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Ohio public radio stations launch 'The Ohio Newsroom' statewide news service


Ohio's public radio stations have joined forces to start The Ohio Newsroom, the largest daily statewide radio and digital news service in the Buckeye state.

Ideastream Public Media, which serves Northeast Ohio and manages the Ohio Public Radio and Television News Bureau for Ohio's public broadcasters, will lead the effort.

The Ohio Newsroom project grew from a $70,000 grantfrom the George Gund Foundation in 2019, and launched Thursday with a two-year $375,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

"The overarching goal of The Ohio Newsroom is to provide a forum for all Ohioans to hear the stories that affect and/or move them, whether they be from down the street or across the state, especially from fellow citizens who traditionally have been overlooked or too often ignored,” said Richard Eiswerth, Cincinnati Public Radio president and CEO, in Thursday's announcement.

Wendy Turner, Ideastream first general manager of Ohio public media services and former general manager of Kent State University's WKSU-FM, will oversee The Ohio Newsroom project in addition to managing the Ohio Channel and the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau on behalf of all Ohio public radio and TV stations.

Her first task is hiring a newsroom managing editor in consultation with the partner stations. The Ohio Newsroom also will hire reporters and a development staffer to seek underwriting.

The Ohio Newsroom will provide daily statewide radio and digital news. Future Ohio Newsroom reporting can be found on The Ohio Newsroom website, at and on all of The Ohio Newsroom partner’s websites.

In addition to Cincinnati Public Radio and Ideastream, the founding member stations are WOSU Public Media (Columbus);  WYSO (Yellow Springs); WGTE (Toledo); WCSU (Wilberforce); and WYSU (Youngstown).

Soon four freelance reporters will be filing stories from various regions throughout the state, Eiswerth said.

"The sky's the limit, but we don't want to over-promise. We have to make sure we have the funding to make it sustainable," Eiswerth said.

John Kiesewetter's reporting is independent. Cincinnati Public Radio only edits his content for style and grammar.

From the release:

Job seekers can find information about the managing editor role and apply online at Additional positions will be added to The Ohio Newsroom as its implementation continues.

Turner said, “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.” She added, “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.”

Examples of past (Ohio public radio) 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 that they had been awarded a $56,500 grant from CPB to develop a business plan and a sustainability model for the collaborative. Then, as plans were further solidified between Ohio’s public radio stations, CPB awarded the project $375,000 in October 2021 to begin the collaborative’s implementation.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.