|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|Branding||KONG 6/16 (general)
KING 5 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||The 10 O'Clock Choice|
|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 16 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||16.1 KONG-DT (HD)
16.2 KONG-DT (SD)
(sale to Gannett Company pending)
|First air date||July 8, 1997|
|Call letters' meaning||Counterpart of KING-TV, as in King Kong|
|Sister station(s)||KING-TV, Northwest Cable News|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
16 (UHF, 1997–2009)
|Transmitter power||700 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
KONG, virtual channel 16 (UHF digital channel 31), is an independent television station serving Seattle, Washington, United States. Licensed to Everett, Washington, the station is owned by Belo, as part of a duopoly with KING-TV. The two stations share offices and studios located in the city's Denny Regrade district (just east of Seattle Center), and KONG-TV's transmitter is located in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle.
The station is usually carried on most cable television providers in Western Washington on cable channel 6, next to KING-TV's position on channel 5. KONG's high definition feed is carried Comcast and Wave Broadband digital channel 106. The KONG call letters were retained as a tongue-in-cheek reference to King Kong, which made both stations easily marketable together.
The KONG-TV call sign was first granted by the Federal Communications Commission on April 6, 1984. When it was applied for, it immediately drew a legal complaint from King Broadcasting against Carl Washington's KONG TV, Inc., the first broadcaster to apply for a license for Everett's channel 16. The station had planned to go on the air on June 1 of that year, with studios in Everett and an advertising sales office in Seattle, but kept getting bogged down by years of legal challenges from residents on Cougar Mountain who objected to the Electromagnetic radiation from an additional broadcaster. After the legal challenges to the transmitter, KONG lay dormant until broadcasters came up with innovative ways to program additional stations in their area.
KONG-TV signed on the air on July 8, 1997. It was locally owned, but managed by KING-TV (which Belo had just acquired) through a local marketing agreement. Belo bought channel 16 outright in 2000, when the Federal Communications Commission began to permit television station duopolies. On June 13, 2013, the Gannett Company announced that it would acquire Belo.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|16.1||1080i||16:9||KONG-HD||Main KONG-TV programming|
KING-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal and KONG shut down its analog signal outright on June 12, 2009, as part of the FCC-mandated transition to digital television for full-power stations. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 31, using PSIP to display KONG-TV's virtual channel as 16 on digital television receivers.
In 2009, KONG became one of the first four television stations in the country to begin broadcasting mobile DTV signals. The OMVC chose KONG and KOMO-TV in Seattle and WPXA-TV 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 television with clear reception on mobile devices, overcoming many of the defects of the original ATSC standard.
Initially, the station ran a general entertainment format with classic sitcoms, westerns, old movies, cartoons, and a 10 p.m. newscast. Along with the newscast, the station now airs KING-TV's syndicated shows (such as Dr. Phil) during primetime or other time slots, giving viewers a second chance to watch the shows that day. It also carries a few syndicated programs that KING-TV does not air such as Inside Edition, Extra, Access Hollywood and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. KONG also broadcasts certain NBC network programs in lieu of KING, including Meet the Press and Early Today.
Because of its relationship with KING, KONG can air NBC programming that may get displaced by other programming such as local events or extended breaking news coverage. An example of this is when in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, KONG aired NBC's coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals for games that occurred on the East Coast, with KING airing local programming and news in its place and ceding that more viewers usually watched CBC's NHL coverage on the network's Vancouver owned-and-operated station CBUT. For the 2008 and 2012 NFL preseasons, Seattle Seahawks preseason football games that are not televised nationally aired on KONG as NBC held the rights to the Summer Olympic Games. KONG also airs Seattle Sounders FC matches, and airs a weekly magazine program on Sunday nights during the Major League Soccer season called Sounders FC Weekly.
