|Branding|| KIRO 7 (general)|
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (newscasts)
RTN Northwest (on DT2)
|Slogan||Committed to Complete Northwest News Coverage|
|Channels|| Analog: 7 (VHF) |
Digital: 39 (UHF)
|Affiliations||CBS (1958-1995 & 1997-present)|
|Owner||COX Enterprises, Inc.|
|First air date||February 8, 1958|
|Call letters' meaning||See KIRO (AM) for history & reasoning; pronounced "Cairo"|
|Former Affiliations||UPN (1995-1997)|
|Transmitter Power|| 316 kW (analog)|
1000 kW (DT)
|Height|| 250 m (analog)|
230 m (DT)
|Website||KIRO 7's Website|
KIRO-TV is the CBS TV affiliate in Seattle, Washington. It broadcasts on analog ch. 7 & DT ch. 39. The station's offices & broadcasting center are located near Seattle Center in the Denny Regrade neighborhood & it's transmitter is located on Queen Anne Hill, Seattle, Washington. It's currently owned by COX Enterprises.
Currently, the station carries syndicated programming such as Trivial Pursuit: America Plays, Family Feud, The Rachael Ray Show, Judge Judy, The Insider & Entertainment Tonight.
KIRO-TV is 1 of 5 local Seattle TV stations seen in Canada via Shaw Broadcast Services for the purposes of time-shifting & can be viewed from many eastern Canadian cities including Toronto & Montreal, as well as on the Bell TV & Star Choice satellite providers. It can also been seen on local cable systems in British Columbia, as the "local" CBS affiliate.
Ch. 7 was intended to be the last VHF TV channel allocation in the Puget Sound area & it's license was hotly contested. Ultimately, it went to Saul Haas, owner of KIRO radio (AM 710 & the original KIRO-FM @ 100.7, now KKWF) & the station signed on as KIRO-TV on February 8, 1958. The 1st program shown was the explosion of Ripple Rock, a hazard to navigation in Seymour Narrows, British Columbia. The 2nd program was the 1st broadcast of longtime Seattle children's show, J. P. Patches.
KIRO Ch. 7 subsequently became a CBS affiliate & 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 & 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 & Chairman - a position he held until 1995. Under Hatch's leadership, KIRO Inc. (which included KIRO-TV/AM/FM, KING-AM/FM & Third Avenue Productions) became 1 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 & Gordon B. Hinckley, former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Throughout the late 1960s & early 1970s, KIRO still faced competition in some Western Washington households from Bellingham's KVOS-TV, which @ the time was also a CBS affiliate. After years of legal challenges & negotiations with CBS & 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 1975-1985. Play-by-play announcers were Ron Barr (1975-76), the late Pete Gross (1976-78) & the late Wayne Cody (1978-85), who was also the station's sports anchor.
In 1986 KIRO debuted "Point Counterpoint" featuring conservative John Carlson & liberal Walt Crowley. Airing on what was then KIRO's most popular newscast, "The Sunday Newshour" with Brian Wood anchor & Monica Hart anchor, Crowley & Carlson became well known for their pointed & bombastic debates.
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 & was about to affiliate with The WB). The deal was announced in the summer of 1994 & CBS programming included The Bold & 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 of 1995, although the show aired an hour later @ 1:35 AM, whereas other CBS affiliates aired the program directly after The Late Show with David Letterman @ 12:35 AM. Even when KSTW regained CBS affiliation in March 1995, the program continued to air @ 1:35 AM.
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 & modified it's local newscast lineup, with newscasts @:
- 5-9 AM (previously only went until 7 AM, now continued until 9 AM with the last 2 hours as "7 Live" with Joyce Taylor, a locally produced alternative to the national morning shows);
- 5-7 PM (which previously were separate 5 & 6 PM newscasts, with the CBS Evening News in between @ 5:30 PM);
- 10-11 PM (which was previously an 11 PM newscast);
- along with it's existing Noon-1 PM newscast
The rest of the day on KIRO was filled with 1st-run syndicated talk shows, reality shows, off-network dramas, a couple of off-network sitcoms, UPN shows & 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 & KIRO & as a result, the company opted to put KIRO on the market.
