USF alumnus Patrick Keating ‘94 can.
Keating, a cameraman for ABC-7 and a product of the university’s Communication & Media Arts program, shoots and edits video with on-the-go reporters for live news reports. He has found himself in LOTS of situations he never expected as a result of his exciting job.
According to Keating, one of the greatest things about his work is the access he gains to people, things and events that most of us only see on TV. One of the people he can “check off the list” is President Barack Obama, who Keating found himself cooped up with on a charter plane before the soon-to-be president was elected.
“He had recently spoken at USF and was featured on the cover of USF’s magazine, which I happened to have with me at the time. I had him autograph it,” said Keating, before confessing that he isn’t sure where the magazine is now.
Other assignments have proven to be more physically and emotionally challenging. Keating has covered fires, killings, landmark lawsuits and more.
“I once filmed an open heart surgery on a six-week-old baby and it was incredibly hard to watch,” he said. “Also, last year, I covered the Boston marathon. We were scheduled to fly back the Friday after the race, but got a call at 4 a.m. when the bombing suspects were barricaded and were told to get live coverage for the morning show. It’s very hard to describe how tragic the events of those days were, yet professionally, it was rewarding work… we did 35 shots that week without the use of a live truck,” said Keating.
After graduating from then-CSF, where he was a baseball and football equipment manager, Keating did an internship at CNN Sports in Atlanta. He wanted to stay and help with the ’96 Olympic broadcast, but it was the year of the Major League baseball strike and half of his work was eliminated so he decided to return to the Chicago area to grow his career.
Once back in the area, he worked as a sports writer in Plainfield, then at an access station in Naperville, then at CLTV in Oak Brook. After that, he started freelancing at Channel 2, Channel 7, and finally, landed at ABC-7. He’s been there for 14 years and counting. Keating feels his USF education helped him develop critical thinking habits and said that many schools merely teach “how to push buttons.” But USF, in his opinion, prepared him with a good liberal arts education, good writing skills, and an open mind.
Keating is married to former USF classmate, Cindy (Rios ’95), who is a meeting and event freelancer for McDonald’s Corporation. When asked how his wife has adjusted to the lifestyle of a major network cameraman, Keating said with an over-the-phone wink, “Let’s just say we’ve ‘developed an understanding.’”