page.
YSU Board of Trustees Meeting Schedule
YSU Board of Trustees Meeting Schedule that applies to WYSU:
- Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 11:00 am - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - Institutional Engagement Committee
- Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 3:00 pm - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
- Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - 3:00 pm - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - Institutional Engagement Committee
- Thursday, June 14, 2017 - 3:00 pm - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Diversity Statement and Goals
As a university licensee, the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees serves as WYSU-FM’s governing board. The Board of Trustees of Youngstown State University is composed of 11 members who are appointed by the Governor of the State of Ohio, with the advice and consent of the State Senate. WYSU does not control the selection of the board members.
Although WYSU as a university licensee is not required to have a Community Advisory Board, it does maintain a Community Advisory Council that meets three times per year. In FY 2017, the Community Advisory Council consists of 24 members. Of those, 14 are female; 10 are male; and 2 are racially diverse.
In FY2017 the WYSU staff consists of 8 full-time employees. Of those, 4 are female with one of these also being from a protected racial minority, and 4 are male. WYSU also works with student employees who add additional age, race, and cultural diversity to station operations.
Youngstown State University Policies and Procedures regarding Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity and Workplace Environment
Youngstown State University Notice of Non-Discrimination Policies
Youngstown State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, age, religion or veteran/military status in its programs or activities.
- 3356-2-03 Discrimination/harassment: Establishes expectations for institutional and individual conduct, defines discrimination and harassment, aids the university community in recognizing and preventing discrimination and harassment, and provides effective reporting and response mechanisms.
- 3356-2-03.1 Sexual Misconduct: Provides the university community with a clearly articulated set of behavioral standards, common understandings of definitions, descriptions of prohibited conduct, relevant information, and reporting options in order to foster a climate free from sexual misconduct.
- 3356-2-02 Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Recruitment and Employment: Establishes the University’s commitment to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity, and affirmative action in recruitment and employment.
- 3356-7-04 Workplace Violence: Provides a process and procedure that delineates Youngstown state university’s commitment to providing a supportive work and learning environment that is safe, secure, and free from threats, intimidation, and violence.
- 3356-7-20 Drug-free Environment: Establishes the University’s commitment to create and maintain an environment which sustains the general health and well-being of students, employees, and visitors and to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.
- 3356-7-49 Domestic Partner Benefits: Establishes the University’s commitment to equity and the recruitment and retention of a highly qualified and diverse workforce by providing benefits to domestic partners of eligible employees.
Employment Search Procedures and Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
In order to comply with the equal opportunity requirement of The Communications Act, 89.7 and equal opportunity and affirmative action requirements established by the University, WYSU follows the search procedures established by the University when filling an open position:
- A posting is established through the Office of Human Resources. The posting includes the job description, duties, minimum and desired qualifications and a summary of the position.
- The position is posted on-line through the Youngstown State University Job site and on various job sites, local newspapers, and other broadcasting publications that are specific to the position being advertised and those that have requested notifications of job opportunities.
- A Search Committee is established and completes on-line training in order to understand the relevant equal employment opportunity laws and University polices applicable to their actions; to evaluate applicants in an objective and consistent manner; and to recommend an applicant or applicants for hire/appointment.
- Application materials are collected through the Youngstown State University's on-line application system.
- The Office of Equal Opportunity and Policy Development (EOPD) monitors and approves the Search Committee’s actions to ensure compliance with applicable laws, and University policies and procedures for equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.
- Once the search process has been approved for equal employment opportunity and affirmative action compliance, reference and background checks are completed.
Education and Training
To educate and train University employees on the issues and consequences of workplace violence, discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct University employees are required to complete the following educational courses annually:
For WYSU Supervisors:
- Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation
- Duty to Prevent Violence
- Eliminate Campus Sexual Violence
- Ohio Ethics Lae
For WYSU Employees:
- Prevent Harassment & Discrimination
- Recognize and Prevent Workplace Violence
- Eliminate Campus Sexual Violence
- Campus SaVE Act
- Workplace Harassment Prevention
- Ohio Ethics Law
In order to ensure a diverse pool of applicants for employment, WYSU will follow FCC/EEO guidelines regarding job posting and recruitment and will utilize the resources and training materials available from Youngstown State University’s Offices of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity to address outreach and diversity at WYSU.
