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.
All meeting announcements can be found on the Meeting Announcements page on the WYSU website.
Closed Meetings: YSU Board of Trustees Institutional Engagement Committee and General Meeting (The committees that oversee WYSU business.)
March 2018 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
June 2018 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
September 2018 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
December 2018 Meetings -- December 5, 2018, 11:20 am – 12:15 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; specifically to consider details of security arrangements and emergency response protocols.
March 2019 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
June 2019 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
September 2019 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
December 2019 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
March 2020 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
June 2020 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
September 2020 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
December 2020 Meetings -- No executive sessions
March 2021 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
June 2021 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
September 2021 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
December 2021 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
March 2022 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
June 2022 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
September 2022 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
December 2022 Meetings -- No executive sessions.
March 2023 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 4, 2020 - 12:30 pm -Kilcawley Center, President's Suite - Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 10:00 am -Tod Hall,Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 12:30 pm -Virtual Meeting - Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 10:00 am -Tod Hall,Virtual Meeting - General Meeting
Wednesday, September 2, 2020 - 12:30 pm -Virtual Meeting- Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, September 3, 2020 - 10:00 am -Kilcawley Center, Chestnut Room - General Meeting
Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 12:30 pm -Virtual Meeting - Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 10:00 am - Virtual Meeting - General Meeting
Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 12:30 pm -Kilcawley Center, President's Suite - Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 10:00 am -Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 12:30 pm -Kilcawley Center, President's Suite - Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 10:00 am -Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 3:00 pm - Kilcawley Center, President's Suite- Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 10:00 am -Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 3:00 pm -Kilcawley Center, President's Suite - Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 10:00 am -Kilcawley Center, President's Suite - General Meeting
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 2:30 pm - Beeghly Hall, McKay Auditorium - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Thursday, March 3, 2022 - 10:00am - Beeghly Hall, McKay Auditorium - General Meeting
Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 2:30 pm - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 10:00 am - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 - 3:00 pm - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - Institutional Engagement Committee
Wednesday, September 21, 2022 - 10:00 am - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Thursday, December 8, 2022 - 4:00 pm - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - Institutional Engagement Committee
Friday, December 9, 2022 - 10:00 am - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 - 2:30 pm - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, March 2, 2023 - 10:00 am - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Thursday, May 25, 2023 - 2:30 pm - Tod Hall Board Meeting Room - Special General Meeting
Wednesday June 21, 2023 - 2:30 pm - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, June 22, 2023 - 10:00 am - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 - 2:30 pm - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - Institutional Engagement Committee
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 - 10:00 am - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
Wednesday, December 6, 2023 - 2:30 pm - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - Institutional Engagement Committee
Thursday, December 7 2023 - 10:00 am - Tod Hall, Board Meeting Room - General Meeting
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION STATEMENT AND GOALS
(Updated November 30, 2022; Reviewed by YSU Director Equal Opportunity and Policy)
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 2022, the Community Advisory Council consists of 15 members. Of those,67 are female; 9 are male; and 4 are racially diverse.
In FY2022 the WYSU staff consists of 5 full-time employees. Of those, 2 are white females, and 3 are white male. There are three part-time employees. Of those, 1 is an African-American male, and 2 are white males. 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.
3356-2-05 Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy: The policy establishes university compliance with the U.S. Department of Education’s new regulations on Title IX.
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 and off-campus violence, threats, and disruptive behavior: 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.
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.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION AT WYSU-FM
YOUNGSTOWN STATE UNIVERSITY
As a department of Youngstown State University, WYSU embraces and adheres to all the diversity goals, policies and procedures of Youngstown State University.
WYSU’s diversity, equity and inclusion goal is to cultivate, promote, and preserve a welcoming culture of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the entire organization and its operation. This culture extends to the station’s staff, advisory board, volunteers, listeners, as well as to the station’s programming and community outreach initiatives. WYSU endeavors to represent diverse perspectives in its programming and community activities.
To reflect and reinforce this goal, WYSU will:
Foster, welcome, value, and promote diversity among staff, students, volunteers, and our community.
