|Seattle - Tacoma, Washington|
|City of license||Seattle, Washington|
|Branding||KOMO 4 (general)
KOMO 4 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Working 4 You (primary)
Seattle's Own (secondary)
|Channels||Digital: 38 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
4.2 This TV
|Translators||11 K11EZ Cashmere/Leavenworth
55 K55AQ Neah Bay
(sale pending to Sinclair Broadcast Group)
(Fisher Broadcasting - Seattle TV, LLC)
|First air date||December 10, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||unknown, yet it's pronounced "Como"|
|Sister station(s)||KOMO, KOMO-FM, KPLZ-FM, KUNS-TV, KVI|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
4 (VHF, 1953-2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1953-1959)|
|Transmitter power||810 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KOMO-TV, channel 4, is a television station located in Seattle, Washington, USA. KOMO-TV is the flagship station of Fisher Communications, and is an affiliate of the ABC Television Network. The station's studios and offices are co-located with sister radio stations KOMO (1000 AM and 97.7 FM), KVI (570 AM), and KPLZ-FM (101.5 MHz.) within Fisher Plaza in the Lower Queen Anne section of Seattle, directly across the street from the Space Needle. The station's transmitter is located on Queen Anne Hill.
KOMO-TV began operating on December 10, 1953 as an NBC affiliate, owing to KOMO radio's long-time relationship with the NBC Radio Network. It is the fourth-oldest television station in the Seattle-Tacoma area, and the only one still owned by local interests.
The Fisher family, which had its start in the flour mill and lumber businesses, branched into broadcasting with its founding of KOMO radio in 1926. In competing for the channel 4 construction permit, the Fishers faced off against the then-owners of KJR radio. KOMO was awarded the channel in June 1953 after the KJR group dropped their bid, and KOMO-TV went on the air only five months later. William W. Warren, general manager of KOMO radio and a nephew of KOMO co-founder Oliver D. Fisher, oversaw the development of KOMO-TV and remained involved with the station's management until his retirement in 1987.
KOMO also has an almost forgotten distinction as being the first station in Seattle to broadcast a television signal. Whereas crosstown rival KRSC-TV (channel 5, now KING-TV) was the first to air "wide audience" television in November 1948, KOMO broadcast a television signal nearly 20 years prior. On June 3, 1929, KOMO radio engineer Francis J. Brott televised images of a heart, a diamond, a question mark, letters, and numbers over electrical lines to small sets with one-inch screens – 23 years before KOMO-TV's first regular broadcasts. A handful of viewers were captivated by the broadcast. KOMO would likely have held the distinction of being the first television station in Seattle, and perhaps the nation, were it not for a depression and World War II.
In October 1958, however, NBC signed affiliation deals with King Broadcasting Company for their radio and television properties in Seattle and Portland, Oregon. In Seattle, channel 4 shared both ABC and NBC with KING-TV until September 27, 1959, when KING-TV took NBC full-time. At that point, KOMO-TV became a primary ABC station.
During the 1960s, local television personality Don McCune became well known in the Seattle market for two programs seen on KOMO-TV. McCune was known to thousands of children in the area who came to know him in the role of "Captain Puget", hosting a children's entertainment program. Channel 4 and McCune also produced the documentary series Exploration Northwest, which explored many of the places and people of the Pacific Northwest. KOMO-TV and its Portland sister station KATU were the only two ABC stations in the contiguous United States that aired Monday Night Football on a one-hour delay from 1970 to 1995, in order to accommodate early evening newscasts on both stations, only showing the program live if that week's game featured the Seattle Seahawks; however after fan protests, both stations began airing the games live in 1996, regardless of the teams that were playing each week.
KOMO-TV nearly lost one of its staff in the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980. Dave Crockett, who had been with the station since 1975, had been covering the mountain every day for three weeks until being rotated out a few days prior. On the morning of May 18, he woke up at 3:00 am in Seattle on a hunch that he would get some impressive video that day, and loaded up his news car and headed towards Mount St. Helens without anyone at KOMO knowing about it. He arrived at the mountain just as it was erupting. His news video, which shows an advancing ash cloud and mud flows down the South Fork Toutle River, was made famous by its eleven-minute long "journey into the dark", six of those minutes of which were recorded in "total darkness" as Crockett narrated to what he thought would be his "last day on Earth." His video made worldwide news and was used in a movie remake of the disaster starring Art Carney. The car he drove, with the remains of KOMO lettering still visible, is now a part of a Mount St. Helens Volcano Museum just outside Toutle.
