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Seattle-Tacoma

KING Explores Sale of Seattle Building

KING buildingSeattle NBC affiliate KING has put its Dexter Avenue headquarters and nearby land up for sale, the Seattle Times reports.

“We have been in this building for a long time, but it’s a very large building compared to the size of our operation,” KING general manager Ray Heacox told the Seattle Times. “As the value of the property in South Lake Union has escalated, we of course are looking at the marketplace.”

The station, which was recently acquired by Gannett, would likely stay “close to the center of Seattle” if a move does occur, according to Heacox.

Jim Romenesko, who first reported the news, has a memo to KING staffers from news director Mark Ginther.

Liz Dueweke Jumps From KOMO to KCPQ

lizDueweke_photo2After a year at Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO, Liz Dueweke is joining rival KCPQ. Duewke, who was the morning anchor at KOMO, will serve in the same role at Fox affiliate KCPQ beginning April 28.

“I am excited to have Liz join our incredibly talented team on Q13 FOX News This Morning. Liz is a very skilled anchor who strikes the right balance between being a serious journalist while also putting a smile on your face in the morning.  She is a perfect fit for our morning newscast,” KCPQ news director Erica Hill said in a statement.

Dueweke will anchor alongside Bill Wixey weekdays from 5-10 a.m. Kaci Aitchison, who currently serves as Wixey’s co-anchor, will host various features and segments throughout the morning, according to KCPQ. Brien Blakely, Kelly O’Connell and Tim Joyce will host from 4:30-5 a.m.

Man Burned in KOMO Crash on Mend, Doesn’t Remember Accident

komo chopper crashThe man injured when the KOMO helicopter crashed into his car is recovering from burns he suffered in the accident and his partner says he doesn’t remember what happened.

Richard Newman suffered second and third degree burns in the March 18 crash. The accident killed Seattle ABC affiliate photographer Bill Strothman and pilot Gary Fitzner.

“We’re thankful that he doesn’t remember. Maybe it will come back over time,” Daniel Jung told MyNorthwest.com.

Newman underwent a second surgery Monday, where doctors added skin grafts to his torso and arms. He continues to recover slowly, but will remain hospitalized for an indeterminate amount of time. Read more

Jason R. Latham Set to Join KIRO

jason r lathamKVVU assistant news director Jason R. Latham is leaving Las Vegas for a job at KIRO, the CBS affiliate in Seattle.

“I have accepted the Executive Producer position at KIRO-TV, a Cox Media Group station. My first day is April 15, which leaves very little time to say goodbye to Las Vegas, the place I’ve called home since 2001,” Latham wrote on his blog.

Latham has worked at KVVU since 2009 and has been the Fox affiliate’s assistant news director since 2012. Before that, he worked at KVBC (now KSNV), the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas.

Liz Rocca Named Assistant ND at KCPQ

Liz RoccaLiz Rocca is joining KCPQ, Tribune’s Fox affiliate in Seattle, as assistant news director. In her new role, which begins April 8, Rocca will also serve as assistant news director for sister station KZJO, the MyNetworkTV affiliate.

Rocca comes to KCPQ from rival KOMO, the ABC affiliate in Seattle, where she was the managing editor. Before that, she served as the executive producer of KOMO’s investigative team.

“Liz’s local knowledge, tremendous leadership, dedication to important, enterprise, local content make her perfectly suited for this position. I am thrilled to have such an accomplished investigative journalist join our leadership team,” KCPQ news director Erica Hill said in a statement.

NTSB Examines Surveillance Video of KOMO Chopper Crash

komo crashNTSB investigators are examining surveilliance video of the KOMO helicopter crash that killed two people this week. Several nearby businesses have provided the video for the investigation, the Associated Press reports:

Investigators also took samples of the railing around the KOMO rooftop helipad, Hogenson said in a Thursday afternoon interview. The samples will be sent to a materials lab in Washington, D.C. for analysis. Investigators aren’t looking for anything specific, they’re just “seeing some things they don’t understand,” he said.

At a secure hangar in Auburn, south of Seattle, the work of reconstructing the helicopter from its charred wreckage continues.

