Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Andrew James Oppmann, July 6, 2009

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Work in journalism

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Partial Transcript: Um, so what I'll do is I'll just go ahead and start and say that this is a continuation of an oral history project...

Segment Synopsis: Oppmann summarizes his career as a journalist and newspaper owner. Oppmann also discusses his start in the newspaper business, which was when he worked as a reporter for the Kentucky Colonel (the student-run newspaper at the University of Kentucky).

Keywords: Kentucky Kernel (newspaper); Newspaper owners; Otis Singletary; Oversight; Reporters; Tennessee

Subjects: Administration; Education; Freedom; Independent; Journalism; Life; Reputation; Responsibility; University of Kentucky; Work

00:06:37 - First impressions of the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: So when you, um--let's see, you came from Hopkinsville.

Segment Synopsis: Oppmann shares his initial impressions of the university, and the Kentucky Kernel student newspaper.

Keywords: Changes; Editors; Hopkinsville (Ky.); Interesting; Kentucky Kernel (newspaper); Newspapers

Subjects: Education; High school; Journalism; Legacy; Life; Opportunity; University of Kentucky

00:08:55 - Kakie Urch

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Partial Transcript: Did you work with Kakie Urch?

Segment Synopsis: Oppmann discusses Kathleen "Kakie" Urch, one of the people who played an important role in creating and establishing WRFL.

Keywords: Catalysts; Columnists; Editors; Interesting; Kakie Urch; Kathleen "Kakie" Urch; Passionate; WRFL

Subjects: College radio stations; Columns; Enthusiasm; Journalism; People; Possibility; Radio stations; Staff; University of Kentucky; Work

00:15:43 - Administrative factors

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Partial Transcript: I think John Cain, as student body president at the time, is the one who really recognized that, 'hey that made a lot of sense.'

Segment Synopsis: Oppmann considers the administrative factors that ultimately led to the creation of WRFL. Oppmann also explains why this particular era (the late 1980s) proved to be a favorable atmosphere in which a college radio station finally came to fruition at the university after many years of discussion.

Keywords: Catalysts; Chancellors; Influences; Lexington (Ky.); Programming; Quality; Student Activities Board; WRFL

Subjects: Administration; College radio stations; Education; Radio stations; University of Kentucky

00:23:29 - Student Activities Board / Bureaucracy

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Partial Transcript: Uh, I remember there was this one decision--this is probably good to put into the historic archives...

Segment Synopsis: Oppmann briefly tells an anecdote involving the university's Student Activities Board and Madonna. Subsequently, Oppmann praises the efficiency of the university's administrative bureaucracy throughout the late 1980s.

Keywords: Concerts; Efficiency; Julian Lennon (Artist); Lexington (Ky.); University administration; WRFL

Subjects: Administration; Anecdotes; Bureaucracy; College radio stations; Energy; Madonna, 1958-; Money; Radio stations; University of Kentucky

00:27:15 - Kakie Urch's newspaper column / Quality of the student newspaper / Alumni

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Partial Transcript: You know, Kakie wrote this column--

Segment Synopsis: Oppmann discusses Kathleen "Kakie" Urch's column, which eventually led to the creation of the first college radio station in Lexington, WRFL. Following this, Oppmann evaluates the overall quality of the Kentucky Kernel, the student-run newspaper. Lastly, Oppmann briefly talks of maintaining contact with alumni of the newspaper.

Keywords: Advisors; Friends; Kakie Urch; Kathleen "Kakie" Urch; Kentucky Kernel (newspaper); Newspapers

Subjects: Bureaucracy; Business; College radio stations; Column; Editors; Ethics; Journalism; Opportunity; Staff; University of Kentucky

00:35:11 - University president Otis Singletary

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Partial Transcript: D, did you ever talk to Dr. Singletary? Did this ever come up in, in, in a conversation with Dr. Singletary at all?

Segment Synopsis: Oppmann reflects upon how then University of Kentucky President Otis Singletary decided to save the Kentucky Kernel from bankruptcy.

Keywords: Journalists; Kentucky Kernel (newspaper); Otis Singletary; Student newspapers; University presidents

Subjects: Administration; Advertising; Bankruptcy; Education; Finance; Money; Revenue; University of Kentucky

00:43:11 - Theo Monroe / Singletary and WRFL

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Partial Transcript: Um, I think there's an RFL story that kind of is, uh--that dovetails with that.

Segment Synopsis: Oppmann chronicles his friendship with Theo Monroe, one of the key people in the foundation of WRFL. Oppmann also illustrates university president Otis Singletary's involvement and contribution to the creation of WRFL.

Keywords: Impact; Lexington (Ky.); Orange County Register; Otis Singletary; Powerful; Southern California; Theo Monroe; WRFL

Subjects: Attorney; College radio stations; Education; Journalism; Money; Radio stations; Retirement; Student government; University of Kentucky

00:48:50 - First broadcast of WRFL / Kentucky Kernel and WRFL

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Partial Transcript: Were you around--were you aware when the station went on the air?

Segment Synopsis: Oppmann recalls his memories of the first broadcast of WRFL, which occurred in 1988. Additionally, Oppmann discusses the similarities between the Kentucky Kernel staff and the WRFL staff in terms of the dedication and work ethic of the students.

Keywords: Academics; Accomplishments; Audiences; Friends; Kentucky Kernel (newspaper); Knoxville (Tenn.); Lexington (Ky.); Lexington Herald-Leader (newspaper); Passion; Reporters; Student media; WRFL

Subjects: College radio stations; Deadlines; Education; Experience; Journalism; Opportunity; Radio stations; Staff; Students; University of Kentucky