On July 2, 2009, a small electrical fire that started in an electrical vault at the Fisher Plaza complex at 11:15 p.m. that evening knocked channel 4's 11 p.m. newscast off the air. The fire also affected power to Fisher radio stations KOMO-AM-FM and KPLZ-FM. The fire forced KOMO-TV to improvise its delivery of the station's newscasts, including setting up a temporary news set and satellite truck at Seattle's Kerry Park, and weather forecast graphics were prepared on a large sketchpad set up on an easel.
Acquisition by Sinclair
On April 10, 2013, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it would acquire Fisher Communications for $373.3 million. The deal is subject to final approval by the Federal Communications Commission. However, the deal has been subject to financial scrutiny; the law firm Levi & Korsinsky notified Fisher shareholders with accusations that Fisher's board of directors were breaching fiduciary duties by "failing to adequately shop the Company before agreeing to enter into the transaction", and Sinclair was underpaying for Fisher's stock. Shortly after the announcement, a lawsuit was filed by a Fisher shareholder.
KOMO has a number of broadcast "firsts." In 1954, a KOMO news photographer discovered a way to develop color film in a new process that took just a few hours instead of days. His discovery allowed KOMO-TV to become the first TV station in the nation to broadcast in true color.
In 1984, KOMO became the first TV station to broadcast daily programming in full stereo sound.
In 1994, KOMO applied for the first test license for broadcasting new high-definition signals. KOMO began broadcasting HDTV in 1997, and on May 18, 1999, KOMO became the first TV station in America to broadcast its daily newscasts in HDTV. This statement, however, comes into conflict with a claim made by WFAA-TV (sister station of KING-TV) that it is the first station in the nation to broadcast its daily news programs in HDTV, on February 28, 1997.[dubious ]
Currently, KOMO broadcasts a total of 38 hours of local news each week (with six hours on weekdays and four hours on weekends).
For the last three decades, KOMO has competed directly with KING-TV for first place in the Seattle news ratings. KOMO continually places first amongst the local newscasts.
KOMO TV and its news division is a consistent award winning operation, and averages more wins per year than any Seattle television station. In 2002, "KOMO 4 News" was awarded the Edward R. Murrow award for best large market newscast. It was awarded the same award in 2008. In June 2008, KOMO was awarded 15 regional Emmy awards, taking top honors in Station Excellence, Morning News, Evening News, Breaking News, and Team Coverage. KOMO anchor/reporter Molly Shen won the prestigious Individual Achievement award for the second time in three years, and longtime anchor Kathi Goertzen took home a Silver Circle award, recognizing her 25-plus years with the station. They also won the Emmy Award for Breaking News Coverage. A segment on The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies (Palm Springs, California) received an Emmy in 1997.
Current on-air staff
||This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (June 2009)|
KOMO anchors Dan Lewis, Kathi Goertzen, and weather forecaster Steve Pool had been the third-longest running tenure out of any anchor team in America, having anchored KOMO News together from 1987 until 2009. The station's evening newscast has long been co-anchored by Lewis and Goertzen, and was praised by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as being the "Best First-String anchor unit in town.". Unfortunately, on-going struggles with illness left Goertzen unable to anchor the news. She continued to contribute special reports until her death in August 2012.
Dan Lewis came to KOMO in 1987 after working at WJLA in Washington, D.C., replacing retiring news anchor Jim Harriott. In 1993, he became the first reporter to interview then-president Bill Clinton following the inauguration ceremony . The interview was conducted at the White House. On October 1, 2007, KOMO celebrated Dan Lewis' 20 year tenure with KOMO with a five-minute long tribute.
Kathi Goertzen joined KOMO-TV just after the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980, fresh from Washington State University. In 1981, Goertzen became a general assignment reporter, and took weekend news anchoring duties from Kerry Brock in 1982. In 1984, she became the female co-anchor for the weeknight editions of "KOMO 4 News" alongside Jim Harriott. In 1989, she was the first American local TV news reporter to broadcast live from Germany as the Berlin Wall came down. Her broadcasts originated at the Brandenburg Gate from what was then known as "West Berlin." After a three-year absence from the late-night newscasts, she returned to KOMO on January 3, 2007. After suffering from a type of meningioma, a noncancerous tumor that grows on the brain stem that affects speech and the ability to swallow, she left/returned in 2008, and left/returned in 2009 after a few surgeries. The surgeries partially paralyzed the right side of her face, resulting in difficulty blinking her right eye. On August 13, 2012, Goertzen passed away at the age of 54.
