History

  • 1967 (Pre-WYSU!):
    Don Elser, Steve Grcevich, and YSU President Albert Pugsley propose a fine arts radio station for Youngstown State University and the Mahoning Valley Community.
  • 1969 (Birth of a station!):
    At 10:00 a.m. October 23, 1969 WYSU-FM signs on the air at 88.5 MHZ as a charter member of National Public Radio, broadcasting 12 hours daily from its studios in room 310 of the former Valley Park Motel on Wick Avenue. Aired first edition of Folk Festival with Charles Darling. Original staff members were:
    • Steve Grcevich, Director of Telecommunications
    • Bill Foster, Announcer/Record Librarian
    • Polly Golden, Secretary
    • Lew Moler, Chief Engineer
    • Richard Stevens, Program Director
  • 1971:
    Began airing All Things Considered. NPR became part of the first radio network using satellite delivery of programs.
  • 1972:
    Aired first edition of Now’s The Time with Martin Berger.
  • 1973:
    Began airing Saturday Night on Broadway with Don Elser.
  • 1974:
    Began 18-hour broadcast day.
  • 1976:
    Moved studios to newly built Cushwa Hall
  • 1980:
    Began 24-hour broadcast day. First on-air fundraiser.
  • 1985:
    Morning Edition began. Robert Peterson named director.
  • 1987:
    Bill Foster passes away. Barbara Krauss named announcer/producer.
  • 1988:
    Ann Cliness named announcer/producer.
  • 1990:
    Began summer bus excursions to Blossom Music Center. Gary Sexton named program director.
  • 1991:
    Began operation of new 50,000 watt transmitter with broadcast antenna moved to the WKBN tower. Aired live coverage of the first Gulf War.
  • 1993:
    Ashtabula translator began operation at 90.1 FM. Catherine Cala named development officer.
  • 1994:
    Rick Popovich named announcer/producer, and WYSU began airing The Jazz Sofa.
  • 1995:
    New Wilmington translator began operation at 89.9.
  • 1996:
    Added state-of-the-art digital editing equipment. Co-sponsored first Mad About the Arts with the YSU McDonough Museum of Art. Automated overnight programs, saving Gary Sexton’s sanity.
  • 1997:
    Added political affairs program Commentary Café with Bill Binning and Bob Fitzer.
  • 1998:
    Michael Cervone named announcer/producer. Improved New Wilmington signal by moving translator to 97.5 FM.
  • 2000:
    The first station-sponsored European tour traveled to Great Britain. Gary Sexton named director of broadcasting. Added website & streaming audio. Initiated Robert W. Peterson Scholarship.
  • 2001:
    David Luscher named associate director. Aired live coverage of 9/11. Expanded news programming.
  • 2003:
    Began broadcasting Youngstown 2010 simulcasts in association with PBS 45 & 49. Added A Prairie Home Companion to the program schedule.
  • 2004:
    Installed digital equipment in the broadcast studios.
  • 2005:
    Ron Krauss named broadcast engineer. Ed Goist named development underwriter.
  • 2006:
    Began first strategic planning process since station made its debut.
  • 2007:
    Began broadcasting in HD (digital). Began Lincoln Avenue community affairs program.
  • 2008:
    Added all-classical HD channel. Added all-classical Internet stream. Laurie Wittkugle named administrative assistant.
  • 2009:
    WYSU travelers go to China. The station's fall fund drive raises a record amount, with over 1,100 contributors. In honor of the station’s 40th anniversary, WYSU hosted NPR reporter Don Gonyea for a station event.
  • 2010:
    A Way with Words was added to the WYSU program schedule in February. WYSU's Lincoln Avenue, with Sherry Linkon, was awarded a 2010 Ohio Public Images Media Award in the Documentary/Public Affairs category. Chris Hartman named associate broadcast engineer.
  • 2011:
    WYSU activates a new antenna to increase its broadcast coverage area. The WYSU iPhone app is introduced.
  • 2012:
    In the summer, the TED Radio Hour is added to WYSU's weekend program schedule.
  • 2013:
    Tricia Perry named the station's new funding officer.
  • 2014:
    Cindy Bella named administrative assistant. Susan Moorer named development officer.
  • 2015:
    In February, Mad About the Arts celebrated its 20th anniversary. In November, a back-up antenna was installed on YSU's Stambaugh Stadium.
  • 2016:
    On February 9th, after 40 years in the basement of Cushwa Hall, WYSU moved its offices and studios into the Art and Helen Wolfcale Broadcast Facility on the second floor of the recently renovated Melnick Hall on Wick Avenue. On February 22nd, WYSU hosted an open house of its new facilities. In June, a lightning strike to WYSU’s antenna caused $50,000 of damage, and reduced power by 40%. On September 13th, WYSU hosted NPR Weekend Edition News Anchor Scott Simon for a guest lecture at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
  • 2017:
    WYSU added The Takeaway, Freakonomics, and The New Yorker Radio Hour to its weekend program schedule. Car Talk signs off.
  • 2018:
    In January, WYSU hosted Cokie Roberts, NPR senior news analyst and political reporter, for an event at Stambaugh Auditorium. Throughout the year, WYSU served as a major sponsor for the YSU Cliffe College of Creative Arts & Communication's Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series. Ed Goist became local host of All Things Considered.
  • 2019:
    WYSU created the Barbara Krauss Memorial Scholarship. Carolyn Van Valien named part-time announcer/producer and local host of Morning Edition.