Radio-TV Broadcast History

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Seattle, Washington
Branding KING 5
Slogan The Home Team

Coverage You Can Count On

Channels Digital: 48 (UHF)

Virtual: 5 (PSIP)

Subchannels (see article)
Translators 13 K13ER Cashmere/Leavenworth57 K57AI Neah Bay
Affiliations NBC
Owner Belo Corporation

(King Broadcasting Company)

First air date November 25, 1948
Call letters' meaning King County
Sister station(s) KONG-TV
Former callsigns KRSC-TV (1948-1949)
Former channel number(s) Analog:5 (VHF, 1948-2009)
Former affiliations Primary:CBS (1948-1953)

ABC (1953-1959) Secondary: NBC/ABC/DuMont (1948-1953)

Transmitter power 960 kW
Height 239 m
Facility ID 34847
Transmitter coordinates 47°37′54.6″N 122°21′3.9″W / 47.631833°N 122.351083°W / 47.631833; -122.351083


The early years[]

When Channel 5 first came on the air as KRSC-TV on November 25, 1948, it became the first television station north of San Francisco and west of the Mississippi River. The first broadcast was a live remote of a Thanksgiving Day high school football game and was plagued with technical difficulties, but local viewers reported being impressed nonetheless.[citation needed] After eight months on the air under the ownership of P.K. Lieberman's Radio Sales Corporation, Channel 5 was purchased by Seattle native Dorothy Bullitt's King Broadcasting Company, owners of KING radio (AM 1090, now KPTK; and FM 98.1). The station became KING-TV to match its radio sisters (Bullitt purchased the KING call letters while on a fishing boat). For many years, the stations' logo was King Mike, an anthropomorphized microphone in ermine robes and a crown, drawn by Walt Disney. Sister stations KGW-AM-FM-TV used a similar logo, called Pioneer Mike.

The KRSC-TV call sign now resides on an independent educational station in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Channel 5 was a primary CBS affiliate, carrying secondary affiliations with NBC, ABC and (until 1956) DuMont Television Network. Once the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-imposed freeze on TV licenses was rescinded in the early 1950s, KING-TV lost its monopoly on the Seattle TV market. It lost CBS to KTNT-TV (now KSTW-TV, KIRO-TV picked up CBS in 1958) and NBC decamped first to KMO-TV (now KCPQ-TV) and then a few months later to KOMO-TV in 1953, leaving KING with the poorly performing ABC. Bullitt lobbied NBC for affiliation and in 1959 NBC pulled its affiliation from KING's cross-town rival KOMO and granted it to KING.

From the beginning KING was deeply committed to the Seattle area. Bulitt believed that a television station should serve the local public while remaining commercially viable. KING set up one of the first local news departments in the country and quickly gained national attention for its high quality and thourough approach. In 1952, KING kept Senator Joseph McCarthy from delivering a potentially libelous attack on the air. McCarthy threatened to have the station's license pulled citing undue bias (the Bulitts were staunch Democrats) but was forced to back down. Reporters such as Charles Herring, Ted Bryant, Mike James, Bob Faw and Seattle's first female news anchor, Jean Enersen, set high standards for television journalism in Seattle. KING-TV continues to be the leading station in the area[citation needed].

After Alaska was hit by a major earthquake in March 1964, KING-TV worked with NBC News to get the footage of the quake's aftermath broadcast on the network. This was prior to the launch of a trans-Pacific television broadcast satellite and footage from Anchorage was flown to Seattle and driven to KING to be fed into the NBC network. NBC was the first network to show footage of the quake's aftermath preceding ABC and CBS by several hours.

In 1961, Dorothy Bullitt's son Stimson Bullitt became president of the King Broadcasting Company, while his mother remained chairwoman of the board. In 1966, he took the almost-unprecedented step of airing an anti-Vietnam war editorial, angering the Johnson Administration. Stimson also expanded the company to include Seattle magazine and a variety of other businesses, much to the dismay of his mother, who felt he was losing focus on the family's broadcast properties. Investigative reporter Don McGaffin gave significant coverage to growing racial tensions in the city as well as corruption in the Seattle Police Department.

1970s and 1980s[]

Dissatisfied with her son's management style, Dorothy Bullitt arranged for Stimson Bullitt's dismissal from King Broadcasting in 1971. Stimson sold his company shares to his sisters, Harriet and Patsy. He then received control of the family's real estate interests. Ancil Payne, who had served as general manager of the company's Portland stations since 1965, became president and CEO.

By the 1970s and 1980s, KING-TV was the flagship of a growing regional media empire which at various times included ventures in publishing, the film industry, cable television and even various timber assets in the Far East.

