With two radio stations and one television station, WOSU was thriving and continually developing new programming. The radio stations reached a milestone in 1960: Both the AM and FM frequencies adopted a new policy that allowed them to operate on a full-time basis, 365 days a year.
WOSU-FM offered over 100 hours of programming each week with some duplication from WOSU-AM. The FM station broadcast all forms of serious music “from jazz to chamber music” with commentary, history, and interpretive information. Sources included recordings from an LP library of over 8,000 records and the Dean Vivian Library’s more than 16,000 recordings on 78-rpm discs. The music staff arranged for tape recordings of outstanding artists and concert groups locally and throughout the State of Ohio to build a growing tape library.
In 1964, Dr. William Steis was appointed general manager of WOSU Radio, and Mary Hoffman became the new music director in 1966.
On October 1, 1968, WOSU-AM and FM became separate stations that offered different programs throughout the broadcast day. FM devoted most of its programming to music, while AM expanded its schedule of informational and educational programs.
On November 7, 1967, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act, giving a boost to WOSU-TV and all educational stations across the country. The legislation was intended to create and fund “a strong and active nationwide alternative to commercial broadcasting.” The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was formed in 1968, and funding was provided for educational stations such as WOSU.
Color television came to WOSU-TV when it broadcast the Ohio State – Michigan football game in November 1968. The game in Columbus was uninterrupted and carried as a public-service feature.
The broadcast began a buying frenzy for UHF converters at local electronics stores. Nationally, on the new PBS network, an experiment in children’s television began in 1969, when Sesame Street hit the airwaves.
WOSU-TV played an important role on the Ohio State campus during the riots and demonstrations of April/May 1970. Closed-circuit discussions between students, faculty, and administrators defused some of the early tensions, but after disruptions flared out of control, OSU President Novice Fawcett used WOSU on May 6, 1970, to announce the closing of the university. TV34 signed off the air later that day, not to return for 13 days.