Mark Pennell


Mark Pennell is our somewhat colorful, morning and mid-day personality. He joined the staff of WKSU in the early fall of 1996. Since arriving he has claimed “Announcer of the Year” for 1997 in public radio. Previously, he could have been heard on WOSU in his native city, Columbus. He also is a voice-over talent in radio and TV. Prior experience has come from other radio stations in the Midwest region. He studied at Ohio State University in Communications. Mark’s family of two sons, a daughter and wife, Amy (an artist), reside in a historical home in north Kent. The character and history of the house is wonderful, but the house needs a new furnace (the old one reminds him of Marianne, the steam shovel from a favorite children’s book), and Mark spent his whole summer last year painting and repairing the house. Oh, well, it comes with the territory. He still likes it. Mark is an active member in his church, Riverwood Community Chapel. His hobbies are: golf (he stinks at it), and cars (his dream-car, a Mini Cooper is only driven when the weather is good which is why he only puts about 5,000 miles on it a year). History is a special hobby for Mark, as one could tell by listening to his show. Mark’s favorite parts of his show are the facts and amusing tidbits on the composers that he shares with listeners. He feels this brings a sense of connection and humility to classical music that is greatly needed, so that everyone can enjoy it. A brief bio on Mark’s favorites: Composer: Depends on the time of day Piece: Schubert’s “Unfinished” symphony Artist: Peter Serkin or Michael Murray Color: Green or red Food: Steak, “Dump” (a concoction of maple sausage, hashbrowns, eggs, and cheese wrapped in a soft tortilla shell) and Graters ice cream (Mint Chocolate Chip) From Mark—“Moving to Kent has been one of the best things I have ever done. It’s been a very good experience for me and my family. The people are genuinely nice and really interested in listening to WKSU. The countryside is truly beautiful too. Northeast Ohio has a wonderful support for the arts and I enjoy being in that company.”

Ways to Connect

On this date in 1789, a Baptist preacher first distilled a popular spirit. And in 1965, one of the longest running scripted TV programs in the world debuted.

On this date in 1918, false news spread around the world regarding World War I. And in 1967, the election of Carl Stokes as mayor of Cleveland put the city in the national spotlight.

On this date in 1947, NBC debuted a new show that continues to this day. And in 1995, the owner of the Cleveland Browns made an infamous decision that rocked the NFL world and Browns fans everywhere.

On this date in 1911, the first trans-continental flight came to an end. And in 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt beat an Akron native to win re-election for an unprecedented third term. 

On this date in 1845, Americans observed a new policy for voting. And in 1879, James Ritty patented a product that became essential for retailers. 

On this date in 1834, what is now a very popular card game came got its first known reference in print. And in 1950, Harry Truman was the target of an assassination attmept.

Going way back, on this date in the year 19, Halloween's origins are said to have begun. And in 1918, the Spanish Flu went down as the deadliest ever.

On this date in 1952, the very first frozen peas were introduced to the market. And in 1972, one of the worst railroad accidents occurred in Chicago.

On this date in 1942, the Alaska Highway was completed. And in 1998, John Glenn made his return to orbit.

The city of the day is St. Louis.  Find out what distinguished this city in 1904 and in 1965.

On this date in 1929, a member of Warren G. Harding's cabinet became the first person to be convicted of a crime in that capacity. And in 1964, one of the most influencial bands in history made their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.

On this date in 1908, the first recording of "baseball's anthem" was recorded. And in 1926, the legendary Harry Houdini performed for the last time.

On this date in 1814, a London surgeon performed the first-ever plastic surgery. And in 1910, a woman pilot made headlines.

On this date in 1934, "Pretty Boy Floyd" was finally tracked down in East Liverpool, Ohio. And in 1938, a piece of equipment found in nearly every office was created.

On this date in 1854, Florence Nightingale left her mark on the world. And in 1959, thousands of people lined up on New York's Fifth Avenue for the opening of a new museum.

On this date in 1867, the United States formally took possession of a new territory that would later become a state. And in 1892, the first commercial long distance phone call was placed.

On this date in 1814, a tank at a London brewery broke apart unleashing a tidal wave of beer. And in 1933, one of the greatest minds in history arrived in the United States.

On this date in 1829, a new hotel opened in Boston, the first to boast many modern conveniences. And in 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis began.

On this date in 1789, George Washington embarked on the first-ever Presidential tour of the U.S. And in 1924, another President made headlines with a dedication.

On this date in 1947, U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager became the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound. And in 1964, an icon of the civil rights movement won the Nobel Peace Prize.

On this date in 1887 a new mechanism was patented for an elevator by an Ohio-born inventor. And in 1939, a letter written by Albert Einstein opened a lot of eyes -- including President Roosevelt.

On this date in 1886 a new style worn by men at an autumn ball in NYC debuted. And in 1966, the Beach Boys released one of their biggest hits of all-time.

On this date in 1936 the Hoover Dam was utilized for the first time to generate energy. And in 1947, after more than 10 years of research, AT&T debuted a new way to reach someone.

On this date in 1871 the Great Chicago left plenty of destruction. And in 1945, an everyday product in most kitchens was patented.


On this date in 1916 that the most lopsided college football game took place. And in 2003, an unlikely candidate was Gonernor of California.