KING-TV was a pioneer of diversity in the newsroom. In 1972, KING-TV broke new ground by appointing Jean Enersen as an evening news anchor. According to the Washington Post, Enersen was the first permanent female evening news anchor in the country and is considered to be the longest-running female local evening news anchor.[1] Additionally, KING-TV appointed Seattle's first African-American evening news anchor, John Raye, who co-anchored with Enersen for several years in the mid-1970s.

During this time the KING-TV news department also groomed several network news reporters, including CNN's Aaron Brown and Lou Dobbs, CBS Early Show contributor Hattie Kauffman and NBC correspondent James Hattori. Future meteorologist and author Jeff Renner joined KING-TV in 1977.

KING was a pioneer new types of newscasts. In 1979, KING programmed the first early morning newscast in Western Washington at 6:30am with Don Madsen (news anchor) and Larry Schick (weather). Don Madsen was known for coming in at 11:30 PM and working all night to prepare for his early morning newscast. The "KING 5 Morning News" became very popular with Western Washington viewers as well as viewers throughout British Columbia. In 1984, KING pioneered "Top Story" at 6:30 PM with Mike James and Lori Matsukawa. Top Story, was a local version of Nightline focusing primarily on the top news story of the day with in-depth reporting and interviews. Despite efforts to produce a high-quality newscast, Top Story never became popular and was canceled in 1988.

Locally produced programming included: Seattle Today, a midmorning talk show hosted by Cliff Lenz amd Shirley Hudson and later by Susan Michaels and Colby Chester; Seattle Tonight, Tonite!, hosted by Ross McGowan and later Dick Klinger; Almost Live!, a Saturday night talk and sketch-comedy program originally starring Ross Shafer; and a local Evening Magazine franchise, first hosted by Penny LeGate and Brian Tracey. Of these only Evening Magazine exists today. How Come?, a half-hour early Sunday evening family television program hosted by Al Wallace, won several awards during its run during the 1970s and early 1980s. The show covered topics on how things were made or done in the world. Dick Klinger hosted the show after Al Wallace died.

KING-TV and its sister stations in Spokane, Boise, and Portland formed the KING Northwest Network. They often shared news reports during and jointly covered significant stories such as the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980. The mid-morning talk show, Seattle Today, was re-named Northwest Today and expanded to 90 minutes. While the majority of the show was produced in Seattle, each member station had a local host who would provide short local segments.

King Broadcasting stations included KGW radio and television in Portland, KREM-TV Spokane, KTVB-TV Boise, KHNL-TV and KFVE-TV Honolulu and KYA/KOIT radio San Francisco.

Long-time station-owner Dorothy Bullitt died in June 1989.


Dorothy Bullitt's daughters Harriet Bullitt and Priscilla "Patsy" Bullitt Collins decided to sell the King assets in 1992—eventually selling King Broadcasting (including KING, KREM, KGW, KTVB, KHNL/KFVE and the cable system assets) to the Providence Journal (ProJo) Company. KING-TV and other King Broadcasting stations later became Belo properties as a result of a merger with ProJo in 1997. (KHNL/KFVE was later sold to Raycom in 1999.)

Bonneville International Corporation purchased KING-AM in 1994 and changed the station's call letters to KINF (later KNWX) and switched to an all-news format. KNWX switched frequencies with KRPM 770 a year later, transferring ownership of the 1090 frequency allocation to EZ Communications, Inc. Since late 2004, CBS Radio-owned KPTK 1090 is home of Air America Radio.

KING-FM was donated to a non-profit partnership of the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Opera, and ArtsFund. It continues the classical music format started by Dorothy Bullitt and is one of the few remaining commercial classical radio stations in the nation today. The station is scheduled to become a non-commercial public radio station by July 2011.

The 1990s saw the end of Almost Live!. During this decade, the show launched the career of Bill Nye the Science Guy, Joel McHale (of The Soup fame) and locally, Pat Cashman and John Keister (who replaced Ross Shafer as host).

King 5 was also the home for Watch This!, KING 5's EMMY award winning fast-paced show for teens and children. The show lasted 5 years and was hosted by local anchors, Jim Dever and Mimi Gan.

On December 18, 1995, King Broadcasting launched Northwest Cable News, a 24-hour regional cable news operation available to viewers primarily in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho with lesser viewership in Alaska, Montana and California. In the Seattle area NWCN is located on Comcast Channel 2 or WAVE Broadband Channel 54.

King Mike, the original logo, was brought back for KING's 50th anniversary in 1998 and still appears in promotional announcements.

