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Campus & Community

Ann Fisher wants you to know about everything

You wouldn’t know it now, but the journalist had little experience with radio before making a late-career move to WOSU to share ‘All Sides’ of the local-to-global issues that matter. 

An older white woman wears glasses and headphones as she attentively listens to someone, slightly smiling. A microphone sits in front of her.

Ann Fisher has been keeping Central Ohioans informed of news that affects their lives for more than 24 years, the past 13 through her daily, two-hour public affairs talk show on 89.7 NPR News. (Photo by Jodi Miller)  

Four people, all wearing headphones, sit at a table loaded with computers and microphones on long, adjustable arms. They’re talking as a radio show is broadcast.

Joining Fisher for her “Weekly Reporter Roundtable” are, from left, reporters Jeremy Pelzer of cleveland.com, Laura Bischoff of the USA Today Network Ohio Bureau and Andy Chow of the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau. (Photo by Jodi Miller)

Still, the first year was grueling. At nearly 52 years old, Fisher felt she had so much to learn, including new technology and a new work culture. Yet she persisted and got better as time passed. Now, her show rolls smoothly. The first hour always has a strong news peg, while the second is looser and often has a theme, such as “Tech Tuesday” and “Wellness Wednesday.”

Fisher’s staff consists of two producers and three interns. They help brainstorm topics and book guests. They’ll tap experts from anywhere in the country, but often don’t need to look far. “We have a treasure trove of experts right here in Central Ohio,” she says. “We always try to get the best we can, and it’s often right in our backyard.”

Her most challenging time? Hosting the show during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a lone technician or two, Fisher reported to the studio each day and brought in guests via Zoom. Now that restrictions are easing, she is happily bringing guests into the new studio. And she plans to host several shows in front of live audiences this fall.

Throughout the years, Fisher has always kept listeners top of mind. “My favorite compliment anyone can give me is when they say I always ask the question that was on their mind as they were listening to the interview,” she says.

Fisher is especially touched when people tell her what the program means to them. One woman shared that she’d listened to the show shortly after moving to Ohio and being diagnosed with cancer.

“After her treatments, she’d drive around for a couple hours and listen to the show,” Fisher says. “She got to know Columbus, and she got to know Central Ohio through the show. She said it got her through cancer.”

Being told her show is a lifeline is humbling, and it reminds Fisher of the intimacy of radio.

“It’s really just you and the listener in their car or office or at their home, wherever they are. For them, it’s you and them, and it’s personal.”


And now, a few words from Ann’s listeners

“All Sides” continues to grow its following, currently averaging about 70,000 listeners a week. Thoughts from a few WOSU members:

“I really enjoy the WOSU app, where I often go to catch ‘All Sides with Ann Fisher,’ which addresses the pressing issues of our time. Keep up your fight to bring us the facts and shed light on misinformation.” — Brigid Heid ’87, ’90 JD

“We rarely turn our dial from 89.7. We really appreciate the quality of news we get from WOSU and love ‘All Sides with Ann Fisher.’” — Jeff Perlman and Camille Perlman ’94

“We recently moved from Miami, where we listened to and supported WLRN. Now I am really enjoying WOSU and listening to Ann’s show every day. I feel like I’m learning about Columbus politics, pizza and gardening — and everything I need to know to enjoy my time here.” — Melissa Davis

“Ann has a wide variety of guests covering numerous topics. I love the shows about birds and gardening and appreciate those about the pandemic, social justice, voting rights, housing issues and, of course, the ‘Weekly Reporter Roundtable.’ Keep up the good work to keep Central Ohio informed.” — Elizabeth Lawless ’76

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