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CitySeattle, Washington
BrandingKING 5
First air date
November 25, 1948
(75 years ago)
Former call signs
KRSC-TV (1948–1949)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog: 5 (VHF, 1948–2009)
  • Digital: 48 (UHF, 1999–2019)
  • CBS (1948–1953)
  • ABC (secondary 1948−1953, primary 1953–1959)
  • NBC (secondary, 1948–1953 and 1958–1959)
  • DuMont (secondary, 1948–1956)
Call sign meaning
King Broadcasting Company
Technical information[1]
Licensing authority
Facility ID34847
ERP715 kW
HAAT232.1 m (761 ft)
Transmitter coordinates47°37′54″N 122°21′3″W / 47.63167°N 122.35083°W / 47.63167; -122.35083
Public license information

KING-TV (channel 5) is a television station in Seattle, Washington, United States, affiliated with NBC. It is owned by Tegna Inc. alongside Everett-licensed independent station KONG (channel 16). The two stations share studios at the Home Plate Center in the SoDo district of Seattle; KING-TV's transmitter is located in the city's Queen Anne neighborhood.

Debuting as the first television station in the Pacific Northwest, channel 5 was purchased by and became the flagship station of Dorothy Bullitt's King Broadcasting Company eight months into broadcasting; the company still exists as a license holder for its properties under Tegna ownership. The station became an NBC affiliate in 1959 and has generally led the Seattle television market since.


Channel 5 first took to the air as KRSC-TV on November 25, 1948,[2] becoming the first television station in the Pacific Northwest (within six years, it became the Pacific Northwest's first color broadcaster on July 1, 1954[3]). The station was originally owned by Palmer K. Leberman's Radio Sales Corporation, which also operated KRSC radio (1150 AM, now KKNW, and FM 98.1, now KING-FM); the original callsign was derived from Leberman's company.[4] The first broadcast on channel 5 was a live remote of a Thanksgiving Day high school football game – the telecast was plagued with technical difficulties, but local viewers reported being impressed nonetheless.[5][6] Channel 5 was originally a primary CBS affiliate,[7] and carried secondary affiliations with NBC, ABC and DuMont.[8]

Eight months after the television station debuted, KRSC-TV and KRSC-FM were purchased by King Broadcasting Company, owners of KING radio (1090 AM, now KPTR) and the original KING-FM (94.9, frequency now occupied by KUOW-FM), for $375,000 in May 1949.[9] The station changed its callsign to KING-TV to match its radio sisters[10] (according to legend, King Broadcasting president Dorothy Bullitt purchased the KING call letters while on a fishing boat).[citation needed] For many years, the stations' logo was "King Mike", an anthropomorphized microphone in ermine robes and a crown, drawn by cartoonist Walt Disney[11][12][13] (its sister stations in Portland, Oregon, KGW-AM-FM-TV, used a similar logo, called "Pioneer Mike";[citation needed] the King Mike logo was later brought back for KING's 50th anniversary in 1998 and still appears in promotional announcements to this day).

Once the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-imposed freeze on television station license awards ended in 1952, KING-TV lost its monopoly in the market. During 1953, the Seattle–Tacoma area received three new stations: KTNT-TV (channel 11, now KSTW) debuted in March as the market's CBS outlet; while NBC went to KMO-TV (channel 13, now KCPQ), which signed on in August. NBC moved a few months later to KOMO-TV (channel 4), which went on the air in December. By the end of the year, KING-TV was left with poor-performing ABC and DuMont, the latter of which ceased operations in 1956. Subsequently, Bullitt lobbied NBC for a group affiliation for her stations, and in October 1958, KING-TV and KGW-TV in Portland began carrying NBC programming.[14] In Seattle, channel 5 shared NBC and ABC with KOMO-TV for most of the 1958–59 television season. On September 27, 1959, KING-TV became an exclusive NBC station and KOMO-TV affiliated with ABC full-time. KING-TV is one of a few handful of stations in the country to have held a primary affiliation with all of the "Big Three" networks.[15][16][17]

Dissatisfied with Stimson Bullitt's management style, Dorothy Bullitt, and Mr. Bullitt's sisters, arranged for his voluntary resignation from King Broadcasting in 1972.[citation needed] 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 systems (under the name of King Videocable, the assets of which have by now been absorbed into Comcast) and even various timber assets in the Far East.[citation needed]

Locally produced programs that debuted on the station during the 1970s and 1980s included Seattle Today/Good Company, a mid-morning talk show hosted by Cliff Lenz and Shirley Hudson and later by Susan Michaels and Colby Chester; Seattle Tonight, Tonite!, hosted by Ross McGowan and later Dick Klinger; Almost Live!, originally a Sunday night talk and comedy show hosted by Ross Shafer, that later became an ensemble sketch comedy show (that eventually moved to Saturday nights) after Shafer left to become host of The Late Show on Fox; and a local Evening Magazine franchise, first hosted by Penny LeGate and Brian Tracey. Of these, only Evening Magazine (now entitled simply Evening) 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's stations included KGW radio and television in Portland, KREM-TV in Spokane, KTVB-TV in Boise, KHNL-TV and KFVE in Honolulu and KYA radio in 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 provider assets) to The Providence Journal Company. KING-TV and other King Broadcasting stations later became Belo properties as a result of that company's merger with The Providence Journal Company in 1997.[18] As a result, Belo was forced to divest KIRO-TV to Cox Enterprises in order to keep the higher rated KING-TV.

