Wireless Morse code began a new age of communications, magically sending invisible waves through the ether received at some distant place. Among the first universities to experiment in this unknown world was The Ohio State University, which became one of the first educational broadcast stations and a think tank for the future of public service radio—pioneering radio audience research and serving as an innovative school of the air.
WOSU General Manager Tom Rieland launches his book, Sparks Flew, a rich story of creative, tenacious men and women working in a new medium that commercial enterprises soon dominated. At any moment in time, educational broadcasting could have failed if not for a few land-grant institutions like The Ohio State University and prominent stations like WOSU that supported the medium. Says Paula Kerger, President of PBS: “Thorough, insightful, and meticulously researched, Sparks Flew: WOSU’s Century on the Air is a definitive account of an influential local broadcaster. By examining the evolution of this vibrant institution, Tom Rieland offers a unique perspective on the invaluable role that public media plays in building and connecting local communities.” Rieland will be in conversation with former WOSU radio host, and poet, Fred Andrle.
Tom Rieland has been General Manager of WOSU Public Media since 2002. His previous positions include 13 years as Director of the Center for Public Television & Radio at the University of Alabama and six years leading the Communications Center at the University of Mississippi. Tom serves as president of the Ohio Educational Television Stations statewide PBS station organization and is in his second term on the PBS Board of Directors in Arlington, VA. He serves locally on the boards of the United Way of Central Ohio and the nonprofit Gateway Film Center.
Fred Andrle served as Executive Producer and Host of "Open Line," a daily, public affairs talk show on WOSU from 1989 until his retirement in May 2009. Prior to that, he was Executive Producer for WOSU-TV. He has received Ohio Public Broadcasting and Regional Emmy awards for his radio and television programs.
WOSU Public Media is Gramercy’s Community Partner for this exclusive evening.