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KATU offices and studios at NE 21st and Sandy Boulevard. That Mustang made a pretty sporty news car in 1966.

A construction permit for Channel 2 was issued to Fisher's Blend Station, Inc. (later 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 its transmitter site 21 miles, 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 fourth station in the Portland market in less than a decade to have affiliated with ABC full-time (after KLOR, KGW and KPTV).

KATU is also Portland's longest-tenured ABC affiliate to date. KATU is the only one of the first five television stations in Portland to have operated out of the same studio (at 2153 NE Sandy Blvd.) since it went on the air, although the building had previously operated for many years as a laundry.

KATU has had the same call letters and the same channel number throughout its history.

In 2006, KATU won two Edward R. Murrow Awards. On October 11, 2007 KATU became the Third Portland TV Station to broadcast its daily newscasts in widescreen. In 2013, Fisher Communications was acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

*Information provided by Wikipedia.com

KATU celebrated 55 years of broadcasting in Portland on March 15, 2017.


In 1973, KATU’s Eyewitness News Team was anchored by (seated) Dick Bogle on the left, Gary Bentley (center) and Sports Announcer Rod Luck on the right. Standing: Weatherman Jim Bosley.


Beginning in October 1973, KATU’s Eyewitness News Team was anchored by (seated) Dick Bogle on the left and Gary Bentley (on the right) and standing: Weatherman Jim Bosley (left) and Sports Announcer Roger Twibell (right) .


KATU’s legendary Weatherman Jim Bosley.

Nicknamed “The Boz”, Jim Bosley started working for KATU in 1962 as the creative director. Due to a shortage in the weather department, Bosley was tapped to fill in for a vacationing weatherman because of his prior experience at KOTI-TV in Klamath Falls, Oregon where he began his broadcasting career in 1958. He went on to become Chief Meterologist at KATU where he anchored the weather department for over 33 years.

Bosley’s trademark weather forecast detail was called “Rate the Day,” in which he would rank the forecast for the upcoming day on a scale of 1 to 10. Sunny days always ranked higher than rainy days.

The Boz was also the popular host of KATU’s morning show, AM Northwest, which he hosted from its inception in 1975 until his retirement 25 years later. He helped create one of the nation’s longest running live local talk shows. Bosley retired from on-air duties in 2000.

Jim Bosley was born in 1935 in Great Falls, Montana. Prior to broadcasting, Jim Bosley attended Seattle University and graduated from the University of Washington in pre-med. In the 1950s, Bosley worked as a Hollywood film producer for the Lisle Sheldon Advertising Agency. He passed away on April 6, 2008 of congestive heart failure.


Weatherman Jim Bosley with Science Editor and Meteorologist Fred Jenkins. Fred did forecasts on the News at 11 pm.


KATU General Manager Bill Hubbach (right) accepts the keys to the new Studebaker Commander.


KATU used an International Travelall for remote broadcasts and to pull the generator .


KATU shared this remote broadcast unit with KOMO-TV4, Fisher Broadcasting's flagship station in Seattle. Standing alongside it is William "Bill" Vandermay, the founding Chief Engineer of KATU.


Romper Room originally aired on KPTV and on September 30, 1963 it debuted on KATU.


Rusty Nails’ Cartoonival aired for five years on KATU beginning in 1962.


One of the most popular TV Hosts in the early days of live TV was none other than Rusty Nails the Clown, shown at Alpenrose Story Book Lane.

“Pastor Jim”Allen, who was born in 1928, began portraying Rusty Nails on KOIN as “Rusty the Clown” in Portland in 1957. Within a year, he moved to KPTV for Rusty’s Hour, a short-lived weekend show. Then he hosted the Three Stooges Show weekday afternoons on KPTV. In 1962, Rusty moved to KATU where he hosted the Cartoonival. Then in 1967, Rusty returned to KPTV with his noontime cartoon show where he remained until 1972 when Perry Mason took over the noon time slot on KPTV for 40 years. From Sept. 1972 to March 1973, Rusty Nails hosted his last regular TV show on KPTV in Portland: Kids’ Comedy Theater, which featured kid-oriented movies made from the 1940s to ‘60s.  Until recently, Rusty Nails continued to perform and delight children of all ages.


The Paul Bunyan Show aired from 1961 to 1965 on KATU featuring Dave Alexander and Larry Caramella.


Awarding a new bike to a lucky young girl is David Alexander better known as "Paul Bunyan, Jr." Dave was an original staff member in 1962 and left KATU in 1966. He went on to own a video production company in Los Angeles. Dave moved back to the Portland area in 2010 and continues to write movie scripts. In his spare time, he continues to work on a novel.


Multi-talented Farm Editor Kirby Brumfield also worked as a Weatherman.


On April 14, 1963 KATU aired  the “Heartbeat Of Easter.” Members of the cast and crew included: front row, left to right: Gene Normoyle, floor director, engineers Al Schwartz, Vince Ginnaty, Bob Worthylake and Doug Beadle; back row, left to right: Ed Pontes, engineer, Kirby Brumfield as the Soldier at the Cross, unknown, unknown, Mel White of Portland Youth for Christ and Rufus Pederson, production manager. RCA TK-60 camera.

Thanks to Joel Miller, who retired from KATU in March 2015 after 41 years, for help identifying and providing info about many of the great folks who worked at KATU over the years. Joel graduated from high school in 1969 and started at KATU in Feb. 1974 as an engineer. From 1971-74 he was the chief engineer at KQIV, the original 106.7 FM in Lake Oswego. Thanks also to Portland Broadcasting Historian Craig Adams for helping as well.




Last updated 05-05-18



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