Bonneville International Corporation purchased KING (AM) in 1994. During the 1990s, Almost Live!, as it became a pure comedy show, launched the careers of Bill Nye the Science Guy, Joel McHale (of The Soup fame) nationally and locally, Pat Cashman and John Keister (who replaced Ross Shafer as host of that show in 1988). KING-TV was also the home for Watch This!, a fast-paced Emmy Award-winning show aimed at children and teenagers;[citation needed] 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 (NWCN), which was a 24-hour regional cable news channel available primarily to cable providers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho with lesser cable coverage in Alaska, Montana and California. Almost Live! ended after 15 years in 1999.

Gannett/Tegna, move to SoDo[edit]

Home Plate Center, the station's studio since 2016

On June 13, 2013, the Gannett Company announced that it would acquire Belo.[19] The sale was completed on December 23.[20] On June 29, 2015, Gannett's newspaper business was spun out, with KING-TV and Gannett's former TV properties renamed Tegna.[21][22]

In April 2014, KING-TV announced plans to sell its South Lake Union headquarters and re-locate, taking advantage of a booming real estate market in the South Union Lake area. In September 2014, it was reported that the station was planning to lease multiple floors at the Home Plate Center, a complex in the SoDo area of Seattle, and located across the street from T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field). In March 2015, Gannett confirmed that KING, KONG, and NWCN would move to the lower three floors of the Home Plate Center, and announced plans for KING-TV to utilize the lower floor for the market's first street-side studio.[18][23] The former facilities were sold to Kilroy Realty for nearly $50 million, and were demolished during the summer of 2016, and would be replaced by mixed-use developments.[24][25]

The choice of a smaller location was in response to concerns that the large size of its previous facility inhibited collaboration. The ground floor contains two studios: a street-side studio for KING-TV's news programming, and the other for local productions such as New Day Northwest. The newsroom is located on the second floor, and contained NWCN's main set. The new facility was equipped with new Grass Valley master control, graphics, and playout hardware, and Sony automation equipment.[26] After broadcasting its final newscast from the North Dexter Avenue studio on February 12, 2016, KING quietly transitioned its master control to Home Plate Center during that night's broadcast of Late Night with Seth Meyers, and began broadcasting newscasts from the new facility the following morning.[26][27]

On January 6, 2017, NWCN was shut down due to declining viewership, the free online streaming of KING and KONG's newscasts, and the reluctance of local cable systems to pay more for the channel to keep it operating.[28]


As of September 2023, KING-TV broadcasts only two syndicated programs during its weekday schedule, Extra and Inside Edition. This, as part of the station relying less on syndicated programming and more on the station's newscasts and local programming, makes KING-TV one of several stations in the U.S. to share a similar strategy. Despite this, KING-TV was airing 3+12 hours of syndicated programming prior to September 2013.[29]

On New Year's Eve, KING-TV broadcasts coverage of the fireworks show on the Space Needle.[30]

Sports programming[edit]

KING-TV opted not to carry NBC's telecasts of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006,[citation needed] 2007, 2008 and 2013, when the games began at 5 p.m. Pacific time, choosing to instead air its regular lineup of local newscasts and syndicated shows. KONG picked up the NBC telecasts of the games, and CBC Television's broadcasts of the games were available to most cable providers in the region through the network's Vancouver owned-and-operated station CBUT. For the 2007 and 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, however, KING-TV aired NBC's Saturday night telecasts, while KONG aired the other NBC telecasts. As for the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals, KING-TV aired games 1, 2 and 5 while KONG aired games 6 and 7.

KING-TV has been the official television partner of the Seattle Seahawks since 2022, airing preseason games and team-focused shows; previous stints with the team were held from 1981 to 2000 and again from 2004 to 2011 (sister station KONG carried Seahawks preseason games in 2003 and 2004).[31] The station also airs Seahawks games through NBC's broadcast contract with the NFL (via Sunday Night Football; it has also served as the team's unofficial home station, carrying most games from 1977 to 1997 when the team played in the AFC, which NBC held the broadcast rights to in those years). Notably, this included the team’s appearance in Super Bowl XLIX. Both KING-TV and KONG served as official television broadcasters of the city's Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC from 2009 to 2013, in which KONG aired a weekly magazine program on Sunday nights during the season called Sounders FC Weekly, and was rebroadcast Mondays on sister cable channel Northwest Cable News.

