Portland, Oregon
Branding KATU (general)
KATU News (newscasts)
(pronounced "K-2")
Slogan On Your Side
Channels Analog: 2 (VHF)

Digital: 43 (UHF)

Translators (see article)
Affiliations ABC
Owner Fisher Communications, Inc.
Licensee Fisher Broadcasting - Portland TV, LLC
First air date March 15, 1962
Call letters' meaning sounds like "K-2"
Sister stations(s) KUNP
Former Affiliations Independent
(3/15/1962 - 2/29/1964)
Transmitter Power 100 kW (analog)
1000 kW (digital)
Height 475 m (analog)
524 m (digital)
Facility ID 21649
Website KATU News' Website

KATU is a TV station broadcasting on ch. 2 in Portland, Oregon, USA. It has been owned by Fisher Communications of Seattle, Washington, owner of the Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO-TV, since it's inception & is currently affiliated with the ABC TV Network. It's transmitter is located in Portland.

KATU also O&Os local Univision affiliate KUNP-LP ch. 47.

History[edit | edit source]

A construction permit for Ch. 2 was issued to Fisher's Blend Station, Inc. (now Fisher Communications) as early as 1958. It was assigned the call letters KATU. However, the station did not take to the airwaves until March 15 1962, initially as an independent station.

On January 19 1964, KATU moved it's transmitter site 21 miles (34 km), to Portland's West Hills to improve coverage. The site had previously been on Livingston Mountain.

A little over a month later it took over the ABC affiliation from KPTV on March 1, 1964. This made KATU, the 4th station in the Portland market in less than a decade to have affiliated with ABC full-time (after KLOR, KGW & KPTV). It's also Portland's longest-tenured ABC affiliate to date.

KATU is the only 1 of the 1st 5 TV stations in Portland to have operated out of the same studio (@ 2153 N.E. Sandy Blvd.) since it went on the air, although the building had previously operated for many years as a laundry.

KATU is also one of the few TV stations in the country (not counting O&Os) that has had the same call letters, the same owner & the same ch. # throughout it's history.

In 2002, KATU cerebrated their 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion, they updated their graphics as well as a new set. They also aired stories from past newscasts.

In the November 2006 & February 2007 sweeps periods, KATU finished in 3rd place overall in the local newscast ratings, behind KGW & KPTV.

In 2006, KATU won 2 Edward R. Murrow Awards, including an investigative piece reported by Anna Song on a newborn that was left severely brain damaged by OHSU hospital. Song also won dual 1st place (2006) AP Awards in Best Writing & Best Investigative Reporting.

On October 11 2007, KATU became the 3rd Portland TV Station to broadcast it's daily newscasts in widescreen.

KATU has plans to broadcast it's newscasts in HD starting in early 2009.

On-air personalities[edit | edit source]

KATU News Anchors[edit | edit source]

  • Carl Click: KATU News This Morning & KATU News @ Noon
  • Steve Dunn: KATU News @ 5, 6, 6:30 & 11
  • Susan Harding: KATU News This Morning (weekend)
  • Debora Knapp: KATU News @ 5, 6, 6:30 & 11
  • Natali Marmion: KATU News This Morning & KATU News @ Noon
  • Anna Song: KATU News @ 5, 6 & 11 (weekend)
  • Angelica Thornton: KATU First News @ 4
  • Dan Tilkin: KATU News @ 5, 6 & 11 (weekend)
  • Brian Wood: KATU News @ 4

KATU Storm Tracker Weather[edit | edit source]

  • Joe English: KATU News @ 4
  • Carlos Faura: Weekend Weather Meteorologist
  • Rod Hill: KATU News @ 5, 6, 6:30 & 11 (Chief Meteorologist)
  • Rhonda Shelby: KATU News This Morning & KATU News @ Noon

KATU Sports[edit | edit source]

  • Craig Birnbach: KATU News @ 5, 6 & 11 (weekend)
  • Katy Brown: KATU News @ 5, 6, 6:30 & 11 (weeknights)

AM Northwest[edit | edit source]

  • Dave Anderson: Host
  • Helen Raptis: Host

KATU Reporters[edit | edit source]

  • Lauren Allison: Traffic Reporter
  • Shellie Bailey-Shah: On Your Side: Problem Solver
  • Brian Barker: General Assignment Reporter
  • Joe English: General Assignment Reporter
  • Adam Ghassemi:General Assignment Reporter
  • Susan Harding: General Assignment Reporter
  • Bob Heye: General Assignment Reporter
  • Valerie Hurst: General Assignment Reporter
  • Jeff Jaeger: General Assignment Reporter
  • Thom Jensen: On Your Side: Investigator
  • Melica Johnson: Salem Bureau Chief
  • Meghan Kalkstein: General Assignment Reporter
  • Anita Kissee: General Assignment Reporter
  • Margy Lynch : General Assignment Reporter
  • Anna Song: On Your Side: Investigator
  • Dan Tilkin: On Your Side: Investigator
  • Melanie Wingo: General Assignment Reporter

Former personalities[edit | edit source]

Jim Bosley came to KATU in 1962 when the station 1st went on air as a creative programs director. He then became the Chief Meteorologist & became the host of KATU's morning talk show AM Northwest in 1976. Jim retired from TV broadcasting in 2000. He died in April 2008.