Weatherman Steve Pool has been at KOMO since 1977, starting out as KOMO's lead science reporter. In 2006, he co-wrote a book called "Somewhere I Was Right: Why Northwest Weather is So Predictably Unpredictable" with KOMO-TV producer Scott Sistek. Steve Pool also has a column titled "Ask Steve" in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Additionally, Pool substituted a number of times as the Good Morning America weather anchor.
Current on-air staff
- 'KOMO 4 News'
- Brad Goode - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Liz Dueweke - weekday mornings (4:30 - 7:00 a.m.)
- Eric Johnson - weeknights at 5:00 p.m.
- Molly Shen - weekdays at 11:00 am, weeknights at 5:00 p.m.
- Mary Nam - weeknights at 4:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Dan Lewis - weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Theron Zahn - weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 and 8:00-9:00 a.m.); also general assignment reporter & heard on KOMO 1000 and KOMO-FM 97.7
- Kelly Koopmans - weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 and 8:00-9:00 a.m.); also general assignment reporter
- Michelle Esteban - weekends at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m; also general assignment reporter
- Russ Bowen - weekends at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also general assignment reporter
- Jaime Méndez - weeknights on "Noticias Noroeste" on KUNS-TV 51 / Univision Seattle (from Seattle)
- 'KOMO 4 Weather'
- Steve Pool - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Seth Wayne - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00) and weekdays at 11:00 a.m.
- Theron Zahn - weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 and 8:00-9:00 a.m.); also general assignment reporter & heard on KOMO 1000 and KOMO-FM 97.7 (Also Traffic Reporter)
- Shannon O'Donnell - weekends at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- 'KOMO 4 Sports'
- Mike Ferreri - sports director, weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Tim Lewis - sports anchor; weekends at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also sports reporter and fill-in
- 'KOMO 4 Reporters'
- Kristyn Caddell - general assignment reporter
- Kristen Drew - general assignment reporter
- Kara Kostanich - general assignment reporter
- Connie Thompson - consumer reporter (usually on KOMO 4 News at 6:00 p.m.)
- Herb Weisbaum - consumer expert (can also be heard on KOMO 1000 and KOMO-FM 97.7)
- Keith Eldridge - general assignment reporter
- Jon Humbert - general assignment reporter
- Jamie Lynn - general assignment reporter, fill-in anchor
- Danielle Saar - morning traffic reporter (4:30 - 7:00 a.m.) and general assignment reporter
- Mark Miller - general assignment reporter
- Lindsay Cohen - general assignment reporter, fill-in anchor
- Elisa Jaffe - general assignment reporter
- Ray Lane - general assignment reporter, fill-in anchor
- Trisha Manning-Smith - general assignment reporter
- Joel Moreno - evening (4:00, 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.) reporter
- Luke Duecy - general assignment reporter, fill-in anchor
- Matt Markovich - general assignment reporter
- Jeff Burnside - investigative reporter
- 'KOMO 4 Problem Solvers'
- Liz Rocca - Investigative reporter
- Tracy Vedder - Investigative reporter
- Michelle Esteban - Investigative reporter; also 5, 6 & 11pm weekend anchor.
Former on-air staff
During the 1960s, local television personality Don McCune became well known for two programs. Mr. McCune was known to thousands of Seattle-area children who came to know him in the role of "Captain Puget", hosting a children's entertainment program. KOMO and Don McCune also produced the "Exploration Northwest" documentary series, which explored many of the places and people of the Pacific Northwest.
Former NBC Nightly News weekend anchor John Seigenthaler Jr. was once a reporter and anchor at KOMO-TV. He married Kerry Brock, another KOMO News anchor and reporter in 1992, left the station and moved to Nashville, Tennessee.
Bill Brubaker was a long time newscaster with KOMO-TV for 25 years from 1962 to 1987.
