1920 (March 23): Ohio State is assigned 8XI calls for a federally licensed experimental radio station. Dr. Roy Brown and Dr. Charles Wright of the Department of Electrical Engineering along with a student, Robert Higgy, bring the first local broadcasts of voice and music to the region.
1922 (June 3): Ohio State is assigned the call letters WEAO and begins regular broadcasts.
1927: Robert Higgy becomes the first full-time director of the radio operations.
1929: The innovative Ohio School of the Air begins broadcasts from the WEAO studios, with transmissions over the powerful WLW in Cincinnati to classrooms across the Midwest.
1930: The first Institute of Radio Education was held at OSU. 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: Ohio State is granted new call letters: WOSU.
1934: The Radio Junior College is developed to offer radio courses during the depression years.
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 AM and begins transmitting at 5,000 watts daytime only.
1943: Dr. I. Keith Tyler, a leading researcher in educational radio and a key national leader responsible for the reservation of educational television channels, is named director of radio education.
1949 (December 13): WOSU-FM signs on at 89.7.
1956: WOSU-TV signs on at UHF Channel 34. Announcer, Singer, Actor, Producer John Schmidt is the first voice heard on WOSU-TV. Richard Hull takes over as Director of Radio and Television.
1957: WOSU-AM and FM originated the first live “stereophonic” music program in this area. Both frequencies were used and listeners had to have two radios to receive the stereo effect.
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 for the first time.
1960: AM and FM begin to operate 365 days a year. In previous years, it would cease broadcasting on a number of holidays.
1968: WOSU-TV’s first color broadcast was the Ohio State – Michigan football game.
1970: WOSU-AM and FM moves from its studios within the World War I hangar building on campus to the new Fawcett Center for Tomorrow.
1970: During the campus riots at Ohio State, a WOSU student reporter was knocked out after being hit on the head by a tear gas container. When the university announced its
closing, it also forced the radio and television stations to go off-the-air for eight days.
1972: WOSU-TV moves to the Fawcett Center and starts regular local broadcasts in color for the first time.
1973: The Friends of WOSU Board is formed after reductions in governmental and Ohio State funding.
1973: WOSU-FM begins broadcasting in stereo after its original transmitter is replaced.
1973: A new 1,000-foot TV tower is built in Westerville and the TV coverage area is nearly doubled to 60-miles.
1974: WPBO-TV in Portsmouth signs on and is directed by the State of Ohio until its license is transferred to OSU in 1977.
1975: Using a subcarrier channel on 89.7 FM, the first radio reading service for the blind in Ohio is created – the Central Ohio Radio Reading Service.
1980: WOSU-AM becomes “News 820” and WOSU-FM becomes “Classical 89.7.”
1982: In The Know (originally a production on WBNS-TV) high school quiz show moves to WOSU TV and is hosted by Bill Schiffman.
1982: A new radio call-in program called Open Line premieres and would become a staple of the 820 AM station with long-time host Fred Andrle.
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.
1996: WOSE-FM in Coshocton signs on.
1998 WOSB-FM in Marion signs on to complete the Classical Network of stations.
2002: GM Dale Ouzts retires after 23 years and Thomas Rieland becomes general manager of The WOSU Stations.
2003: WOSU-TV goes digital and provides the first multi-channel digital signal in Columbus.
2004: WOSU-FM becomes the first radio station in central Ohio to broadcast in HD Radio technology.
2006: Under its new brand, “WOSU Public Media” opens a $5.6 million digital media center including TV studios and production suites at the COSI Science Center in downtown Columbus.
2009: All Sides with Ann Fisher debuts, taking over the spot in the day where Fred Andrle’s Open Line aired for over two decades.
2010: Around-the-clock classical programming begins with the purchase of 101.1 FM and creation of WOSA-FM.
2010: Columbus Neighborhoods: Short North debuts. It would be one of twelve in a series of documentaries about the community over the next six years.
2011: WOSU offers the first all-day NPR News FM service in central Ohio on 89.7 NPR News.
2011: WOSU sells the 820 AM frequency.
2013: WOSU unveils its first digital mobile app allowing listeners to stream 89.7 NPR News and Classical 101 wherever they go.
2013: In partnership with the Greater Columbus Arts Council, WOSU TV creates a new local arts and culture weekly series called Broad & High.
2016: WOSU announces its intention to build a new headquarters at 15th & High Streets as part of the OSU arts district east of campus.
2016: Columbus Neighborhoods pivots from documentaries to a weekly series on WOSU TV.
2017: A $5 million gift from Sandy and Andy Ross, the largest in WOSU history, helped kick off the fundraising campaign for a new WOSU headquarters to be located in the 15+High development east of Ohio State’s campus.
2017: A Columbus-based educational technology teaching nonprofit (ITSCO) merged with WOSU to create a new division to serve teachers and students called WOSU Classroom.
2017: WPBO TV in Portsmouth is sold as part of the FCC Spectrum Auction to bring more wireless broadband capacity to southern Ohio and goes off-the-air on October 25.
2019: On April 11, 2019, WOSU breaks ground in its new headquarters at the corner of 14th Street and Pearl Alley.
2020: A worldwide novel coronavirus pandemic resulted in 80% of WOSU staff working from home. WOSU’s digital and broadcast services set new overall audience records as the station built timely programming to serve the region.
2021: After nearly 50 years in a repurposed campus hanger and 50 years at the Fawcett Center, WOSU Public Media moved into its new headquarters. The facility was designed by Meyer+Associated, built by Messer Construction and managed by the team at Campus Partners and WOSU.
2021: In collaboration with Columbus’ Center of Science and Industry (COSI) to create a weekly science show on WOSU TV and digital platforms called QED with Dr. B.