KOMO-TV, virtual channel 4, is a television station in Seattle, Washington. It is an affiliate of ABC and broadcasts on digital channel 38. KOMO-TV is the flagship station of Fisher Communications, and its 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.
|Slogan||Working 4 You|
|Channels||Digital: 38 (UHF)Virtual: 4 (PSIP)|
4.2 This TV
|Translators||11 K11EZCashmere/Leavenworth55 K55AQNeah Bay|
This TV (DT2)
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group|
|First air date||December 10, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||unknown, yet it's pronounced "Como"|
|Sister station(s)||KOMO, KOMO-FM, KPLZ-FM, KVI|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:4 (VHF, 1953-2009)|
|Former affiliations||NBC (1953-1959)|
|Transmitter power||810 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||47.6321398°N 122.3539424°W|
- 1 History
- 2 News operation
- 3 Former on-air staff
- 4 Current on-air staff
- 5 Awards
- 6 KOMO in popular culture
- 7 Digital television
- 8 News/station presentation
- 9 Logos
- 10 References
- 11 External links
KOMO began operating on December 10, 1953 as an NBC affiliate. Its sister radio station was a long time affiliate of NBC Radio. In 1959, KOMO swapped affiliations with KING-TV and became an ABC affiliate.
KOMO nearly lost one of its staff in the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980. Dave Crockett, who had been with KOMO 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 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."
KOMO also has an almost forgotten distinction as being the first station in Seattle to broadcast a television signal. Whereas crosstown rival KING 5 was the first to air "wide audience" television (of a Thanksgiving Day high school football game), 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. 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.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 knocked KOMO's 11 pm newscast off the air.  The fire also affected power to Fisher radio stations KOMO AM/FM and KPLZ FM. The fire started in an electrical vault at 11:15 pm local time. The fire forced KOMO-TV to improvise its delivery of KOMO 4 News, 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.
In 1984, KOMO became the first TV station to broadcast daily programming in full stereo sound.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 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 –discuss] However, KOMO currently broadcasts its newscasts in upconverted SD.
Currently, KOMO broadcasts a total of 38 hours of local news each week (with six hours on weekdays and four hours on weekends).
KOMO currently does not air newscasts in HD, only ED. It relies on 16x9 480p standard definition as well as some studio HD cameras. All of it is produced in standard definition (the studio HD is downconverted) and then upconverted back to 720p.For the last three decades, KOMO has competed directly with KING-TV for first place in the Seattle news ratings. KOMO continually places second amongst the local newscasts.
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.
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, and 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.Bill Brubaker was a long time newscaster with KOMO-TV for 25 years from 1962 to 1987.
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.
Current on-air staff
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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 have left Goertzen unable to anchor the news. She continues to contributes special reports from time to time.
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.
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.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 returned in 2008, and again in 2009. The surgeries have partially paralyzed the right side of her face, resulting in difficulty blinking her right eye.
Current on-air staff
- Brad Goode - weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.)
- Liz Dueweke - weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.)
- Eric Johnson - weeknights at 5 p.m.
- Molly Shen - weekdays at 11 a.m. and weeknights at 5 p.m.
- Mary Nam - weekdays at 4 and weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Dan Lewis - weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Theron Zahn - weekend mornings (6-7 and 8-9 a.m.); also general assignment reporter & heard on KOMO 1000 and KOMO-FM 97.7
- Kelly Koopmans - weekend mornings (6-7 and 8-9 a.m.); also general assignment reporter
- Michelle Esteban - weekends at 5, 6 and 11 p.m; also investigative reporter
- Russ Bowen - weekends at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.; also general assignment reporter
- Jaime Méndez - weeknights on "Noticias Noroeste" on KUNS-TV 51 / Univision Seattle (from Seattle)
- Steve Pool - chief meteorologist; weekdays at 4 and weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Seth Wayne - weekday mornings (4:30-7) and weekdays at 11 a.m.
