For A Serious Journalist, A Sense Of Humor Is Key:
It comes as no surprise that Jon Keller, political analyst and satirist for “The News at Ten” on WLVI-TV 56, was class clown while growing up in Cambridge. He was also a voracious newspaper reader who discussed politics around the dinner table with his parents. At a young age, Keller thought it would be fun to be a political commentator.
Also true to character, Keller has a few quirky ways, even in his private life. For example, he and Inez, his wife of nearly 25 years, have lived only in homes with a view of the Prudential Center tower, their symbol of being true Bostonians. “We love it here; we’re rooted here,” says Jon.
Then, there’s the story of their current house, which is in a suburb west of Boston. Long ago, the couple and their young sons coveted their next-door neighbor’s spacious backyard. When the neighbors moved out 10 years later, the Kellers purchased the 1932 Garrison Colonial, moving only 100 feet away.
With the addition of a treehouse and a tree swing, the yard became ideal for sons Barney, now 19 and a college freshman, and Jared, 17, a junior in high school. Even Cleo, the family’s beloved 8-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, loves to tug on the rope of the tree swing.
There’s also the couple’s thing about “trash picking.” While their decor includes some new items (built-in bookcases, a renovated butcher block kitchen), they also shop at used furniture stores, flea markets, and, well, among other people’s discards from curbside trash. Inez, who just turned 50, is a decorative furniture painter who remakes the finds into treasures that adorn the cozy home.
The couple also enjoys art of all kinds. Inez’s collection of beaded purses sits atop a Japanese tea table in the entryway. In the living room, a favorite drawing of the old abandoned mills in Lawrence sits prominently above the large fireplace.
“No matter the weather outside, it’s always a beautiful day in Lawrence out our picture window,” Keller says with a smirk.
A picture from Lawrence is no coincidence, as its radio station was one of many media stops along Keller’s rich career path. Now 48, he began his profession as an intern at WEEI, then an all-news station, when he was a junior at Brandeis University. While completing college, he also worked at the station as a part-time producer and news writer.
Over the next two decades, he worked in radio, television, print, and held a brief stint in public relations. He produced the David Brudnoy show at WHDH and later at WRKO, where he eventually had his own weekend show. Later he began covering politics at the Tab newspapers and the Boston Phoenix. He joined WLVI in 1993.
Keller possesses little memorabilia showing he has interviewed all the pols, including Clinton and the current President Bush. “I don’t collect political paraphernalia and I don’t chum around with these guys,” he stresses.
“It’s nice to have a haven where politics doesn’t matter,” Keller says of his happy home life. “By the end of the day, I’m so sick of my own opinions – we’re not sitting around debating politics.”
Nonetheless, at home, who has the last word?
“Cleo,” says Inez, pointing at the Labrador pawing at the door to come in.