Communication skills learned at OHIO and WOUB helped Michael Massa start his legal career

For the past 30 years, Michael Massa has worked in the legal system as a court arbitrator and mediator. But law was not originally Massa’s career plan when he started at Ohio University in 1977.

“I grew up not far from Athens in Saint Clairsville, Ohio, and I knew I wanted to study communications.  I had a friend that went to Ohio University,” said Massa. “I decided to go there because of the reputation of the communications program.”

Massa got involved at WOUB through a work study position with WOUB’s now-retired, long-time FM Radio Host John Ray.

“I helped John with little vignettes for WOUB FM called Action Line. It was a consumer-based call-in program. People would call and leave a message with their concerns or questions. I helped go through the messages and choose which ones for John to answer on the air.”

There was one moment while working on Action Line that Massa will never forget.

“We got a call, and I thought it was a joke,” said Massa. “The caller said Vincent Price was on the college green eating a hot dog and I went out to college green and there he was. Vincent Price was there, eating a hot dog.”

Price was on campus doing a one-person play where he would read snippets from American classic authors.

Massa also worked in the WOUB Newsroom and anchored the hourly newscasts on the radio. That led to Massa hosting a half-hour program called Courts in Action, where he interviewed then-Athens County Judge Tom Hodson.

“WOUB was the genesis in my interest in a lot of things,” said Massa.

After graduation, Massa did a congressional internship in Washington D.C. for four months, and eventually was hired as a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Transportation. While working there, Massa started to go to law school part time.

“Ohio University and WOUB taught me the communication skills for a career in law,” said Massa. “Because of that, I already had the ability to communicate an idea and make a strong point.”

Massa’s legal career led him to the Supreme Court of Ohio where he was trained as a registered arbitrator and federal court mediator.

“WOUB taught me how to think on my feet and how to analyze people’s thinking,” said Massa. “WOUB is a premiere experience and the genesis of a lot of people’s careers. I didn’t end up going into radio and television or journalism, but WOUB definitely had an impact on me.”

About WOUB Public Media

As a member station of both NPR and PBS, WOUB Public Media is a trusted source of news, local content and educational resources that have proven to be worthy of the time, effort and support of our users. WOUB, an experiential-learning unit of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, is a non-profit, community-supported multimedia organization which provides online and broadcast services, along with non-broadcast educational services and student professional development. WOUB serves 55 counties throughout southeastern Ohio, western West Virginia and eastern Kentucky with its broadcast signals. WOUB Radio’s FM Network has transmitters in Athens, Chillicothe, Ironton, Zanesville and Cambridge, while WOUB AM serves the immediate Athens area. WOUB TV is made up of seven television channels (WOUB HD, WOUB Classic, WOUB World, WOUB Create, WOUB Ohio, WOUB Kids and WOUB Voicecorps Reading Service) which are broadcast from two transmitters.

Through its support of public service, teaching, research and administrative missions, along with its high-quality local content and programming, WOUB enriches, enhances and expands the lives and horizons of the people in the communities it serves, as well as Ohio University faculty, staff and students.

https://www.ohio.edu/news/2023/10/communication-skills-learned-ohio-and-woub-helped-michael-massa-start-his-legal-career Communication skills learned at OHIO and WOUB helped Michael Massa start his legal career

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