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Ideastream Public Media and Partnering Statewide Public Radio Stations Collectively Launch The Ohio Newsroom


Stacey Vaselaney, SLV Public Relations, LLC
216.905.0908 | slvaselaney@slvpr.com

Ideastream Public Media and Partnering Statewide Public Radio Stations Collectively Launch The Ohio Newsroom

The Ohio Newsroom Now Seeks Managing Editor to Lead  Ohio’s Largest Daily Statewide Radio and Digital News Service

CLEVELAND, Ohio (March 3, 2022) — Ohio’s largest daily statewide radio and digital news service announces the launch of The Ohio Newsroom, a formal collaboration of Ohio’s existing network of public radio newsrooms that creates a sustainable model offering news coverage, including stories that may not have otherwise been told. As part of the launch, The Ohio Newsroom is also conducting a national search for its first managing editor.

The Ohio Newsroom is structured based on research and modeling funded by The George Gund Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for expanding local journalism in Ohio. Every public radio station that broadcasts NPR in Ohio is invited to join The Ohio Newsroom, with the following Ohio-based stations already signed on to both participate and contribute: Cincinnati Public Radio (Cincinnati), Ideastream Public Media (Cleveland), WCSU (Wilberforce, Ohio), WGTE (Toledo), WOSU Public Media (Columbus), WYSO (Yellow Springs) and WYSU (Youngstown).

The Ohio Newsroom will have a daily presence on Ohio’s NPR stations, and plans for a weekly program are also in the works. Future Ohio Newsroom reporting can be found at statenews.org/theohionewsroom, ideastream.org/theohionewsroom, and on all of The Ohio Newsroom partner websites.

Wendy Turner, Ideastream Public Media’s first general manager of Ohio public media services, is coordinating The Ohio Newsroom, in addition to supporting The Ohio Channel and the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau on behalf of all Ohio public television and radio stations. Turner is also part of Ideastream Public Media’s executive leadership team. Prior to joining Ideastream Public Media, she served as the general manager of WKSU public radio in Kent, Ohio.

Turner is responsible for hiring staff for The Ohio Newsroom, with full consultation from the newsroom’s statewide station partners. Staffing begins with securing the newsroom’s managing editor, an integral position for which a national search is underway. Job seekers can find information about the managing editor role and apply online HERE . Additional positions will be added to The Ohio Newsroom as its implementation continues.

“Securing The Ohio Newsroom’s first managing editor, and later, more reporters, will mean more in-depth stories, expanded digital content and even better statewide coordination on breaking news,” said Turner. “Ohio's public media organizations have a long history of collaboration. We look forward to continuing this tradition of successfully serving Ohioans through The Ohio Newsroom.”

For years, the partner stations have worked together to share collaborative content initiatives and reporting that are relevant to a statewide audience. The Ohio Newsroom expands their ability to continue with this important work in a cohesive, strategic manner. Examples of past collaborative projects include “Learning Curve” and “Justice Matters.” The partners are also working on a new collaborative editorial project that will launch this spring — the first content initiative that will be released under The Ohio Newsroom.

Plans for The Ohio Newsroom initially began as a concept for developing a “statewide news collaborative” in July 2019 with a $70,000 grant from The George Gund Foundation to conduct consumer research. In October 2020, Ideastream Public Media, Cincinnati Public Radio and WOSU Public Media announced they had been awarded a $56,500 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to develop a business plan and a sustainability model for the collaboration. Then, as plans were further solidified between Ohio’s public radio stations, CPB awarded the project an additional two-year, $375,000 grant in October 2021 to help support the initial implementation of the new endeavor, including leadership, governance, staffing and content development.

“We are grateful to CPB and The George Gund Foundation for recognizing the necessity and urgency of expanding local journalism in Ohio. Their support exemplifies their confidence in Ohio’s public media stations to work together to address the local news crisis,” said Kevin Martin, Ideastream Public Media President and CEO. “As the number of local media outlets continues to decline statewide, we are committed to filling those information gaps and securing the funds needed to sustain The Ohio Newsroom into the future.”

The launch of The Ohio Newsroom comes only months after Ideastream Public Media began operating WKSU public radio on October 1, 2021, further demonstrating the organization’s commitment to strengthening the local journalism ecosystem. In spring 2022, WKSU is expected to become the sole NPR news and information station in Northeast Ohio and Ideastream Public Media will commit its 104.9 FM signal (currently WCLV) as a repeater station that extends the WKSU coverage. As part of these plans, Ideastream Public Media’s classical service (WCLV) will move to 90.3 FM, making classical music available to a significantly larger listening area. Under the new operating agreement with WKSU, the population served by Ideastream Public Media’s news and information programming will increase from 2.4 million to 3.6 million and serve 22 counties throughout Northeast Ohio.

About Ideastream Public Media

Ideastream Public Media is Northeast Ohio’s multimedia source for trusted local journalism, inspiring stories and quality entertainment. We are the home of Northeast Ohio’s PBS, NPR and classical music public broadcasting stations: WVIZ, WCPN and WCLV. In addition, Ideastream Public Media operates NPR member station WKSU; manages The Ohio Channel, the Ohio Newsroom and the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau on behalf of all Ohio’s public broadcasting stations; and produces the award-winning children’s series “NewsDepth.” Ideastream Public Media is indispensable and highly valued for its unique ability to strengthen our community. For more information about Ideastream Public Media’s rich legacy of innovation and credible content, visit ideastream.org.