Special to The Truth
The Ohio Collective recognized Charles Fox, general manager of Central State University’s WCSU-FM, with the Legacy Builder Pillar Award for co-founding the Ohio Black News Service, on
May 26 at the annual State of Black Ohio Summit.
The mission of the Ohio Collective is to respond to the identified issues
and problems of African American-based racism and to engage the resources
necessary to provide answers and positive outcomes to those issues. The
summit brings together thought leaders for strategic planning and action in
support of that mission.
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, former Ohio state senator
and current Ohio NAACP Conference president, Tom Roberts, called together
leaders of the state’s Black-owned media to share his social and
political agenda. That gathering included 20 social media, print, radio,
and TV influencers from Akron, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Lorain,
Toledo, and Wilberforce.
Over the subsequent three years, virtual meetings became fuel for strategic
collaboration, and two entities emerged: the for-profit Ohio Black Media
Collective and nonprofit Ohio Black News Service.
Fox presented a concept for collaboration between WCSU-FM, Central State
University, the NAACP, and the Black media leadership. That led to the
recent formation of the OBNS.
Serving as a professional development resource — providing internships
and entry-level assignments — for mass communications and journalism
students is one of the goals of the OBNS. Collaborating with student media
organizations also presents opportunities for digitizing stories from Black
journalists for streaming.
While Fox leads efforts to install a state-of-the-art digital media
production studio/lab in the Central State University Mass Communications
Center, he credits his WCSU-FM team members, Operations Director Wade
Oberlin, Broadcast Technician Stephon Lane, and Program Director Trent
Darby (aka Ronald Newell) for their initiatives in launching the web-based
student-run On Our Own Radio (OOO) and “Funky Friday”, a new show
celebrating the music said to originate in Dayton, the “Capital of
“Together, these efforts energize the community to recognize and nurture
the creative genius of our youth,” Fox said.
Informed by his award-winning professional experience in global, national,
and local media, Fox further explained, “The global entertainment and
media is on track to become a $2.9-trillion market by 2026. My vision is
for the Central State University Mass Communications Center to become a
vibrant media axis for central Ohio, a collaborator with nonprofits such as
the Ohio Black News Service and a pipeline for our students to compete in
and contribute to that fast-growing global industry.
Affiliates of the Ohio Black Media Collective and Ohio Black News Service
include City Park League (Toledo), the Dayton Daily News, Elevate Dayton,
Jasper Brown LLC (Dayton), NAACP Ohio Conference (Columbus), New Americans
Magazine (Columbus), Ross Communications/WRCX TV 40 (Dayton), Stop26
Riverbend 97.7 FM, The African American News Journal (Columbus), The
Buckeye Review (Youngstown), The Call & Post 94.7 FM 105.3 FM 1460 WABQ
(Cleveland), The Cincinnati Herald, The Real Deal Press (Cleveland), The
Reporter (Akron), Sojourner’s Truth (Toledo), The Toledo Journal, WCSU FM
& OOO Radio (stream) Wilberforce, WNZN (Lorain), and Yellow Springs News.