Logo

TV Managers of the Year: KING, Seattle

Apr 13, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The winner of TelevisionWeek’s TV Managers of the Year award for the West is Seattle’s KING-TV. The Belo-owned NBC affiliate, along with its independent sister station KONG-TV, serves the western Washington area and also is transmitted via satellite, as are other Seattle stations, to parts of Canada.
The station wins consistently in news ratings, beginning with the morning news from 5-7 a.m. and ending with the 11 p.m. slot. Some KING newscasts throughout the day are repeated or broadcast live on KONG, and a 24-hour regional news service, Northwest Cable News, also originates from the KING studio.
The KING news team—led by anchors Jean Enerson and Dennis Bounds—“has been together a long time,” General Manager Ray Heacox said. In fact, he believes Ms. Enerson, who will celebrate 40 years as station anchor in July—36 of those years as a primary evening anchor—is “the longest-sitting anchor anywhere.”
In an era in which many local and network newscasts seem to be aiming for younger and younger newscasters, Mr. Heacox notes that the wisdom and longevity of the news team is one of the reasons people tune in every evening.
“Our team has focused on being the kind of station where our viewers can trust the people who are giving them the news,” he said. “It’s a ‘big J’ journalism place, and viewers recognize that we will focus on quality.”
Executive News Director Mark Ginther thinks the team’s “knowledge of the community” plays a big role in its success. “Over the years, the station has been consistent with anchors and reporters who have experience here,” he said.
“When there’s a weather problem, or if it’s breaking news, they know what’s important to the community.”
In 1979, KING aired the first early-morning newscast in western Washington, “KING 5 Morning News” at 6:30 a.m.; the show became popular in both western Washington and British Columbia.
Smart Television
Mr. Heacox said he feels the market demands the kind of experience the KING news team has to offer. Seattle is “truly a high-tech and highly educated market,” he said, “one of the top two or three markets in the country for advanced degrees. We have an obligation to be smart.” The station also was instrumental in launching the careers of CNN’s Lou Dobbs and Bill Nye the Science Guy, he said.
As is true with each of the TelevisionWeek honorees, KING’s news staffers are actively involved in the area in which they live and work, Mr. Ginther said. “During the hard times, during the good times—they’re committed to this community.”
“The KING brand has a rich tradition in this market,” said Rick Swanson, director of marketing and programming. “It goes all the way back to when Walt Disney created a character called King Mike that continues to be the station’s logo today.” It’s one of the few characters Walt Disney created, he said, that’s not part of the Disney empire.
KING is gearing up now for political and sports events that Mr. Heacox hopes will further expand its brand throughout the western Washington market.
“This is a huge year for us,” Mr. Heacox said, “and it gives us a huge platform. We’ve got the Olympics in the summer and the presidential election coming up. And we’ve got an upcoming gubernatorial election as well.”
To better tackle local political issues, he said, KING airs a half-hour devoted to political and community affairs every weekend called “Upfront With Robert Mack.”
“We’re highly competitive,” Mr. Heacox said, “but the truth is, in order to be the top performer you have to do the product well.”
“Ray really does set the tempo for this station,” Mr. Swanson noted, “but he’s also empowered by great ownership. Belo has a commitment to quality journalism and quality TV. And when people share common views, it has a way of coming out the glass.”
Ready for HD
The station’s conversion to high-def is “all done,” Mr. Heacox said. KING has been broadcasting its public affairs programming and local news in HD for a year.
“We do a huge amount of public service,” said Mr. Heacox, “and we’re extremely committed to community events.” The station, he said, is a partner on Seeds of Compassion, a program for early childhood development that takes place April 12-15 in Seattle and includes “[five] days’ worth of events, including a visit from the14th Dalai Lama and [an acoustic concert by] Dave Matthews.”
The station will broadcast the Dalai Lama’s speech from Qwest Field, Mr. Heacox said, adding the station is involved in a number of other outreach programs as well. “The last several years we’ve had a relief program that we go to automatically” when there’s a disaster in the area; the station raised more than $500,000 for flood relief during last year’s torrential rains in the area.
“We have multiple touch points for the community,” Mr. Swanson said. “We’re a multidimensional entity rather than just a station with a newscast. It makes us authentic. We do what we say and say what we mean.”

11 Comments

  1. Dear Mr Heacox ———-THIS A WAY YOU COULD MAKE A TON $$$$
    with the economy in the U.S. at a low , there are more and more individuals and families getting off Dish , Digital , Charter and ect. Now a lot of Americans that don’t have a job are know watching free TV channels.
    * CBS 2
    * This 4
    KOLO 8
    FOX 11-1
    * RTV 11-2
    MY21 21
    *THECW 27
    I found an old show that people would like and there would be MONEY MAD on this show and adds.*. The channels above w/stars would work good with this show.
    If your interested in this layout of show and adds(IT’S THERE AND READY TO GO)sign the sheet go ahead—and send it to me (Steve Wagner).This is if it’s an OK I get $ 3% off the goss(3% off gross show and adds)
    After you sign this and send it to me(Steve Wagner) I’ll send you the information on the (over 50 shows) and the musicians on the show and you can think of the adds yourself I’m good for 3% if the show is a go. If it’s a sign and you decide not to do it can be canceled by throw away this letter but I’m covered by this by signed and if I see it on TV I’ll know it’s a go.
    THIS IS A GO (For Sign Below)
    —————————————————————————————
    Steve Wagner
    5164 Driftstone Ave.
    Reno , NV 89523
    steven@sbcglobal.net
    Phone # 775-747-6433

  2. Dear Mr Swanson———-THIS A WAY YOU COULD MAKE A TON $$$$
    with the economy in the U.S. at a low , there are more and more individuals and families getting off Dish , Digital , Charter and ect. Now a lot of Americans that don’t have a job are know watching free TV channels.
    * CBS 2
    * This 4
    KOLO 8
    FOX 11-1
    * RTV 11-2
    MY21 21
    *THECW 27
    I found an old show that people would like and there would be MONEY MAD on this show and adds.*. The channels above w/stars would work good with this show.
    If your interested in this layout of show and adds(IT’S THERE AND READY TO GO)sign the sheet go ahead—and send it to me (Steve Wagner).This is if it’s an OK I get $ 3% off the goss(3% off gross show and adds)
    After you sign this and send it to me(Steve Wagner) I’ll send you the information on the (over 50 shows) and the musicians on the show and you can think of the adds yourself I’m good for 3% if the show is a go. If it’s a sign and you decide not to do it can be canceled by throw away this letter but I’m covered by this by signed and if I see it on TV I’ll know it’s a go.
    THIS IS A GO (For Sign Below)
    —————————————————————————————
    Steve Wagner
    5164 Driftstone Ave.
    Reno , NV 89523
    steven@sbcglobal.net
    Phone # 775-747-6433

  3. The appreciably hoped for Glee Britney Spears tv show was shown last night, for the in general distressed but then it seems like recovering performer coming up with a outstanding overall look, really like her for this, moreso than that Lohan person.

  4. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

  5. Great blog!! You should start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned 🙂

  6. Keep focusing on your blog. I love how we can all express our feelings. This is an extremely nice blog here 🙂

  7. Kudos to you! This is a really good blog here and I love your style of writing. How did you get so good at blogging?

  8. I agree with your thoughts here and I really love your blog! I’ve bookmarked it so that I can come back & read more in the future.

  9. This is good info! Where else can if ind out more?? Who runs this joint too? Keep up the good work 🙂

  10. Amazing freakin blog here. I almost cried while reading it!

  11. This is good info! Where else can if ind out more?? Who runs this joint too? Keep up the good work 🙂

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)