SOUTH JERSEY MAGAZINE: Your work has taken you other places, but what made you decide to settle in Moorestown?
STEVE KEELEY: I’ve worked in different cities, including Cleveland and Buffalo, and while I didn’t already know about each city’s history, I tried to soak in as much as I could while I was there. However, my goal has always been to get to do what I love doing in my hometown, so I couldn’t be happier.
SJM: You tackle a lot of ground in your assignments: everything from weather to politics. Do you like having that variety of subjects to cover?
SK: Yes, every day is different. Although it can get crazy and hectic sometimes, the job is great because it’s never the same and never boring. When I started out, I had this cartoon with a character wearing a blindfold aiming a dart at a dartboard that said, “Today I’m an expert in…” and the dart would land on different topics: science, weather, politics, etc. In this business, you’ve got to become an instant expert on whatever topic you’re reporting on. You’re always learning, asking questions, and I enjoy that.
SJM: How do you unwind away from the job?
SK: The only way I can unwind is to exercise. If I didn’t exercise, I wouldn’t be able to do the job. There are deadline pressures which I cope with by pushing myself to the limits of almost an Olympic athlete. I run three miles on the treadmill every day or I use the Stairmaster. I try to break a record every day. I work out at night as well. I do a lot of exercise and healthy eating.
SJM: Working on a live show like Good Day can make for some interesting moments. What’s been the most memorable for you?
SK: Some of the most memorable moments have been when people have come up to me and interrupted me during a newscast just to pay me a compliment. Once, there was a lady from South Philly and she came up to me during one of my newscasts and said, “I just want to say, ‘Hi,’ and tell you how wonderful you are and how lucky Philly is to have you.” [That] made my day.
SJM: Good Day starts pretty early. You must have a unique sleep pattern.
SK: I can fall asleep whenever possible. I can’t believe in insomnia, because I can sleep in a heartbeat at any moment and any condition!
SJM: If you didn’t get into journalism, what would you have done?
SK: At one point in my life, I wanted to be a rock star—and then I thought, it’s one thing to be a sad aging rock star who made it, and another to be one who never made it. I thought the latter was more likely to happen, so I decided to pursue a career in journalism. At age 22, I bought my first tie and suit and told the band I was done—which, by the way, was the day before I started my first journalism job [on WPFG radio in Atlantic City]. There, I got to meet presidents and celebrities such as Tip O’Neil and Joe DiMaggio [when Trump Plaza opened] … and I broke the story of when [the] Miss America [Pageant] took the crown away from Vanessa Williams. I covered big stories in Atlantic City.
SJM: What do you enjoy most about living here?
SK: It has everything—all four seasons, the beach and close proximity to great cities like Philly and New York City. I learned that you don’t realize what this [area] has until you leave it. One of the best parts of living near the beach is that I can enjoy surfing. I used to surf every day before I began in TV news, and I’ve gotten away from it. I intend to do more of it this year.
SJM: With spring nearing, it has us thinking about summer at the Shore, too. Do you have a favorite Jersey Shore town to visit?
SK: Strathmere has a great surfing beach. It’s still kind of a secret and it’s a small little island between Ocean City and Sea Isle City, and it feels like there are two Manhattans, [one] on each side.
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 12 (March, 2011).
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