WYSO

Neenah Ellis

General Manager

Neenah Ellis is the general manager at WYSO. She began her radio career in high school, working at her parents’ commercial radio station in Valparaiso, Indiana. She came to WYSO in 2009 after 30 years as a radio documentary producer in Washington, D.C. She’ s been a producer for “ All Things Considered” at NPR and has won three Peabody Awards, broadcasting’ s highest honor, for her work. She is also the author of “ If I Live to be 100: Lessons from the Centenarians,” which is based on her radio series about people 100 years of age.

Ways to Connect

We’re celebrating WYSO’s 60th birthday this year by listening to highlights from our historic audio collection.

In the early 1970s. WYSO had a growth spurt, adding staff and expanding the listening area. In 1973 came the first grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The money allowed us to buy programs from NPR for the first time. Also that year, the first on-air fundraiser was held. Listeners and businesses donated goods and services for an on-air auction, things like airplane rides and fresh baked bread. The fundraisers were called marathons. Regular programming was suspended for four straight days. Those who remember say the programming was wild and kinda wacky, and the few precious recordings we have confirm that things did get pretty squirrelly.

We’re celebrating WYSO’s 60th birthday this year by listening to highlights from our historic audio collection.

Julia Reichert got her start in media at WYSO with a radio program called The Single Girl – maybe the first feminist radio program in the United States. Today, she’s a celebrated and award-winning documentary filmmaker.

WYSO went on the air 60 years ago, and we’re listening back to audio from our collection.

On September 15, 1963, white supremacists bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Twenty-two people were injured, and four little girls were killed. This act of terror 55 years ago was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement, and communities across the country held memorial services to honor the dead and galvanize their commitments to racial equality.

A week after the bombing, a somber march was held in Yellow Springs. WYSO reporter Bruce Havens was there. Former Antioch College professor Walter Anderson, along with villagers in Yellow Springs held a memorial service for the four children killed in the Birmingham church bombing. 

It’s been 60 years since WYSO went on the air and we’re listening back to some highlights from our rare audio collection. Forty years ago, it was the 1970s, and the WYSO news staff was busy doing stories about the decline in manufacturing across Ohio. Companies were moving from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt. News director Mark Cohen talked to factory workers from northern Ohio.

You can record a birthday greeting for WYSO.  Here's how:

Plan a message about 90 seconds long.  You can start it like this:

It’s been 60 years since WYSO went on the air and we’re listening back to some highlights from our rare audio collection.

When WYSO went on the air, most of what you heard was classical music. Programs like Music of Spain, High Fidelity Concert and a nightly show called Land of the Quiet Mind, where you could hear Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and those guys.

In the 1960s came more jazz, rock, folk, bluegrass and more live performances.

Antioch College President Roosevelt and former Ohio Governor Bob Taft are both the great-grandsons of American Presidents. Roosevelt's great grandfather was Theodore Roosevelt, President from 1901 to 1909. He was succeeded by William Howard Taft of Cincinnati.

The relationship between the two men is chronicled in The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, published in 2013. They two were allies; Taft served as Roosevelt’s Secretary of War, but later clashed and Roosevelt ran against Taft in 1912.

Country music legend George Jones died on Friday April 26 at age 81. Jones has been called the quintessential country singer.

WYSO general manager Neenah Ellis created a radio documentary about  Jones in 1992 for a public radio program called Soundprint.

A visit to Nashville, Tennessee during Fan Fair, an annual gathering of dedicated country music fans, serves as the backdrop for a review of George Jones long career.  Ellis takes listeners inside the recording studio as Jones makes an album that he hopes will mark his comeback.

WYSO Turns 55

Feb 8, 2013

Fifty-five years ago, on February 8, 1958, WYSO began broadcasting. 

It was students who did all the legwork to get the station licensed and ready.  After many years of un-licensed, unofficial broadcasting on the campus of Antioch College, WYSO went on the air with 19 watts of power.  They gathered expectantly on the second floor of the student union building in the new studios.  At 8pm, Bruce Johanson, script in hand, stepped up to the microphone.

Stories from the Yellow Springs Post Office

Dec 27, 2010
Katie Tilly

Stories from the village of Yellow Springs gathered at the post office during one long day by WYSO reporters and volunteers. It's an audio time capsule about a small town with a long history on the first day of the holiday mailing season, the Monday after Thanksgiving, 2010.

Five reporters contributed to this story: Emily McCord, Jerry Kenney, Juliet Fromholt, Sarah Buckingham and Katie Tilly, plus independent radio producer Katie Davis. Hosted by Neenah Ellis.