Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has declared Thursday November 10th, 2011 Len Press Day to honor the founding director of Kentucky Educational Television on this, his 90th birthday. "Len Press has done so much for our city and for our state. His contribution in the establishment and the creation, he was right there at the beginning of Kentucky Educational Television. And, what a lifetime of achievement that represents alone. Kentucky without Len Press just would not be Kentucky."
After leaving UK as this radio station's general manager, Press went on to create the statewide public television network that would eventually become known as KET.
Recently, Mr. Press visited our studios as part of a WUKY Oral History project. He says KET truly began at a grass roots level.
"The advisory committee of citizens was I couldn't have done it without them, absolutely, could not. As a matter of fact, KET has a friends organization which are lineal descendents of that same cadre of citizens who, statewide, talked to their local newspapers, their local radio stations, talked to their local garden clubs "
Press says he had a vision to use the medium of television to overcome geographic and other barriers to educate school children.
"I had to get press attention I began to form advisory committees of citizens around the state .all of this took time but it worked obviously. I started visiting legislators, one at a time, and you know, it just was an awareness thing. The big hurdle was going to be the teachers, because to them this was threatening."
Today KET is the largest public television network in the U-S, and the second largest in the world