Provide professional programs and trainings; educating WYSU’s management, professional staff, advisory board, students, and volunteers on the best practices for maintaining an inclusive and diverse environment for everyone.
Provide programs with different cultural contexts to serve the educational and lifelong learning needs of our diverse community.
Develop the capacity to understand and address issues of difference, bias, power, and privilege.
Include diverse individuals in internships and student work experience positions.
Ensure a diverse pool of applicants for employment, by following FCC/EEO and Youngstown State University guidelines regarding job posting and recruitment; utilize the resources and training materials available from Youngstown State University’s Offices of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity; and make use of local and network public radio resources to address outreach and diversity in all position searches.
1. Education and Training:
To educate and train WYSU employees on the important issues and consequences of workplace violence, discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct, staff members will complete the following educational/training courses annually:
Youngstown State University Discrimination, Harassment, and Title IX Training
Ohio Ethics Law: Building a Culture of Integrity
Corporation for Public Broadcasting Discrimination/Harassment & Title IX Training
2. Programming and Community Outreach:
WYSU is Continuously striving to enhance the diversity and inclusive scope of its programming. WYSU searches for and continues to add programs that focus on diverse topics and have hosts of diverse backgrounds. Recent additions include: the news module Asian View, aired twice daily during Morning Edition; Latino USA; It’s Been a Minute; and Snap Judgment.
WYSU regularly inserts local interviews into network news programs that address local topics of special interest to diverse audiences. Recent topics include: interviewing the author of The Color of Law, LGBTQ+ health rights, Women's March in Youngstown, Pride Month, Black History Month, Trumbull County Legal Aid Program, Hispanic Heritage Month, Holocaust Remembrance Day, history of the Juneteenth holiday, and the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation humanitarian trip to Ukraine.
WYSU promotes lectures and events for diverse audiences on air and in the online Community Calendar. Recent examples include: Hispanic Heritage Month Organizing Committee programs, YSU Africana Studies programs for Black History Month, Women’s History Month programs, events of the local Latino organization OCCHA, YSU guest lecturers and musicians, local theater productions, as well as numerous other specific event requests that are submitted to the station.
WYSU’s locally-hosted classical and jazz program hosts, and network hosts, make a special effort to incorporate music that reflects the contributions of all cultures, especially featuring Latin-American, African-American, LGBTQ+, and women composers and musicians. Women composers and musicians are also emphasized.
WYSU provides opportunities for listeners to record and air commentaries on topics of interest to the community.
WYSU actively participates in, supports, and frequently partners in community events of interest to diverse audiences.
WYSU, in a partnership with Goodwill Industries, carries the Youngstown Radio Reading Service on its sideband. A small staff and over 100 volunteers read various materials for the sight impaired and those with other physical ailments like stroke and dyslexia.
3. Operational Initiatives:
WYSU funds two broadcast/journalism scholarships for minority students. The annually-awarded WYSU-FM Broadcasting Scholarship helps to develop the next generation of broadcasters. Applicants must be a full time, traditional or non-traditional minority student, majoring in Telecommunications. WYSU-FM also established the Robert W. Peterson Scholarship, named for a former director of WYSU, which awards an annual scholarship to a second year minority student in English, Journalism, or Communications.
Recent part-time and student additions have expanded the diversity of our workforce.
WYSU works in conjunction with its licensee (Youngstown State University) to ensure that all WYSU facilities and its website are ADA compliant.
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.
You may request an accessible document version or hard copy of the PDFs above by contacting Gary Sexton.
LOCAL CONTENT AND SERVICES REPORT TO CPB FY2022
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.
