Jason Saul

News Director

Jason Saul is a public radio journalist and producer who has moved to the Miami Valley to help build a new culture of nonprofit journalism here in Southwest Ohio.

Jason's an experienced reporter and manager, and is hard at work building a new team of reporters and producers dedicated to bringing you the thoughtful, independent, thoroughly researched and vetted news you expect from WYSO and NPR. Listen for more of our team's stories every morning and afternoon, and find us online pretty much everywhere!

Jason grw up on Long Island, and spent some time in Boston, New Orleans and Seattle before settling here in Yellow Springs with his wife Dionne. He's passionate about way too many things, and has worked on a number of local and national public radio programs during his careeer, including some that air on WYSO, like American Routes and BirdNote.

Ways to Connect

Your Voice Ohio is a project that's intended to close the gap between political journalists and mmbers of the community.
Your Voice Ohio

There’s just four months left until the 2020 presidential election, and Ohio stands to play a critical role. Like we did in 2016, WYSO News has joined a statewide collaborative called Your Voice Ohio. It’s a project that’s intended to create a two-way conversation between community members and political journalists in the run up to Election Day.

The collaborative is being headed up by Doug Oplinger, the former managing editor of the Akron Beacon Journal and a journalist in Ohio for over 45 years. WYSO News Director Jason Saul called him up to learn more about the project.

A screenshot of the July 1, 2020 Dayton City Commission meeting that was held via videoconference.
City of Dayton

The Dayton City Commission has unanimously passed a law requiring people to wear masks. It's a dramatic attempt by the city to stem the spread of the coronavirus as the state's economy reopens.

The city ordinance goes into effect this Friday, July 3, at 8 a.m. The law requires people to cover their nose and mouth when inside public places, or even when outside when social distancing isn't possible. Failure to comply will be enforced by Dayton Police officers, who are empowered to issue $85 citations.

A significant outbreak of coronavirus is underway at a Dole prepackaged salad plant in Springfield, Ohio. Health authorities first reported an outbreak at the plant back in May.

This past Saturday, officials conducted a mass testing event at the plant, taking over 800 samples. The Clark County Combined Health District says about 220 of those test results have come back positive.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Mike DeWine said the state has started to step in to help.

Miami Valley Hospital.
Joshua Chenault / WYSO

Since the start of the pandemic, Ohio’s hospitals have seen their normal busy patient volumes evaporate. Nonessential procedures were banned, supplies were scarce, and fear of contagion was everywhere. But now health care leaders in the Miami Valley want people to start going back to the doctor. And it’s not only about keeping people healthy. WYSO’s Jason Saul reports.

Steve Waldman, co-founder of Report for America, spoke with WYSO news director Jason Saul.
Report for America

One of the crises facing local communities all around the country right now remains the continuing loss of local journalists.

Report for America is a nationwide initiative that’s working to change that, and this year it’s helping to put 225 new journalists into newsrooms all across the country. One of those newsrooms is here at WYSO, in Southwest Ohio. Chris Welter, our new Environmental Reporter, started just last week.

WYSO News Director Jason Saul sat down with Steve Waldman, co-founder of Report for America, to discover more about the program and to talk a little bit about what we’re hoping to accomplish here in the Miami Valley.

A meal delivery by the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio in late March. 70,000 meals were delivered this day.
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio / Facebook

Over the past several months, the COVID-19 shutdown, and the resulting economic fallout, has exacerbated southwest Ohio’s hunger problem into a full-blown crisis. Schools have mobilized to feed tens of thousands of students. The National Guard is helping to staff overwhelmed local food pantries. And programs that deliver meals to homebound seniors are seeing a surge in need as well.

Kitty Lensman and Cookie Monster. Lensman will become the new president and CEO of Public Media Connect on July 1.
Kitty Lensman

For the first time in almost 30 years, local public television is about to have a new leader.

On July 1, Dorothy “Kitty” Lensman will become Public Media Connect’s new president and CEO. Public Media Connect is the umbrella organization that runs Dayton’s ThinkTV, and CET in Cincinnati. She’s taking over from David Fogarty, who has been the head of Public Media Connect for 11 years, and the president of ThinkTV since 1993.

A screenshot of Michael B. Colbert, Montgomery County's Administrator.  The county has been meeting via videoconference during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Montgomery County / YouTube

Even as budgets are being slashed for government services at the local and state levels, indicators of need are skyrocketing. In Montgomery County, officials shared some startling new numbers during this week’s County Commission meeting.

On Tuesday, Montgomery County Commissioners authorized an additional $186,000 to help homeless shelters. Another $60,000 will go towards providing more home delivered meals to seniors. And the county’s Department of Job and Family Services has been flooded with requests.

Dayton International Airport.
Dayton International Airport

Across the country, business and leisure air travel has almost completely evaporated. That’s left local airports struggling — airports like Dayton International.

In 2019, about 74,000 people a month got on a plane at Dayton International Airport. But today, passenger traffic has declined about 95 percent.

That equates to tens of thousands of unbought sandwiches, unchecked bags and unrented cars. And it’s millions of dollars worth of people not paying to park. The airport’s biggest revenue stream is actually its garage and parking lots.

The Dayton City Commission met remotely on April 22, 2020.

The Dayton City Commission is officially objecting to the renewal of liquor permits for five Dollar General stores in the city.

Many say dollar stores, like Family Dollar and Dollar General, often take poor care of their facilities, and contribute to an increase in trash and crime in the neighborhoods around them.

On Wednesday, the Dayton City Commission passed emergency resolutions objecting to the renewal of the Dollar General liquor permits.