Dennis Schmidt - Julie, where did you grow up?
Julie Deppish – I grew up in Junction City, right outside of Manhattan. Born and raised there so I did not have to go very far to go away to school.
DS - Did you always want to go to K-State?
JD – My dad when to K-State, my grandparents had football season tickets in the old Memorial Stadium. We were a K-State family and that is where I was going to go. They also had a good radio and TV department.
DS – When did you become interested in Radio/TV?
JD – At a pretty young age I was into radio. When I was probably 13 and started hanging out at the radio station in Junction City, KJCK. We had our own show for junior high students, we produced a weekly show. We picked out the music to play, we included some gossip and talked about what was going on around school. That is how I got hooked. Through high school they would let me hang around the station and do various things just to get the experience. I knew that is what I was going to do.
DS - Was Nichols Gymnasium/Hall at Kansas State still being used for Radio/TV when you were a student?
JD - No. It had been burned out and was just a shell but has since been rebuilt. We were next door at McCain Auditorium so Radio/TV was housed their. Classes were pretty small so that made it easy to learn.
DS - What was the K-State Radio-TV department like in the 70’s?
JD - It was probably old fashioned compared to what they have now. There was no digital recording, everything was analog. On the TV side we used VCR’s for recording all of the programs, our news shows. On the radio side we were still playing albums. This is pre CD’s and pre-taped cartridges so everything was vinyl. We would edit our stories by using razor blades to cut the actual audio tape. Our technology has changed dramatically.
DS – Have you been asked by K-State to come back and talk about your real life experiences in Radio/TV?
JD – I have not been asked back personally. I know the Journalism department has regular reunions and gatherings, but I have not had a chance to go back to Manhattan. It would be fascinating to see how the student radio and student TV stations are being run. I would love to see it.
DS – What and where was your first professional radio job?
JD – Right after graduating from K-State in Junction City, my hometown. I was offered music director and was on the air mid-day’s. Soon after that I was promoted to program director. I stayed there from 1980 to 1986.
DS – How did you end up coming to live in the Bay Area?
JD – I was out here on vacation, really liked the Bay Area and had family here. So I thought if I am going to move anywhere why not move where I know people. There were a lot of opportunities in the Bay Area. So I moved to the Bay Area in 1986 by myself.
DS – What was your first job in the Bay Area?
JD – I first worked at a station in Livermore – KKIQ, a small East Bay station. It was an ideal place to get my feet wet in the market. I was on the air mid-day’s and was the music director from 1986 to 1991 when I finally got a part time in San Francisco at KOIT as a DJ on the weekends.
DS – What are the music and program responsibilities for directors?
JD – For my job at KOIT I scheduled the music for the station for every hour for every day. DJ’s don’t get to pick out their own music. I use a computer program to schedule the music so that everything has been inputted ahead of time. We do research and ask KOIT listeners, which songs they like the most so we are playing the most popular songs at all times. Using the computer is how we generate the schedule through the day. We schedule for tempos, which are really important and we want to keep artists separated. For example, we don’t want two Mariah Carey’s to play in the same hour. These are just some of the rules we have. That is the bulk of my day scheduling music.
DS – Can listeners call the station and ask what was played?
JD – Yes they can. They can even go onto our web site and check back to see what was played, even a few days earlier. A lot of people are not its there so we get a lot of these calls like ‘what song did you play yesterday afternoon at 4:00’.
DS – What is an average day like working at KOIT?
JD – My average day begins at 4:45 in the morning as we go on the air at 5:00. My first newscast is at 5:30 AM so I have to write that and get it together. We have some chatter between 5:00 and 5:30. There are three of us, the host who runs the board and plays the music, I do the news, and someone else does the traffic. The three of us talk about what is going on during the day. It is a fast shift and gets over with by 8:00. When I get off the air go over to my music director job and put on the other ‘hat’. I spend most of the rest of the day scheduling the music.
DS – At 5:00 AM, I am not up listening to the radio (Julie chuckles), is there any chatter about K-State
JD – We do. Everyone knows that I am a big K-State fan so it comes up, especially during football season. I even make my picks for the games for the week on the web site and I don’t know if anybody sees it, but if K-State has a big game we talk about it. I have even mentioned our watch parties that we hang out at Ricky’s.
DS – Were you a big sports fan in college?
JD – Yes, definitely went to all of the games, even football games, even though we rarely won, once or twice a year while there. Basketball was everything. Jack Hartman was coach, camping out for tickets, camping out for the KU game. We had some good teams then. My freshman year, 1977, was the last time the Cats won a conference championship in basketball.
DS – How do you think the Cats will fare in the first year of the new realignment of the Big XII?
JD – It’s just going to be harder and not like when Snyder came the first time. The Big XII just isn’t the same every team no is strong, but of course we will still beat KU!
DS – and the last question. In about an hour K-State will be taking on KU in Bramlage (February 14, 2011). Do you want to give us a prediction on winner?
JD – My only prediction is that it will be closer than the game in Lawrence two weeks ago.
Regarding predictions, Julie was right it was closer than the game in Lawrence. In fact the Cats bounced back and trounced the Jayhawks 84-68.