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KIRO-TV
KIRO7.svg
Kiro dt2.png
Seattle, Washington
Branding KIRO 7 (general)
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (newscasts)
RTN Northwest (on DT2)
Slogan The Spirit of the Northwest (general)
Committed to Complete Northwest News Coverage (news)
Channels Digital: 39 (UHF)
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Translators (see article)
Affiliations CBS (since 1997; also from 1958-1995)
Owner Cox Enterprises, Inc.
(KIRO-TV, Inc.)
First air date February 8, 1958
Call letters’ meaning See KIRO (AM) for history and reasoning; pronounced "Cairo"
Former channel number(s) Analog:
7 (VHF, 1958-2009)
Former affiliations UPN (1995-1997)
Transmitter Power 1000 kW
Height 230 m
Facility ID 66781
Transmitter Coordinates 47°37′58.8″N 122°21′23.8″W / 47.633°N 122.356611°W / 47.633; -122.356611
Website www.kirotv.com

KIRO-TV is the CBS television affiliate in Seattle, Washington. It broadcasts on digital channel 39. The station's offices and broadcasting center are located near Seattle Center in the Denny Regrade neighborhood, and its transmitter is located on Queen Anne Hill, Seattle, Washington. It is currently owned by Cox Enterprises.

Currently, the station carries syndicated programming such as Better, The Rachael Ray Show, Judge Judy, The Insider and Entertainment Tonight.

KIRO-TV is one of five local Seattle TV stations seen in Canada via Shaw Broadcast Services for the purposes of time-shifting and can be viewed from many eastern Canadian cities including Toronto and Montreal, as well as on the Bell TV and Shaw Direct satellite providers. It can also been seen on local cable systems in British Columbia, as the "local" CBS affiliate.

Contents

History

Channel 7 was intended to be the last VHF TV channel allocation in the Puget Sound area, and many broadcasting companies wanted it. Ultimately, it went to Saul Haas, owner of KIRO radio (AM 710 and the original KIRO-FM at 100.7, now KKWF), and the station signed on as KIRO-TV on February 8, 1958. The first program shown was the explosion of Ripple Rock, a hazard to navigation in Seymour Narrows, British Columbia. The second program was the first broadcast of longtime Seattle children's show, J. P. Patches. KIRO Channel 7 subsequently became a CBS affiliate, and competed heavily against KTNT-TV (now KSTW), another CBS affiliate licensed to Tacoma. KIRO eventually won out, becoming the sole CBS affiliate for the Puget Sound area in the early 1960s.

In 1964, KIRO-AM-FM-TV came under the ownership of Bonneville International Corporation, part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bonneville executives Lloyd Cooney and Ken Hatch arrived in Seattle to lead the combined broadcast group in 1964. Upon Cooney's departure to run for US Senate in 1980, Hatch became President, CEO and Chairman - a position he held until 1995. Under Hatch's leadership, KIRO Inc. (which included KIRO TV, AM, FM, KING AM, FM and Third Avenue Productions) became one of the nation's premier regional broadcast groups. During this period, KIRO's corporate board included many notable leaders including Mary Gates, mother of Bill Gates, M. Lamont Bean, Pay 'N Save Chairman, Tony Eyring, Washington Mutual CEO and Gordon B. Hinckley, former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, KIRO still faced competition in some Western Washington households from Bellingham's KVOS-TV, which at the time was also a CBS affiliate. After years of legal challenges and negotiations with CBS and KIRO, KVOS phased out most CBS programming but retained a nominal CBS affiliation until the early 1990s, during which it would run all of the CBS shows that were preempted by KIRO.

KIRO-TV was also the flagship station for pre-season game broadcasts of the Seattle Seahawks from 1975 to 1985. Play-by-play announcers were Ron Barr (1975-6), the late Pete Gross (1976-8) and the late Wayne Cody (1978-85), who was also the station's sports anchor.

In 1986 KIRO debuted "Point Counterpoint" featuring conservative John Carlson and liberal Walt Crowley. [1] Airing on what was then KIRO's most popular newscast, "The Sunday Newshour" with Brian Wood anchor and Monica Hart anchor, Crowley and Carlson became well known for their pointed and bombastic debates.