Initially, the Paramount Stations Group announced it's intention to buy KIRO & turn it into a more traditional independent station, with a lineup of more cartoons, sitcoms & 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 3 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 2 stations retained their respective syndicated programming, but swapped network affiliations once again, with KSTW becoming a UPN O&O station & KIRO regaining it's CBS affiliation on June 30, 1997.
During the 1970s, KIRO pre-empted the 1st 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 1987-1994, under the ownership of Bonneville, KIRO refused to air The Bold & the Beautiful, which normally aired @ 12:30 PM. The station aired a 1-hour local newscast from Noon-1 PM instead. As a result, the station received many protest letters from fans of the show during that period & even 1 from the show's creator himself, William J. Bell. During that time, the show was seen instead on KTZZ (now KMYQ) & 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 & the Beautiful) with no pre-emptions.
The J. P. Patches ShowEdit
1 of the most famous & longest-running regional children's TV programs in America, The J.P. Patches Show was produced in-house by KIRO-TV & broadcast steadily from 1958-1981. The program starred Chris Wedes as Julius Pierpont Patches, a shabby clown & self-professed mayor of the City Dump & Bob Newman as J. P.'s "girlfriend" Gertrude, in addition to a number of other characters.
Nightmare Theatre was KIRO-TV's weekly horror movie series, seen from 1964-1978 & hosted by "The Count" (Joe Towey) from 1968-1975.
Beginning in 1969, KIRO initiated major upgrades of it's news programming, implementing the now-commonplace "Eyewitness News" format with chief correspondent Clif Kirk, sportscaster Ron Forsell & assistant anchor Sandy Hill, who later left KIRO to become the 2nd co-host of GMA (actress Nancy Dussault was the 1st co-host). Throughout the decades, KIRO placed a high emphasis on news programming & investigative stories. During the late 1970s & early 1980s, the Eyewitness News team of anchors John Marler & Gary Justice (joined later by Susan Hutchison, who several years ago threatened legal action against KIRO for ousting her), meteorologist Harry Wappler & 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 & Chairman Kenneth L. Hatch, who led the organization for 3 decades, followed by former Seattle City Council member John Miller (later elected as Congressman from Washington's 1st District) & then by former Seattle Post-Intelligencer editor Louis R. Guzzo.
By the early '90s, the well-worn, "happy talk" format faltered & KING's newscasts had overtaken KIRO in the news ratings race. As a result, in January 1993, KIRO relaunched it's news products with great promotional fanfare. "News Outside the Box," as the approach was unofficially known, was an attempt to synergize both KIRO radio & TV 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 & 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 & periodic "visits" into the KIRO radio studios. TV reporters' primary assets were lost on radio listeners & 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 & KING were fighting for 1st place in the Seattle market. By September, the concept was scrapped for a fixed anchor desk & 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 & investigative programming increased. In March 2003, KIRO (as a CBS affiliate once again) began producing a 10 PM newscast for KSTW. However, KSTW cancelled the newscast in June 2005.
Around July 1st 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 & KOMO & other COX TV stations)
On Sunday, March 16 2008, KIRO upgraded it's TV newscasts by broadcasting in HD (1080i) format & upgrading it's cameras to HD, 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 & upconverted to 1080i. Furthermore, after this upgrade, KIRO has re-branded it's weather forecasts to "KIRO Weather" eliminating the "Pinpoint Weather" slogan that has been in use since the early 90's.
On January 8 2009, it was announced that primary co-anchor Margo Myers would be stepping down from the 5, 6 & 11 PM newscasts to be the noon anchor. Angela Russell, previously the 4 PM anchor @ KYW-TV, will be the new primary co-anchor weeknights with longtime co-anchor Steve Raible starting in March 2009.
