KING-TV Seattle, Washington Branding KING 5 Slogan The Home Team (general)
Coverage You Can Count On (news)
Channels Digital: 48 (UHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article) Translators 13 K13ER Cashmere/Leavenworth
57 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:
Transmitter power 960 kW Height 239 m Facility ID 34847 Transmitter coordinates Website www.king5.com
KING-TV, virtual channel 5, is a television station in Seattle, Washington, affiliated with the NBC network. Owned by Belo Corporation, it broadcasts on UHF digital channel 48. Its offices and broadcasting center are located just east of Seattle Center. The station's transmitter is located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle.
The station is operated in a duopoly with independent station KONG-TV, which features syndicated programs and news programming some produced by KING-TV; KONG is available on UHF channel 16, but on most Seattle cable systems is given the Channel 6 channel slot to compliment KING-TV. KING-TV carries Universal Sports on digital subchannel 5.2, which is also available on digital cable in northwestern Washington State. 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.
Channel Video Aspect Programming 5.1 1080i 16:9 Main KING-TV programming / NBC 5.2 480i 4:3 Universal Sports
KING-TV began transmitting its scheduled programming in digital only on June 12, 2009 as mandated by the FCC. 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.
When Channel 5 first came on the air as KRSC-TV on November 25, 1948, it became the first television station in the Pacific Northwest. 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. 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 in Portland, Oregon 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.
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.
Dissatisfied with Stimson Bullitt's management style, Dorothy Bullitt, and Mr. Bullitt's sisters, arranged for his voluntary resignation from King Broadcasting in 1972. 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.
Locally produced programming included: Seattle Today, a mid-morning 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 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 and KFVE were 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-TV was also the home for Watch This!, KING 5's Emmy Award-winning fast-paced show for teens and children. The show lasted five 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 cable television 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.
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.
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.
KING is the official home of Seattle Seahawks preseason games, except those on national television, unless they are on NBC, in which case KING will carry the game, but will not produce it, deferring the duties to the network.
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.
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 thorough 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.
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.
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. 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. Also during this era, KING's staff of photojournalists were among the best in the nation. The National Press Photographers Association named KING the Television News Photography Station of the Year for 1979, 1981 and 1982.
KING was a pioneer with new types of newscasts. In 1979, KING debuted the first early morning newscast in Western Washington at 6:30 a.m., anchored by Don Madsen with Larry Schick as weather anchor; Don Madsen was known for coming in at 11:30 p.m. 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, hosted by Mike James and Lori Matsukawa, which aired at 6:30 p.m. weeknights; 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.
In the late 1970s, 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.
In 1999, to compete against KOMO, KING began providing high definition newscasts; at the time it only had one studio camera that was HD-capable. In April 2007, KING upgraded all of its studio cameras, graphics and weather system to high definition, and began broadcasting its public affairs programming in the format as well."HDTV - KING5.COM". http://www.king5.com/HD/. 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". On April 16, 2007, KING 5 also started using the tagline "KING 5 HD" when referring to the station.
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.
- KING-TV News (1950s)
- KING-TV Night Report (1960s)
- KING News Final (1960s)
- KING News (1960s–1971)
- KING Newservice (1971–1978?)
- KING 5 News (1978?–present)
- "First in the Great Northwest" (1950s–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)
- Dennis Bounds - weeknights at 5, 6:30, 10 (on KONG-TV) and 11 p.m.
- Meg Coyle - weekend mornings; also weeknight reporter
- Jean Enersen - weeknights at 5 and 6:30 p.m.; also "HealthLink" reporter
- Mimi Jung - weekdays at noon; also weeknight reporter
- Lori Matsukawa - weeknights at 10 (on KONG-TV) and 11 p.m.
- Allen Schauffler - weekends at 5, 6:30, 10 (on KONG-TV) and 11 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
- Joyce Taylor - weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m. on KING, 7-9 a.m. on KONG)
- Mark Wright - weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m. on KING, 7-9 a.m. on KONG)
- Greg Copeland - fill-in anchor
- Cam Johnson - fill-in anchor
- Shaniqua Manning - fill-in anchor
- Rob Piercy - fill-in anchor
First Alert Weather
- Jeff Renner (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6:30, 10 (on KONG-TV) and 11 p.m.
- Rich Marriott (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m. on KING, 7-9 a.m. on KONG) and noon
- Jim Guy (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 5, 6:30, 10 (on KONG-TV) and 11 p.m.
