SEATTLE — On November 25, 1948, the first broadcast of what today is the centerpiece of the largest media company in the Pacific Northwest was made. It involved a high school football game. Today, staff and community leaders are preparing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of this media group’s first asset — the “KING” of Seattle.
KING-5, branded as “K5,” is the crown jewel of TEGNA’s KING 5 Media Group, which includes the appropriately named KONG-16.
KING is the NBC affiliate serving the Pacific Northwest’s largest market, under the leadership of President/GM Jim Rose.
His prowess, and K5’s dominance in Seattle, Tacoma and across Western Washington, wouldn’t be possible without the vision of a woman who purchased KING-5 in 1949 and built a legacy. That would be local businesswoman Dorothy Bullitt, who is pioneer on several levels.
KING was the first television station north of San Francisco. It is also the first station west of the Rockies to telecast in color, a feat achieved on July 1, 1954. KING-5 is also the first independent station to bounce signals off a satellite, an accomplishment seen in 1965.
“Being a part of the process to commemorate KING 5’s 70th anniversary is such an honor,” said Cheryl Carson, KING’s Executive News Director. “I have learned so much about the station’s rich history, the personalities, commitment to the community and the ground-breaking technology. Everything we are now is built on what so many before us achieved over the past seven decades and it is a privilege to be leading this team.”
Over the next month, viewers will have the opportunity to join KING anchors Lori Matsukawa and Joyce Taylor as they revisit the station’s history and bring to light memories that tell the story of KING-5.
Matsukawa has been associated with KING for half of the station’s lifetime.
When asked about the milestone, Taylor said, “I think of the powerful, brilliant, visionary women and men who paved the way for me and so many others. Founder Dorothy Bullitt and so many other role models were the best of examples of what it means to be a journalist and community servant. I still remember the first day I walked the halls of KING-5 in 1988. Thirty years later, I am privileged to be a member of this team and one of the guardians of its legacy.”
Special segments are airing weekly in morning and evening newscasts, culminating with a one-hour special airing on Sunday after The 5th Quarter. Segments and the special will include interviews with some of the station’s storytellers and influencers, including Founder Dorothy Bullitt’s granddaughter, Dorothy C. Bullitt, and former anchors Dennis Bounds and Jean Enersen.