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1990s

In 1994, CBS found itself without an affiliate in Dallas after KDFW left the network to become a Fox affiliate. Consequently, CBS began to negotiate with Gaylord Broadcasting to secure an affiliation agreement with the independent station it had long owned in Dallas, KTVT. As part of the deal, CBS would also affiliate with Gaylord-owned KSTW (which was previously an independent station, and was about to affiliate with The WB). The deal was announced in the summer of 1994, and CBS programming included The Bold and The Beautiful, which had been pre-empted by KIRO was moved to KSTW by the fall of that year. Other CBS programs such as The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder were shown on KSTW beginning in January 1995, although the show aired an hour later at 1:35am, whereas other CBS affiliates aired the program directly after The Late Show with David Letterman at 12:35am. Even when KSTW regained CBS affiliation in March 1995, the program continued to air at 1:35am.

More changes descended upon KIRO as it was sold by Bonneville to Belo Corporation, which took ownership of the station in 1995. The station affiliated with UPN on March 13, 1995 and modified its local newscast lineup, with newscasts at:

  • 5 - 9am (previously only went until 7 am, now continued until 9 am with the last two hours as "7 Live" with Joyce Taylor, a locally produced alternative to the national morning shows);
  • 5 - 7pm (which previously were separate 5pm and 6pm newscasts, with the CBS Evening News in between at 5:30pm);
  • 10 - 11pm (which was previously an 11pm newscast);
  • along with its existing 12noon - 1pm newscast.

The rest of the day on KIRO was filled with first-run syndicated talk shows, reality shows, off-network dramas, a couple of off-network sitcoms, UPN shows, and movies. This format was unusual for a UPN affiliate, as most UPN affiliates had a general entertainment format outside of UPN programming.

Later, Belo acquired the Providence Journal Company, which owned Seattle's NBC affiliate KING-TV. Belo could not own both KING and KIRO, and as a result, the company opted to put KIRO on the market.

A proposed sale to the Fox Television Stations group (in exchange for KSAZ-TV in Phoenix, Arizona and KTBC in Austin, Texas) to make KIRO the market's Fox station fell through. Later on, the Paramount Stations Group announced its intention to buy KIRO and turn it into a more traditional independent station, with a lineup of more cartoons, sitcoms, and movies. However, after further research, Paramount found that the newscasts on KIRO were doing very well. On the other hand, Cox Communications (which took ownership of KSTW in mid-1997) found it rather difficult to upgrade KSTW's news department to the level of competition among the other stations in the market. As a result, the three companies came to a deal. Cox handed KSTW over to Paramount, which in turn gave St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV to Belo; Belo then transferred KIRO-TV to Cox. The two stations retained their respective syndicated programming, but swapped network affiliations once again, with KSTW becoming a UPN owned-and-operated station (O&O), and KIRO regaining its CBS affiliation on June 30, 1997.

Program pre-emptions

During the 1970s, KIRO pre-empted the first half hour of Captain Kangaroo each morning in order to air "J.P. Patches". Many parents protested by writing letters to the station because they preferred more educational value from "Captain Kangaroo" than with "J.P."

From 1987 to 1994, under the ownership of Bonneville, KIRO refused to air The Bold and the Beautiful, which normally aired at 12:30pm. The station aired a one-hour local newscast from 12noon to 1pm instead. As a result, the station received many protest letters from fans of the show during that period, and even one from the show's creator himself, William J. Bell. During that time, the show was seen instead on KTZZ (now KMYQ) and KVOS. This can be attributed to Bonneville's ownership by the Mormon church, who has strict decency values. These beliefs could have collided with the campy nature of the soap.

In 1990, KIRO tape-delayed the Daytona 500 by 6 hours to show a Seattle SuperSonics game. Ironically, the race ended up being won by Derrike Cope, who is a native of nearby Spanaway, Washington, in an upset over Dale Earnhardt.

KIRO now runs the entire CBS lineup (including The Bold and the Beautiful) with no pre-emptions, except for KIRO's award-winning special, InColor.

