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Ken Schram to Leave KOMO: Latest Seattle TV News Departure

Two longtime faces on local TV are leaving their stations. Ken Schram announced today on his Facebook page that he is leaving KOMO-TV after 35 years. This follows news that KING-5 newsman Robert Mak is leaving after 20 years.

Two TV newsmen who have been on the air for decades recently announced that they are leaving their TV stations.

KOMO-TV reporter Ken Schram announced today on his Facebook page that he is leaving KOMO-TV after 35 years.

My position here at KOMO 4 News has been eliminated.
Today is the last "Schrammie" and next Monday will be my last commentary. 

I'd be less than candid if I didn't acknowledge how disappointed I am to have my 35+ year career at KOMO end this way.

Schram was known throughout the area for his "Schrammie," a bobble-head doll "awarded" to local politicians, personalities, policy makers and organizations that exhibit "among the worst of bone-headed decision, and/or the most appalling of asinine behavior."

His post today gives the Schrammie to Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo following her announcement of the discipline of two Bellevue police officers after boorish behavior at a Seahawks game and the discovery that one of the officers drove home drunk.

The news about Schram followed the recent announcement that KING5 newsman Robert Mak is leaving after nearly 20 years following the cancellation of his political talk show, "Up Front with Robert Mak." Sunday's show was the finale. Mak left KING for two years to be a spokesman for former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, but returned to helm the local politics show.

Mak told the Seattle Times that KING 5 offered to let him stay, but that he opted to leave. Still, a number of people have started a Facebook page lobbying the TV station to save the TV show.

EDIT 3:15 p.m.: Another local newsman, KOMO reporter Bryan Johnson, retired from the station in early November after 50 years at the station. His first day was in 1959.

Both men have been on local TV for decades. What do you think of the changes? Will you miss them?