In 1999, to compete against KOMO, KING began providing high definition (HD) newscasts. At the time it only had one studio camera that was HD. In April 2007 KING upgraded all of its studio cameras, graphics, and weather system to HD. "HDTV - KING5.COM". Field reports are still standard-definition (480i converted to 1080i HD for air) but are taped in a 16x9 aspect ratio, giving the appearance of high-definition. According to KING, it is "Seattle's First HD Newscast".

Present day[]

Belo also operates KONG-TV, an independent station featuring some news programming (provided by KING) and syndicated shows. KONG is available on UHF channel 16. A Morning News interview with the Secretary of the United States NavyIn addition, Universal Sports broadcasts from the building. It is broadcast over-the-air on digital channel 5.2, and cablecasts on Comcast's digital tier in the Puget Sound area.

Currently, syndicated TV shows seen on this station include The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Phil, The Oprah Winfrey Show and Inside Edition.

KING opted not to carry NBC's telecasts of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals, the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals, and the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals when the games began at 5 p.m. Pacific time and CBC telecasts were available to most regional cable subscribers via CBUT in Vancouver. KING chose instead to air its regular lineup of newscasts and syndicated shows. KONG picked up the NBC telecasts of the games. For the 2007 and 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, however, KING aired NBC's Saturday night telecasts of the Stanley Cup Final while KONG aired the other NBC Stanley Cup Final telecasts. As for the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals, KING aired games 1, 2 and 5 while KONG aired games 6 and 7.

For most of the last quarter-century, KING has waged a spirited battle for first place in the Seattle news race with KOMO. However, for the past couple of years, KING has been in first place in virtually every local newscast. Some of its newscasts rank higher than all the other newscasts combined.

It is one of five local Seattle TV stations seen in Canada on the Bell TV and Shaw Direct satellite providers.

KING is carried on several cable systems in south-eastern Alaska and Northwestern Oregon.

In 2008, chief newscaster Jean Enersen celebrated her 40th year at KING (36 of those years as primary evening anchor—the longest serving female evening anchor in the country) with a 1-hour special which aired August 1. Recently, she stated in the Seattle Times that she has no plans to retire anytime soon.

The station also has the distinction of having the longest-serving numeric logo in the Seattle market- the 'K5' logo with three dots over the "K" (representing a crown, like a king's crown, hence the call letters) having been in use since 1977, with the current italicized version first used in 1998 (during the 1980s, the "5" in the K5 was also seen by itself at times). The "K" part of the logo also served as King Broadcasting's corporate logo.

News team[]

Current on-air staff[]


  • Dennis Bounds - Weeknights 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 10 p.m. on KONG & 11 p.m.
  • Greg Copeland - Weekdays 12 p.m. and reporter
  • Meg Coyle - Weekend mornings & reporter
  • Jean Enersen - Weeknights 5 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. & HealthLink reporter
  • Brad Goode - Weekday mornings 4:30-7 a.m. & 7-9 a.m. on KONG
  • Mimi Jung - Weekend evenings 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 10 p.m. on KONG & 11 p.m. & reporter
  • Margaret Larson - New Day Northwest Monday through Friday 11am-12pm
  • Lori Matsukawa - Weeknights 10 p.m. on KONG & 11 p.m.
  • Allen Schauffler - Weekend evenings 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 10 p.m. on KONG & 11 p.m. & 12 p.m. weekday rotating co-anchor
  • Charlotte Starck - Freelance Anchor
  • Joyce Taylor - Weekday mornings 4:30-7 a.m. & 7-9 a.m. on KONG

First Alert Weather[]

  • Jeff Renner (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist - Weeknights 5, 6:30, 10 & 11 p.m.
  • Jim Guy (AMS Seal of Approval) - Weekend evenings
  • Rich Marriott (AMS Seal of Approval) - Weekdays 4:30-7 a.m., 7-9 a.m. on KONG & 12 p.m.
  • Lisa Van Cise - Weekend mornings


  • Paul Silvi - Weeknights 5, 6:30, 10 & 11 p.m., Sports Director
  • Andrea Nakano- Weekends 5, 6:30, 10 & 11 p.m./Sports reporter
  • Chris Egan - Sports reporter/anchor


