Peabody, duPont, and three-time National Murrow winner Brendan Keefe is a pioneer in the growing craft of multi-platform, multi-skilled investigative journalism.
Brendan Keefe's Bio:
Brendan Keefe is the Chief Investigator for WXIA-TV, leading the national-award-winning 11Alive Investigators, Atlanta’s team holding the powerful accountable.
Brendan's investigative work has been honored with the Peabody Award, the duPont Columbia Silver Baton, three National Murrow Awards, an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award, the Scripps Howard Award, The Hillman Prize, the American Legion Fourth Estate Award, The Gannett Al Neuharth Award for Investigative Reporting, the TEGNA Investigative Pinnacle Award, and a career total of 89 regional Emmys.
Brendan serves as the chief investigator for Atlanta's 11Alive, leading The Investigators, a team of six full-time journalists. He also co-anchors The Reveal, a weekly investigative program featuring long-form reporting from the Atlanta unit and other TEGNA cities.
Brendan has spent the last three decades reporting for news stations in Georgia, Ohio, Florida, Texas, Michigan, Connecticut, Illinois, and New York City. He has served as a war correspondent embedded with US Army troops in Iraq, covered a dozen hurricanes, and he created the first all-digital tapeless news story in 1996.
Brendan works primarily alone as a multi-skilled journalist -- researching, photographing, producing, writing, and editing his own investigations. He also serves in a corporate position as the lead trainer for TEGNA Media’s MSJ program, sharing his skills with a team of trainers and hundreds of content creators at 48 television stations across the nation. Brendan is a member of the visiting faculty at Poynter Institute.
Chief Investigative Reporter
In his first major investigation for WXIA, Brendan uncovered startling weaknesses in the nation's 911 system. His two year investigation revealing and solving problems locating cell phones during emergencies won a 2015 George Foster Peabody Award, a 2016 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Continuing Coverage, a 2017 Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award, the Sidney Hillman Prize, and multiple Emmys. Brendan's investigative philosophy is focused not on individual problems, but on uncovering the root causes and underlying issues behind institutional failures. By getting the the 'why,' Brendan's stories are able to point to possible solutions.
The Georgia Associated Press chose Brendan’s public records work for the AP’s Freedom of Information Award in 2017. He has won 32 Southeast Emmys since joining WXIA in late 2014.
Brendan manages 11Alive's drone program, is an FAA certified remote pilot, and trains the station's drone crews.
Prior to joining TEGNA and WXIA in 2014, Brendan was an evening anchor and chief investigative reporter for WCPO, the Scripps flagship station in Cincinnati. Two Ohio police departments shut down for good following Brendan’s investigations revealing corruption. Cincinnati enacted new laws and lifted a hiring freeze at its 911 center as a direct result of Brendan's investigation revealing some dispatchers had no medical training -- a series of reports honored with the 2014 National Investigative Murrow Award. Cincinnati’s largest charter school closed after Brendan revealed taxpayer money was used to pay several members of the superintendent's family and a company owned by her husband. For another investigation, Brendan bought a Cincinnati Police handgun from a stranger on the street in an undercover buy to illustrate the real cost of 'free' guns obtained by the city. He was also named Best Reporter and Best Photographer by the Ohio Associated Press.
More than a Decade in Major Markets
Previous to moving to Cincinnati to become a weeknight anchor, Brendan worked for five years at New York's WCBS-2 as a correspondent. He won two New York Emmys for breaking news coverage of the Northeast Blackout in NYC, and continuing coverage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. He completed two reporting tours in Iraq, and a third in Kuwait during the invasion. Brendan's international assignments have also taken him to Madrid to cover the Al Qaeda terrorist bombings of commuter trains. He reported on the Spanish elections when voters ousted the ruling party as a direct result of the terror attacks.
Before joining WCBS-2 in New York, Brendan worked as a special projects reporter for KPRC-2, Houston’s NBC affiliate, from 1997-2002. He covered the collapse of Enron, and flew daily in Chopper 2 as a helicopter reporter. He also flew twice in zero gravity with NASA aboard the KC-135 "Vomit Comet" and later with Zero G in a modfied 727. Brendan covered the space shuttle launch of Sen. John Glenn, and was present in the House of Representatives for the impeachment vote against President Bill Clinton. In 2000, he traveled with then-Governor George W. Bush in his first campaign for president.
Prior to his work in Texas, Brendan was a morning anchor for WFSB-3, the CBS affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut. He covered development of the Navy's Seawolf submarine, and he spent two days 800 feet below the Atlantic Ocean aboard a Los Angeles class fast attack submarine, USS Springfield. He won his first Emmy for WFSB in 1996.
In 1994 and 1995, Brendan was a reporter for WJXT-4, the former CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida. He started as an investigative reporter uncovering government waste and abuse as the "The Whistleblower." Later, Brendan was assigned as a military affairs reporter covering four major Navy bases, the decommissioning of the USS Saratoga aircraft carrier, and Russian inspections of nuclear missile facilities under the START treaty.
Brendan worked for the CBS affiliate in Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1992 and 1993. He was bureau chief of the station's Battle Creek newsroom. He served as a trial expert on The Donahue Show after a Michigan news anchor was shot dead by her husband, a local criminology professor.