Milt Furness worked at KOMO from 1967 until 1982, serving as the newsdesk manager, reporter, and anchoring the morning news (in the early 1970s) and the evening news (in the later 1970s and early 1980s). When KOMO's parent company, Fisher Communications, launched its own cable news network, SNC (Satellite News Channel) and the local program, Fisher Satellite News, Furness was named news director. He also served as anchor. SNC/FSN sold its cable news rights to CNN after a year, and Furness moved on to CNN briefly, and then began working for Boeing Aerospace as the Public Relations Director for the Air and Space Division. He is now retired. His son, Ian Furness, himself a former sports producer at KOMO TV, now hosts a sports radio program on KJR 950 AM in Seattle.
Keith Jackson, now retired after a long career with ABC Sports, had his start at KOMO in the 1950s.
Bruce King was a long time sportscaster with KOMO-TV for 31 years, starting in 1968 and retiring in 1999. He also worked at WABC in New York for one year (1981), and can be seen in a video promo of the station at the "80's TV Themes SuperSite."
Reporter Steve Osunsami of ABC News was a reporter with KOMO-TV in the mid 1990s. His reports included stories on a severe snowstorm that struck Washington State in 1996.
Former KOMO reporter and anchor Emily Langlie, who worked at KOMO during much of the 1980s and 1990s, is the granddaughter of former Washington State governor Arthur B. Langlie.
- Kathi Goertzen - anchor/special assignment reporter (deceased August 13, 2012)
- Peggy Bunker - morning anchor (2011 - 2013)
- Deadline, 195X (1953-1959; was the station's first newscast when KOMO signed on in 1953)
- KOMO-TV News (1959-1975; would also go by The News Hour, News Final, The Saturday/Sunday News[Final])
- News 4 (1975–1983; sometimes announced on air with callsign letters pronounced individually, although the actual name was News 4, changed to KOMO News 4 in 1981 when the open [living room] set was replaced in 1981)
- KOMO 4 News (1983–1987; originally styled in the 1980s-era ABC News logo typeface; changed to a modified Futura Bold in mid-1987)
- KOMO News 4 (1987–1998; newscast title was used during its reign as Seattle's news leader, often with the tagline "ABC NEWS and KOMO News 4, recognized as the leader in television news" per ABC's "More Americans get their news..." style)
- KOMO 4 News (1998–present)
- The Color Station (1954–1960)
- "The Window to Your World"(1975-1978)
- "First, Continuing, Complete" (1979-1981)
- "We Bring The News Home" (1981-1983)
- 'Your Satellite News Station' (1984–1986)
- 'The Northwest's News Channel' (1984–1986)
- 'We Are You' (1987–1992)
- 'First 4 Local News' (1998–2006)
- 'Working 4 You' (2006–present)
KOMO in popular culture
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2010)|
In the movie Life or Something Like It (2002), Angelina Jolie's character works for a fictional Seattle TV station, KQMO 4, which is based on the real-life KOMO-TV. Parts of the movie were shot on location at KOMO's studio, and KOMO's equipment was also shown in some scenes (with KOMO's logo on the equipment and in the studio modified to say "KQMO" instead). Some of KOMO's anchors (such as Steve Pool, Margo Myers, Dan Lewis, and Theron Zahn, albeit anchoring using fictional on-screen names) also made appearances in the movie. (Margo Myers would later move to rival KIRO-TV.)
The 1990 TV movie She'll Take Romance featured Linda Evans as an anchor and reporter working at a fictional Seattle station, again called "KQMO", and modified versions of the station's on-air appearance were used for the "newscasts" throughout the movie.
In Harry and the Hendersons (1986) starring John Lithgow, then-hosts Dana Middleton and Dick Foley of KOMO-TV's Northwest Afternoon made an appearance as news anchors on KOMO 4 News, reporting the mysterious appearance of a Sasquatch in downtown Seattle. Several of KOMO-TV's news vehicles, bearing KOMO's old logo and paint scheme, also made an appearance.
In the movie Black Sheep starring Chris Farley and David Spade, a KOMO News vehicle and a fictionalized version of the KOMO News 4 anchor team are seen in a sequence close to the ending of the movie. The only other real-life Washington State TV station to be featured (even though it was only a news vehicle) in the movie is KCPQ Channel 13 (even though at the time KCPQ had no news program).
A person holding a KOMO camera makes a brief appearance in the beginning of the 1974 Warren Beatty thriller Parallex View.