Venice Buhain December 07, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Thanks for your comment, Gregory. I re-read this article and just realized I made an error by omission: Robert Mak did take a break from KING 5 to be former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels' spokesman, but Mak's departure from the Seattle mayor's office occurred after Nickels lost the primary. Then, Mak returned to 5 to host "Up Front." That's what I get for relying on memory. Sorry about the error.
Tony Ventrella December 07, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Time marches on even in the local TV business. Losing familiar faces is always tough on the audience. When Q-13 ended my contract in 2005 I would often go directly to the homes of my nine remaining viewers for a personal visit. It seemed to put them all at ease.
RaeAn Creitz December 07, 2012 at 08:02 PM
We will miss you Ken
Greg Johnston (Editor) December 07, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Now I'm going to have recurring nightmares of being chased by a Schrammie.
Sandy Young December 07, 2012 at 09:06 PM
He and Carlson were terrific on "the Commentators". It was a mistake to end that show--I don't listen to any talk shows anymore. It was the best!
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA December 07, 2012 at 09:09 PM
These are harsh words, KT- nothing at all wrong with "simpler time(s)". JG-
Clifford James Stouffer December 07, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Can we give a big round of aplause and have KOMO step on down to receive a one last Schrammie!!! Way to go KOMO
Daniel Dahl December 07, 2012 at 10:43 PM
And yet again I must have missed your house call. I could use a trim.
M. Reynolds December 07, 2012 at 11:48 PM
I have always hated to hear Ken Schram on the radio. I have liberal leanings, so I should be happy to hear him, but when he came on I would alway change the station or just turn it off. He just really made me angry and I was always upset after listening.
one opinion December 08, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Ken was best on "The Commentators," opposite right-wing John Carlson. They proved that, while they disagreed and often somewhat-vehemently (which probably led to that show being canceled), they were generally able to "agree to disagree," which even that is uncommon these days. Ken was very humble the time I met him long ago, very unlike the personna that the media requires these days.
Ann December 08, 2012 at 03:47 AM
So sorry. I've always enjoyed the way he "put it to them". and his sage advice/comments..Going to miss you. My husband never missed Ken until about a week before he passed.
Dave commonsense December 08, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Just another way that the media is trying to "dumb down society". Hard to find anyone on tv or radio anymore that speaks the truth. But we can all get stoned and watch bob and bob get married! Unbelievable!
Tom Jamieson December 08, 2012 at 06:18 AM
I enjoyed Ken Schramm's early years on Town Meeting best. His format was Donahue-esque but more evenhanded. Ken was a true moderator. But times changed. People wanted Morton Downey, Jr., Jerry Springer, the dumbing down of Maury Povitch, Geraldo getting smacked with a chair. The free-for-all sparring reminiscent of All-Star Wrestling and Roller Derby. Gary Justice stepping 'outside the box', Dan Rather with his "Courage!", Larry King with his "1-4-3 and arrivederch", Monica and Bill, Michael Jackson, and finally reality TV, the blogosphere, Facebook, and Twitter. Have I left anything out? Does it matter? Thanks, Ken, for your best work. Find a way to bring us more.
patrick December 08, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I P> ATACK MY ONE AND ONLY SCHRAMMY GOES TO KOMO < THANKS KOMO,
Jim W December 09, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Schrammy, Schrammy, I got no Schrammy, I need no Schrammy, I don't need no stinkin Schrammy... appologies to "Treasure of Sirerra Madre." Jim W, Silverdale
Joe December 09, 2012 at 01:43 AM
I will miss Robert Mak most. He did a real service to the community particularly around Elections time, you got a balanced view always. King 5 made a real mistake there. Not so Ken S. A liberal that only saw that point of view and no other.
t. mcminn December 09, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Ken is a weasel. His attitude was let the facts be damned. They are not gonna get in the way of my reporting.
Don McMeen December 09, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Unfortunately, some of Ken Shram's views were not well thought out, but he did invite (and certainly receive) criticism from his viewers.
mike warren December 10, 2012 at 12:13 AM
I may not agreed with everything that ken said but I enjoyed listening to him sometimes I ecen laughed good luck ken with the future and what it brings.
graciella venezia December 10, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Ken was raw and real. Not a youthful blond shapely gene in him. I did not always agree but I welcomed his style of reporting. Thank you Ken.
M. WOODS December 11, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Best news of the week, hope he is on the first bus to California.
Tim December 11, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Ken was on borrowed time since the invention of HD T.V.
Joe B Blow, Jr. December 11, 2012 at 06:53 PM
What's with Komo. first they fired Todd Johnson the best in weather, then hired a gay geek, fired him, then hired and fired Paul Deanno (or at least drove him to SF area) and now Seth Wayne the cutest guy in weather. How long will he be there? Then there was the morning news guy. Nice but very bland! He went out and they pulled that Goode two shoes from 5 who used to be on 7 and 5 with Joyce Taylor. When will she be coming to 4? Pretty faces, boring news!
Tu-Ha Nguyen December 11, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Ken Schram: Thank you for your 30+ years of service to the many viewers in Wa. I will miss your candid comments and "sock it to them" style. Your hard work and dedication will not be forgotten. Town meeting, The Commentators-- good stuff. What the hell is going on at KOMO? Komo is mimicking The Mariners, constantly sending the good players away to play for another team. Again, thank you Ken. Sad to know your honesty and good old fashioned hard work is not valued by KOMO. Be well and best wishes.
Joe B Blow, Jr. December 11, 2012 at 10:17 PM
So, there you are. You are soooooo funny!
sharon December 11, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Put him on satellite, and cable tv, where he can really be himself.I will miss him.
helen chambers December 12, 2012 at 01:32 AM
robert mak will be missed he reported and explained the issues that were most relevant without bias
Mike from Bremerton December 12, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I will miss them both. They have each filled a role that is needed in our communities. Establishing the truth about the current issues in our area is a much needed area of reporting. Robert Mak..Thank you for your honesty and reporting of the issues without the bias. Ken Schram...thank you for being the thorn in the side of the people who needed an awakening of their current positions. You are both the best at what you do. Thank you for providing a much needed service.
Charlotte Keyes December 12, 2012 at 04:51 AM
I always made a point to watch KOMO hen Ken was on! His opinions right on and so fun to watch. What in the world is Komo thinking???? Robert Mak...best hour on Sunday mornings--always helped me sort out the details. I hate change like this. Are you doing awAy with all that's good?
James Hunt December 12, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I will miss them both - but particularly Ken. Although I did not always agree with him his comments always made me think. I am disappointed in KOMO for their apparent effort to get younger and develop a younger audience. I hope that I see Ken resurface with another TV channel - and if he does that will be the one that I will watch.

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