The J. P. Patches Show

JP and Gertrude in 2008 tribute

One of the most famous and longest-running regional children's TV programs in America, The J.P. Patches Show was produced in-house by KIRO-TV and broadcast steadily from 1958 to 1981. The program starred Chris Wedes as Julius Pierpont Patches, a shabby clown and self-professed mayor of the City Dump, and Bob Newman as J. P.'s "girlfriend" Gertrude, in addition to a number of other characters.

Nightmare Theatre

Nightmare Theatre was KIRO-TV's weekly horror movie series, seen from 1964 to 1978, and hosted by "The Count" (Joe Towey) from 1968 to 1975.

Newscasts

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News opening animation, circa 1998.

Beginning in 1969, KIRO initiated major upgrades of its news programming, implementing the now-commonplace "Eyewitness News" format with chief correspondent Clif Kirk, sportscaster Ron Forsell, and assistant anchor Sandy Hill, who later left KIRO to become the second co-host of Good Morning America (actress Nancy Dussault was the first co-host). Throughout the decades, KIRO placed a high emphasis on news programming and investigative stories. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Eyewitness News team of anchors John Marler and Gary Justice, meteorologist Harry Wappler and Wayne Cody overtook KING-TV for supremacy in local news.

Beginning in the 1970s, KIRO's news programs also included on-air editorial opinions prepared by Lloyd E. Cooney. After Cooney left the station in 1980 to pursue an unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign, the station editorials were handled by a series of commentators: KIRO Inc. CEO and Chairman Kenneth L. Hatch, who led the organization for three decades, followed by former Seattle City Council member John Miller (later elected as Congressman from Washington's First District) and then by former Seattle Post-Intelligencer editor Louis R. Guzzo.

By the early '90s, the well-worn, "happy talk" format faltered and KING's newscasts had overtaken KIRO in the news ratings race. As a result, in January 1993, KIRO relaunched its news products with great promotional fanfare. "News Outside the Box," as the approach was unofficially known, was an attempt to synergize both KIRO radio and television staffs (the "KIRO News Network") in an open newsroom that also doubled as a set for the station's broadcasts. The Seattle Symphony was commissioned to record the station's musical theme package, and ballet instructors coached KIRO-TV anchors in the art of walking toward a moving camera while simultaneously delivering the news.

The result was an unmitigated disaster. Viewers quickly complained they were distracted by the moving anchors, constant buzz of assignment editors in the background of newscasts and periodic "visits" into the KIRO radio studios. Television reporters' primary assets were lost on radio listeners, and many of the radio reporters were clearly uncomfortable on camera. The original concept also called for live airing of unedited field tape, which, unfortunately, only called attention to the importance of good news editing. In addition, KOMO and KING were fighting for first place in the Seattle market. By September, the concept was scrapped for a fixed anchor desk and a rebranding to "KIRO NewsChannel 7" before ultimately returning to Eyewitness News when Cox purchased the station in 1997.

After the 1995 affiliation change to UPN, KIRO's focus on news and investigative programming increased. In March 2003, KIRO (as a CBS affiliate once again) began producing a 10pm newscast for KSTW. However, KSTW cancelled the newscast in June 2005.

Around July 1, 2007, KIRO silently converted their newscasts to 16:9 widescreen. This makes KIRO 7 Eyewitness News the 3rd widescreen newscast in the Seattle market (following the lead of KING and KOMO, and other Cox Television stations) [2]

On Sunday, March 16, 2008, KIRO upgraded its television newscasts by broadcasting in high-definition (1080i) format and upgrading its cameras to high-definition, as well as a new weather center, after KING on around April 2007. Field reports, however, but just like KING, are broadcast in 480i but are taped in 16:9 aspect ratio and upconverted to 1080i. Furthermore, after this upgrade, KIRO has re-branded its weather forecasts to "KIRO Weather" eliminating the "Pinpoint Weather" slogan that has been in use since the early 90's. Also, Rebecca Stevenson, who came from KING-TV and NWCN, became KIRO's first female chief meteorologist and she succeeded Andy Wappler, who took a job at Puget Sound Energy.