WYSU-FM’s primary goal, that shapes all other goals, is to be a community leader that supports the fine and performing arts and educational resources that Youngstown State University and the region have to offer. WYSU addresses this goal by maintaining locally-hosted classical music programming; providing a public community calendar; sponsoring and organizing lectures and concerts; producing local programs related to the well-being of the community – Doing Good interviews, community issues interviews -- and also providing opportunities for citizen commentaries. WYSU offers informational resources on its website for state and national political events. The station also has established partnerships with local news organizations to provide local news headlines on air throughout the day, and post local stories on the website. In addition, WYSU provides unique student training opportunities as librarians, audio assistant, assistant engineer, production assistants, and more. Everything WYSU does is with a focus on promoting life-long learning opportunities for our audience.
WYSU also shares the mission of its licensee, Youngstown State University, and the following goals drawn from that mission also inform everything WYSU does.
• being a key provider of informational programs to the region at large
• fostering collaboration to enrich the region and the world
• integrating teaching, learning, scholarship, and civic engagement
• fostering understanding of diversity, sustainability, and global perspectives
• advancing the intellectual and cultural life of the city, region, and world.
WYSU has a vibrant partnership with The Business Journal, and an ongoing relationship with the Statehouse News Bureau. Statehouse News Bureau stories are regularly inserted in news headlines at the top of the hour, and a local news segment produced by The Business Journal airs during All Things Considered. WYSU has become a member of the Ohio News Room and looks forward to airing its content in the coming year.
A local interview segment titled Doing Good airs weekly during Morning Edition, and is designed to raise social consciousness and public awareness about significant concerns in our community, as well as to draw attention to the good work being done to address these issues. It has been a popular feature and brings many community leaders, YSU scholars, and local activists to the WYSU audience.
Other local interviews that air during morning network news on a weekly basis are hosted by university English professor, Dr. Tim Francisco. The program features interviews with area residents, guest speakers, visiting artists, and YSU faculty involved in the arts, education, community research and development, and politics.
In addition, listeners can submit and record commentaries on subjects of interest to them and to the general audience. These commentaries are aired during the morning network news program.
All the above local programs are archived on the WYSU website for access at any time.
Audience growth is measured, not only through traditional methods like the Nielsen rating survey, but also through advanced website and streaming metrics.
WYSU thoroughly reviews the issues and programs process each quarter. Twelve to 18 topics of community concern are addressed every quarter using a combination of local public affairs interviews strategically placed in network news magazines, single-themed network programs, and the network news magazines themselves.
WYSU is beginning to physically re- connect with the community by again sponsoring and holding open events in order to meet listeners and obtain their feedback. WYSU has also resumed partnerships with other community organizations to bring in speakers, concerts, and other events for the benefit of the entire community, and to provide more engagement opportunities. These events had, of course, been moved to a virtual platform because of the pandemic.
An active presence is maintained on Facebook, where listeners can interact with WYSU and learn about station events. And finally, WYSU’s Community Advisory Board continues to be a reliable sounding board for WYSU initiatives, and a valuable source of community support.
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 continues to expand and enhance its on-line, interactive Community Calendar. Available to the public on the station’s website (wysu.org), the calendar concentrates on local university events, fine and performing arts events by local arts organizations, and other community service organization activities. The event sponsoring agency can enter their event data on the Calendar (subject to editing), which is available to anyone in the community. This Calendar is also the source for WYSU’s on-air public service announcements, providing these organizations with free media exposure, valued collectively at more than $40,000 over the course of a year. New for 2022, the station hired a YSU student development employee whose primary responsibility is to find and add appropriate events to the calendar. WYSU also actively shares pertinent community events (live and virtual) on the events page of the station's official Facebook page (which is followed on Facebook by more than 1,920 users).
WYSU is also both a direct sponsor and a media sponsor for many community events (live and virtual). Station representatives attend these events (in person or virtually) in an effort to connect with other community leaders and promote public radio.
In 2022, WYSU had partnership, sponsorship, and/or underwriting agreements with the organizations listed below. These sponsorships demonstrate the station’s collaboration with its constituents, promote the good and services offered by the station’s sponsors, and promote many community events.
