February 1995 – Chuck Taylor/Seattle Times — With a new weekday co-anchor, a new lead weather forecaster, new graphics and, yes, a helicopter, KSTW-TV (Channel 11) will transform itself next month when it becomes the CBS affiliate.
The station yesterday announced two hires and revealed more of its programming plans:
— Monica Gayle, a Wenatchee native who now anchors the “CBS Morning News” and has substituted for Paula Zahn on “CBS This Morning,” will join Don Porter as weeknight co-anchor starting March 13, when KSTW begins airing CBS programming.
Gayle is a 1982 Washington State University graduate who worked at KIMA-TV in Yakima, KULF-TV in Billings, Mont., KTVB-TV in Boise, KGW-TV in Portland, KNSD-TV in San Diego and KUSA-TV in Denver before joining CBS. She has anchored the “CBS Morning News” since 1992.
“In pairing her up with Don Porter, who also has network experience and is strong in the marketplace, we think they will make a very strong, dynamic team,” said KSTW vice president and general manager Gary Schneider.
Porter’s current partner on “The 10 O’Clock News,” Inga Hammond, will move to anchoring weekend newscasts, said KSTW news director Charlie Johnson.
— Also during that first week of CBS affiliation, Neal Barton, the weekend forecaster at WFAA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth, will become KSTW’s lead forecaster, joining Porter, Gayle and sports anchor Rod Simons weeknights.
Barton comes from a top-notch news station – the flagship, in fact, of A.H. Belo Corp., which last week bought the current Seattle CBS affiliate, KIRO-TV (Channel 7).
Johnson said KSTW will use three-dimensional “fly-by” animation in its weather reports.
Barton will displace meteorologist Larry Schick, who will either move to mornings or weekends. Recent KIRO-TV refugee Nick Walker could stay on as well, to handle weather duties, Johnson said.
— Starting March 13, KSTW will broadcast the “CBS Evening News” at 5:30 p.m. seven nights a week.
Monday through Saturday, the national news will be followed by half an hour of local news at 6 p.m. On Sundays, the local news will be an hour at 6, leading into “60 Minutes” at 7.
That schedule departs from the long tradition in Seattle of an hour of local news at 5, the network at 6 and a half-hour of local news at 6:30.
“There’s higher viewership at 6 p.m., and we will be adding in the first part of ’96 a half-hour 5 o’clock newscast, morning news and noon news,” said Schneider.
KIRO, too, plans half an hour of local news at 6, after it loses CBS. So during the 6 p.m. hour there will be two stations doing local news at any given time.
There will be 35 minutes of local news every night at 11 p.m. on KSTW, as on the other stations.
— “The 10 O’Clock News” will be aired for the last time on March 12. That day it will preview Channel 11’s revamped news programming and look back on its 18-year history on the independent station.
March 13, KIRO plans to pick up where KSTW left off, airing its own 10 p.m. news hour – and continuing to air half an hour of news at 11.
— Next month, KSTW will unveil redesigned logos and graphics, a new set and “open” for its newscasts, and new station-identification announcements.
— In an effort to bring attention to the network’s new affiliate here, “CBS This Morning” will broadcast from Seattle on April 3 and 4, and “CBS Evening News” co-anchor Connie Chung will do the broadcast from Seattle on June 5 and 6.
— For the most part, KSTW will match the current KIRO schedule of CBS programming. But there are changes in the station’s schedule of syndicated programs.
Until local news is expanded next year, reruns of “Cheers” will air seven days a week at 5 p.m.
At 4 and 6:30 p.m., KSTW will show “Roseanne” reruns. At 4:30 p.m., “Murphy Brown.”
Next fall, when it becomes available, KSTW will air reruns of “Home Improvement” at 6:30 p.m. This sets up an interesting battle in that time period. KIRO plans to air “Seinfeld” reruns at 6:30 starting in September.
— And finally, the news we’ve all been waiting for – the name of the KSTW news helicopter, which will be based at the station’s main studios in Tacoma.
KSTW’s bird will be called Sky Eye. It will join Air Four of ABC affiliate KOMO-TV (Channel 4), Sky King of NBC affiliate KING-TV (Channel 5) and Chopper 7 of United Paramount Network affiliate KIRO.
Link to KSTW 11 Gains CBS Affiliation