ST. LOUIS – FOX 2’s Randi Naughton is counting down to her retirement by posting what she calls “Naughton Nuggets.”
She shares fun facts about herself, her life, her career, and more on her social media channels. She has worked at KTVI since 1992. Her last day on FOX 2 is happening in mid-July.
Randi has had an interesting career and life. Even her birthday is worth a Naughton Nugget. She was born on February 20, 1962, in Niagara Falls, New York. That is the same day as astronaut John Glenn who was the first American to orbit Earth.
Her life continued to be full of memorable moments. In 1974, she was in sixth grade and sang on stage with The Carpenters at the Niagara Falls Convention Center. They sang backup on the song “Sing a Song.” Click this video to spot Randi at 4:07.
She loves animals and the outdoors. She even calls herself a bird nerd. Owls are her favorite. She shared with her followers that when she was 11, she found a baby pigeon and named him Willy. Her mother didn’t know any of this. She trained him to fly to her when she whistled. He would then eat peanuts out of her hand. Now she gets outside every day and enjoys taking photographs of what she sees. She even gives calendars featuring her photographs as gifts.
Her broadcast career first started at Wilson Central High School in Wilson, New York when she did the morning announcements on the PA. Randi also told her followers that her nickname was “Naughty Naughton” because she “would fake fall down & disrupt class w/pranks.” She said she “may or may not have been a regular in detention.”
Also while in high school, Randi was notified via Western Union telegram that she was a top 10 finalist in a nationwide 1979 High School CoverGirl contest. The contest gave Randi a lot of firsts at age 17. Some of which included a flight to New York City, a hotel stay (Waldorf), seeing a Broadway play (Annie), seeing a ballet (Metropolitan Opera House), and a magazine modeling shoot. She said she didn’t win, “but what an experience!”
She continued to do a bit of print modeling in her late teens and early 20s. She said she made little to no money and she was too short and “too clutzy for runway.” She told fans that they’ve likely seen these photos “nowhere at all.” Click here for the ones Randi posted.
High school is the highest degree Randi holds. “I did however attend algebra class at St. Louis Community College/Flo Valley to prove to my Dad I could pass after failing it 3 times in HS,” she said. She ended up getting an A in the class! She told fans, “to this day, me and numbers do not get along.”
In the early 80s, Randi got her first radio gig. She did morning traffic reports on 92.9 WBUF in Buffalo, New York. She then started working the 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. shift. She was so nervous on her first time solo on air. She left the “mid open & said ‘oh crap.'” Her radio career continued at Kiss 98.5 in Buffalo.
Her tv career started in 1987 when she hosted a live Friday night show called “Randi’s Cat’s Pajamas” on WGRZ-TV. On the show, she chatted about “bad movies, giveaways & live guests like Seinfeld, Mr. T, Rich Little, Jay Leno.” Randi said the show was “cheesy, silly fun!” She interviewed the Goo Goo Dolls who are from Buffalo. They made their first-ever tv appearance on Randi’s show. Click here to check out that interview.
One day in 1987, Randi got a call from MTV! They asked her to audition to host MTV Music News. So she went to New York City to audition. The then editor of Rolling Stone magazine, Kurt Loder, got the gig. Randi has no hard feelings over the decision. She says Loder was a “solid choice!
In 1988, Randi married MLB pitcher Bryan Oelkers in her hometown of Niagara Falls, New York. She said some people mistook him for Keith Hernandez and she said she “can totally see it.” Randi is a former sports reporter and is a huge sports fan, but Bryan is not. She said he would much rather watch a movie.
In St. Louis
Randi moved to St. Louis in 1989 to be closer to her husband’s family. First, she did the news at Y98-FM with “Phillips & Wall.” Then she was at KLOU-FM where she met people like The Turtles, Gary Puckett, and John Astin (Gomez Adams). She also did some work at KMOX and KTRS Radio. Randi said she loved her time in radio.
In 1992, Randi started at KTVI doing Sunday morning segments. She moved to Sports in 1994. “Yes, there was some pushback and griping by other sports folk in the market (you know who you are),” she said. But she covered it all; Blues, Cardinals, Rams, high school, and college sports. “I LOVED having a front row seat to Playoffs, Championships, Training camps and sports legends! I consider myself very lucky to have had that opportunity!”
Randi’s daughter Allex went to work with her mom for her sixth birthday in 1999. Randi said, “Allex LOVED watching Willie McGee and the Cardinals!!” So Willie told Randi to bring her to Busch so the two could meet. On Allex’s birthday, Willie left his on-field workout, “gave her a big B-day hug, ran to the clubhouse, brought her water & ice cream” and snapped a pic.
On that same birthday, Allex wanted players to sign her ball. Randi remembered this tidbit. “I told her to use her manners when asking. “What about Mark McGwire Mom?” I said sometimes he doesn’t want to talk and he might be a bit crabby. As #25 came up the steps she approached him & politely asked him to sign her ball. He looked at me, I said “It’s my daughter, it’s her birthday.” He signed the ball, said Happy Bday, patted her on the head and made his way to BP. He took 1-step and she screamed at me, “See Mom, he wasn’t crabby like you said he’d be!” You can bet I got the stink eye from Mr. M.! LOL”
Randi posts Naughton Nuggets often! It has been a fun way to chronicle her career as she counts down to retirement. FOX 2 wishes her so much joy and success in her next act!