- Lisa Van Cise - weather anchor; weekend mornings
- Keisha Burns - weather anchor; fill-in
- Rick Van Cise - freelance weather anchor
- Paul Silvi - sports director; weeknights at 5, 6:30, 10 (on KONG-TV) and 11 p.m.
- Andrea Nakano - sports anchor; weekends at 5, 6:30, 10 (on KONG-TV) and 11 p.m., also sports reporter
- Chris Egan - sports anchor; fill-in, also sports reporter
- Tracy Taylor - weekday morning traffic reporter
- Linda Brill - general assignment reporter
- Linda Byron - investigative reporter
- Gary Chittim - general assignment reporter and environmental specialist
- Chris Daniels - general assignment reporter
- Glenn Farley - general assignment reporter aviation specialist
- Jim Forman - general assignment reporter
- Susannah Frame - investigative reporter
- Joe Fryer - general assignment reporter
- Elisa Hahn - general assignment reporter
- Chris Ingalls - general assignment reporter
- Christie Johnson - weekday morning feature reporter
- Jesse Jones - consumer specialist/investigative reporter
- Owen Lei - general assignment reporter
- Drew Mikkelsen - South Bureau chief/reporter
- Tonya Mosley - general assignment reporter
- Roberta Romero - general assignment reporter
- Natasha Ryan - general assignment reporter
- Natalie Swaby - general assignment reporter
- Jake Whittenberg - North Bureau chief/reporter
- Eric Wilkinson - general assignment reporter
- Teresa Yuan - general assignment reporter
Local program hosts
- Meeghan Black - host
- Saint Bryan - reporter
- Josephine Cheng - reporter
- Jim Dever - reporter
- Kim Griffis - reporter
- Kim Holcomb - reporter
- Michael King - reporter
New Day Northwest
- Margaret Larson - host
KING 5 News Up Front
- Robert Mak - anchor; also political reporter
Notable past on-air staff
- Aaron Brown (was at KIRO-TV, ABC News, and CNN; now anchoring at PBS and teaching at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism)
- Jerry Burling - on-air booth announcer (winner, National Prime Time Emmy Award, 1960–1972)
- Jim Compton - host of The Compton Report (1985–1999)
- Lou Dobbs - anchor (later at CNN)
- David Kerley (was at KIRO-TV; currently at ABC News)
- Mark Mullen (formerly with NBC News and ABC News; currently at KNSD in San Diego)
- Shannon O'Donnell - weather anchor (1996–2000 and 2007–2009; now weekend weather anchor at KOMO-TV)
- Greg Palmer - reporter (deceased)
- Don Poier (later radio voice of Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies; deceased)
- Drew Soicher - sports anchor (now at KUSA-TV in Denver)
- 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
- KING 5
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KING-TV
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for KING
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KING-TV
- Essay on Dorothy Bullitt from Historylink
Broadcast television in Seattle Major network affiliates Other stationsKONG (16.1 Ind, 16.2 SD) • KTBW (20.1 TBN, 20.2 Church, 20.3 JCTV, 20.4 Enlace, 20.5 Smile) • KWPX (33.1 Ion, 33.2 qubo, 33.3 Ion Life) • KWDK (42.1 DS) • KFFV (44.1 Infomercials, 44.2 AZA, 44.3 AAT TV) • KUSE-LD (46.1 Tuff TV) • KUNS (51.1 Uni) • K08OU-D (73.1 3ABN, 73.2 3ABN Latino, 73.3 3ABN Radio, 73.4 Radio74) OlympiaKRUM-LD (23.1 Ind) Cable-only Defunct stationsSee also List of television stations in Washington, plus British Columbia, Bellingham, Spokane, Portland and Yakima/Tri-Cities TV NBC Network Affiliates in the state of WashingtonSee also: ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, ION, MyNetworkTV, NBC, PBS and Other stations in Washington Corporate staffRobert W. Decherd (Chairman of the Board) · Dunia A. Shive (President and CEO) · Carey P. Hendrickson (CFO and Tresurer) · Peter Diaz (President/Media Operations) · Kathy Clements (SVP) · William Mosley (VP) · Paul Fry (VP/Investor Relations and Treasury Operations) · Guy H. Kerr (EVP) · W. Craig Harper (VP/CIO) · Richard Keilty (SVP) Cable news channels Television stationsKMSBMyNetworkTV affiliatesKTTU · WUPLKMSB-DT2 · KTVK-DT2Wazoo Sports Network affiliates1 KFWD is operated by Belo, owned by HIC Broadcast, Inc.
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