In order to comply with open financial records requirements of The Communications Act of 1934, 89.7 WYSU, a service of Youngstown State University, provides the following reports made available for public inspection:
- WYSU's Annual Financial Report
- WYSU's Annual CPB Financial Report
- WYSU is not required to file an IRS Form 990. WYSU has no employees who meet the IRS definition of “highly compensated employees” in Form 990, Section VII A and B. WYSU has no contractors who meet the definition of “highly compensated” or are paid over $100,000.
Local Content and Services Report FY2016
1. Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station’s vital local services, such as multiplatform long and short-form content, digital and in-person engagement, education services, community information, partnership support, and other activities, and audiences you reached or new audiences you engaged.
As a major community service arm of Youngstown State University, WYSU-FM reaches thousands of listeners each day in eight counties in Ohio and three in Pennsylvania over the airways. WYSU also provides service to many other listeners and former members of our community throughout the country and around the world through its streaming services and smart phone applications. WYSU delivers all of them a direct, personal connection to YSU and also provides them with lifelong learning and personal development opportunities through the station's fine arts and news and information programming.
One of WYSU’s primary goals is to be an important resource for the community on local issues and activities. We have challenged ourselves to meet this goal on-air, in digital media, and with community events.
In this past year, WYSU-FM helped to found the City Club of the Mahoning Valley. The director is on the steering committee and WYSU is the primary media partner. The City Club of The Mahoning Valley is inspired by and founded upon the principles of free speech and civic discourse, and the belief in the power of informed conversation to spark change in The Mahoning Valley, the region, and the state. The inaugural event at Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown was a panel discussion on the state of economic development in the Mahoning Valley, attended by 350 people. The second program was a panel discussion on the presidential election. 300 people attended that event. The panels were diverse and included representatives of national, state, and regional organizations and entities. WYSU both streamed the events live, and also aired produced specials. The City Club of the Mahoning Valley has committed to four formal programs in the coming year, as well as partnering with organizations on other significant lectures and events that meet the City Club’s mission and objectives.
Through partnerships with local commercial news entities and by developing our own local news and interview modules utilizing university professors and local news professionals, we constantly strive to creatively address community issues despite not having the resources to maintain a news department. We work internally and with our community partners to identify significant community issues, how best to address those issues, whom to talk with, and how best to have a balanced and thorough discussion.
We have partnerships with local newspapers The Youngstown Vindicator and The Business Journal, both of which supply us with local news segments that address community issues on a daily basis. We use the daily news reporting of The Youngstown Vindicator to construct a local news headline segment each hour during Morning Edition. The Business Journal produces a five-minute business and local news segment that we air each hour of All Things Considered.
A local interview segment called Doing Good, which airs during Morning Edition, is designed to raise social consciousness and public awareness about significant concerns in our community, as well as draw attention to the good work being directed at these issues. This program encourages listeners to become engaged and involved in projects and activities featured on the show. Topics addressed in the past year on Doing Good include helping budding entrepreneurs, healthy food assistance in the inner city, inspiring students in city schools, meeting health needs in the city, poverty and homeless services, civil rights history, nonviolence programs, business mindfulness programs, legal advice for artists, veteran services, volunteer opportunities, remembering the Holocaust, helping the working poor, substance abuse services, unique programs for Alzheimer patients, and information about arts organizations.
An interview module now in its second year and also airing during Morning Edition on a weekly basis is hosted by a university English professor and features interviews with area residents and YSU faculty involved in the arts, education, community research and development, and politics. Topics in the past year have included: new challenges for the working class, revitalization of city parks, several interviews on the future of public education, local economic development, collaborations between university faculty and local businesses, leveraging arts through community engagement, and many interviews on the election process.
In addition, listeners submitted commentaries on subjects of interest to them and to the general audience. They come to the studios to record their commentaries, which are then aired during Morning Edition.
All local programs are archived on the WYSU website for use at any time, something we frequently promote on all platforms.
