by Julie Candella
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
If you live in Lewiston, you have probably seen Keith Radford in and out of the local restaurants and coffee shops with his beloved dog, Frankie.
Often you will find Radford at Carmelo's Ristorante or The Brickyard Pub & B.B.Q. on a Friday or Saturday night cracking jokes at the bar.
Radford is one of the head news anchors for WKBW-TV Channel 7 in Buffalo, but on the weekends and mornings, he's all over Lewiston with his coffee mug.
Prior to landing in Lewiston, Radford's past took him through many areas and all different types of media, including working with old-school tapes and slides in 1971.
Candella: Did you always like the communications field?
Radford: I wanted to be a disc jockey when I was a kid - that's all I wanted to be, one on the radio, and I never did get to do that. I got on the radio and then they just happened to have a small opening on the news and I stayed.
He began by going to the University of Detroit for radio and TV. Then he took any job he could get the summer after he graduated to get him into the field.
Candella: Where was your first job?
Radford: I was a studio cameraman in 1971 on the "Bozo the Clown Show" in Detroit. I just took whatever they had; it was summer relief, and they paid kids to fill in. I did all the technical jobs. I was a cameraman. I worked in the film and tape room back in those days, and I moved up to the newsroom and filled in as the soundman.
Due to his wit, strong voice, and sense of humor, Radford ended up working for NBC, the radio, and other local news stations.
He lived all over the country, including Canada, before he settled in Western New York and married his wife, Linda, who is a Lewiston native.
Some of the places Radford lived include Detroit, Salt Lake City, Windsor and Toronto.
One of the most interesting facts about Radford is that he didn't apply to Channel 7 - the station found him.
A hiring agency sought out male news anchors by going through clips of their work. The scouts there instantly liked Radford and made him an offer.
Candella: What is your favorite part of the job?
Radford: Oh, I don't know. You can kind of be a witness to history, you know? (I) remember being in O.J. Simpson's driveway for 10 days; (I) remember when all of that was going on, when his wife was murdered. I went to all of the political conventions for years; hurricane relief in the Caribbean; the Persian Gulf War, I went with the guys from the airbase here in the Falls. You know, you get to be there and witness things historically here as they happen.
For more than 25 years, Radford has been a popular and well-liked news anchor, and a famous face in village spaces. Lewiston wouldn't be the same without him.