Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Linda Cavanaugh reflects on Channel 4’s 70 years

OKLAHOMA CITY - Linda Cavanaugh was almost destined to become a part of Channel 4.

“My grandfather was a farmer south of Norman,” she said. “Every morning when we would spend the weekends with him, you would hear WKY-Radio or WKY-TV and he would be watching the farm report. As far as I was concerned, that was the only television station in the state."

When she started at Channel 4 in 1977, Linda was a reporter/photographer. Back then, it was film, and she shot, processed and edited a lot of it.

No matter how the format changed over the years, whether it was film, tape or digital, one thing didn’t change - her belief in letting the pictures tell the story.

"As far as I was concerned,” Linda said, “what you wrote about a story was just piggybacking onto the pictures the photographer took because we're a visual medium. So, it wasn't my job to run words that made no sense over pictures. It was my job just to link the pictures."

And she loved being part of the Channel 4 legacy. Whether it was called WKY, KTVY or KFOR, the one constant was its nationwide reputation for excellence.

"This station has been like a magnet for people who had talent,” Linda remembers. “I mean, if you look at the people that went through here - Walter Cronkite, Bob Dotson, Frank McGee, if you worked here you worked with the best.”

Linda and Kevin Ogle spent almost all our 19 years together anchoring the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the former KFOR building, but we helped break in the set of our new state-of-the-art facility too.

As we sit in the new studio, named after her, News 4 asked her if she missed the TV news business.

“I miss the people and sometimes I miss the creativity,” she admitted, “but I find other outlets. Who knows what the future will bring, but things are great.”

One of those great things is spending more time with her family. And she is helping in the planning of a big upcoming family event.

"Yes, I am! The first wedding in our family,” Linda said with a smile. “My daughter Ann is getting married and it's quite an experience. It's wonderful and it's just an exciting time."

She believes the timing of her retirement was perfect. She was able to be at her father's side any time of day or night before he passed at age 95.

And she never forgets her roots at Channel 4 or as an Oklahoman. Because despite all her Emmys and all of her other accomplishments, relating to her audience through the camera was her greatest gift.

“I had the advantage of being an Oklahoman,” she said. “And so, I knew how people would think about something and it would be very similar to the way I would naturally feel about it. Oklahomans were there for each other. The 'Oklahoma Standard' existed long before it had a name."

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