Jean Enersen celebrated her 45th anniversary with KING 5 Television in July of 2013. As the first and longest standing local female anchor in the country, she built a reputation as the most popular, respected, and most trusted, news anchor in the Northwest. Jean has won an Emmy for her anchoring on KING 5 News weeknight broadcasts at 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. with her co-anchor Dennis Bounds.
In addition to her daily anchor duties, Jean has been heavily and enthusiastically involved with a myriad of different community service organizations for four decades. She typically focuses on events and charitable work that include medicine, health, wellness, children, and families. She has made notable achievements in her specialized coverage on health issues as the KING 5 HealthLink reporter. In 2005, the documentary “Love Your Heart” won a regional Emmy award. In 2006, “Crown for Kathrina” won an Excellence in Media award and a Clarion award, and “Breast Cancer: Winning the Battle” also earned a Clarion.
Enersen is from the Northwest and has been educated in Seattle area schools. She graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with honors, a Masters Degree in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Broadcasting and Film. She also has honorary doctorates from Whitman College and Seattle University. Enersen is a former member of the board of trustees of Stanford University and has served on the board of Stanford’s Think Tank at the Hoover Institution.
Enersen began her broadcasting career at KPIX-TV in San Francisco. In 1968 she joined KING 5, where she became one of the first television anchor women in the country. Enersen was promoted to evening news anchor in 1972. She has had the opportunity to interview several Presidents of the United States and she has co-hosted NBC’s “Today” Show.
As a recognizable source of trustworthy information in the Seattle area, Jean Enersen is often called on to moderate political debates and host town halls on crucial issues.
The Seattle Weekly has dubbed Enersen “Our Walter Cronkite,” and the Seattle Weekly’s annual reader poll has named Enersen, “Seattle’s Most Trusted Anchor,” “Seattle’s Best Television Interviewer,” “Best Local Journalist/Reporter,” and “Best Anchor.” Independent research polls have also named Enersen, “Seattle’s Favorite News Anchor” and “Most Trustworthy News Anchor.”
Enersen traveled to Africa with the Gates Foundation to examine global health issues in a documentary called “Sharing the Wealth.” She also broadcast live from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, from the Kosovo war, from Russia, and from Japan. She hosted “Asia Now,” a weekly KCTS Asian news program seen in 13 Asian countries and 75 United States markets. She also hosted “Sexual Survival,” a KING 5 special about sexually transmitted diseases which became the station’s highest-rated documentary.
Enersen hosted KING 5’s acclaimed “Hostages At Home,” a one-hour special on domestic violence. The program was so well received that KING 5 ran three encore broadcasts, and is currently used as an educational tool by hospitals, shelters, police departments and offender recovery groups. Enersen later completed a three part follow-up series entitled “Escape the Abuse” which aired on KING 5 News at 5:00 p.m.
Enersen has worked on several award winning KING 5 specials, including “Mission of Mercy,” “Korea: The Dragon Decides,” “Living With AIDS,” and “Washington 2000,” which won a national Dupont-Columbia Award for Journalism. “No Place Like Home” hosted by Enersen, helped raise three million dollars to build the first shelter for Eastside families. In 1988, Enersen was invited to appear live on Soviet television to offer commentary on Soviet society - the first American journalist ever to do so. In 1987, she hosted “Face to Face: US/USSR,” a documentary stemming from a joint effort between KING 5 and Soviet television.
Additional awards earned by Enersen throughout her career include:
• Best News Anchor Regional Emmy Award
• The Northwest AIDS Foundation Community Leadership Award
• The Matrix Table for Women of Achievement
• Silver Circle, National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Seattle Chapter)
• In 2006, Enersen was a crucial part of the KING 5 News team that received the prestigious national Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence.
Enersen’s community service includes serving as spokesperson for the American Heart Association, as a member of the board of the Seattle Foundation, past president of the YWCA of Seattle-King County/Snohomish County, co-chair of the annual Northwest AIDS Walk, and honorary chair of the King County Boys & Girls Kids Auction. She volunteers her time at the University of Washington, United Way and Eastside Domestic Violence Program. Enersen is married to Dr. Bruce Carter and together they have four children.