Seattle, WA – KING 5 will say goodbye to anchor Lori Matsukawa on Friday, June 14, marking the close of her 36 years on-air at the station. During her tenure she faithfully served our community on-air and behind the scenes, educating viewers, telling the stories of our region and supporting local nonprofits.
“What a pleasure it’s been to work at KING 5 – a legacy station,” Matsukawa said when asked to sum up her career. “I always tell people the best part of being a television journalist is being able to tell the stories of the people who call the Northwest home. Over the decades, I’ve witnessed a lot of change, most of it for the better. And what an honor it has been to write the ‘first draft of history,’ whether it was the eruption of Mount St. Helens, the attainment of redress by Japanese Americans unlawfully incarcerated during World War II or the inspiring achievements of a diverse group of public servants like Gary Locke, Norman and Constance Rice, Ana Mari Cauce, Ron Sims, Martha Choe, Mary Yu, Steve Gonzales, and Claudia Kauffman.”
“KING 5 has allowed me to travel far and wide to bring stories of interest to our viewers - big cities like New York, Beijing and Tokyo; big events like the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympics and the Mariners ALCS and delightful places like Honolulu, Orcas Island and Vancouver, B.C.,” Matsukawa continued. “When I graduated from college, I told everyone I wanted a job where I’d learn something new every day. I found it here at KING 5. I am grateful to those who’ve been my teachers, mentors and supporters all these years. Thank you for your support. It’s been a heck of a ride!”
Matsukawa retires after forging her own legacy at KING 5. In addition to the stories she covered, she is been the recipient of numerous awards, including the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Asian American Journalists Association (2005), induction to the University of Washington Communication Department’s “Alumni Hall of Fame” (2012), the NATAS Northwest “Silver Circle Award” for lifetime achievement (2014) and a regional Emmy Award in 2018 for her series “Prisoners in Their Own Land” about Japanese American wartime incarceration. More impressive than her trophy case is the list of local organizations that she contributed to during her time in Seattle: the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington, the Seattle Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (which she helped co-found in 1983), Mary’s Place and El Centro de la Raza, to name a few.
“From the beginning, Lori has embodied and truly lived the values that we hold near to our hearts,” said Jim Rose, KING 5 president and general manager. “She is a leader in our community, a friend and mentor to everyone in our building, and one of the greatest journalists we’ve ever seen. To say she’ll be missed by her colleagues, and everyone at home, would be a tremendous understatement.”
Matsukawa’s efforts made an impact on colleagues near and far, including former KING 5 president and current TEGNA, Inc. president and CEO Dave Lougee. “I had the privilege of working with Lori at KING 5 for six years. I saw firsthand her unparalleled commitment to the people of Western Washington,” said Lougee. “Few broadcasters in America have had more of an impact on their community than Lori. She’s a first-class journalist and first class in all ways. I join her colleagues in thanking her for all she’s done to represent KING 5 and their viewers so well.”
Though Matsukawa leaves big shoes to fill, KING 5 didn’t have to look far to find a successor. Beginning Monday, June 17, KING 5 morning anchor Joyce Taylor will step into the evening anchor role. Her shared commitment to serving KING 5 and the community on and off the air makes her a natural fit for the position.
“I could not be more honored. I have two of the most extraordinary women in broadcasting to thank - Lori Matsukawa and Jean Enersen - for being trailblazers, paving the way, raising the bar and showing me by example that hard work and a dedication to truth and community are the pillars of a long and meaningful career in journalism,” Taylor said to her colleagues when the news was announced.
“I have loved anchoring KING 5 mornings. How else can one explain rising at 2:15 a.m. for more than 20 years? But, with my ‘babies’ now in college, the time is right and the opportunity is here for me to realize a long-time dream,” continued Taylor. “Sitting in the evening anchor chair at KING 5 is a dream come true and a privilege beyond words - one I will never take for granted.”
Taylor brings her own impressive set of accolades to the evening anchor chair - four Emmy Awards, numerous Emmy Award nominations, a 100 Most Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, Western Washington University, and more than 20 years of news experience.
Over the next month, KING 5 intends to use each day to the fullest, celebrating Matsukawa’s many contributions and accomplishments with our viewers and staff. A Facebook Live is scheduled for Friday, May 10, at 1:30 p.m. where Matsukawa will answer questions and share her plans for the future. A one-hour special sharing memories, photos, videos and stories about Matsukawa is planned for Friday, June 14, from 7-8 p.m. on KING 5.
ABOUT KING 5
KING 5 Media Group, The Home Team, is a multi-platform media company based in Seattle, WA. It includes NBC affiliate KING 5, independent station KONG-TV and numerous digital platforms, including king5.com. KING 5 was the first television station in the Pacific Northwest, founded in 1948 by Dorothy Bullitt, now owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA), an innovative media company that serves the greater good of its communities. Today KING 5 is the dominant media company in the region, delivering the largest local news audience and the most local programming across all screens. For more information, go to www.king5.com.
Director of Community Relations