WYSU thoroughly reviews the issues and programs process each quarter. We explore 15 to 20 topics of community concern every quarter using a combination of local public affairs programs strategically placed in network news magazines, single-themed network programs (e.g. Alternative Radio, On the Media), and the network news magazines themselves. Subjects include aging, arts, business, children, community, discrimination, economy, education, environment, government, health, minorities, personal growth, politics, religion, science, technology, world, and much more.
WYSU also actively works with other community organizations to bring in speakers, concerts, and other events for the benefit of the entire community. Speakers in the past year included Scott Simon, host of NPR’s Saturday Weekend Edition, and David Barsamian, host of Alternative Radio. Concerts included the Arsenal Duo and Chatham Baroque.
WYSU connects with the community by regularly holding listener appreciation events in order to meet listeners, obtain their feedback, and adjust station operation based on community response. WYSU’s Advisory Board continues to be a reliable sounding board for WYSU initiatives.
2. Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you collaborated, including other public media outlets, community nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, the business community, teachers and parents, etc. This will illustrate the many ways you’re connected across the community and engaged with other important organizations in the area.
WYSU is committed to its mission of being the community’s leading source for trusted news, engaging conversation, and music that stimulates the mind and spirit. In addition to providing this for listeners, WYSU is also committed to supporting other local non-profit agencies, organizations, and groups, by providing media and direct sponsorship for their events, and by promoting awareness of their activities and missions.
WYSU staff believes that its product is one that the community has come to equate with professionalism and integrity, and one that it will continue to vigorously support. Each year, it is a goal of WYSU to extend outreach to the community and strengthen relationships with leaders, agencies and organizations. This is accomplished through the following efforts.
WYSU Media Partnerships
As detailed in the first question, we have developed two high-level media partnerships with local commercial media, The Youngstown Vindicator and The Business Journal.
WYSU Community Presence
We have developed an interactive Community Calendar on our website. University departments, local arts organizations, and community service organizations can all enter their event data on the Calendar, which is available to anyone in the community after we edit it. This Calendar is also the source of our public service announcements, providing these organizations with free announcements, valued at more than $40,000 over the course of a year.
We also are both a direct sponsor and a media sponsor for many community events. Station representatives attend these events in an effort to connect with other community leaders and promote public radio. New this year is WYSU’s involvement with the newly-formed City Club of the Mahoning Valley. The WYSU director serves on the steering and program committee, and WYSU is the primary media sponsor for the City Club’s community discussions and events.
In 2016, WYSU had partnership agreements with the following organizations for many community events:
- The Butler Institute of American Art
- Ballet Western Reserve
- Canton Symphony
- Chrystal’s Catering
- City Club of the Mahoning Valley
- The Cleveland Orchestra
- Dana School of Music at YSU
- Easy Street Productions
- Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens, Mill Creek Park
- Gasser Chair
- The Mahoning Valley Historical Society
- McDonough Museum of Art at YSU
- Metro Monthly
- Non-Violent Parade
- Oh, Wow! Children’s Museum
- Opera Western Reserve
- Packard Music Hall/Sunrise Entertainment of Warren
- Rulli Bros. Market
- St. John’s Episcopal Church
- Salem Regional Medical Center
- Soap Gallery
- Tuesday Musical of Akron
- The VindicatorWestern Reserve Public Media
- Youngstown CinemaYoungstown Peace Race
- Youngstown Phantoms Hockey
- Youngstown Playhouse
- Youngstown Symphony Orchestra
- YSU Career/Job Fair
WYSU also airs the online and website archived program Life on Life’s Terms in partnership with the nonprofit organization Ebony Lifeline Support Group. The program addresses issues of chemical dependency and concerns that are especially directed to the minority population by inviting special guests to share their addiction recovery stories with the listening audience. Education and information at the grass roots level is the goal.
Operating over the SCA (sideband) of WYSU-FM, the Youngstown Radio Reading Service (YRRS) is a private nonprofit station serving the sight impaired. The YRRS broadcasts print materials, which are not otherwise accessible to its listeners. Specially tuned radios are provided free of charge to qualified listeners. These services are provided in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, and Ashtabula Counties, as well as areas of western Pennsylvania.