KOMO-TV and its sister station in Portland, KATU-TV (the only ABC affiliates owned by Fisher Communications), were the only two stations in the lower 48 states that delayed Monday Night Football for one hour from 1970–95, to accommodate local newscasts. The only time that it would be shown live if the Seattle Seahawks were playing. However in 1996 after protests by fans both stations aired the games live, regardless of who was playing.
KOMO-TV's home, Fisher Plaza, is featured in bumper scenes of ABC's Grey's Anatomy as well as the helipad. In addition to the bumper scenes on Grey's Anatomy, stock footage of several KOMO personalities, including Dan Lewis, Kathi Goertzen, is used on several other ABC shows.
A KOMO-TV story of a bear being shot with a tranquilizer dart, then falling upon a home trampoline, catapulting it high into the air before plummeting back to earth head-first became a favorite clip on the ESPN show Pardon the Interruption, MSNBC news program Countdown with Keith Olbermann, CNN's Anderson Cooper 360° and the FOX Report with Shepard Smith.
A popular video of an Auburn Senior High School cheerleader being run over by her school's football team, which made national, and later global news (and even featured in Jay Leno and other late night talk show monologues), originally aired on KOMO TV's "KOMO 4 News" as the sports segment's "Play of the Night."
KOMO-TV is featured in the 2012 remake of the movie Red Dawn, set in Washington State.
|4.1||KOMO-DT||720p||Main KOMO-TV programming / ABC|
In 2009, KOMO became one of the first four TV stations in the country to air mobile DTV signals. The OMVC chose KOMO and KONG in Seattle and WPXA and WATL in Atlanta as the stations to beta test the ATSC-M/H standard, which has since been officially adopted for free-to-air broadcast TV with clear reception on mobile devices, which overcomes the defects of the original ATSC standard.
- "Nine more TV stations take to air." Broadcasting - Telecasting, December 21, 1953, pg. 58.
- Corr, O. Casey (June 5, 1994). "Into the spotlight–the Fisher family, long part of Seattle's quiet wealthy, takes a more visible road in 'hot talk' radio, Lake Union development, family fortune management". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- "FCC grants 1 VHF, 3 UHF." Broadcasting - Telecasting, June 15, 1953, pp. 52-53. 
- KOMO/Fisher's Blend Station, Inc. advertisement, circa June 1953. Seatacmedia.com.
- Beers, Carole (January 16, 1999). "Obituaries: William W. Warren, 87, pioneer in Seattle TV, radio broadcasting". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- Viewers watch Puget Sound's first wide-audience TV broadcast on November 25, 1948.
- "KGW, KING stations affiliate with NBC." Broadcasting, October 20, 1958, pg. 74.
- "Seattle partner-change in '59: KOMO-TV to ABC; KING-TV to NBC." Broadcasting, October 27, 1958, pg. 68.
- "KOMO-TV joins ABC." Broadcasting, April 13, 1959, pg. 99.
- "'Operation Switchover.'" Broadcasting, October 5, 1959, pg. 100.
- Electrical fire disrupts broadcasts, Web sites, KOMO-TV, July 3, 2009.
- Fire disrupts stations at Seattle's Fisher Plaza, Seattle Times, July 3, 2009.
- "Sinclair acquiring Fisher Communications". komonews.com. April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
- Colman, Price (April 10, 2013). "Sinclair poised to buy Fisher stations". TVnewscheck.com. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
- "SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Notifies Investors of Claims of Breaches of Fiduciary Duty by the Board of Fisher Communications, Inc. in Connection With the Sale of the Company to Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.". Press release. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- "Fisher Communications, Inc. (FSCI) Investor Lawsuit to Stop Takeover by Sinclair Broadcast Group Announced by Shareholders Foundation". Press release. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- WFAA-TV Fiftieth Anniversary
- "KOMO/4 newscast wins Murrow Award for best local newscast". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2002-06-21. Retrieved 2006-12-18.
- "KOMO 4 Television Wins National Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence". Fisher Communications. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
- "KOMO's Molly Shen wins individual achievement Emmy ... again". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
- McNary, Dave (July 9, 2004). "Par seeks high-kicking aud for vaude.". Daily Variety. Reed Business Information.
- Mcfarland, Melanie (November 28, 2003). "KOMO's Goertzen cuts back anchor duties". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
- "KOMO's Goertzen returns to air on Monday". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. February 13, 2009.
- CDBS Print
- KOMO 4
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KOMO-TV
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for KOMO
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KOMO-TV