Western Washington s news leader is about to expand its reach, footprint, and availability to viewers in Western Washington in a meaningful way. Starting Monday, KING 5 will add another 90 minutes of original news programming to its networks.

At 6:30 p.m., the longtime number one rated local newscast in its time period expands from 30 minutes to a full hour running from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The expansion will serve the commuting audience particularly well, giving hard-working news viewers the opportunity to stay up to date and connected to their community.

Then at 9:00 p.m., a new hour-long newscast will air on KONG TV. Skagit Valley native and KING/NWCN Anchor Rob Piercy will anchor this newscast, leading into the 10:00 p.m. news on KONG-TV with Dennis Bounds and Lori Matsukawa.

During a time of shrinking local coverage in daily newspapers, expanding TV coverage is the right move. The Home Team is already producing more local, live programming than any news organization in the Northwest. With these new time periods the KING 5 news department will produce 10 hours a day of live news aired on KING 5 and KONG-TV. In addition The Home Team runs one of the largest regional cable and satellite channels in the nation, NWCN.

Many critics of media consolidation have worried about less local programming and community service; we think this is one more powerful demonstration that these worries are unfounded said President and General Manager, Ray Heacox. Heacox went on to say We do the most news, support a first rate digital and mobile business and we have non-news programming like Evening Magazine, New Day Northwest, Gardening with Ciscoe, and a host of locally produced specials and major community events like Home Team Harvest - no other media company does more locally than we do.

With the best talent and a commitment to excellence we not only provide more coverage but we will continue to support the most successful and award winning investigative unit in town said Mark Ginther, Executive Director of News. Ginther went on to say We have uncovered some of the biggest stories in our community; and through franchises like Get Jesse and HealthLink with Jean Enersen we dig deeper for the stories that make a difference in our viewers lives.

In the past few years the KING 5 Investigators unit has uncovered systematic fraud in the state food card system, a ferry system with significant management problems, and a systematic cover-up of significant scale at Hanford - in each case resulting in changes in laws and or the administration of these organizations.

Much of the growth in KING5 television news coverage, expanded digital, mobile and social media has come out of a multi-year effort called JAWAT (Journalism Any Where Any Time). We looked at our world and our research and realized we work exclusively for our local viewers and customers and that we owe them the best information on any platform, anytime they want it. This is our true commitment to the Northwest. said Ginther.

We have established ourselves as the local news leader on mobile, with a fleet of smartphone and iPad apps, that combine the strength of local reporting with first-class technology, said Mark Briggs, Director of Digital Media at KING. And we serve the largest local news audience on social media, too, where we have built loyal communities that engage with us all day, every day.

The result is maximum choice for the people of Western Washington to fit KING 5 s award winning local news into their lives. It also establishes a solid three hour block of news and local programming beginning at 5:00pm and concluding with the move of Evening Magazine to 7:30 p.m. leading directly into NBC s primetime fall line-up.

Read or Share this story: http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2014/08/04/13304180/