Brendan began his broadcast journalism career in Rockford, Illinois where he reported and anchored for WREX-13. He spent a year investigating a Ku Klux Klan faction. Brendan started as a news photographer, skills that have served him well throughout his career as a multi-skilled journalist.
A dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, Brendan was raised in North Haven, Connecticut with his eight brothers and sisters. Three of his brothers and both parents have died of cancer, and Brendan helped launch The Cure Starts Now. He enjoys photography, travel, and flying drones for aerial photography. Brendan earned a bachelors degree in English Literature from Kenyon College in Ohio where he also created the student group Kenyon College Television. He also briefly served as an auxiliary police officer for the NYPD's 13th Precinct in Manhattan in the years following the 9/11 terror attacks. Brendan's wife Tiffany was a network news writer before the couple moved to Cincinnati and Atlanta to raise their family. Tiffany, Brendan and their two children reside in Fulton County.
Brendan Keefe's Experience:
Chief Investigative Reporter & Lead Trainer for TEGNA at WXIA '11 Alive' (TEGNA/NBC)October 2014 - Present | Atlanta
Leader of the investigative team at Atlanta's NBC station, 11 Alive. Lead corporate trainer for TEGNA Television Stations. Winner of 32 Emmys since starting at WXIA in late 2014, the duPont Columbia Award, two national Murrow awards, and the Peabody Award for investigative reporting.
Evening Anchor & Chief Investigator at WCPO-TV 9 (Scripps)October 2007 - September 2014 | Cincinnati
Photographed, wrote, edited, produced and presented investigative reports as a "multi-media journalist" and anchor. Voted Best Large Market TV Reporter and Best Photographer by the Ohio Associated Press. Won an average of eight Ohio Valley Emmy Awards every year, nearly all for solo work as an MMJ. One National and two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2014. Chopper reporter/camera operator. Weeknight evening anchor 2007 - 2012.
Scripps Trainer/Senior Multi Media Journalist (Corporate) at E.W. ScrippsOctober 2012 - September 2014 | Cincinnati
Developed, designed, and deployed cutting-edge storytelling techniques for all Scripps multi-media journalists (MMJs) in 14 television newsrooms nationwide. Selected to lead innovative program training and re-tooling the company's reporters, photographers, and storytellers. Major focus on technology and innovation.
Correspondent at WCBS-TV 2February 2003 - September 2007 | New York, NY
11:00 P.M. weeknight reporter in New York City. Weekend morning anchor for two six-month stretches. War correspondent with three combat reporting tours in Iraq and Kuwait. Covered the terrorist bombings of commuter trains in Madrid. Won NY Emmy awards for continuing coverage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and for breaking news coverage of the NYC Blackout. Won the coveted Silurian Award for outstanding coverage in Iraq from one of the oldest press clubs in the nation.
Reporter at KPRC-TV 2 (Post Newsweek)October 1997 - September 2002 | Houston
Special Projects Reporter for five years. Also the "go to" choice for breaking news. Flew regularly in the news helicopter as the Chopper 2 reporter. Covered the collapse of Enron, the Andrea Yates child drownings, multiple hurricanes, three serial killers, Houston floods, the Clinton impeachment hearings, U.S. Capitol shootings, and the Space Shuttle program. Flew twice in zero gravity with NASA aboard the KC-135 "Vomit Comet." Won four Suncoast Emmy awards, including two for an underwater cave diving documentary he shot alone while on vacation in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Anchor/Reporter at WFSB-TV 3 (Post Newsweek)October 1995 - October 1997 | Hartford & New Haven, CT
Pioneered two major expansions of the morning news program as co-anchor with Mika Brzezinski. Also worked as breaking news reporter and special projects reporter for other newscasts. Won Boston/New England Emmy award, Society of Professional Journalists award and Connecticut Associated Press Award for Best Feature.
Reporter at WJXT-TV 4 (Post Newsweek)January 1994 - October 1995 | Jacksonville, FL
Military Affairs Reporter covering the nation's third largest Navy complex of four major bases. Also worked as "The Whistleblower" uncovering government waste and abuse.
Reporter & Bureau Chief at WWMT-TV 3October 1992 - January 1994 | Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo - Battle Creek, MI
Battle Creek Bureau Chief. Responsible for story development and staff in WWMT's Battle Creek Newsroom. Covered the trial of a criminology professor and former police officer charged with executing his wife, the local ABC morning anchorwoman. Appeared as a trial expert on The Donahue Show.
Anchor/Reporter/Photographer at WREX-TV 13February 1992 - October 1993 | Rockford, IL
Hired as full time photographer. Quickly promoted to Photographer/Reporter and Anchor/Reporter after a series of ground breaking investigations. Year-long investigation of KKK resulted in Brendan being assaulted by armed white supremacists at the same Klan rally where Geraldo Rivera was attacked.
Brendan Keefe's Education:
Kenyon College1986 – 1990Bachelor of Arts (BA)Concentration: Liberal Arts - English LiteratureActivities: Creator of Kenyon College Television
North Haven High School1982 – 1986High School DipolomaConcentration: Television News/JournalismActivities: Co-creator of student news program still "on the air" 30 years later
Brendan Keefe's Interests & Activities:
Cinematography, aerial 'drone' photography, skiing, editing, boating, home improvement.