  • Linda Brill - General assignment reporter
  • Linda Byron - Investigative reporter
  • Gary Chittim - General assignment reporter & ecological specialist
  • Chris Daniels - General assignment reporter
  • Glenn Farley - Aviation specialist & general assignment reporter
  • Deborah Feldman - General assignment reporter
  • Jim Forman - General assignment reporter
  • Susannah Frame - Investigative reporter
  • Elisa Hahn - General assignment reporter
  • Chris Ingalls - General assignment reporter
  • Jesse Jones - Investigative reporter
  • Owen Lei - General assignment reporter
  • Tricia Manning-Smith - General assignment reporter
  • Drew Mikkelson - South bureau chief & South bureau reporter
  • Tonya Mosley - General assignment reporter
  • Rob Piercy - General assignment reporter, primary evening anchor for NWCN (husband of co-reporter Kim Holcomb)
  • Tim Robinson - Features reporter (Husband of sister station KREM-TV anchor Jane McCarthy)
  • Roberta Romero - General assignment reporter
  • Eric Schudiske - General assignment reporter (formerly at KOMO-TV)
  • Tracy Taylor - Morning traffic reporter
  • Eric Wilkinson - General assignment reporter
  • Jake Whittenberg - Bureau Chief reporter [1]

Evening Magazine[]

  • Mark Erskine - Executive Producer
  • Meeghan Black - Host
  • Saint Bryan - Reporter
  • Josephine Cheng - Reporter
  • Jim Dever - Reporter
  • Kim Griffis - Reporter
  • Michael King - Reporter
  • Kim Holcomb - Reporter (wife of KING 5 reporter Rob Piercy)
  • Joan Kinsey - Producer
  • Eric Riddle - Producer
  • Micele Troxal - Show Producer

Past on-air staff[]


  • Aaron Brown: Was at KIRO, ABC News, and CNN. Now anchoring at PBS & teaching at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.
  • Ted Bryant: Deceased
  • Lou Dobbs: Anchor
  • Carolyn Douglas - Noon anchor & reporter. Currently CEO of Carolyn Douglas Communications.
  • Bob Faw: (1969–1970). Currently with NBC News.
  • Julie Francavilla: Now at KIRO-TV
  • Jim Harriott: (1971–1975). Was at KIRO, KOMO-TV, and Voice of America Radio. Deceased.
  • Charles Herring: (1951–1967). Deceased.
  • Mike James: Anchor
  • Barry Judge: Anchor
  • Hattie Kauffman: (1981–1987). Now with CBS News
  • Linda Kennedy: (1970s-1980s).
  • David Kerley: Was at KIRO. Currently at ABC News
  • Penny LeGate: Currently a weekend morning anchor for KIRO-TV.
  • John Lippman: Moved to KSTW and then Los Angeles as News Director
  • Don Madsen: Morning Anchor (pioneered KING 5 Morning News in 1979), Currently in the real estate business.
  • Brendan McLaughlin: Currently at WFTS-TV in Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Don Porter: Anchor/reporter, retired
  • Gene Wike: Deceased
  • Mark Mullen: Now a reporter for ABC News


  • Nick Allard: (AMS Seal of Approval) Weather (to 2009), now at sister station KGW-TV in Portland
  • Bob Cram: "The Cartooning Weatherman" drew "lightning sketches" illustrating his forecasts (1960s).
  • Bob Hale: KING-TV's first cartooning weatherman (1950s and 1960s)
  • Mary Loos: Weekend morning weather anchor (2005–2008), now a fill-in at sister station KGW.
  • Shelly Monahan: Morning weather (1990–1992), now morning news anchor at KHQ-TV in Spokane, Washington.
  • Shannon O'Donnell: Weather (1996–2000 and 2007–2009), now weekend weather anchor at KOMO-TV.
  • Julia Sandstrom: Weather (1999–2003), later weekend weather at KTVU (2003–2008), was working for KHQ-TV and SWX Right Now in Spokane from 2009 to 2010.
  • Larry Schick Played 1950s weather jingles he discovered in KING's record library, dubbing them "The Larry Schick Singers."
  • Rebecca Stevenson: Weather (2000–2007). Now Chief Meteorologist at KIRO-TV.
  • Chris Warren (AMS Seal of Approval). Soon to be at The Weather Channel.
  • Chuck Wiese: Weather
  • David Grant: Evening Weather, (late 70s-mid 80's)


  • Greg Bailey: moved to WCNC-TV, Charlotte, NC
  • Rod Belcher: Sports anchor/director
  • Carlos Del Valle: Currently the news reporter on the AT&T wireless commercials.
  • Lisa Gangel: Sports Anchor/Reporter (2005–2010); married to Seattle Seahawks Patrick Kerney.
  • Lou Gellos: Now with Microsoft
  • Rick Lukens: Was working on Sundays for KXLY-TV. Currently works for KXLY-AM.
  • Ray McMackin: Sports anchor
  • Bill O'Mara: Earliest sports anchor/director, deceased
  • Elaine Perkins: Weekend sports anchor
  • Don Poier: Radio Voice of Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies (Deceased)
  • Drew Soicher: Sports anchor. Now at KUSA-TV, Denver
  • Gaard Swanson: Sports anchor. Now at KIRO-TV and host of HGTV TV series Generation Renovation!.
  • Tony Ventrella: Sports anchor