- Theron Zahn - weekend mornings (6-7 and 8-9 a.m.); also general assignment reporter & heard on KOMO 1000 and KOMO-FM 97.7 (Also Traffic Reporter)
- Shannon O'Donnell - weekends at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Mike Ferreri - sports director, weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Tim Lewis - sports anchor; weekends at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.; also sports reporter and fill-in
- Kristen Drew - general assignment reporter
- Kara Kostanich - general assignment reporter
- Connie Thompson - consumer reporter (usually on KOMO 4 News at 6 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
- Mitch Pittman - general assignment reporter
- Noah Bond - general assignment reporter, morning fill-in anchor
- Paris Jackson - weekday morning traffic reporter (4:30-7 a.m.) and general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Mark Miller - general assignment reporter
- Lindsay Cohen - general assignment reporter, fill-in anchor
- Elisa Jaffe - general assignment reporter
- Joel Moreno - weekday evening (4, 5, 6 and 11 p.m.) reporter
- Luke Duecy - general assignment reporter, fill-in anchor
- Matt Markovich - general assignment reporter
- Jeff Burnside - investigative reporter
- Milt Furness - KOMO 4 Evening News Co-Anchor, reporter and newsdesk manager in 1970s and early 1980s, moved to Fisher Satellite News when it was launched in the early 1980s to compete with CNN, now retired
- Ruth Walsh - KOMO 4 Evening News Co-Anchor in 1970s, now retired
- Bob Throndsen - KOMO 4 Evening News Co-Anchor in 1970s, now PD at KOMO Newsradio
- Sabrina Register - KOMO 4 Morning News Co-Anchor (now at NWCN)
- Jim Harriott - Retired from KOMO TV in 1988, went to Voice of America radio. Deceased in 2007
- John Siegenthaler - (1990-1992) - retired when Brian Williams became NBC Nightly News anchor, now NBC special correspondent.
- Kerry Brock - (1983-1992) Married John Siegenthaler in 1992; both left to work for WKRN, has presumably left the broadcast news business; sister is Kathy Brock of WLS-TV ABC 7 Chicago, IL
- Eric Slocum - (1990-2001) Voluntarily accepted a buyout from KOMO in 2001. Worked for KOMO radio from 2002 to 2008. Currently is a writer living in Seattle and works for Metro Traffic as a traffic reporter. 
- Brook Stanford - Anchor of News4 in the late seventies, later served as the station's first "People Helper" reporter. Retired in 2001.
- Bill Brubaker
- Ted Warren - Anchor and reporting duties in the mid 80's, later with KING-AM and CNN as occasional Northwest correspondent. Currently, Senior Partner and founder of Strategic Resources, an international executive search firm based in Bellevue, Wa.
- Jeff McAtee - Anchored KOMO 4 News with Kerry Brock in the 1980s. After a contract dispute with new management, McAtee moved to Nashville as its main anchor.
- Jim Paymar - Anchored KOMO 4 News (1988-1990)
- Natasha Curry - KOMO 4 Morning News Co-Anchor, now at CNN
- Emily Langlie - Granddaughter of former Washington governor Arthur B. Langlie. Anchored the weekend editions of KOMO News 4 along with John Siegenthaler in the early 1990s, later moved to an investigative reporting role. Left KOMO in the late 1990s. Prior to KOMO, was the nightbeat reporter for KING in the 80's.
- Margo Myers - (1992-2005) Weekend news anchor along with Eric Slocum. Weekday morning news anchor. Moved to KIRO-TV in 2005.
- Lynn Espinoza - Anchor of the Morning Express newscasts, left KOMO in the mid 1990s.
- Rick Van Cise - Anchor/Reporter/Meteorologist. Currently weekend meteorologist for KIRO-TV
- Casey Norton - (2007-2010) Weekend news co-anchor now at WFAA-TV in Dallas, TX.
