Keeve - 1963

Keeve Berman

Keeve - 1966

Keeve - 2003
Keeve Berman joined KQV in 1961 from WEDO in McKeesport. Keeve came to KQV as a newsman with the idea of also becoming one of the station's personalities. During Keeve's 6 years at KQV he also served as a weekend deejay as well as a fill-in for vacationing deejays. Keeve was indeed a "Super sub on the radio."

Keeve Berman was part of a very distinguished group of newsmen that included Al Julius, Alan Boal, Bill Jennings, Bob Harvey and others. After KQV, Keeve would also work at WOR in New York, ABC News in New York, and WTAE in Pittsburgh.

 Keeve Berman News Intro from ABC Contemporary News (mp3) 
How did Keeve Berman make the jump from KQV news to the ABC Contemporary Network? Two events in 1966. "I had come to the network's attention by feeding them a series of items on the race for the presidency of the United Steelworkers Union, capped by on scene reports from steel mills, including several from in front of a roaring steel furnace."

Then in May, 1966, 17 year old Peggy Ann Bradnick was abducted near Shade Gap, Pennsylvania. For 8 days, this story was national news. Keeve Berman was the right man at the right time. "When 'Shade Gap' happened, Tom O'Brien (head of ABC Radio News in New York) ordered my news director, Al Julius, to send me to cover the story. (a mountain man had kidnapped a young girl in Central Pennsylvania and was hiding out in the heavilly wooded hills). What happened next proves it's sometimes better to be lucky than 'good'. First night there I had to sleep in the KQV news car but the second night I secured a motel room. Exhausted from being ABC and KQV's eyes and ears on this story, I overslept and missed the morning police briefing. But as I exited the parking lot ... what do I see but a guy, armed with a rifle, dragging a young girl toward a farm house not far from the main road ... and as he approaches, a guy inside the farm house hollers halt and opens fire shooting the mountain man dead. And who's the only newsman anywhere in sight, tape recorder rolling and getting all the natural sound? ... Right!! Me!! ABC and KQV had an exclusive. And a couple of weeks later I had a job with ABC in New York. I realize the tv show about this incident had cops shooting this guy, but that's not the way i saw it. In any event it was a career highlight. I was in the right place at the right time, and provided memories I'll take to my grave."

Former KQV Personality and Newscaster Keeve Berman passed away in Pembroke Pines, Florida on May 18, 2008. After Pittsburgh, Keeve's career included 10 years as a news anchor on ABC's American Contemporary Network. The following is the email I received from Keeve's longtime friend and colleague from ABC News, Bob Gibson.

"It is with deep sadness that I tell you that Keeve passed away early this morning (Sunday, May 18th) as a result of a blood clot traveling to his brain. Keeve died at a nursing home in Pembroke Pines, Florida, where he was undergoing therapy for weakness on one side of his body and depression.  He was 71. For those who did not know, Keeve was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer just about a year ago. He underwent extensive radiation and chemotherapy treatment, and just after Christmas, his doctor informed him that he had beaten the disease.  But once into the New Year, he found himself on a cycle of ups and downs with some days feeling fine and many others in which he felt tired and depressed.

This all seems so foreign to me because I knew Keeve for thirty-five years and there was seldom a time when he was NOT a fun-loving, easy-going broadcaster and a terrific friend.

He was born in Greensburgh, Pennsylvania just outside of Pittsburgh where he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, and in his late teens started working in radio. By the very early 1960s, Keeve was hired as a fill-in air personality and news broadcaster at KQV, the ABC-owned station in Pittsburgh. But after six or seven years at that station and ultimately becoming a staff newsman, Keeve was named News Director at New York's WOR-FM.  But his "hometown" was not completely out of his system.  About two years later, he returned to Pittsburgh to become News Director at WTAE Radio, where he remained until 1974 when ABC Radio News in New York called, and Keeve began a ten-year stint as a correspondent on the American Contemporary Network.

Keeve had an outstanding sense of humor and that newsroom across from Lincoln Center learned it in rapid order.  But he was sometimes the butt of 'jabs' such as when he'd ask questions about a particular detail on certain stories and sometimes, nearly in unison, the rest of us in the room would remind him "you must read beyond the first graph of the A wire!!!"

Perhaps one of the best Keeve stories was the evening he was told by a desk assistant that he had a phone call and when he asked who it was, he was told "Dr. Parker." Thinking it was his newsroom colleague and fellow golfer, Wally Parker, Keeve picked up the phone and asked, "Well, Wally, when do you want to tee it up?" There was just one problem.  The caller was not Wally Parker, but but Tom O'Brien, apparently calling to ask or to tell Keeve something about his last newscast.  Most of us received such calls, but Keeve took it in stride and many years later, he and I would still chuckle about it whenever one of us made reference "Dr. Parker..."

As I write this, funeral arrangements are incomplete.  Keeve's last marriage to New York broadcaster Shelli Sonstein ended in divorce several years ago. That union produced three children, Aaron, Ryan and Dina, all of whom are now en route to south Florida, where Keeve retired about five years ago and absolutely loved his condominium and the nearby golf course. He also loved his companion, Elaine Kugelman, of Pembroke Pines. 

Without a doubt, Keever, as he was affectionately known, will be sorely missed!"

Stephenie Mendolsohn, Keeve's daughter from his previous marriage tells us, Keeve also had two older children, Stephanie Mendelsohn and David Berman, who predeceased Keeve.

Frank Fontaine with Keeve
1962 at KQV
Frank Fontaine was Crazy Guggenheim on the Jackie Gleason show. Frank was promoting his new album. He was at a KQV remote earlier in the day with Keeve in the KQVehicle at the Farigrounds at South Park.
Soupy Sales with Keeve
1960 at WCAE
Keeve was with WCAE when this picture was taken. Keeve says, "It seems everyone focused on my 30 minutes of absolute hilarity and bedlam with Soupy.. where we exchanged jokes and I never played a record. It was the following week that KQV called and offered me a job. News to start, with the promise of a dj shift down the line when something opened up."
 Keeve Berman Airchecks
 Keeve Berman Aircheck (:19)
 Keeve Berman Aircheck (for Hal Murray)
 11/26/65 (20:12)
 Keeve Berman News Intro from ABC Contemporary News (mp3)