Keith Goldstein’s life and legacy remembered during memorial

Goldstein's photos and print samples on display in recital hall
Goldstein's photos and print samples on display in recital hall. Photo credit: Meliss Arteaga

Friends, colleagues, students and relatives reunited on Sunday for Keith Goldstein’s memorial at Cypress Hall, which was made possible by the journalism staff.

Guest speakers and audience members reflected on Goldstein’s life and mentorship at CSUN and at KCSN as news director. The turnout was high and full of journalism faculty, friends and students ready to hear speaker remarks from journalism department chair Linda Bowen, faculty member Rick Marks, senior anchor at KNX 1070 Newsradio Frank Mottek, KCSN Interim News Director Aron Bender, and other people who knew Goldstein.

Goldstein’s favorite tunes from Bob Dylan were played as everyone took their seats.

“Katie told me that he [Dylan] was Keith’s favorite because each of his songs tell a story, Keith valued storytelling, I think we all know that,” Bowen said.

Bowen also said Goldstein became passionate about journalism by playing make-believe broadcast when he was a child. Bowen also spoke about his accomplishments, awards and characteristics, followed by introducing the speakers who would share more stories from their experiences with Goldstein as a colleague and a teacher.

Linda Bowen introducing the next speaker at Keith Goldstein's memorial. Photo Credit: Meliss Arteaga/ The Sundial
Linda Bowen introducing the next speaker at Keith Goldstein’s memorial. Photo Credit: Meliss Arteaga/ The Sundial

Marks, the first speaker, said Goldstein was an ethical man, and that he never saw him angry.

“He was not Frank Sinatra, but he did things his way,” Marks said. “He was a decent, ethical man and journalist, and educator, he was truly one of a kind.”

Mottek was able to name audience members who were Goldstein’s former students and who worked for professional outlets.

“When he turned on the broadcast, you knew you were going to get a quality newscast worthy of your time, Mottek said. “He was quiet, but when he spoke it was pure wisdom.

Bender, who is succeeding Goldstein’s position as interim news director, said it would be difficult to take over, but that it was an honor. Goldstein was a mentor to Bender and worked along his side when Bender taught part-time broadcast classes at CSUN in 2013.

“It just meant a lot to me to be able to work with him when I got back to Cal State Northridge to start teaching [in] 2013, you know just to work along side of him, talk with him, it is certainly a blessing so to be able to maintain the program that he built cause the whole reason KCSN has been as successful as it has is because of him,” Bender said. “My job as interim news director is to make sure it [Goldstein’s legacy] doesn’t fall apart because he was the rock here at KCSN.”

Goldstein’s dedication is what Bender said he remembers most.

“Even in recent years when he had some health issues, he worked as much as he could, as long as he could,” Bender said.

Jessica Castellanos, a communication specialist and former student of Goldstein said he was always on time no matter the circumstances.

“I know a lot of people criticized him for still sticking to some old school techniques when we had state of the art equipment, but if you look at all the awards and all the recognition, he had his way, and it’s definitely gotten him to where he was,” Castellanos said. “Wherever he is, I hope he’s resting in peace.”

Castellanos said Goldstein sometimes let his students get out of class early because he was going to go hangout with his daughter.

“He was rough, but once in a while I’d take a look over at him and I’d catch him smiling because he’d look at a picture of his daughter,” Castellanos said.

The memorial closed with a multimedia montage of Keith’s career and a few words of acknowledgment from his daughter Katy.

“He turned down front row Clippers tickets because news was so important to him,” Katy said. “To see everyone here today and hear about how much he touched your lives, means the world to me and I know that he would have been blown away.”

Katy said Goldstein really enjoyed the success of his students.

“He really enjoyed watching his students succeed and I can’t tell you how many times growing up he would turn on the radio, turn on the TV and be like ‘that’s my student!’ Katy said. “I know that my dad will never really be gone because he was such a huge part of CSUN and I know every time I turn on the radio or TV there’s a little piece of my dad there too.”