Bill O'Reilly, 1 of the original anchors of Inside Edition & now on FOX News, came to KATU in 1984 as an anchor & reporter. He left the station in 1986 to join ABC News & was replaced by reporter & weekend weathercaster Jeff Gianola. At the time of O'Reilly's departure, KATU's "Channel 2 News" held the top spot in the Portland TV market ratings.

Lou Gellos was a former Sports Director @ KATU in the early 1990s. Prior to joining KATU, he also held that position briefly @ Seattle's KING-TV. He is now spokesman & communications director for Microsoft.

KATU's "Channel 2 News" was also the highest-rated news program in Portland under the anchor team of Jeff Gianola & Julie Emry. Julie Emry left in the mid-1990s for family reasons & Gianola left in 1997 after being suspended for apparently getting into an argument with a female reporter. Incidentally, Gianola & Emry were back anchoring the news together on rival TV station KOIN-TV Ch. 6 from September 2002 until Late 2005, when she left the station (also for family reasons). Gianola appeared as himself in the film The Hunted starring Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro.

Jeffrey Babcock appeared regularly in the early 1990s as a commentator on capital markets & personal finance, but left to become an investment manager. Formerly he was a correspondent @ WABC-TV's Good Morning New York, as well as a reporter @ KIRO-TV in Seattle & WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio.

News/Station Presentation[edit | edit source]

Newscast titles[edit | edit source]

  • Eyewitness News (1969–1978)
  • Channel Two News (1978–1984)
  • Channel 2 News (1984–2000)
  • KATU News (2000–present; pronounced as "K2 News")

Newscast Slogans[edit | edit source]

  • Eyewitness News: in Color (1967-1970)
  • Eyewitness News: Oregon's 1st Television News Team (1970-1973)
  • Turn To The Channel 2 News (1981-1984)
  • The Spirit Of The Northwest (1990-1996, 2003-2007)
  • On Your Side (2007-Present)

Newscast Music[edit | edit source]

  • Un Homme et Une Femme: Aujourd'hui C'est Toi, Francis Lai (1970-1972)
  • WTLV 1972 News Theme, Unknown Composer (1972-1975)
  • KATU 1975 News Theme, Unknown Composer (1975-1978)
  • ABC World News Tonight: Synthsized Version, Score Productions (1978-19??)
  • Spirit (of Texas), TM Productions (1990-1996)
  • KATU 1996 News Theme (1996-1998)
  • ABC News Affiliate Music Package, Score Productions (1998-2003)
  • Pinnacle, Stephen Arnold Music (2003-2006)
  • Breakthrough, FirstCom (2006-2007)
  • K2 News, FirstCom (2007-Present)

DTV[edit | edit source]

On July 17, 2008 @ 6:15 PM, KATU turned off it's analog signal for 10 secs to test if viewers' TV sets were ready for DTV.

Analog-to-DT conversion[edit | edit source]

After the analog TV shutdown scheduled for February 17 2009, KATU will remain on it's current pre-transition ch. #, 43 using PSIP to display KATU's virtual ch. as 2.

Translators[edit | edit source]

KATU is rebroadcast on the following translator stations.

  • K43EJ Ch. 43 Tillamook
  • K44AJ Ch. 44 Baker City
  • K45CV Ch. 45 Corvallis
  • K47CD Ch. 47 Rockaway Beach
  • K50CE Ch. 50 Hood River
  • K54AP Ch. 54 Prineville
  • K54BK Ch. 54 Maupin
  • K55GC Ch. 55 Milton-Freewater
  • K58AY Ch. 58 Elgin
  • K63CC Ch. 63 Madras (Moving to Ch. 38)
  • K65AY Ch. 65 Enterprise (Moving to Ch. 34)

LP translator in Mitchell has been discontinued.

Heliport[edit | edit source]

KATU Heliport (FAA LID: 21OR) is a private heliport on the roof of KATU-TV's building in Portland, Oregon.

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Exploding whale - KATU's claim to fame as the station that aired footages of the Oregon Highway Division's attempt to dispose of a dead whale. Longtime KATU Anchor (& current KEX Morning Host) Paul Linnman is the face of the report.
  • Bumpity - A local children program produced by KATU from 1971-1985.

External links[edit | edit source]

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