KING-TV, channel 48, is a
television station in Seattle, Washington, USA.
is affiliated with the NBC
broadcasts on digital UHF
channel 48. Its offices and broadcasting center are
located just east of Seattle Center. The station's transmitter is located in the
Anne neighborhood of Seattle. Sometimes, the same
television programming that
is on KING-TV appears on its sister station, KONG-TV, an
Such programming includes local news
and some syndicated programming. The chief newscasters for KING 5
news are Jean Enersen and Dennis Bounds.
The Early Years
Channel 5 came on the air as KRSC-TV for the first time on November
25, 1948, it became the first television station north of San Francisco and west of the Mississippi River.
broadcast, a live remote of a Thanksgiving day high school football
game, was plagued with technical difficulties but local viewers
were said to be 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
The station became KING-TV
to match its radio sisters (Bullitt had purchased the KING call
letters from a fishing boat). For many years, the stations' logo
was King Mike, an anthropomorphized
robes and a crown
, drawn by Walt
. Sister stations KGW-AM-FM-TV used a
similar logo, called Pioneer Mike.
KRSC-TV calls now
reside on an independent educational station in Claremore,
Channel 5 was a primary CBS
secondary affiliations with NBC, ABC
and (until 1956) DuMont Television Network
freeze on TV licenses was rescinded in the early '50s, KING lost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 to KOMO-TV in 1953,
leaving KING with only the poorly performing ABC.
lobbied NBC for affiliation, and in 1959 NBC pulled its affiliation
from cross-town rival KOMO and granted it to KING.
From the start, KING was deeply committed to the Seattle area.
Bulitt believed that a television station should serve the 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 hard 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 yanked, citing undue bias (the Bulitts were
but was forced to back down. Reporters such as Charles Herring, Ted
Bryant, Mike James, Bob Faw
first female news anchor, Jean Enersen, set a high standard for
television journalism in Seattle that continues today. To this day,
it continues to be the leading station in the area.
After Alaska was hit by a major earthquake in March 1964, KING-TV
worked together with NBC News
to get the
latter's footage of the quake's aftermath broadcast over the
network. This was prior to the launch of a trans-Pacific television
broadcast satellite; footage from Anchorage was flown to Seattle
and driven to KING to be fed to the NBC network. NBC was the first
network to show footage of the quake's aftermath, several hours
before either ABC or CBS.
Management did not remain static. In 1961, Dorothy Bullitt's son
Stimson Bullitt became president of 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 Bullitt also
expanded the company to include Seattle
magazine and a
variety of other business activities, much to the dismay of his
mother, who felt he was losing sight of 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
Quietly dissatisfied with her son's management style, Dorothy
Bullitt arranged for Stimson Bullitt's exit from the leadership of
King Broadcasting in 1971. Stimson sold his company shares to his
sisters, Harriet and Patsy, and was given 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, moviemaking, cable television and even various timber
assets in the Far East
KING-TV was a pioneer in 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.
In addition, KING-TV also appointed
Seattle's first African-American evening news anchor, John Raye,
who co-anchored with Enersen for several years in the
During this time, the KING-TV news department was also a launching
pad for several network news reporters, including CNN's Aaron Brown
, CBS Early Show
Hattie Kauffman and NBC correspondent James Hattori. Future
meteorologist and author Jeff Renner
joined KING-TV in 1977.
KING was also a pioneer in starting 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 well-known for coming in at 11:30pm and
working all night long to prepare this 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 6:30pm with Mike James and Lori
Matsukawa. Top Story, a local version of Nightline, focused
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 fully caught on and was cancelled in 1988.
Locally produced programming included Seattle Today (known as
Telescope before that hosted by Howard Hall), a midmorning talk
show hosted by Cliff Lenz, Shirley Hudson, later Susan Michaels,
Colby Chester; Seattle Tonight,
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. 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 1970s and early 1980s. The show covered topics of how things
were made or done within the world. Dick Klinger hosted the show
after Al Wallace died.
In addition, KING-TV and its sister stations in Spokane, Boise, and
Portland formed the KING Northwest Network. They often shared news
reports during this time and jointly covered significant stories
such as the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980. The midmorning talk
show, Seattle Today, was re-named Northwest Today and expanded to
90 minutes. While the bulk of the show was produced in Seattle,
each station had a local host who would do short segments.
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.
Bullitt's daughters Harriet Bullitt and Priscilla "Patsy" Bullitt
Collins decided to sell the King assets in 1992 -- eventually
unloading King Broadcasting (including KING, KREM, KGW, KTVB,
KHNL/KFVE and the cable system assets) to the Providence Journal
KING-TV and other King Broadcasting stations later
properties as a result of that
company's merger with ProJo in 1997. (KHNL/KFVE was later sold to
Raycom in 1999.)
purchased KING-AM in 1994, changed
the station's call letters to KINF (later KNWX) and switched to an
format. KNWX switched
frequencies with KRPM 770 a year later, transferring ownership of
the 1090 allocation to EZ Communications, Inc. Since late 2004,
-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
The 1990s also saw the end of Almost
. During this decade, the show launched the career of
Bill Nye the Science Guy
, Joel McHale
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
December 18, 1995, King Broadcasting launched Northwest Cable News, a 24-hour
regional cable news operation available to viewers chiefly in
Washington, Oregon, and
Idaho, and to a lesser extent in Alaska, Montana and California.
