Ken is the consummate storyteller, and he spent 37 years telling stories on TV – 27 of those years at KARE TV. He has the ability to turn a phrase and capture the essence of a character like few others can. He has never been shy about kicking off his shoes, literally – sometimes figuratively, every time he told a story. So down-quilt-comfortable, Ken spurned even the formal title, “reporter.” “Storyteller” is what he preferred.
Ken discovered broadcasting and his future wife Donna, at Iowa’s Morningside College. He then transferred to Iowa State University where he received a B.S. Degree in English and Speech in 1969. During college, he worked at KMEG TV in Sioux City, Iowa, WOI-TV in Ames, Iowa and several radio stations He cut his teeth in the TV news business at WKBT-TV, WKBH Radio in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, beginning in 1969. He also worked at WJIM TV in Lansing, Michigan and KUTV in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1979, Ken started telling stories at KARE TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
He was never an awards seeker, but he won plenty of them. One of the one’s he is most proud of is the IRIS award he received in 2000 from the National Association of Television Programming Executives. It was an award for on-camera performance which surprised Ken since he generally disregarded stand-ups. His philosophy was that he only had 90 seconds to tell a story, and he needed every precious second of that time to focus on the subject of the story. Ken also is proud of the regional Emmys he won. The two that top his list were earned for his 1995 story on ‘Daisy the Goose’ and his 2005 piece about precocious pianists.
Ken retired from TV news in 2007, several years after being diagnosed with West Nile Virus. But his retirement is only partial. He now markets his amazing voice for commercials, corporate videos and television programs.