- Michelle Millman - Weekday Mornings & @ Noon
- John Knicely - Weekday Mornings & @ Noon
- Steve Raible - Weeknights @ 5, 6 & 11 PM
- Monique Ming Laven - Weeknights @ 5, 6 & 11 PM
- Maria Guerrero - Weekend Mornings
- Linzi Sheldon - Weeknights & Weekend Evenings
- Morgan Palmer - Chief Meteorologist
- Nick Allard - Weekday Mornings & @ Noon
- Kelly Franson Weeknights @ 5, 6 & 11 PM
- Todd Johnson - Weekends @ 5, 6 & 11 PM
- Steve Raible - Anchor/Sports KIRO 7 Eyewitness News @ 5, 6 & 11
- Alexis Smith
- Unstaffed - Eastside Bureau Chief & Eastside Reporter
- Kevin McCarty - Pierce County Bureau Chief & Pierce County Reporter
- Unstaffed - North Sound Bureau Chief & North Sound Reporter
- Amy Clancy - Consumer Investigator/Investigative Reporter
- Jeff Dubois
- Gary Horcher
- Deborah Horne - Reporter and "In Color" specials Anchor
- Graham Johnson
- Penny LeGate - Anchor/Reporter
- Chris Legeros
- Michelle Millman - Morning Reporter (Fill-In Anchor)
- Monique Ming Laven - Anchor/Reporter
- Essex Porter
- 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 - Monty's final broadcast was sometime in mid-March & has been replaced by Erin Mayovski on weekends. Originally starting out @ KIRO in 1997, he returned last year after stints @ KCPQ & KING. Webb is now @ WHAS-TV in Louisville, KY.
- Jeffrey Babcock, formerly @ WABC-TV, consumer & finance reporter.
- Aaron Brown, former ABC News & CNN anchor. Currently anchoring @ PBS & teaching journalism @ Walter Cronkite School.
- Ann Bush, noon anchor, lifestyle reporter & substitute weather anchor. Went to KING briefly in the mid-80's. Now in PR in the private sector.
- Jann Charlton, morning & noon anchor in the 80's. Later went to CNN.
- Linda Cohn, ESPN SportsCenter anchor
- Darryl David, business reporter & later noon anchor. Went to Chicago.
- Mikki Flowers, KIRO's 1st full-time African-American reporter/weather anchor (1970s-early 2000s), now retired.
- Brad Goode, morning anchor. Now @ KING 5
- Wayne Havrelly - weekend anchor/consumer investigator. Now @ KGW in Portland
- Sandy Hill, later worked @ KNXT/KCBS-TV in Los Angeles & GMA (1977-80)
- Susan Hutchison, 22-year news anchor. Currently directing the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts & Sciences.
- 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.
- Kristy Lee, evening co-anchor with Steve Raible 2002-2005. Now with New England Cable News
- Rob Mayeda, weather 1998-2000. Currently @ KNTV in San Jose, CA.
- John Myrick, Director of Electronic News Gathering for ABC in Los Angeles.
- Larry Rice, AM & Noon meteorologist 1987-1995. Currently chief meteorologist @ KOB-TV in Albuquerque, NM (1995-Present)
- Joyce Taylor, Anchor. Currently Morning Anchor on KING-TV.
- Nick Walker, now OCM @ The Weather Channel in Atlanta, GA.
- Herb Weisbaum, anchor/reporter (Now @ KOMO-TV)
- Nerissa Williams, anchor/reporter
- Brian Wood, Anchor/Reporter. Currently an anchor @ KATU in Portland, OR
- Bill Wixey, Sports Anchor/Reporter 1998-2000. Currently News anchor @ KCPQ-TV in Seattle
- Gulstan Dart, morning & noon anchor 2003-2008, now main anchor @ KCRA-TV in Sacramento, CA
- Julie Haener, morning anchor/reporter 1998-2001, now main anchor @ sister station KTVU in Oakland, CA
After the analog TV shutdown scheduled for February 17 2009, KIRO-DT will remain on it's current UHF ch. 39 using PSIP to display KIRO-TV's virtual ch. as 7 on DTV receivers.
KIRO is rebroadcast on the following translator stations.
- K09ES Ch. 9 Cashmere / Leavenworth
- K10LA Ch. 10 Issaquah
- K30FL Ch. 30 Port Angeles
- K53AZ Ch. 53 Centralia (Moving to Ch. 29)
- K54AO Ch. 54 Bremerton (Moving to Ch. 26)
- K54GS Ch. 54 Puyallup (Moving to Ch. 49)
- K58BW Ch. 58 Everett (Moving to Ch. 43)
- K59AN Ch. 59 Neah Bay
- K67GJ Ch. 67 Point Pulley (Moving to Ch. 47)
LP translators in Bellevue, Edmonds, Olympia, Renton & Shelton have long since been discontinued.