The agency continues combing through pilot and maintenance and company records associated with the flight, Hogenson said. Investigators are focusing on the helicopter’s engine, the airframe, the pilot and the environment.

Two people were killed in the crash. According to the AP, the NTSB could release preliminary findings as early as Monday.

KOMO News Director and GM Issue Statement on Helicopter Crash

140318_helicopter_memorial_660Holly Gauntt, news director for Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO, and station GM Janene Drafs jointly issued a statement about Tuesday’s helicopter crash.

The two remembered Bill Strothman and Gary Pfitzner, the men who were killed in the crash. “Our hearts are heavy today. We miss them. We cry for our loss and their families.  We thank everyone who has reached out to us and offered to help in any way they can.” The statement added, “The flowers, the cards, the emails… they help more than you’ll ever know. How lucky we are to be surrounded and supported by such compassionate viewers and listeners. You’ve helped us in hard times before. Thank you for doing it again.”

You can read the entire text of the statement after the jump. Read more

KOMO Anchor Dan Lewis: ‘This is a Television Station That’s in a State of Shock’

komo chopper crashThe Seattle Times talks to KOMO staffers about what it was like to cover the deadly helicopter crash that killed two contract employees at the Seattle ABC affiliate Tuesday. A third man was severely injured in the crash, which happened as the chopper was taking off from the station’s roof:

Station employees were working at their desks at Fisher Plaza at about 7:40 a.m. when they heard tree branches snapping, then car horns sounding, said longtime anchor Dan Lewis. They rushed to their office windows and watched in horror as a helicopter carrying two of their colleagues burned after crashing seconds before. Reporter Kelly Koopmans reported on air that explosions from the helicopter continued 20 minutes after the crash.

… Lewis said he was about to board a plane for Washington, D.C., where he had a date to interview President Obama. He rushed back to the KOMO newsroom, where he and co-anchor Eric Johnson continued to report live on the tragedy. Read more

Helicopter in KOMO Crash Was Formerly Used by WBZ, WFXT

komo crashThe helicopter involved in the KOMO crash was previously used by  two Boston stations, CBS owned WBZ and Fox owned WFXT, WBZ reports.

According to NBC News, the chopper, a Eurocopter AS350, was on loan from Helicopter Inc. of Cahokia, Ill., while KOMO’s regular one had new equipment installed. Gary Pfitzner, the chopper’s pilot, and Bill Strothman, a former KOMO photographer, were killed in the accident.

WBZ reports the chopper was used in Boston for 10 years and flown to Detroit last November.

KOMO shares a helicopter with KING, the NBC affiliate in Seattle. “Words cannot express the sympathy and sadness we feel for the victims who lost their lives in today’s tragedy and for their families,” KING president and general manager Ray Heacox said in a statement. “We grieve this afternoon with the entire Seattle community and our thoughts are with all those affected.”

[h/t WBZ managing editor Pete Wilson]

Gary Pfitzner and Bill Strothman Identified as KOMO Chopper Crash Victims

bill strothman komoSeattle ABC affiliate KOMO has identified the two victims of this morning’s helicopter crash as Gary Pfitzner, the chopper’s pilot, and Bill Strothman (pictured), a former KOMO photographer.

The names were announced by an emotional Dan Lewis and Molly Shen as part of KOMO’s continuing coverage of the crash this afternoon.

Strothman and Pfitzner were employed by the helicopter leasing company that operates KOMO’s chopper. During Strothman’s career at KOMO, he won 13 Emmy Awards. His son, Dan, currently works as a photographer at KOMO, the station said today.

“He was a guy who really knew how his pictures could tell a million words. He focused so much on just getting the right shots, the right video, putting it in the right place in the story,” Lewis said of Strothman on KOMO today.

Shen remembered Pfitzner’s love for his job.  “He always also had a smile on his face,” Shen said. “…He loved what he did, loved to be able to fly and be up there above the city and see things from a perspective that most of us don’t get to see.”

“Such a horrible loss. We’re gonna miss you guys,” Lewis said. “Thanks so much for all that you gave to us and to the families.”

Watch Lewis and Shen talk about Pfitzner and Strothman after the jump. Read more

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