Media Arts and Design

The Route to News Directing


SUMMARY: Cheryl Carson, a 1988 alumna, talks about her story to becoming KING 5 News Director in Seattle.

Cheryl Carson
Cheryl Carson, news director at KING 5 News in Seattle. Photo courtesy of AdWeek.

Cheryl Carson thought she wanted to be a TV reporter, but quickly realized she didn’t like anchoring, so she tried something else: management.

It stuck.

“It’s really a great business for women to be in, in management,” the 1988 alumna said at a SMAD Connect event recently. 

Carson is currently the executive news director at KING/KONG TV in Seattle. The station won a National Murrow Award for news excellence in 2015, the highest award in the country for TV news.

The award recognized the station’s coverage of a tragic year in its coverage area that included a news chopper crash in March, the Oso landslide in April and a school shooting in October.

“That year, there were a lot of people in our newsroom who were absolutely exhausted,” she said.

But Carson led the staff to find some hope in the midst of the pain.

“When something happens in your community, you want to make change, you want to help,” she said. “The power we have as a local TV station is unbelievable.”

Watch: KING5 TV Coverage - National Murrow Award 2015

So KING not only covered the news; they also found ways to assist the community through various charitable initiatives.

And, she said, the station looked for stories with heart — “stories you’re going to remember,” Carson said.

Before coming to KING, Carson had been laid off from a major TV market and wondered what she’d do next. “I had to reinvent myself,” she said.

But her approach remains the same.

“My philosophy is do it right, and do it right the first time,” she said.

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Published: Monday, October 17, 2016

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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