Newspaper veteran Rich Oppel joins Crosswind Media & Public Relations

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Noted journalist and editor to serve as senior advisor for media strategy and management at leading PR firm

Rich Oppel Sr., senior advisor for media strategy and management at Crosswind Media & PR

"Over a career spanning almost five decades, from Washington, D.C. to the Carolinas and Texas, Rich has distinguished himself as a thoughtful, thorough and fair journalist,” Crosswind president and CEO Thomas Graham said.

Crosswind Media and Public Relations, a top-100 public relations firm and ranked number one in Texas for healthcare, announced Rich Oppel Sr., longtime former editor of the Austin American-Statesman, has joined the agency as a senior advisor for media strategy and management. Oppel is the second Statesman veteran to join the growing agency, pooling his editorial talents with long-time editorial page editor Arnold García who came on board last year as Crosswind’s senior advisor for media and community relations.

"Over a career spanning almost five decades, from Washington, D.C. to the Carolinas and Texas, Rich has distinguished himself as a thoughtful, thorough and fair journalist,” Crosswind president and CEO Thomas Graham said. "His viewpoints and insights come after great thought and reflection and will benefit Crosswind's team and clients here in Texas and around the world.”

Oppel worked with numerous publications and news outlets over a 45-year period. In 1978, he became the editor of the Charlotte Observer, leading that publication to three Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure. He served two years as Washington, D.C. bureau chief for Knight Ridder Newspapers. Making his way to Texas in 1995, he served as the Statesman’s editor for 13 years. Oppel’s 2008 “retirement” found him working closely with public relations specialists in crisis communications and media management. He also served on the faculty of Huston-Tillotson University in Austin as Visiting Professor of Journalism and Communication. He later became that institution’s Director of Strategic Philanthropic Initiatives and then Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement.

“Journalism provided me the gift of knowing leaders in public affairs, business, education, the arts and media for almost 50 years. I’ve been fortunate to spend the last 21 of those years in Texas,” Oppel said. “Like Texas, Crosswind personifies down-home values and channels a strong work ethic into a global reach.”

Both Oppel and his former Statesman colleague García served in the Pulitzer Prize organization. García was a jury member and Oppel served on the board for nine years, and was chairman in 2008-2009. Oppel was also president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and chairman of the journalism advisory committees to the Knight Foundation and to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

About Crosswind Media & PR

Crosswind Media & PR is one of the leading firms in the U.S., ranking in the top 100 nationally. Headquartered in Austin, TX, the agency has offices in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and New York. While Crosswind’s roots are in Texas, it has a global reach, serving corporate clients, public agencies and national governments across five continents. It specializes in brand management, crisis communication, thought leadership and event planning and serves clients in the infrastructure, oil & gas, entertainment, education, cyber security, banking & finance, healthcare sectors and everything in between. For more information, go to http://www.crosswindpr.com or email info(at)crosswindpr(dot)com.

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Emily Eldridge
@CrosswindPR
since: 08/2009
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