American Archive of Public Broadcasting
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WYSO Public Radio is owned and operated by Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It began broadcasting in 1958 with 19 watts of power. The student founders promised programs “of a nature not generally available,” saying, “this will be a community radio station.” They kept their promise.
Over the next three decades, they conducted audio training, collected audio, and made programs covering public affairs, international issues, local cultural and political events, lectures, poetry readings, concerts, radio dramas and children shows. There was an outpouring of programs. WYSO blossomed.
Throughout the years WYSO programming has been an energetic mix of music and news, both local and national.
Today WYSO broadcasts with 50,000 watts of power and distributes local and national programs from NPR and other sources on multiple platforms. We are no longer a student station, but Antioch College students and community members are still involved. Alongside a staff of twelve, more than twenty weekly volunteers make radio every day. In 2009, we revived community training programs and re-established the legacy of wide-ranging recordings by community members. They contribute award-winning feature stories, public affairs programs, oral history interviews, and diverse music programs.
CPB’s ombudsman has called WYSO “the little station that could.” We draw strength from our deep engagement with our listeners through concerts, “Listening Parties,” open houses and radio production training. Our staff and our community producers create programming that reflects the diversity of our listening area in southwest Ohio.
The WYSO Digital Audio Archives reflects our history as we continue the tradition of community involvement.
Since its beginning WYSO programming has included local news, public affairs, and a variety of music programs. Our archive collection is especially rich in civil rights and social justice issues. Much of this programming was produced by students and community volunteers. As part of Antioch College, WYSO was present to record many of the musicians, writers, and public figures who visited and spoke on campus, most notably Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1965 commencement address.
Today WYSO continues to produce local news and public affairs and a wealth of music programming created by a mix of staff and community producers.