OAB Hall of Fame
When Dick Schmitz joined the “New KAKC” in 1957 as a mobile newsman and deejay, he was beginning an Oklahoma broadcasting journey that would elevate the standard for on-air performance and audio production. A journey that greatly influenced the careers of many and, for years to come, established the acceptable level of excellence in commercial audio work.
Dick Schmitz was one of the original “Big 7 DJs” when rock and roll took Tulsa by storm in 1957. He was named Program Director in 1958. Under his leadership, and as the station’s morning man, KAKC dominated the ratings as Tulsa’s No. 1 station for almost a decade.
During his tenure at KAKC, Dick’s special attention to the production of commercial copy soon led to his recognition as one of Tulsa’s top voice talents. In 1966, he left KAKC and joined another Tulsa radio station where his commercial production company, Irving Productions, was born.
To Dick Schmitz, commercial copy was more than just a bunch of words and a microphone. It was good writing, interpretation of copy, complimenting sound or music, editing, appropriate voice talent, and a sense of pride in one’s effort. This philosophy brought a new and higher standard for acceptance of quality audio production in Oklahoma.
Throughout his career, the University of Illinois graduate has unselfishly shared his extraordinary talents with local organizations and causes. His work has been recognized by the Tulsa Ad Club with their highest honor, the Silver Addy, in 1972; the EDDY award to Irving Productions in 1998; and the Ad Club’s Lifetime award in 2002. Other recognition includes the Tulsa Area United Way’s Honorary Life Member in 1997, and the Tulsa Press Club Radio Icon Award in 2004.
A man of integrity, Dick Schmitz has been an unselfish and caring contributor to the Oklahoma broadcast profession.