Nov. 20, 1962 — July 3, 2016
Toni Randolph, a Buffalo native and award-winning journalist who reported for Minnesota Public Radio, died Sunday in Minneapolis. She was 53.
Ms. Randolph was a 1984 graduate of SUNY Buffalo State College who began her public broadcasting career as a news director at WBFO Radio. She also did traffic reports for other local radio stations. She also worked in print journalism as a freelance reporter for the Challenger, a weekly newspaper serving Buffalo’s African-American community.
“She definitely had a commitment to public media her entire career,” said Brian Meyer, a former WBEN broadcaster and Buffalo News staff reporter who is the current news director at WBFO.
“I remember bumping into her in City Hall and during several breaking news stories,” said Meyer, who added that he kept in contact with Ms. Randolph for a while after she left Buffalo.
Ms. Randolph went on to earn a master’s degree in 1988 from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City before moving to Boston, where she covered state politics and the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal for public radio station WBUR. She also held positions at a public radio station in Newark, N.J.
In 2003, she was hired as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio, one of the country’s most prestigious public broadcasting outlets, where she did reports on homelessness, immigration and politics.
Ms. Randolph also hosted newscasts and public affairs shows, along with taking on editing duties at the station. She was able to travel on journalism fellowships both to China and Liberia in West Africa in order to enhance her understanding of global issues and their intersection with Minnesota’s growing and diverse immigrant population.
Colleagues in Minnesota described Ms. Randolph as a storyteller who used her position to the tell the stories of those who often did not have a voice. She also was praised for the role she took on as a mentor to many young journalists of color. She also did a lot of public speaking and worked with students of journalism.
Ms. Randolph was a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
She is survived by her father, Noah E., and two brothers, Marvin and Morgan.
A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. John Baptist Church, 184 Goodell St.