In the Seattle area, NWCN can be located on
Channel 2 or WAVE Broadband Channel
King Mike was brought back for KING's 50th anniversary in 1998 and
still appears in promotional announcements.
In 1999 to compete against KOMO, KING also began doing High
Definition newscasts, although only one studio camera was HD until
April 2007 when KING upgraded all of their studio cameras,
graphics, and weather system to HD. Field reports are still
converted to 1080i
HD for air) but are taped in a 16x9 aspect
ratio, giving the appearance of high-definition. According to KING,
they are "Seattle's First HD Newscast".
operates KONG-TV, an
independent station featuring some news programming (provided by
KING) and syndicated shows.
KONG is available on UHF channel
In 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
shows seen on this station include The Ellen DeGeneres Show
, The Oprah Winfrey Show
KING opted not to carry NBC's telecasts of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals
2007 Stanley Cup Finals
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
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 '80s, 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.
- Joyce Taylor - Weekday Mornings 4:30-7 a.m.
& 7-9 a.m. on KONG
- Brad Goode - Weekday Mornings 4:30-7 a.m.
& 7-9 a.m. on KONG
- Jean Enersen - Weeknights 5 p.m. & 6:30
p.m. & HealthLink Reporter
- Dennis Bounds - Weeknights 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m.,
10 p.m. on KONG & 11 p.m.
- Lori Matsukawa - Weeknights 10 p.m. on KONG
& 11 p.m.
- Meg Coyle - Weekend Mornings &
- Mimi Jung - Weekend Evenings 5 p.m., 6:30
p.m., 10 p.m. on KONG & 11 p.m. & Reporter
- Allen Schauffler - Weekend Evenings 5 p.m.,
6:30 p.m., 10 p.m. on KONG & 11 p.m. & 12 p.m. weekday
- Greg Copeland - Weekdays 12 p.m. and
- Jeff Renner (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief
Meteorologist - Weeknights 5, 6:30, 10 & 11 p.m.
- 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
- Jim Guy - (AMS Seal of Approval) - Weekend
- Paul Silvi - Weeknights 5, 6:30, 10 & 11
p.m., Sports Director
- Lisa Gangel - Weekends 5, 6:30, 10 & 11
- Chris Egan - Sports Reporter/Anchor
- Meeghan Black - Morning News Traffic
- Linda Brill - General Assignment Reporter
- Linda Byron - Investigative Reporter
- Gary Chittim - General Assignment Reporter
& Ecological Specialist
- Chris Daniels - General Assignment
- Glenn Farley - Aviation Specialist &
General Assignment Reporter
- Deborah Feldman - General Assignment
- Jim Forman - General Assignment Reporter
- Susannah Frame - Investigative Reporter
- Elisa Hahn - General Assignment Reporter
- Kim Holcomb - General Assignment Reporter
(Wife of co-reporter Rob Piercy)
- Chris Ingalls - General Assignment
- Jesse Jones - Investigative Reporter
- Owen Lei - General Assignment Reporter
- Tricia Manning-Smith - General Assignment
- Jane McCarthy - General Assignment Reporter,
fill-in anchor (Wife of co-reporter Tim Robinson)
- Drew Mikkelson - South Bureau Chief &
South Bureau Reporter
- Tonya Mosley - General Assignment
- Rob Piercy - North Bureau Chief & North
Bureau Reporter (Husband of co-reporter Kim Holcomb)
- Tim Robinson - Features Reporter (Husband of
co-reporter Jane McCarthy)
- Roberta Romero - General Assignment
- Eric Wilkinson - General Assignment
- Eric Schudiske - General
Assignment Reporter (Formerly at KOMO-TV)
- Saint Bryan - Reporter
- Josephine Cheng - Reporter
- Jim Dever - Reporter
- Kim Griffis - Reporter
- Michael King - Reporter
- 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
- 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 just known as
Mona Lee on-air during her years at the station. Married to former
governor of Washington State, Gary Locke (Now Secretary of Commerce
for the Obama Administration).
- Deni Luna
- Robert Mak: Also hosted "Up Front".
Now with City of Seattle
McReynolds: (2002-2006), now reporter at WTKR in Norfolk,
- 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.
Santiago: Now at KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California.
Smith - helicopter reporter, now morning and afternoon helicopter
reporter at KLAS-TV in Las Vegas
- Al Wallace (deceased)
- John Wilson
- Stan Boreson: Host / "King's Klubhouse" (1949-1967)
- John Curley: Host / "Evening
- Bea Donovan: Host / "King's Queen" (1950-1968)
- Elizabeth Wright Evans: Host / Community Service Programs
- Ruth Prins: Host / "Wunda Wunda" and
- KING Newservice (1970s)
- KING 5 News (1970s-present)
- The Home Team (1987-present; general slogan)
- All the News for Western Washington (1990-1999)
- Coverage You Can Count On (1999-present; news
- Community, Context, Commitment. (2001-2007; secondary
Digital television and high definition
KING 5 started broadcasting its local news and public affairs
programming in HD on April 16, 2007. 
On April 16th, 2007, KING 5 also started using the tagline "KING 5
HD" when referring to the channel.
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.
After the analog
, KING-DT remained on channel 48 using
display KING-TV's virtual channels
as 5 on digital television receivers.
- Congress postpones DTV transition, Seattle may
not, KING/AP, February 5, 2009
- KING, KONG now all-digital
- 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;
- On the Air: The King Broadcasting Story by Daniel Jack
Chasan, from Island Publishers; ISBN 0-9615580-6-7