On January 8, 2009, it was announced that primary co-anchor Margo Myers would be stepping down from the 5, 6, and 11pm newscasts to be the noon anchor. Angela Russell, previously the 4pm anchor at KYW-TV, became the new primary co-anchor weeknights with longtime co-anchor Steve Raible as of March 2009.

News Team

Current personalities

Anchors

  • Julie Francavilla - Weekday mornings & Noon
  • Chris Egert - Weekday mornings
  • Steve Raible - Weeknights 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Angela Russell - Weeknights 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Monique Ming Laven - Weekends 5, 6 and 11 p.m.

Weather

  • Rebecca Stevenson - Chief Meteorologist - Weeknights 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Sam Argier - Weekday mornings & Noon
  • Rick VanCise - Weekends
  • Erin Mayovsky -
  • Todd Johnson -

Sports

  • Steve Raible - Anchor/Sports KIRO 7 Eyewitness News at 5, 6 and 11 (Mon-Fri).
  • Gaard Swanson - Sports Director and KIRO 7 Eyewitness News at 5, 6 and 11 (weekends).

Traffic

  • Clark Stahl - Chopper 7 Reporter and Pilot
  • Jenni Hogan - Morning Traffic Anchor

Bureau Reporters

  • Unstaffed - Eastside Bureau Chief and Eastside Reporter
  • Kevin McCarty - Pierce County Bureau Chief and Pierce County Reporter
  • Richard Thompson - South Sound Bureau Chief and South Bureau Reporter
  • Unstaffed - North Sound Bureau Chief and North Sound Reporter

Reporters

  • Bob Branum
  • Amy Clancy - Consumer Investigator/Investigative Reporter
  • Jeff Dubois (Fill-In Anchor)
  • Chris Egert - Anchor/Reporter
  • Chris Halsne - Investigative Reporter
  • Gary Horcher
  • Deborah Horne - Reporter and "In Color" specials Anchor
  • Graham Johnson
  • Penny LeGate - Anchor/Reporter
  • Chris Legeros (Fill-In Anchor)
  • Michelle Millman - Morning Reporter (Fill-In Anchor)
  • Monique Ming Laven - Anchor/Reporter
  • Kyle Moore
  • Karen O'Leary
  • Essex Porter (Fill-In Anchor)
  • Rick Price - Aviation Specialist
  • David Quinlan - Consumer Reporter
  • Stacy Sakamoto