KING-TV also broadcast all Seattle SuperSonics games covered through NBC's NBA broadcast contract from 1990 to 2002, including the team's 1996 NBA Finals appearance. It also aired select Seattle Mariners games via NBC's MLB broadcast contract from 1977 to 1989, and for the postseason only from 1995 to 2000.

Beginning in 2024, KING-TV will air select Washington Huskies football games through Big Ten Saturday Night. It will also air select Seattle Kraken games as part of the team's new regional deal, which also made KONG the new flagship station for Kraken telecasts.[32][33]

News operation[edit]

A morning news interview with the Secretary of the United States Navy Ray Mabus.

KING-TV presently broadcasts 46 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with seven hours each weekday, six hours on Saturdays and five hours on Sundays).

In 1999, to compete against KOMO-TV, KING-TV began broadcasting its newscasts in high definition; at the time it only had one studio camera that was HD-capable. In April 2007, KING-TV 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.[34] Field reports continued to be broadcast in standard definition (480i converted to 1080i HD for telecast) but were taped in a 16:9 aspect ratio, giving the appearance of high-definition. According to KING-TV, it is "Seattle's First HD Newscast".[35]

Following its sale to the company, KING-TV adopted Gannett's standardized newscast presentation (which used a color coding system modeled upon co-owned newspaper USA Today.[36][37]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

Technical information[edit]


The station's signal is multiplexed:

Subchannels of KING[49]
Channel Res. Aspect Short name Programming
5.1 1080i 16:9 KING-HD NBC
5.2 480i Crime True Crime Network
5.3 Quest Quest
5.4 The365 The365
5.5 QVC2 QVC2
16.1 1080i 16:9 KONG-HD KONG (Independent)
  Broadcast on behalf of another station

On December 6, 2011, Belo signed an agreement with the Live Well Network to affiliate with digital subchannels of KING-TV and Spokane sister station KSKN; Live Well Network replaced Universal Sports on digital subchannel 5.2 on January 1, 2012, as Universal Sports transitioned into a cable and satellite channel during the first quarter of 2012.[50] Justice Network replaced Live Well Network on 5.2 in January 2015.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

KING-TV ceased regular programming over its analog signal, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[51] As the "analog nightlight" station for the Seattle–Tacoma market, it aired a loop reminding viewers to get a digital converter box on analog channel 5 until June 26, 2009.[52] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 48,[53][54] using virtual channel 5.

Canadian and out-of-market coverage[edit]

KING-TV is one of five Seattle television stations that are available in Canada on satellite providers Bell Satellite TV and Shaw Direct, and is available to most cable subscribers in the Vancouver–Victoria, British Columbia, area as the NBC affiliate. The station is also carried on several cable providers in southeastern Alaska and northwestern Oregon, as well as in the Yakima DMA cities of Cle Elum[55] and Ellensburg,[56] with NBC programming and some syndicated shows blacked out due to FCC regulations. KING-TV is also carried in The Bahamas on REV TV.[57]


Specific citations:

