Former KIRO CEO/Community Leader Ken Hatch Dies at 82

By   –  Columnist, Puget Sound Business Journal
Nov. 22 2017

Business and community leader Kenneth L. “Ken” Hatch,  died unexpectedly in Bellevue on Nov. 21 at the age of 82. His wife of 22 years, Cathi Hatch, was by his side.

“He always helped people be their best selves,” said Cathi Hatch. “He inspired people to be more than they ever thought they could be. He unfailingly believed in family and in his children, and he was my biggest fan.”

Born in Vernal, Utah, in 1935, Ken Hatch grew up on a small cattle ranch in high mountain country.

After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in business and finance, Hatch began his career in the early days of television at KSL in Salt Lake City, where he rose to general manager while he was still in his 20s.

In 1964 Hatch moved to Seattle when KSL’s parent company, Bonneville International Corp., purchased KIRO Inc.

As KIRO’s president, CEO and chairman, Hatch oversaw KIRO’s local broadcast properties, including KIRO-TV, AM, FM for three decades, later adding KING FM and AM to the mix.

Hatch also served as senior vice president of Bonneville, overseeing 20 television and radio properties nationally. He was president of Bonneville Music Service, providing radio music programming internationally. And he was president of Bonneville’s Torbet Radio.

As KIRO’s CEO, Hatch was a familiar face throughout the Northwest, well-known for his frequent on-air editorials.

He was known as an industry innovator, said his son Michael Hatch.

“He was the first local broadcast leader in the country to put a minority woman on the air. He created the open newsroom format and used the first news helicopter,” he said.



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