Michelle King was a news anchor for KUTV Channel 2 news Salt Lake City. She retired from her broadcast career on November 28, 2007. In 2011, after she and her husband returned from presiding over the Georgia Atlanta North mission, King returned to TV as host of KSL's Mormon Times show. The show shares stories and testimonies of well-known Latter-day Saints.
Education and Experiences at College
Michelle attended Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. As a child, Michelle always planned to attend BYU. For her it seemed like a great place to get an education and associate with lots of LDS people.
Michelle has always liked to write, but never thought of a career in broadcast journalism. Her first experience with broadcast journalism happened when she walked through the HFAC building at Brigham Young University, and saw students reporting the news for KBYU. This interested her enough to take the Intro to Broadcasting as a general education course. After the class, she was interested enough to get involved with KBYU herself. It seemed kind of exciting for her because she didn’t really “know” anyone who was a news broadcaster. (Personal Interview)
As a student working for KBYU, Michelle did a few reports in the Provo area carrying around an old Bell and Howell film camera. She anchored the Newsroom 11 show for a couple of years and she also produced. She would produce the show then run out and anchor one of the segments. She mainly reported on local Provo/Orem news stories, but in her newscasts they also had regional and national segments as well as weather and sports. In fact, the first person she worked with doing a show called Religion Today—Carolos Amezcua -- ended up working with her at KUTV, where she worked for much of her professional career.
While at BYU, Michelle took courses from the following professors: Oliver Smith, Edwin O. Haroldsen, Professor Fairbanks, Lynn McKinley (one of KSL radio’s first broadcasters), Doug Barton (now owns/runs a Manti radio station), M. Dallas Burnett, George Barrus, Owen S. Rich, Raymond E. Beckham, Bruce L. Olsen and Thomas A. Griffiths—whom she considers her broadcast mentor.
She decided to be an anchor because it “looked like a lot of fun.” Michelle recounts her childhood days in grade school when the teacher would pass out the Weekly Reader newspaper and have us all take a turn reading out loud, which she loved. As she later learned that news anchors have more of a “set” schedule, as opposed to other positions in the broadcast business that enabled her to better manage her work and home life.
Some major changes in the broadcast industry occurred while Michelle was in college. Videotape was implemented as the principle medium to record footage instead of film. Also a primitive form of the teleprompter was implemented which was a conveyor system displaying pages that were taped together. She hoped nothing got caught or torn in this style of the teleprompter. This was a big deal, because some of the other bigger news stations in the neighboring states didn’t have a teleprompter.
Michelle won a departmental award her junior year that allowed her to be the KSL intern for that summer. She would do everything from write stories to splice film to field reporting. At the end of the summer, the news director offered her a job sitting at the overnight assignment desk, not exactly what she had in mind. She completed her senior year, then interned at UPI in New York City after graduation.
Also during her junior year, Michelle was crowned Homecoming Queen at BYU. She was persuaded by one of her roommates to run for it. After completing all the requirements, she never expected to make the cut. To her surprise, both her and her friend who ran with her did. Further into the competition, the student body voted her into the top five and ultimately, Homecoming Queen. Her friend made it as one of the attendants as well.
Right after college, Michelle sent out about fifty resumes to stations in fairly big markets looking for a position as an anchor. She got many rejection letters as well as some inquiries. A college friend gave her a job at KUTV as a news photographer. He heard there was a part-time consumer reporter position for the Noon Show, and encouraged her to apply. The news director watched Michelle on Newsroom 11 and thought she had some potential. She was hired part-time at first. At this time she had already started working on her Master’s degree at BYU, but soon gave it up after four months when she was also asked to co-anchor the Noon show. She started at KUTV in August, 1978.
Major changes have occurred in broadcasting during her professional career. She experienced shooting footage on film during college, then moved to videotape, now everything is computerized and news is easier to access. There are so many news sources available that it has become a challenge to keep the audience’s attention.
Stories that Michelle has reported include:
- The first implantation of the artificial heart in Barney Clark
- Three national political conventions
- Two “Celebrate Utah” series—reporting live from all over the state for several weeks
- Interviewed Barbara & Laura Bush & Kitty Dukakis
- Series of reports on “a day in the life of an apostle” with Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the LDS Church
- Interviewed Presidents Hinckley & Monson also of the LDS Church
- Traveled to Las Vegas to interview Gladys Knight at her home soon after she was baptized into the LDS church
- Traveled to Independence, MO to do a series of reports on the RLDS (not affiliated with LDS) faith when that religion installed its first president
- Traveled to Richmond, VA to do series of reports on the new Southern Virginia College and one mission of the LDS church that had their missionaries do 90% service 10% proselyting (as opposed to 90 or 100% proselyting)
- Traveled to Freiberg in East German Republic to cover the dedication of the first LDS temple behind the “Iron Curtain.”
- BYU Magazine - Alumni Updates, 1978 (Spring 2012)
- The Deseret News - Michelle King returns to broadcasting as new host of 'Mormon Times TV' show (12 Nov 2011)
- BYU Magazine - Royal Reporter
- King, Michelle. Personal Interview.