KING-TV produces a nightly 10 p.m. newscast for KONG, which competes with an in-house hour-long newscast on Fox affiliate KCPQ; the program airs for one hour on Monday through Friday evenings and a half-hour on weekend evenings. KONG also broadcasts a two-hour extension of KING's weekday morning newscast starting at 7 a.m., which also competes with KCPQ's morning newscast. The station airs a rebroadcast of the Northwest Cable News sports highlight and discussion program Northwest Sports Tonight on Monday through Friday evenings, which ironically airs opposite KING's 11 p.m. newscast; the first segment of the program is occasionally broadcast live on KONG if a sporting event ends late. KONG also broadcasts an hour-delayed rebroadcast of KING's noon newscast at 1 p.m. weekdays. It's the only newscast shown on KONG that comes from the main sister channel, KING. On September 9, 2013, KONG added a weeknight 9 p.m. newscast from KING, the second newscast to air at that timeslot in Seattle (after KCPQ added a weeknight 9 p.m. newscast in 2011 on KZJO while keeping the 10 p.m. newscast on KCPQ). But it's Seattle's first continiously 2-hour news block from 9-11 p.m.
Current on-air staff
Members of KING-TV's news staff serving as anchors of KONG's newscasts are Dennis Bounds (weeknights at 10 p.m.), Mimi Jung (weekdays at 1 p.m.), Lori Matsukawa (weeknights at 10 p.m.), Joyce Taylor (weekday mornings from 7-9 a.m.), Mark Wright (weekday mornings from 7-9 a.m.), Shaniqua Manning (weekends at 10 p.m.), Meg Coyle (weekends at 10 p.m.) and Rob Piercy (weeknights at 9 p.m.)
The weather team includes chief meteorologist Jeff Renner (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval; weeknights at 10 p.m.); meteorologists Rich Marriott (AMS Seal of Approval; weekday mornings from 7–9 a.m.), Keisha Burns (weekdays at 1 p.m.), Jim Guy (AMS Seal of Approval; weeknights at 9 p.m.) and Lisa Van Cise (weekends at 10 p.m.); and fill-in meteorologist Rick Van Cise (AMS Seal of Approval)
The sports team includes sports director Paul Silvi (weeknights at 9 and 10 p.m.; also host of Northwest Sports Tonight), and sports anchors Chris Egan (weekends at 10 p.m.; also sports reporter).
The station's reporting staff includes Zahid Arab (general assignment reporter), Linda Brill (general assignment reporter), Linda Byron (investigative reporter), Gary Chittim (general assignment reporter and environmental specialist), Chris Daniels (general assignment reporter), Glenn Farley (general assignment reporter and aviation specialist), Jim Forman (general assignment reporter), Susannah Frame (investigative reporter), Joe Fryer (general assignment reporter), Heather Graf (general assignment reporter), Elisa Hahn (general assignment reporter), Chris Ingalls (general assignment reporter), Christie Johnson (weekday morning feature reporter from 7-9 a.m.), Jesse Jones (also consumer specialist), John Langler (general assignment reporter), Drew Mikkelsen (South Bureau chief/reporter), Roberta Romero (general assignment reporter), Natasha Ryan (general assignment reporter), Natalie Swaby (general assignment reporter), Tracy Taylor (weekday morning traffic reporter from 7-9 a.m.), Jake Whittenberg (North Bureau chief/reporter), Eric Wilkinson (general assignment reporter) and Teresa Yuan (general assignment reporter).
- "Call Sign History, KONG" Federal Communications Commission
- "Distinguishing KING from KONG" Seattle Times, March 9, 1984; retrieved from The Seattle Times Historical Archives, Seattle Public Library
- "Residents Protest Another TV Transmitter" Seattle Times, June 27, 1984; retrieved from The Seattle Times Historical Archives, Seattle Public Library
- "Judge Upholds Decision to Build TV Tower" Seattle Times, July 16, 1986; retrieved from The Seattle Times Archives, Seattle Public Library
- 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.
- RabbitEars TV Query for KONG
- Congress postpones DTV transition, Seattle may not, KING/AP, February 5, 2009
- List of Digital Full-Power Stations
- "Bios". King5.com. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for KONG
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for KONG
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on KONG-TV