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WOSU 820 AM (defunct)
WOSU (AM) logo.png
Broadcast area Columbus, Ohio
Branding 89.7fm NPR News
Slogan Making the World relevant...To You
Frequency 820 kHz
Repeater(s) WOSU-FM 89.7 Columbus
W208AT 89.5 Coshocton
First air date April 20, 1920 (experimental license)
June 3, 1922 (broadcast license issued)
Format NPR
Talk radio
Power 5,000 watts (day)
790 watts (night)
Class B
Callsign meaning "W-Ohio-State-University"
Former callsigns 1922-1933: WEAO
1920-1922: 8XL (experimental)
Owner The Ohio State University
Sister stations WOSU-TV/WPBO, WOSU-FM, WOSA
Website www.wosu.org

WOSU (820 AM) was a National Public Radio news and talk radio station located in Columbus, Ohio serving the Columbus metro area. WOSU is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as a daytime and nighttime radio station, operating with a non-directional power of 5 kW during the day, and dropping to 790 watts at night, to protect clear channel WBAP in Fort Worth, Texas. The license holder was The Ohio State University until the license changed hands over to St. Gabriel Radio Inc. It is now WVSG.


WOSU is the oldest radio station in Columbus. WOSU's origins trace back to 1920 when Ohio State University was granted an experimental license on April 20, 1920. On June 3, 1922, the station received the call letters WEAO (Willing Energetic Athletic Ohio). In 1933, the call letters were changed to WOSU.

For much of the 1960s and '70s, WOSU's programming was mostly locally originating featuring diverse music programs from classical and jazz...and later to the seasonal Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts on Saturday afternoons moderated by its long-time announcer Milton Cross and later by Peter Allen after Cross' passing leading to the gradual evolution of National Public Radio and its WOSU affiliation. WOSU also broadcast live remotes from the Ohio State Fair.

Today, WOSU is primarily an NPR member station which started on AM 820 and is now at 89.7 FM, formerly a classical music station (now moved to WOSA). However, it also broadcasts programs from American Public Media and Public Radio International. WOSU is also home to the Ohio State ice hockey and women's basketball broadcasts. On weekend evenings the station features 12 hours of bluegrass music on a program called The Bluegrass Ramble hosted by a group of three rotating announcers.

In addition to its sports and news coverage, the station also produced an award-winning talk show, Open Line with host Fred Andrle who retired in May 2009 after 25 years in radio. In September 2009 Andrle's program was rechristened "All Sides With Ann Fisher," hosted by a former Columbus Dispatch reporter and columnist with 20 years of journalism experience.

2010 FM format change[edit]

On July 1, 2010, Ohio State announced it was buying commercial station WWCD and converting it to a non-commercial classical music station. In turn, WOSU-FM dropped the remaining classical music from its schedule and became an NPR news/talk station simulcasting with WOSU. However, the FM station will now be branded as the main station, under the moniker "89.7 FM NPR News." WWCD's existing format moved to 102.5 FM, and WOSU converted its four FM repeaters into repeaters of the new classical outlet to serve areas outside of Columbus not well served by the new 101.1 frequency. [1]

WOSU sold to St. Gabriel Radio[edit]

According to its website, WOSU was purchased by St. Gabriel Radio Inc on September 21, 2011. Since 2007, St. Gabriel Radio has been airing Catholic programming on WVKO (1580 AM) via a lease agreement with owner Bernard, Ohio L.L.C. The transfer of the license and sale of the current WOSU to St. Gabriel Radio Inc. was approved by the FCC on November 7, 2011.

WOSU's final broadcast day was on Friday December 9, 2011. At 5pm local time, NPR and local news broadcasts ended on WOSU, after which a continuous loop of announcements by WOSU and NPR staffers were aired asking listeners to switch over to WOSU-FM where its news and talk format would continue. The announcement loop continued to air until Wednesday December 14, 2011. At 9:00 am local time the last voice heard on WOSU was that of Mandie Trimble's repeated announcement asking listeners to switch to WOSU-FM. The beginning of the announcement "I'm Mandie Trimble W..." which at that point the carrier was shut down while she was repeating the WOSU callsign one last time. No formal announcement of farewell nor final goodbye to listeners was made prior to the final shutdown on WOSU.

AM 820 returned to the air on December 17, 2011 by the new owners St. Gabriel Radio Inc. 820 AM then changed its call letters to WVSG,[1] which made its official debut on Tuesday, December 20 at 6pm. At that time, St. Gabriel ceased its broadcasts on WVKO.

WOSU's current programming continues on WOSU-FM at 89.7 MHz.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Media Bureau Call Sign Actions" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. September 30, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 

2. Announcement by WOSU General Manager Tom Rieland of demise of WOSU.

3.Columbus Dispatch Show and Tell column's brief article (scroll down) of WOSU going silent and returning to the air as WVSG.

4. WOSU 820 AM signs-off. (from WOSU website)

5. "AM proves to be a hard sell, even for news radio." (August 9, 2010 post by Karen Everhart from Current.org)

External links[edit]