  1. ^ "Facility Technical Data for KING-TV". Licensing and Management System. Federal Communications Commission.
  2. ^ FCC History Cards for KING-TV. Federal Communications Commission.
  3. ^ "About KING5 | Seattle, Washington".
  4. ^ "KRSC-TV; Seattle station planning new program formula." Broadcasting – Telecasting, November 22, 1948, pg. 36. [1][permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "KRSC-TV goes on the air with fanfare." Broadcasting – Telecasting, December 6, 1948, pg. 44. [2][permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Corr, O. Casey (October 6, 1996). "The day Seattle got TV–'It's cute, but I don't think it'll ever amount to much,' a radio broadcaster concluded". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  7. ^ "KRSC-TV joins CBS television network." Broadcasting – Telecasting, October 25, 1948, pg. 28. [3][permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "KRSC-TV will sign three TV networks." Broadcasting – Telecasting, November 8, 1948, pg. 68. [4][permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "KRSC-FM-TV sold to KING for $375,000; subject to FCC okay." Broadcasting – Telecasting, May 16, 1949, pg. 30. [5][permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Seattle change; TV start, FM switch set by KING." Broadcasting – Telecasting, August 22, 1949, pg. 38.
  11. ^ https://archive.today/VWrye/bff5b69de2c4fc9d60dc9c553a3b618f2fa54e15.png [bare URL image file]
  12. ^ "Redirect URL".
  13. ^ "KING_Mike.PNG (186x253 pixels)". si0.twimg.com. Archived from the original on April 12, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  14. ^ "KGW, KING stations affiliate with NBC."[permanent dead link] Broadcasting, October 20, 1958, pg. 74.
  15. ^ "Seattle partner-change in '59: KOMO-TV to ABC; KING-TV to NBC."[permanent dead link] Broadcasting, October 27, 1958, pg. 68.
  16. ^ "KOMO-TV joins ABC."[permanent dead link] Broadcasting, April 13, 1959, pg. 99.
  17. ^ "'Operation Switchover.'"[permanent dead link] Broadcasting, October 5, 1959, pg. 100.
  18. ^ a b "KING 5 puts building up for sale as South Lake Union booms". Seattle Times. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  19. ^ Ortutay, Barbara; Fowler, Bree (June 13, 2013). "Gannett to buy TV station owner Belo for $1.5B". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  20. ^ Gannett Completes Its Acquisition of Belo, TVNewsCheck, Retrieved December 23, 2013
  21. ^ "Separation of Gannett into two public companies completed | TEGNA". Tegna. June 29, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  22. ^ Yu, Roger (April 21, 2015). "Gannett to change name to TEGNA amid print unit spinoff". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  23. ^ "KING 5 moving to Seattle's SoDo neighborhood". KING5.com. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  24. ^ "What's next for 333 Dexter Avenue". KING5.com. Tegna. Archived from the original on February 14, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  25. ^ "333 Dexter Ave. demolition". KING5.com.
  26. ^ a b "KING Hits A Grand Slam At Home Plate Center". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  27. ^ "KING 5 News pre-emptions this week". KING5.com. Tegna. Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  28. ^ Connelly, Joel; SeattlePI (October 28, 2016). "Tegna pulls the plug on Northwest Cable News". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  29. ^ "Inside Edition's local girl Megan Alexander". KING5.com. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  30. ^ "TV Picks for Monday: 'New Year's at The Needle' on KING". The Seattle Times. December 31, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  31. ^ "Seattle Seahawks And KING 5 Announce New Multi-Year Partnership". Seattle Seahawks. May 10, 2022. Archived from the original on May 10, 2022. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  32. ^ "New, More Ways to Watch the Kraken | Seattle Kraken". www.nhl.com. April 25, 2024. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  33. ^ "Kraken leaving ROOT Sports for new TV and streaming deals". The Seattle Times. April 25, 2024. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  34. ^ "HDTV". KING-TV. Archived from the original on May 16, 2007.
  35. ^ "KING 5 News switches to HD format". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2007.
  36. ^ "New graphic look coming to KING 5 on Wednesday". KING5.com. Archived from the original on August 10, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  37. ^ "Gannett Stations Clean Up Their Graphics". TVNewsCheck. January 15, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  38. ^ a b "Dennis Bounds, Jeff Renner among KING 5 staffers taking retirement offers". April 15, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  39. ^ "Aaron Brown: Curriculum Vitae". Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  40. ^ Porterfield, Elaine (October 28, 2003). "Ex-journalist says he asks tough questions". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  41. ^ "Shot Fired Into Former Seattle News Anchor's Home". Sky Valley Chronicle. October 31, 2009. Retrieved September 26, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  42. ^ Boss, Kit (August 13, 1992). "KING Anchor Rejoins KIRO". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  43. ^ Wiley, Suzie (July 31, 2020). ""People are amazing", KING 5's Margaret Larson looks back on a 35 year career in journalism". KING5.com. Tegna Inc. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  44. ^ "Margaret Larson Bio". KING5.com. Tegna Inc. July 12, 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  45. ^ "Mark Mullen Biography". KNSD. September 25, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  46. ^ "Sharon O'Donnell bio". KOMO-TV. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  47. ^ Clarridge, Christine (May 10, 2009). ""Funniest guy in the room" told whimsical TV stories". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  48. ^ Moore, Jim (January 24, 2005). "Don Poier, 1951–2005: Voice of Grizzlies honed his skills in NW". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  49. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KING
  50. ^ Live Well Net Adds Two More Belo Stations, TVNewsCheck, December 6, 2011.
  51. ^ Congress postpones DTV transition, Seattle may not Archived February 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, KING/AP, February 5, 2009
  52. ^ http://www.king5.com/business/stories/NW_061209DTV-switchover-complete-JM.72d85dd1.html KING, KONG now all-digital Archived June 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  53. ^ "CDBS Print". FCC. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  54. ^ List of Digital Full-Power Stations Archived August 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  55. ^ "Channel Line-Up & Packages" (PDF). Inland Networks. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  56. ^ "Spectrum TV Packages – Ellensburg, WA". Charter Communications. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  57. ^ "TV Channel listings | TV Guide | REVTV". REV. Retrieved August 13, 2022.

General references:

  • 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

External links[edit]