Linda Cavanaugh began her career as a reporter/photographer and in a short time became the first female co-anchor of the evening newscasts at Oklahoma’s News Channel 4. She now anchors the 4:30PM, 6PM, and 10PM newscasts.
Linda has earned more than 30 national awards for her reporting as well as twice that many state and regional awards in addition to 15 Emmys from the Heartland Chapter of NATAS.
An Oklahoma native, she has worked throughout her career to better her community and the state she calls home. Through her efforts, the first hospice in Oklahoma was born. Her documentary, “A Time to Die,” raised the seed money that was used to start Hospice of Oklahoma County, a non-profit organization that brought home care to the terminally ill.
Her investigative reports on conditions inside Oklahoma restaurants resulted in changes in the law. “Behind Kitchen Doors” moved lawmakers to open the inspection records of the health department so that consumers, for the first time, could be aware of violations.
In the early 90s, she became the first journalist allowed to photograph ancient Indian rituals that had been closed to all except tribal members. Her resulting 12-part series, “Strangers In Their Own Land” brought a sense of understanding and pride to Oklahoma’s 37 Indian tribes.
Hometown: Oklahoma City
Life Goal:To ride a bull for 8 seconds
Play any sports/Favorite Sport: Cycling around Lake Hefner at dawn, Bowling with bumpers
Favorite TV Show: Law and Order, Star Trek, The X Files, The Biggest Loser
Favorite Car: My first one: an old 1969 Mercedes diesel. In fact, my husband, Will, readily admits he married me, at least in part, because of my car. He soon regretted it. On our honeymoon in Colorado, the diesel thickened and the car wouldn’t start. He spent most of the time in the service station trying to thaw it out.
Most embarrassing moment: When my children were young, my son had an ear ache. I slept in his room that night to care for him, leaving my clothes flung across a chair. In the morning, I decided I’d head to an early church service and hopefully get back before he started stirring. I dressed in the dark so I wouldn’t disturb him. As I was walking down the aisle at church, I heard a lady call my name. I thought she was just being nice so I waved and continued to walk towards a pew. She called my name again, but this time with a little more urgency. I stopped and turned around to see that she was frantically pointing to the floor behind me. My pantyhose were streaming out the bottom of my pants’ leg. I ducked into the nearest seat and never, ever again dressed without turning a light on.
Happiest moments in my life were the births of my children, Paul and Ann.
Biggest life achievement/made mom & dad proud when: I won 15 Emmys and was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame
4 notable persons you’d invite to dinner: Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and their lawyers
Favorite food: Chocolate in any form.
I have a pet: His name is Sam. He’s a Yorkie Terrier who believes he’s a cat. It’s very awkward.
Knew you wanted to be a reporter: the first day at Channel 4 when I photographed, edited and reported my first story. It was at that moment when I realized that broadcast journalism combined all of my passions and I could actually get paid to do it..
Best movie of all time: “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Hardest part of my job: Reporting stories that involve tragic news about children.
Best part of my job: Meeting Oklahomans who’ve faced adversity and conquered it. I makes me hopeful.
Favorite holiday: Christmas
My favorite story of all time: A documentary that photojournalist Tony Stizza and I produced in the early 90’s, “Strangers In Their Own Land.” The hour-long program
focused on Oklahoma’s Native Americans.
People are surprised when I tell them I’m a sleepwalker. One night when I was in the dorms at OU, I apparently had an episode where I walked up two flights of stairs to a girl’s room, took the pillow from under her head and left. It wasn’t until the next morning when she knocked on my door and asked for her pillow back that I had any clue what happened. People started locking their doors.
I like to listen to: Pandora Radio
Favorite Book: Whatever I’m reading at the moment. My latest is “Sweeping Up Glass,” a book by Oklahoma author Carolyn Wahl that Jane Jayroe gave me as a gift.
I’d jump at the chance to travel back…and forward, in time.
Best part of the day: Evenings. Probably because I get to enjoy so few of them because I’m at work. So when weekends come around, I head outside and hope for one of our spectacular Oklahoma sunsets.
Favorite place to be other than home & work: Snorkeling any where