3. What impact did your key initiatives and partnerships have in your community? Describe any known measurable impact, such as increased awareness, learning or understanding about particular issues. Describe indicators of success, such as connecting people to needed resources or strengthening conversational ties across diverse neighborhoods. Did a partner see an increase in requests for related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner(s) or from a person(s) served.
In 2016, The City Club of the Mahoning Valley was launched with great success, in part due to the support of WYSU, the primary media partner in the venture. Two dinner events featured panels of local leaders speaking on the economic and political forecasts for the Mahoning Valley. These events were attended by a total of 650 people, and broadcast live on 88.5 WYSU. The organizers plan to hold four events per year in the Youngstown Area. Phil Kidd, City Club of the Mahoning Valley event organizer said WYSU’s support was key to the City Club’s success.
“WYSU provides production support to our programs as well as records and rebroadcasts event discussions.” Kidd adds, “As a public radio station, committed to community engagement, City Club's partnership with WYSU FM is not only a logical one but one that is cherished because of the shared values of both organizations.” The third City Club event is planned for March 6, 2017 in Youngstown.
In 2016 WYSU once again worked with the staff at with St. John’s Episcopal Church to host a lecture, this time featuring NPR Weekend Edition anchor Scott Simon. The respected journalist drew more than 400 people to the YSU campus and the downtown Youngstown area. The event was an opportunity for WYSU supporters and interested citizens to see one of their favorite NPR “voices” in person. A post-lecture question and answer between Simon and the crowd made for a memorable exchange. This was one of several joint efforts planned by WYSU and St. John’s staff recently. Rev. Gayle Catinella of St. John’s Church said as close neighbors on the YSU campus, the partnership has been good for both.
"We are so grateful for our partnership with WYSU because it enables us to think big and do wonderful things for the community! Working with creative, enthusiastic and highly motivated folks, like the ones at WYSU, ensures good things will happen!" Catinella said.
WYSU has a special relationship with many of its underwriting partners. A&C Beverage, a newer downtown Youngstown business, is one that has seen the benefits of underwriting with WYSU.
“After the relocation of our store to the core of Downtown Youngstown, A&C Beverage relied on the wide reach of WYSU to a diverse listening audience to engage a sophisticated and cultivated clientele,” A&C owner Al Franceschelli said. “We are proud to be an underwriter for this local station and every year very much look forward to partnering with them on the station's annual gala fundraiser, Mad About the Arts."
WYSU’s partnership with The Mahoning Valley Historical Society is also a successful one. WYSU has been the main media partner for many MVHS events and exhibits, including the annual Christmas Exhibit in the Arms House Museum, the MVHS summer programs for children, and Cookie Table and Cocktails, an event celebrating a unique valley tradition. The MVHS recognizes the station as an invaluable partner at their events and in their publications.
MVHS Director William Lawson said, “I see the best thing about our relationship with WYSU being an affordable means to communicate the MVHS mission -- to celebrate the history of the people of the Mahoning Valley to an audience that relates to it. We have similar audiences, and when we have teamed up with WYSU on media partnerships it has been very successful – we get good feedback.”
These partnerships are just a few of the dozens that WYSU has committed to over the station’s 47-year history, illustrating a devotion to listeners and the community at large.
Another measurable impact of our initiatives and partnerships has been the dramatic growth of participation on our social media platforms. Because WYSU’s social media platforms are a key way for the station to publicize its initiatives and partnerships, the rapid growth of our social media communities is an indication and measure of our constituents’ enhanced awareness, and of the impact our efforts have had upon our constituents.
In 2000 WYSU invited listeners to join the staff on a two-week trip to England and Scotland. Since then, these yearly overseas trips have become an extremely popular yearly event, and very often sell out. They not only attract a small core of repeat travelers, but they continually draw in listeners who have never traveled before, and who say the impetus is the opportunity to travel with someone they know and trust. Given that we have never met a lot of these people, that kind of statement speaks volumes about our relationship with these listeners.
Other success indicators are primarily anecdotal from partners who noted the response to a story on WYSU, or requests for information made available on the air and on our website or social media.
4. Please describe any efforts (e.g. programming, production, engagement activities) you have made to investigate and/or meet the needs of minority and other diverse audiences (including, but not limited to, new immigrants, people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults) during Fiscal Year 2015, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2016. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.