Ballet Western Reserve
Blossom Music Center
Butler Institute of American Art
Canton Symphony Orchestra
Charitable Adult Rides & Services (CARS)
Choolaah Indian BBQ
Cincinnati Public Radio (Cincinnati)
Cleveland International Film Festival
Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall
Cleveland Orchestra Blossom Festival
DeYor Performing Arts Center
First Presbyterian Church of Columbiana
Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens, Mill Creek Park
Garden Cafe by Kravitz
Hofmeister Realty & Auction Co.
Ideastream Public Media (Cleveland/Akron/Canton)
Internet Data Management, Inc. (IDMI)
JAC Management Group
Law Offices of Roth, Blair, Roberts, Strasfeld & Lodge
League of Women Voters of Greater Youngstown
Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Mahoning County Health Department
Mahoning Valley Historical Society
Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley
Mill Creek MetroParks Davis Center
Opera Western Reserve
Peter Allen Inn & Event Center
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Raymond John Wean Foundation Park
St. John’s Episcopal Church (Youngstown, OH)
Stambaugh Youth Concert Band
Star Supply Bargain Outlet
Sunrise Entertainment of Warren
The Business Journal (Youngstown)
The Ohio Newsroom
Thom Duma Fine Jewelers
Thomases Family Endowment
Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown
United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley
Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown
Villa Maria Community Center - Sisters of the Humility of Mary
WCSU-FM (Wilberforce, Ohio)
WOSU-FM Public Media (Columbus)
WYSO-FM (Yellow Springs)
Youngstown Peace Race
Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University Career Exploration & Development Office
Youngstown State University Cliffe College Dean's Office
Youngstown State University Cliffe College’s Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series
Youngstown State University Dana School of Music
Youngstown State University Department of Art
Youngstown State University Department Theatre & Dance
Youngstown State University Division of University Relations
Youngstown State University Foundation
Youngstown State University Historical Center of Industry and Labor
Youngstown State University McDonough Museum of Art
Youngstown State University Office of Marketing & Communications
Youngstown State University Summer Festival of the Arts
Youngstown State University Ward Beecher Planetarium
Youngstown Symphony Orchestra
New for 2022, WYSU was a founding media partner of The Ohio Newsroom. In many cities and towns across the country, newspapers and television stations are becoming a dying breed. Because of this, it is crucial now more than ever to deliver important news and information to local and regional communities.
To address the local news crisis and to help serve important local and regional news and information to Ohioans, WYSU and public media organizations across Ohio have partnered to launch The Ohio Newsroom, a formal collaboration designed to expand local journalism and coverage in Ohio to help tell the stories that may not otherwise be told.
As the number of local media outlets continues to decline statewide, The Ohio Newsroom is committed to filling those information gaps and securing the funds needed to sustain into the future. The Ohio Newsroom mission and structure are the result of research and modeling funded by The George Gund Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for expanding local journalism in Ohio.
Every public radio station that broadcasts NPR in Ohio is invited to join The Ohio Newsroom, with the following Ohio-based stations already signed on to both participate and contribute: WYSU, Cincinnati Public Radio (Cincinnati), Ideastream Public Media (Cleveland/Akron/Canton), WCSU (Wilberforce, Ohio), WGTE (Toledo), WOSU Public Media (Columbus), and WYSO (Yellow Springs).
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.
WYSU has been in a partnership with Goodwill Industries for over 40 years to carry the Youngstown Radio Reading Service on its sideband, providing a valuable service to sight-impaired members of the community.
WYSU partners with its parent university, YSU, to hire and provide valuable workplace experience to YSU students. Students learn hands-on broadcast communication or computer science skills while producing high-quality station content or working on special IT projects. This partnership is reciprocal as WYSU benefits from student work hours, and the community doubly benefits as students of the community gain valuable work experience and the rest of the community benefits from the services the students help provide.
WYSU is a critical link in the Emergency Alert System, a state and national warning system for severe weather and other disasters.
The station also maintains its own Disaster Response Program to better assist YSU and the region in the event of a widespread emergency.
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.
WYSU-FM continues to be fully committed to undertaking initiatives and establishing partnerships that provide essential community services. Some of the services and community benefits facilitated by these partnerships are often beyond the scope of those traditionally associated with public radio stations.