- Todd Johnson - KOMO 4 News @ 5:00, 6:00, & 11:00 Weekends, now at KIRO 7
- Bob McGuire - Weekend weather anchor (1990-1992). Now works for KTVQ-TV in Billings, MT.
- George Siegel - Morning Express weather anchor/ main co-anchor along with Lynn Espinoza. Left KOMO in 1996.
- Ray Ramsey - Longtime KOMO weather anchor, retired in 1984, and replaced by current weather anchor Steve Pool
- Leigh Glaser - Weekend weather anchor (1988-1990), now weather anchor at KGO in San Francisco.
- Robert Santos - KOMO 4 News @ 5:00, 6:00, & 11:00 Weekends, now weekend weather anchor at KGTV in San Diego.
- Jim Castillo - Morning News & KOMO 4 News @ 11:00 AM
- George Howell - now at WSB-TV Atlanta
- John Sharify - now at KING-TV
- Kevin Reece - now at KHOU 11 News Houston
- Joe Furia
- April Zepeda
- Todd Johnson - now at KIRO-TV
- Steve Osunsami - now with ABC news Southern Bureau, based in Atlanta
- Rick Price - now at KIRO-TV
- Eric Schudiske - now at KING-TV
- Lynn Espinoza - now President of Speak! Communications
- Trooper Monica Hunter - KOMO 4 Morning News Traffic Anchor (was a Washington State Patrol trooper working for KOMO News as a traffic reporter)
- Rick VanCise - Now with KIRO-TV
- Jenni Hogan - Now with KIRO-TV
- Elisa Jaffe - Northwest Afternoon Co-host
- Kent Phillips - Northwest Afternoon Co-host
- Natasha Curry - Northwest Afternoon Co-host (Natasha Curry is now an anchor for HLN based in CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta. Curry joined the network in December 2008).
- Dick Foley - Northwest Afternoon Co-host
- Cindi Rinehart - Northwest Afternoon Co-host
- Dana Middleton - Northwest Afternoon Co-host
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.
KOMO in popular culture
Longtime anchors Dan Lewis and Kathi Goertzen also made a brief appearance in the movie Assassins (1995) starring Antonio Banderasand Sylvester Stallone.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 has since moved to rival KIRO-TV.) In 1990, a made-for-tv movie aired on parent network ABC, called "She'll Take Romance". It 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 Afternoonmade 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."
|4.1||KOMO-DT1||Main KOMO-TV Programming / ABC (HD)|
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.
- Deadline, 195X (1953-1959; was the station's first newscast when KOMO signed on in 1953)
- KOMO-TV News (1959-1975)
- News 4 (1975–1983)
- KOMO 4 News (1983–1987 & 1998–present)
- 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)
- The Color Station (1954–1960)
- Let`s Get Together on TV-4 (1970-1971; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Hello Seattle, Hello Channel 4 (1974-1975; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- We`re The One You Can Turn To Channel 4 (1978-1979; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- You And Me and Channel 4 (1980-1981; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Now is the Time, Channel 4 is The Place (1981-1982; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Come on Along with Channel 4 (1982-1983; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- That Special Feeling on Channel 4 (1983-1984; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Your Satellite News Station (1984–1986)
- The Northwest's News Channel (1984–1986)
- You'll Love It on Channel 4 (1985–1986; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Together on Channel 4 (1986-1987; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Something's Happening on Channel 4 (1987-1990; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- We Are You (1987–1992)
- Seattle's Watching Channel 4 (1990-1992; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- If It's Seattle, It Must Be Channel 4 (1992-1993; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- First 4 Local News (1998–2006)
- Working 4 You (2006–present)
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- ^ WFAA-TV Fiftieth Anniversary
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- ^ "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.
- ^ http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20090207/news/302079996
- ^ CDBS Print
- KOMONews.com - Official KOMO-TV Website
- Seattle.ThisTV.com - Official This TV Seattle Website
- 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