KSTP-TV news director Lindsay Radford is leaving Channel 5 on a high almost as legendary, and literally so these days, as the one to which she is headed.

Radford is going back to Colorado, where her parents and two of her three brothers live, to be news director at KMGH-TV. She previously worked at two other Colorado stations.

Sources tell me that, thanks to Radford, morale has never been so high at KSTP-TV, a station that once had such a disposable attitude toward talent that some MEdia joked the Hubbard Broadcasting station had a revolving door.

Since becoming news director in 2008 Radford, who previously was an executive producer and assistant news director at 5, has emphasized breaking news and doing stories that dig deeper.

“We own the investigative brand in the Twin Cities,” Radford told the Denver Post’s “Ostrow Off the Record,” which noted that under Radford KSTP won a Peabody Award for investigating military procedures that put service members at risk in Iraq and a national Emmy for its coverage of the deadly Interstate 35 bridge collapse.

Radford has championed staff development by giving more reporters the opportunity to anchor. She’s also given chances to staffers who wanted to be photographers or try management.

I am told that Radford, who is very well-liked in the newsroom and approachable, is extremely “book smart” but doesn’t flaunt it. She lets staffers do things their way and only feels the need to manage when necessary.

Radford leaves KSTP as the station’s longest-serving news director.

Mendes [Napoli, a former KSTP news director and now a big agent based in LA] called me last June and we had a good conversation. We laughed about the whole thing,” Radford told me Monday.

Radford is a little worried about moving to the hot Denver real estate market, but she sounds less concerned than she maybe should be about her attorney husband, Jason Foster, who’ll be taking on some new responsibilities.

“I’m taking David, the 6-month-old, with me, but my husband will be here for about another six weeks with three children [ages 7, 5, 3] on his own. He’s asking me questions like, How do you steam broccoli and cauliflower?” Radford said, with hearty laughter. (And she couldn’t stop laughing, Mr. Foster.) “He’s a little nervous about cooking. He said to me, I might need to watch you do that next time, so I know how to do it so the kids will actually eat it. Of course, I will point out, he’s asked and he has said that he needs to come and watch, but has he done that yet? No.”

 

Kahnert, meet Radford, again

One of Lindsay Radford’s KMGH-TV employees is known to her. Eric Kahnert, now an evening anchor at Denver’s Channel 7, probably thought he was getting away from Radford and here she comes!

 

Baby news for Garcia

Minneapolis Police Sgt. Jesse Garcia is a new daddy.

“Haven’t really told many people about this exciting news because of everything that’s happened with my dad in the past month, but this is my half sister,” read a post from Garcia’s son.

Garcia, the former MPD public information guy who managed to be both a cop’s cop and a media favorite, is fighting Stage 4 stomach cancer. In February Garcia posted the news about his health on Facebook and then in March he filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the city over his transfer to the Third Precinct’s property crimes division, “a unit with less prestige and significantly reduced job responsibilities,” the suit claims. He had expected to be transferred to the high-profile Violent Offender Task Force in mid-November.

The suit claims Garcia was demoted for questioning the handling of an investigation into a man standing next to Mayor Betsy Hodges in a photo made famous as “Pointergate.” That was the photo that brought national ridicule to KSTP-TV’s Jay Kolls when he quoted police sources claiming Hodges was exchanging gang signs with Navell Gordon, a volunteer for a nonprofit group.

Garcia’s baby girl looks days old in a photo of her with big brother and dad in his hospital bed, with the caption:

“Great time seeing these two over the weekend! #newaddition.”

Congratulations.

 

Iyanla was here

The second most famous face, in my opinion, on Oprah’s OWN was in the Twin Cities Saturday.

“Iyanla: Fix My Life” host Iyanla Vanzant spoke at the 19th Annual Literary Luncheon held by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.’s Twin Cities alumnae chapter. I’m told Vanzant was hysterically funny and profound. It doesn’t look as if Vanzant even tweeted about being here. I’m told approximately 600 businesswomen were at the event, and many flew in for it.

 

C.J. can be reached at cj@startribune.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.