A lot of broadcast journalists have lost a mentor, but more than that Oklahoma lost a good man.
Keith Swezey passed away after a brief illness. He was as fine a newsman as I've known.
Keith hired me fresh out of college to work in the WKY Radio newsroom, which was full of talented newscasters. I tried to emulate his news judgement, and I was dazzled by his writing style, and on-air delivery. He could pack more into a three-minute newscast than you get in a lot of 30-minute newscasts.
Working alongside him though, it was his character that stood out most to me. I watched Keith stand firm in his faith when given an ultimatum, knowing that it would cost him his job as news director. It did.
Years later, he and his wife Dixie lost their beautiful daughter Erin in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Together, they worked to get “Erin's Law” passed, toughening Oklahoma's drunk driving statutes.
Where Keith had his greatest impact though was in the classroom, training collegiate newscasters, chairing the department at UCO. Students lucky enough to study under him were well equipped to carry on the "Swezey Tradition" and newsrooms like ours hurried to hire them, including the executive producer of this newscast.
Keith Swezey was a patient and compassionate teacher, a loving family man, and an exemplary journalist.
Well done, my friend.
I'm Kelly Ogle and that's My 2 Cents.