1922: The First Radio Station in Columbus
On April 24, 1922, OSU President William Oxley Thompson announced the premiere of the first radio station in Columbus.
WEAO (later WOSU) was just the sixth educational station in America. The OSU station became instantly popular by broadcasting home football games from the new Ohio Stadium.
The Roots of Today’s Public Broadcasting System
Wireless Morse code began a new age of communications, magically sending invisible waves through the ether received at some distant place. Among the first universities to experiment in this unknown world was The Ohio State University, which became one of the first educational broadcast stations and a think tank for the future of public service radio – pioneering radio audience research and serving as an innovative “school of the air.”
At any moment in time, educational broadcasting could have failed if not for a few land-grant institutions like The Ohio State University and prominent stations like WOSU that supported the medium.
WOSU Public Media’s distinguished history of public service is the result of many who believed in the power of broadcasting to educate and inspire Ohioans.
Some content on this page is reprinted with permission from Sparks Flew: WOSU’s Century on the Air by Thomas M. Rieland.
Timeline Photography and Assistance – University Archives, Ohio State Marketing and Communications, Radio Digest, The Columbus Dispatch, Kelley Design Group, Ray LaVoie, Tom Rieland and David Weaver