The finalized agreement to transfer ownership of the non-commercial FM radio station WYSO from Antioch University to Antioch College was completed today, July 3. This new agreement releases Antioch University’s reverter rights to campus real estate, Glen Helen, and the College’s continuation fund.
WYSO 91.3FM began broadcasting with 19 watts of power on February 8, 1958 as a student-run station on the campus of Antioch College. Today WYSO broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week with 50,000 watts of power, reaching nine counties in Southwest Ohio with a potential audience of more than one million. Ownership of the station remained with Antioch University when an alumni-led group purchased the College and most of its assets in September 2009, more than a year after closure.
The respective governing boards approved the structure of the agreement in December. Under the agreement, the College is purchasing WYSO and the Kettering Building. Additionally, the University has eliminated the “reverter clauses” from documents executed in the 2009 asset purchase.
Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt said the long-awaited transfer of WYSO is an exciting addition to an already exhilarating time at the College.
“WYSO has been a strong heartbeat on this campus since Antioch students founded the station in 1958 and we are thrilled to welcome her home again,” Roosevelt said. “Finalizing this agreement is truly a momentous event in the College’s history, and it could not come at a better time. As we welcome our third class of new students in the fall, we are looking forward to building a robust community, and we’re pleased to have WYSO be a part of that once more.”
All staff members working at WYSO become employees of Antioch College effective the date of the execution of the acquisition documents and the agreement, and transfer will not impact programming or operations of the station.
While concrete plans are still in formation, the College and WYSO hope to create an enhanced learning environment for Antioch College students through one of the country’s top professional, NPR-affiliated radio stations.
General manager of WYSO, Neenah Ellis, said that she is looking forward to collaborating with the College and students on projects she can already imagine, and many more that will evolve as the partnership deepens.
“The possibilities for collaboration with the College are tremendous,” she said. “Everything from students doing co-ops at WYSO to working with the faculty and staff members. The learning opportunities we’re anticipating will be endless.”
The 33,000-square-foot Kettering Building had been home to Kettering Foundation’s photosynthesis research, once housed in the College’s Science Building. Beginning in 1983, the Battelle Memorial Institute operated in the space. Battelle Memorial Institute donated its research equipment to the College. Kettering Foundation transferred ownership of the building to Antioch University in June 1987. Thereafter, it was the home of the university's central administrative offices until April 2012 when it was remodeled to become the new home of WYSO with state-of-the-art sound studios and equipment.