1920: 8XJ, an experimental station, signs on under the license of Ohio State. Professor C. A. Wright of the Department of Electrical Engineering, was the first director of the station.
1924 (April): WEAO signs on, the first radio station in Columbus.
1927: Robert C. Higgy, who had received a degree in Communications Engineering and had been serving for a period of three years as radio engineer, takes over direction of the station.
1930: The first Institute of Radio Education was held at OSU. Here for the first time in the history of American education, the leaders in educational broadcasting spent 10 days in discussing the problems of education by radio.
1931: WEAO becomes WOSU.
1938: The tower and transmitter for the station are moved to the Ohio State University Golf Courses.
1941: WOSU changes its frequency from 570 to 820.
1943: Dr. I. Keith Tyler, member of the Ohio State faculty since 1935, is been named acting director of radio education for the university
1949: WOSU-FM signs on.
1949: An appraisal finds that within the primary listening area of WOSU, two out of every three elementary class rooms listened to one or more of the school’s programs each week.
1956: WOSU-TV signs on.
1957: WOSU-AM and FM originated the first live “stereophonic” music program in this area.
1959: WOSU-TV is awarded a grant from the Ford Foundation to buy Ohio’s first videotape recorder, which allowed the station to record programs with better clarity and sound.
1960: AM and FM begin to operate 365 days a year.
1964: Dr. William B. Steis is appointed general manager of WOSU Radio, AM and FM.
1968: WOSU-TV’s first color broadcast was the Ohio State – Michigan football game.
1970: WOSU-AM and FM moves to the Fawcett center. AM becomes News 820.
1970: During the campus riots at Ohio State, one WOSU reporter was hit on the head by a tear gas container and knocked out. A student reporter and Don Davis were overcome by tear gas. The stations were forced off the air when the university closed for a few days.
1972: WOSU-TV moves to the Fawcett Center.
1972: The Friends of WOSU Board is formed.
1973: WOSU-FM begins broadcasting in stereo.
1973: A new TV tower is built in Westerville.
1973: The Friends of WOSU was officially chartered on October 29, 1973, and its first fundraising effort netted over $5,000.
1974: WPBO-TV in Portsmouth signs on.
Mid 1970s: WOSU-AM airs the first broadcast of live sessions of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate, when the Equal Rights Amendment was trying to be passed.
1977: Don Davis, after serving many years as the WOSU news director, becomes the WOSU-AM/FM station manager. Davis joined WOSU in September 1956, and retired in 1989. He started as an actor who auditioned for an announcer’s position. He was assistant program director, news director, and station manager, and oversaw the move from educational broadcasting to public broadcasting in 1967.
1978, A January blizzard shuts down most of the Midwest. WOSU’s Howard Ornstein barely makes it in to the station, has had to feel his way on the outside of the building to find the door. There is no power, so the crew uses a portable board and has to use engineers as announcers, reading news by candlelight. Bill Cohen lives in the State House for a week so that he can run the equipment that gets the Governor’s news conferences on the air.
1980: WOSU-AM becomes “News 820” and WOSU-FM becomes “Classical 89.7.”
1982: In The Know (originally a live production on WBNS-TV) moves to WOSU.
1989: WOSV-FM in Mansfield signs on.
1993: WOSP-FM in Portsmouth signs on.
1993: DVS (Descriptive Video Service) makes select public-television programs on WOSU-TV accessible to people with visual impairments.
2002: GM Dale Ouzts retires after 23 years and Tom Rieland became general manager of The WOSU Stations.
2003: WOSU-TV goes digital and provides the first multi-cast digital signal.
2004: WOSU-FM becomes the first radio station in central Ohio to broadcast in HD Radio technology. WOSU-TV begins digital broadcasting.
2005: Classical 89.7 WOSU-FM becomes the first station in central Ohio to broadcast a digital radio signal.
2006: WOSU opens its digital media center at COSI.
2008: New radio studios open at Fawcett center for AM and FM.
2009: WOSU is designated as a regional help center by the FCC to field questions about the transition to digital television. WOSU-TV begins broadcasting in digital in March, and begins multicasting WOSU Ohio and WOSU Plus. WOSU -TV shuts off its analog signal in July, becoming all digital.
2009: “All Sides with Ann Fisher” debuts, taking over the spot in the day where Fred Andrle’s “Open Line” aired for two decades.
2010: Around-the-clock classical programming begins at 101.1 FM (formerly WWCD).
2010: “Columbus Neighborhoods: Short North” debuts.
2011: WOSU offers the first all-day FM service in central Ohio with National Public Radio and local news; WOSU (89.7 FM) makes the switch to 89.7 NPR News.
2011: WOSU sells the 820 AM frequency, which served the University and community well for over 89 years.