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News Fund

Below is information about 88.5 WYSU-FM, how it is operating, and how it has enhanced its news coverage during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

WYSU has established a Need to Know News Fund to help the station continue to deliver enhanced news and information programming throughout the pandemic and beyond. Visit this site to find out how you or your organization can contribute to the fund.


88.5 WYSU-FM is the public radio service of Youngstown State University, and is a charter National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate station. For over 50 years WYSU has been non-commercial, listener-supported public radio, committed to being the Mahoning and Shenango valleys’ leading source for trusted, in-depth news; engaging conversation; and music that stimulates the mind and spirit.

The broadcast format of WYSU-FM is a mix of news, information, and classical music. The station has over 30,000 weekly listeners, most of whom are in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Mercer, and Lawrence counties. The WYSU website can be found at

The spread of the coronavirus across the United States, the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and the WYSU service area, has created a very stressful environment for everyone. During these trying times, WYSU is dedicated to keeping its listeners fully informed by providing them with the trusted, in depth, and up-to-date information they need to know.

WYSU is committed to providing timely, responsible, and quality coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. To that end, the station is now broadcasting:

  • The Business Journal Service Buzz (aired throughout the day, this is a 60 second overview of coronavirus services available in the WYSU service area)
  • The Mahoning Matters Coronavirus Update (a 1:40 regional coronavirus news update that airs hourly throughout each weekday)
  • Official Youngstown State University COVID-19 updates as available
  • Recorded messages from YSU President Jim Tressel and YSU Provost Brien Smith
  • The Business Journal Daily Buzz (a 5-minute regional business news segment that airs weekday afternoons at 4:44 and 5:44)
  • Quality network news coronavirus coverage throughout each weekday: NPR’s Morning Edition from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., hourly top of the hour NPR newscasts, NPR’s All Things Considered from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and The Takeaway (from WNYC and PRI) from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

WYSU is thankful for the regional and national media partnerships and affiliations that allow it to provide these important, high quality news segments.

Additionally, many of the standard services provided by WYSU-FM are particularly important for its listening community during the coronavirus crisis. These include:

  • As the public radio service of YSU, WYSU provides the university with the opportunity to keep the public informed of university developments through broadcast media. This is particularly important since so many people in the WYSU service area rely on broadcast media as opposed to digital media.
  • WYSU is a critical link in the Emergency Alert System, a state and national warning system for severe weather and other disasters.
  • WYSU is the provider and service engine of the Youngstown Radio Reading Service, an essential informational service to the sight-impaired in five counties. 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 receive this service using a specially tuned radio. These services are provided to Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, and Ashtabula Counties, as well as areas of western Pennsylvania.

In terms of challenges during these difficult days, WYSU is adhering to the protocols established by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Youngstown State University by taking aggressive action to protect its staff, and the WYSU workplace against coronavirus. To facilitate this, WYSU has enhanced and augmented its office technology so that its staff can almost exclusively work remotely.


All gifts made to the WYSU Need to Know News Fund will help support all of the critical WYSU news segments and services listed above, throughout the pandemic and beyond.

88.5 WYSU-FM thanks its listeners for making the station their primary source for news, information, and music. WYSU would not exist without the loyalty and generous financial support of its listeners, members, program underwriters, sponsors, and donors.