WOSU completes transition to state-of-the-art facility across from Wexner Center for the Arts

The 15th+HIGH project includes plans for a new headquarters for WOSU news. Credit: Courtesy of WOSU Public Media

WOSU, Ohio’s central public media company that produces local Columbus radio station NPR, offers new avenues for students interested in digital media as they reside in a new five-story studio and corporate headquarters located close to Ohio State. new arts district campus in March.

The state-of-the-art facility, worth more than $30 million, includes multiple television and radio studios, offices and collaboration spaces for journalists and staff, said Amy Tillinghast, senior director of marketing and communications from WOSU. The new headquarters also includes a state-of-the-art media learning lab, multiple community gathering and event spaces, and a rooftop terrace with views of Columbus.

The building’s design was created with Ohio State students in mind, said Mike Thompson, WOSU’s senior content director for news and public affairs and host of “Columbus on the Record.”

“We have spaces reserved for student journalists and talk show producers. Our new location in the heart of the campus community will make it easier for aspiring journalists to gain experience in Ohio’s premier radio newsroom.

WOSU is Columbus’ first radio station, first airing on April 24, 1922, Tillinghast said, making it their 100th anniversary serving the Central Ohio community. In Columbus, WOSU hosts its NPR news and public affairs station on 89.7 FM, its classic station on 101.1, and a PBS member station for its own local television programming to accompany national broadcasts.

WOSU TV’s In the Classroom division offers educational programming, professional development and direct services to schools, Tillinghast said.

The 14th Avenue building represents a much-needed upgrade to the previous 50-year-old headquarters in the basement of the Fawcett Center, Tillinghast said, and will increase WOSU’s visibility in the community.

WOSU started in April 2019 and the building was completed in September 2021, Kate Quickel, Special Events Marketing Manager and Host of WOSU’s ““Broad & High” show, said.

“Design is also symbolic. The building is transparent, open and trustworthy – all qualities we look for in public media,” Quickel said.

The new location of the building is in the new 15+HIGH neighborhoodwhich will include the office of university president Kristina M. Johnson, among other mixed-use retail, office and residential buildings, Tillingast said.

Thompson said he hopes more Ohio State students will have the opportunity to learn audio storytelling and radio and/or podcast production.

Tillinghast said the relationship between Ohio State and the public media group was a two-way street, as Ohio State Presidents in the past have lobbied for funding for the public broadcasting company to Columbus.

“I think one of the proud points of Ohio State is that Ohio State has really kept public media on the air,” Tillinghast said. “We might not have public media, we might not have public television, if it weren’t for the state of Ohio,” she said.

Tillingast said the building houses the Ross Community Studio, a 100-200 person space designed for a wide variety of events: concerts, debates, trivial parties and many other functions.

Additional attention has been given to lower-tier television studios, Tillingast said. They are designed to be completely soundproof, contain state-of-the-art lighting systems and have meticulously leveled concrete for the camera dollies.

Quickel said the third floor contains a media learning lab open to students, including a podcast room and a classroom creation space that will be open to others to create media, lead classes and host workshops. The second floor houses the 89.7 press room and studios, while the top floor contains offices, a tech-infused board meeting room, and the rooftop patio adjacent to an indoor conference room.

There are 11 dedicated audio production and broadcast studios at 89.7 on the second floor, Quickel said, with up to five layers of drywall between other items installed by professional acoustics.

Thompson said he hopes with this new addition, more Ohio State students will have the opportunity to learn audio storytelling and radio and/or podcast production.

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