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2010 Founders Award Recipient - O. Leonard Press


O. Leonard Press


B.S. 1947, M.S. l951 - Boston University


1943 - 1946     U.S. Army

1947 - 1950     Instructor, speech and broadcasting, Emerson College

1951                Instructor, Boston Center for Continuing Education

1948 - 1952     Radio and Television Specialist in Publicity Bureau, Boston University

1952 - 1958     Assistant professor of  radio, television and films  and program supervisor, University of Kentucky Broadcasting Service

1960 (9-12)     (On sabbatical from U.K.) Consultant to National Educational Radio and Television Center, New York and Ann Arbor, Michigan

1961(1-6)        (On sabbatical) Consultant to National Association of Educational Broadcasters, Washington, D.C.

1958 - l963      Head, Department of Radio, Television, Films, University of Kentucky,                                     and director of the University of Kentucky Broadcasting Service       

1963                Organizing interim director, Public Broadcast Facilities Program in United States Office of Education

1958 -1968      Conducted campaign for incubation of KET

1963 - 1991     Executive Director, KET & President (1973 – 1991), KET Foundation

1993 - 2005     Executive Director, A-OK (Association of Older Kentuckians)


Boards and Commissions 


Vice chair, Kentucky Authority for Educational Television (l962)

Director, National Association of Educational Broadcasters, Region II (1962)

Chair, Educational Television Stations Division, NAEB (1972)

Chair, Council of State Educational Television Authorities (1972)

Chair, Public Television Managers Council (1972)

Chair, National Association of Educational Broadcasters (1973)

Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Task Force on Financing (1973 & 1981)

Kentucky Crime Commission (l974-1979)

Chair Pro Tem, and Chairman of Finance Committee, PBS  Board (1979)

Co-chair, CPB Affirmative Action Committee (1979)

Chair, NAEB Managers Council (1977-1980)

Executive Committee, Agency for Instructional Telecommunications (AIT) (1975-1990)

Chair, Southern Educational Communications Association (SECA) (1981)

National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Task Force on Long Range Funding for   Public Broadcasting (1982)

Vice chair, National Association of Public Television Stations (NAPTS) (1982)

Vice chair, Latino Consortium Board of Directors (l981-1983)

Founder and Co-chair, Organization of State Broadcast Executives ( 1982-1988 )

Co-founder and board member, Southern Educational Resource Center (SERC) (1988-91)

Co-chair, CPB Task Force on Multi-cultural Programming (1989-1990)

Shakertown Roundtable Board of Overseers

Advisory Board, Lexington Public Library, 1992-1994        

Board of Trustees, Lexington Public Library, 1994-1998

Board Chair, Association of Older Kentuckians (A-OK) (1992)

National Latino Communications Center Board (1992 - 2000)

Kentucky Center for Public Issues Board

Leadership Kentucky Board of Directors

Chair, Commission on Community Services for Older Persons, Lexington,1993

Board of Directors, Kentucky Folk Art Museum (1995- 2001)

Vice President, Board of Directors, Access to Justice Foundation ( 1996 - 2002 )

Vice Chairman, National Latino Communications Board ( 1996 - 1999)

Board of Directors, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra(1997 -1999)

Co-Chair, with Al Smith, Advocates,  Kentucky Audio-Visual Archives ( 1997 - 2000)

Kentucky Historical Society Board of Trustees( 1998 - 2004 )

Kentucky Historical Society Foundation, Inc. (2005)

Inquiry Commission of Kentucky Bar Association lay member (1998 - 2001 )

Chairman, Advisory Council, Bluegrass Flow, Inc, (2002- )




Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame (1986)

Honorary Doctor of Public Service, Morehead State University (1988)

Distinguished Achievement Award, Kentucky Department of Education (1990)

Outstanding Public Television Manager of the Year, PBS & National Association of      Public Television Stations (1990)

William T. Nallia Educational Leadership Award, Kentucky Association of School        Administrators (1990)

Kentucky Advocates for Higher Education, Special Advocate Award (1991)

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Centre College ( 1992)

University of Kentucky Library Associates Medallion for Intellectual Excellence (1992)

21st Century Award, APTS (America's Public Television Stations) (1992)

"Distinguished Kentuckian," Kentucky Educational Television (KET) (1992)

"O. Leonard Press Telecommunications Center" dedicated (1992)

"50 Who Made Kentucky," Louisville Magazine (l992)

First Amendment Award, Society of Professional Journalists, Louisville (June, 1994)

Distinguished Rural Kentuckian Award, Kentucky’s Rural Electric Cooperatives (1995)

O. Leonard Press 21st Century Endowment established for KET by Jim Host (1998)

Jane Morton Norton Award for Contribution to the Arts in Kentucky, Centre College (99)

Lillian H. & O. Leonard Press Speakers Series at Centre College ($1 million endowment,                  half from Lucille C. Little and matching half by Centre College) announced 3/28/2000

John Sherman Cooper Award for Outstanding Public Service in Kentucky, 12/11/02

Silver Circle Award, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Ohio Valley Chapter, October 16, 2004

Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame, Junior Achievement, inducted June 9, 2006





West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority (1966)

National Association of Educational Broadcasters (1961)

National Educational Television and Radio Center (1960)

U.S. Office of Education (1963)

Georgia State Department of Education (1977)

University of Arizona Bureau of Broadcasting (1978)

Louisiana Educational Television Network (1979)

Oklahoma ETV Network (1980)

Jamaican Educational Broadcasting Service, Kingston (1982)

CPB and Howard University, DC, Television Station, WHYY (1982)




Initiated satellite service to schools and other Kentucky educational institutions (1988). The Kentucky satellite system, one of  the first in the country, is unique in that it is the only state in which all public elementary and secondary schools, all vocational schools, state colleges and universities, public libraries and many other public buildings - 2000 locations in all - were equipped from the very outset with satellite receiving dishes in order to enable complete statewide participation.


An attempt to document the origin and development and the first quarter century of programming and operation of KET,  The KET Story, A Personal Account, was published in 2008 ( the 40th anniversary of KET) by the Clark Publishing Group in Lexington, Ky.