  • Paul Aker: Former South bureau chief. Currently investigative reporter at WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Herb Altschul: News Commentator - Reporter
  • Larry Cali: Reporter
  • Lee Carter - Reporter (in the 1970s), later moved to KIRO-TV
  • Bernard Choi - Spokesperson for The Boeing Company
  • Jim Compton: Also hosted "The Compton Report" (1985–1999).
  • Lou Dobbs: (1976–1980).
  • Robin Gross - Reporter (in the 1970s)
  • Robin Groth - Reporter (in the 1970s)
  • James Hattori: Now with NBC News.
  • Ray Lane - Reporter, now at KOMO-TV.
  • Mona Lee Locke: Was known as Mona Lee on-air during her years at the station. Married to former governor of Washington Gary Locke (Now Secretary of Commerce for the Obama Administration).
  • Deni Luna
  • Robert Mak: Also hosted "Up Front". Now with City of Seattle
  • Jane McCarthy: reporter/fill-in anchor (2004–2009). Currently weeknight co-anchor for sister station KREM in Spokane.
  • Pat McReynolds: (2002–2006), now reporter at KPHO-TV in Phoenix
  • Greg Palmer - Reporter
  • Duane Pohlman: Investigative reporter. Currently at WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Bill Prasad
  • Charlotte Raynor - Reporter (in the 1970s & 80's), married to Aaron Brown
  • Rhondella Richardson: Reporter. Now at WCVB-TV in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Arturo Santiago: Now at KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California.
  • Ken Smith - Helicopter reporter, now morning and afternoon helicopter reporter at KLAS-TV in Las Vegas
  • Greg Palmer: Reporter (deceased)
  • Charles Z Smith: Commentator (1970's)
  • Al Wallace (deceased)
  • John Wilson
  • Don McGaffin - Investigative Reporter 1970-1980s (deceased)

Non-news shows[]

  • Stan Boreson: Host / "King's Klubhouse" (1949–1967)
  • Bill Corcoran: Host / "Soundstage" Afternoon movie and "Pet Parade"
  • John Curley: Host / "Evening Magazine" (1995–2009)
  • Bea Donovan: Host / "King's Queen" (1950–1968)
  • Elizabeth Wright Evans: Host / Community service programs (1953–1968)
  • Howard Hall: Host / "Telescope"
  • Bill Neilson: Host / "Success Story"
  • Ruth Prins: Host / "Wunda Wunda" and "Telaventure Tales"
  • Mike Rhodes: Host / "Telescope"

News/station presentation[]

Newscast titles[]

  • KING Newservice (1970s)
  • KING 5 News (1970s-present)

Station slogans[]

  • First in the Great Northwest (1950s and 1960s)
  • News Headquarters for the Great Northwest (1970s)
  • The Home Team (1987–present; general slogan)
  • All the News for Western Washington (1990–1999)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (1999–present; news slogan)
  • Community, Context, Commitment. (2001–2007; secondary slogan)
This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.==Digital television and high definition==

KING 5 started broadcasting its local news and public affairs programming in HD on April 16, 2007. [2]

On April 16, 2007, KING 5 also started using the tagline "KING 5 HD" when referring to the channel.

Digital channels

Channel Programming
5.2 Universal Sports

KING-TV began transmitting its scheduled programming in digital only on June 12, 2009 as mandated by the FCC.[2] However KING-TV has continued its analog signal as part of the FCC's "Nightlight" program, running a DTV transition guide for two more weeks.[3]

After the analog television shutdown, KING-DT remained on channel 48 [4] using PSIP to display KING-TV's virtual channels as 5 on digital television receivers.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Congress postpones DTV transition, Seattle may not, KING/AP, February 5, 2009
  3. ^ KING, KONG now all-digital
  4. ^ CDBS Print
  • Dorothy Stimson Bullitt: An Uncommon Life by Delphine Haley, from Sasquatch Press; ISBN 1-57061-327-3
  • King: The Bullitts of Seattle and Their Communications Empire by O. Casey Corr, from University of Washington Press; ISBN 0-295-97584-9
  • On the Air: The King Broadcasting Story by Daniel Jack Chasan, from Island Publishers; ISBN 0-9615580-6-7

External links[]