Beginning in 2016, WYSU became active in the production and broadcasting of an initiative new to the region, the City Club of the Mahoning Valley. These presentations offer a forum for political, civic and humanitarian discussions of interest to a diverse population of the region and thus far have had invited panelists including attorneys, elected officials, University professors, authors and others. The broadcasts of these presentations are aired during prime time hours in order to be more widely available to a larger audience. The audience for these programs has been very diverse.
Throughout the year WYSU continued to provide studio time, production assistance, program hosting and on-line archiving of the award-winning, local community affairs program Life on Life's Terms, a program produced by and primarily for members of the local minority community. This program is hosted by minorities and targets individuals with substance abuse problems.
In local interview programs WYSU seeks to provide a platform for voices from all segments of our community. Topics of special concern to the various minority communities are frequently addressed, especially in the Doing Good segment aired during Morning Edition.
WYSU provides a great deal of free public service announcements for events in the minority community such as Hispanic Awareness Month, Black History Month, the YSU Diversity Leadership Award Dinner, and a many other lectures, concerts and special events throughout the year.
WYSU is constantly expanding its support for university and community-based events especially directed at diverse audiences. In its marketing strategies, WYSU attempts to increase the minority community’s awareness of our programming.
WYSU has a strong minority audience for the news and jazz programming. The jazz programming was expanded in 2016.
WYSU works in conjunction with Youngstown State University to ensure that the WYSU website is ADA compliant.
5. Please assess the impact that your CPB funding had on your ability to serve your community. What were you able to do with your grant that you wouldn't be able to do if you didn't receive it?
Making up approximately 13% of WYSU’s budget, the CPB CSG is part of a delicate and fragile balance of funding sources that makes up a 1 million dollar+ budget for WYSU. Each source impacts the others. There are few options to make up significant operational funding deficits from any source in our very challenging market that deals with very low education levels, a high poverty rate, and a precipitous population drop.
Our city of license – Youngstown, OH – is America’s fastest shrinking city (www.hamptoninstitution.org/youngstown.html), from 95,000 in 1990 to an estimated 67,000 in 2016 (The population was over 166,000 in 1960.). Over 40% of the people in Youngstown live below the poverty line (http://wkbn.com/2014/09/18/youngstown-among-the-countrys-poorest-cities/). Fewer than 8% of the people in Youngstown have graduated from college, which is less than half the state and national average (http://www.clrsearch.com/Youngstown-Demographics/OH/Education-Level-and-Enrollment-Statistics).
It is always a difficult endeavor, considering the economic realities of this area, but WYSU is constantly striving to find ways to increase exposure and revenue. This community, while lacking in financial resources, strongly believes in the value of WYSU to the community. Despite the challenges, university, membership, and underwriting support was solid and steady in 2016.
Without the CPB CSG, the diversity of our program offerings and our reach throughout the region would significantly diminish. With programming costs always on the increase, funding at the national level makes it possible for us to provide the programming to our audience that, very simply, would not be feasible through local funding alone. While a great deal of programming is produced in-house, there are many hours of the broadcast day that rely on syndication and affiliation fees for the broadcast rights to air them. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting provides a substantial portion of the funding necessary to provide the services to which our audience appreciates and expects.
Without the CPB CSG, WYSU operational integrity will be weakened. Our budget for new and more reliable equipment, our ability to stay up-to-date, and the quality of information delivery in and outside of the WYSU infrastructure will suffer as limited funds are redirected.
For instance, it would be a challenge to maintain the translators in under-served communities like Ashtabula and New Wilmington. It is also possible that we would have to cut some programming, or decide between local programming and network news programs, or even reduce personnel, which is already pared to the bone. There is no question that there would be a noticeable service reduction of some kind.
Without CPB funding we would not be able to provide our audience with the type of thoughtful and in-depth programming that they rely on to make educated decisions about the world around them. Many in our audience cannot afford or simply choose not to turn to digital sources for this information, which is why being able to provide it free of charge is critical.
We continue to believe WYSU-FM is an extremely valuable resource serving a struggling community and will be a key element in its revitalization. The CPB CSG is critical to WYSU’s existence as a valuable community resource.