From Kristen Romito, Marketing Manager for The Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) about the value of the media partnership between WYSU and CIFF: "WYSU 88.5 has been an invaluable media partner for the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) for many years. Because of our work with WYSU, CIFF has been able to build relationships with film audiences beyond Cleveland. We look forward to many more years of partnering with WYSU and sharing the festival experience with your listeners."
Adam Aebischer, Owner of Aebischer's Jewelry in Poland, Ohio shared his thoughts about the value of underwriting on WYSU. "Aebischer’s Jewelry has been serving the Youngstown area since 1928. Our owners, Doug and Karen Aebischer, along with all of their children are all graduates of Youngstown State University. Our partnership with WYSU has allowed us to reach a wide audience and bring awareness to our family business and what we offer. We are grateful for the Youngstown community and our wonderful university and have received customers from our advertising- and this is our way of offering our support back to the station."
Since 2018 WYSU’s vehicle donation program has been facilitated through Charitable Adult Rides & Services (CARS), and it has been quite successful for the station. Throughout 2022 the program received 20 vehicle donations generating more than $14,000 in support for the station.
Beth Carter, Senior Director of Partner Support for CARS, finds the partnership between CARS and WYSU to be mutually beneficial: "For the past five years, CARS has partnered with WYSU to run its successful vehicle donation program. We’re proud to partner with WYSU and give listeners of the station an alternative way to support the news and entertainment the station provides. A portion of the proceeds raised through the program helps support our nonprofit, which provides transportation solutions to older adults, mental health services, and resources to those experiencing homelessness in the San Diego community. We are so appreciative of WYSU’s partnership and the contributions it has made to our programs."
These partnerships are just three examples of the hundreds of partnerships that WYSU has committed to over the station’s nearly 54-year history. All these partnerships illustrate the station’s devotion to its listeners, to the community at large, and to the general welfare of our entire region.
Another measurable impact of the value of WYSU’s initiatives and partnerships has been the continued growth and participation on social media platforms, particularly Facebook. Because WYSU’s Facebook page is a key way for the station to publicize its initiatives and partnerships, the growth of WYSU’s Facebook community is an indication and measure of our constituents’ enhanced awareness, and of the impact its efforts and events have had upon constituents.
Other success indicators are primarily anecdotal, and include: partners who note the response to a story on WYSU; requests for information made available on the air, on the WYSU website, or on social media; and feedback from listeners who attend a WYSU sponsored event, or who visit the station.
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 2019, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2020. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.
WYSU’s diversity, equity and inclusion goal is to cultivate, promote, and preserve a welcoming culture of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the entire organization and its operation. This culture extends to the station’s staff, advisory board, volunteers, listeners, as well as to the station’s programming and community outreach initiatives.
In the past year, WYSU revised its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement and Goals, which was reviewed and approved by the YSU Director of Equal Opportunity and Policy.
WYSU is continually striving to enhance the diversity and inclusive scope of its programming by adding programs that explore diverse subject matter not always addressed on mainstream programs, that include a wide array of perspectives and opinions, and have hosts, and feature guests, who represent various cultural and ethnic groups.
NPR anchor news programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered pay great attention to diversity in staff and subject matter. Many other network programs carried by WYSU do the same, including The Takeaway, Latino USA, It’s Been a Minute, and Snap Judgment, as well as Freakonomics Radio, The Ted Radio Hour, Radio Lab, and The New Yorker Radio Hour. More recently, WYSU added the news segment Asian View during Morning Edition to bring expanded perspectives in the news and information offerings.
Classical music has been a major format for the station since it first went on the air. Classical music has always been defined very broadly at WYSU, frequently crossing over into other music genres, and the music staff has gone much further in the past three years especially, looking to find and present classical music that reaches into the traditions of other cultures not traditionally represented in classical music, and trying to find common ground with other traditions. The weekend jazz programming is naturally very diverse and attracts an audience that appreciates that.
There are numerous other channels WYSU uses to reach out to diverse audiences.