KIRO alumni

  • Margo Myers, Anchor 2002-2009. Currently CEO for Margo Myers Communications in Seattle.
  • Harry Wappler, 1969-1998 Chief Meteorologist
  • Andy Wappler, Andy's final broadcast was on Friday February 15, 2008. He left KIRO TV to join Puget Sound Energy, where he promotes Green Energy.
  • Monty Webb, Meteorologist (now at WHAS-TV in Louisville, KY)
  • Jeffrey Babcock, former WABC TV, Good Morning New York, consumer and finance reporter.
  • Aaron Brown, former ABC News and CNN anchor. Currently anchoring at PBS and teaching journalism at Walter Cronkite School.
  • Ann Bush, noon anchor, lifestyle reporter, and substitute weather anchor. Went to KING briefly in the mid-80's. Now in PR in the private sector.
  • Jann Charlton, morning and noon anchor in the 80's. Later went to CNN.
  • Wayne Cody, sports anchor
  • Linda Cohn, ESPN SportsCenter anchor
  • Darryl David, business reporter and later noon anchor. Went to Chicago.
  • Mikki Flowers, KIRO's first full-time African-American reporter/weather anchor (1970s-early 2000s), now retired.
  • Ron Forsell Sports Director
  • Brad Goode, morning anchor. Now at KING 5
  • Wayne Havrelly - weekend anchor/consumer investigator. Now at KGW in Portland
  • Sandy Hill, later worked at KNXT/KCBS-TV Los Angeles and Good Morning America (1977-80)
  • Helen Holter, worked as senior correspondent in Russian for Soviet TV; also freelanced for ABC News in Moscow, Russia.
  • Susan Hutchison, 22-year news anchor. Currently directing the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, and running for King County Executive.
  • Gary Justice, long time anchorman
  • Neal Karlinsky, Reporter. Now with ABC News (based in Seattle).
  • David Kerley, Anchor/Reporter. Now with ABC News (based in Washington DC).
  • Ann Martin (1970's, moved to KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV), has since retired.
  • Bryton Miranda 2008. Currently chief meteorologist at KGTV-TV.
  • Kristy Lee, evening co-anchor with Steve Raible 2002-2005. Now with New England Cable News
  • John Marler, co-anchor with Gary Justice
  • Rob Mayeda, weather 1998-2000. Currently at KNTV in San Jose, CA.
  • John Myrick, Director of Electronic News Gathering, ABC, Los Angeles.
  • Larry Rice, A.M. and Noon meteorologist 1987-1995. Was chief meteorologist at KOB-TV in Albuquerque, NM 1995 to 2008, returned to Seattle anchoring and reporting at KIRO-FM NewsTalk 97.3
  • Joyce Taylor, Anchor. Currently Morning Anchor on KING-TV.
  • Nick Walker, On Camera Meteorologist, The Weather Channel, Atlanta GA.
  • Herb Weisbaum, anchor/reporter (Now at KOMO-TV)
  • Nerissa Williams, anchor/reporter
  • Brian Wood, Anchor Reporter. Currently an anchor at KATU-TV in Portland, OR
  • Bill Wixey, Sports Anchor/Reporter 1998-2000. Currently News anchor at KCPQ-TV, Seattle
  • Gulstan Dart, morning and noon anchor 2003-2008, now main anchor at KCRA-TV in Sacramento, CA
  • Julie Haener, morning anchor/reporter 1998-2001, now main anchor at sister station KTVU in Oakland, CA
  • Margo Kim, morning anchor/reporter, now morning anchor at KFSN-TV in Fresno, CA
  • Solon Grey, morning/noon/weekend anchor and reporter (1970s-80s), retired
  • Fran Grey, wife of Solon Grey, movie critic and weekend weather anchor (1980's), retired
  • Linda Coldiron, weekend anchor (1980's), now in private sector
  • Richard Montague, weekend weather (1980's)
  • Gary Spinnell, noon/weekend sports (1980's)
  • Tony Ventrella, sports director (1980's-90's)
  • Bob Branom, anchor and reporter, 1970's-2000's)
  • The KIRO Newsjet, the first and only branded news jet in the nation, mid-80's, now retired
  • Lee Carter, reporter
  • Mike James, weekend anchor
  • Don Porter, weekend morning anchor
  • Alison Starling, anchor/reporter, now at WJLA-TV Washington, D.C.

News/Station presentation

Newscast Titles

  • KIRO News (late 1980s-1993)
  • KIRO NewsChannel 7 (1993-1997)
  • KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (1997-present)

Station slogans

  • The News Specialists (early 1980s)
  • We've Got the Touch on KIRO-TV (1985-1986; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • The Spirit of the Northwest (1986-present; general slogan)
  • The Look of Seattle is KIRO-TV (1991-1992; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Your 24-Hour News Source (1990-1993; news slogan)
  • Western Washington's News Leader (1990-1997; news slogan)
  • Complete Northwest News Coverage (1997-2004; news slogan)
  • Committed to Complete Northwest News Coverage (2004-present; news slogan)
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Digital television

Digital channels

Channel Programming
7.1 KIRO-DT
7.2 Retro Television Network

KIRO-TV became digital only and shut down its analog transmitter on June 12, 2009 as mandated by the FCC.[1]

After the analog television shutdown, KIRO-DT remained on its current UHF channel 39 [2] using PSIP to display KIRO-TV's virtual channel as 7 on digital television receivers.

Translators

KIRO is rebroadcast on the following translator stations.

Analog Translators

Digital Translators

It should also be noted that KIRO-TV has applications for 2 low power digital fill in translators: one in Issaquah on channel 51 and another in Mount Vernon on channel 28. It also has a construction permit for 2 low power digital translator in Olympia on channel 34 and one in Cashmere on channel 9.

Low power analog translators in Bellevue, Edmonds, Olympia, Renton and Shelton have long since been discontinued.

References

External links


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