WYSU puts much emphasis in providing a generous amount of free public service announcements for events and programs for organizations such as the YSU Hispanic Heritage Month Organizing Committee programs, Black History Month at YSU, Women’s History Month and other YSU Diversity programs, the Jewish Community Center, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as well as other specific event requests that are submitted to the station.
WYSU’s two interview segments included the following people and topics: Ana Torres, Chairwoman of the YSU Hispanic Heritage Planning Committee; Melissa Bateman, Director of Community Engagement at the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation; Rev. Lew Macklin about the Juneteenth holiday; Brittany Bailey, student worker at the office of YSU Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Angelica Diaz about Hispanic Heritage Month; Lisa Long of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation about a humanitarian trip to Ukraine; Bonnie Burdman about Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Although events are just coming out of hibernation because of the Covid-19 pandemic, WYSU remains committed to expanding its active participation and support for university and community-based events of interest to diverse audiences.
WYSU-FM continues to fund two minority broadcast/journalism scholarships. The annually-awarded WYSU-FM Broadcasting Scholarship helps to develop the next generation of minority broadcasters. Applicants must be a full time, traditional or non-traditional minority student, majoring in Telecommunications. WYSU-FM also established the Robert W. Peterson Scholarship, named for a former director of WYSU, which awards an annual scholarship to a second year minority student in English, Journalism, or Communications.
For over 40 years, in a partnership with Goodwill Industries, WYSU has carried the Youngstown Radio Reading Service on its sideband. A small staff and over 100 volunteers read various materials for the sight impaired, and also those with other physical ailments, like strokes and dyslexia. Listeners throughout the WYSU broadcast area receive this service using a specially tuned radio.
WYSU works in conjunction with Youngstown State University to ensure that the WYSU website is ADA compliant.
Finally, with the news and information and cultural music programs, WYSU believes that all of its programming is a useful, informative and entertaining resource for all members of the community.
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?
WYSU began broadcasting in October 1969 with the goal to offer the community high-quality arts and educational programming. This mission has only been possible due to the stability of the station’s four main funding sources: university support, membership, underwriting, and the CPB Community Service Grant (CSG). The station continues on the road to recover from the pandemic, but not all the support pillars are as solid as they once were. Primarily because of a statewide trend in lower higher education enrollment, the amount of university support is significantly lower than the pre-pandemic level, and the outlook isn’t positive for a return to that previous level, which directly impacts staffing levels. Underwriting support is slowly improving with the return of arts-related underwriting support, but challenges remain, and new challenges are developing (i.e. the loss of large legacy station underwriters, the increasing popularity of targeted digital advertising, a substantial reduction in the advertising rates charged by commercial radio stations in the market). The station development staff is doing its best to respond to these new challenges. The amount of listener funding is mostly stable, but as has been the trend throughout much of non-profit fundraising, the number of donors has decreased, while those who remain give more. Thankfully, CPB CSG continues to provide steady support to the station.
The market WYSU will always be a challenging one. The Youngstown-Warren region has an aging population, and WYSU has not been able to avoid buck that trend yet. Other elements impacting audience growth include education levels that are notably lower than the national average, with only 14% of the population of Youngstown holding a Bachelor's Degree or higher (the national average of 34%). Also, the poverty rate in Youngstown is alarmingly high at 35%, and the population is also rapidly declining. Despite all this, the team at WYSU still believes in the importance of its educational, news, and arts programming for the area and its goal to make it accessible to all residents, regardless of income or education level. This is why the support CPB CSG provides is more critical now than ever.
*Location % with Bachelor’s Degree Poverty Rate
National Average 34% 11.6%
Ohio 29.7% 13.4%
Pennsylvania 33.1% 12.1%
Youngstown City 14.1% 35.3%
Mahoning County, OH 24.9% 19.3%
Trumbull County, OH 19.3% 12.5%
Columbiana County, OH 15.7% 09.4%
Lawrence County, PA 21.5% 12.2%
Mercer County, PA 23.1% 12.9%