KOMO News Anchor Eric Johnson to retire in June after 39-year career (2024)

SEATTLE — Longtime KOMO News Anchor Eric Johnson will retire in June after a nearly four-decade career in local television.

Eric’s 39-year career in television began in Boise, Idaho, shortly after graduating from Washington State University. He had dreamed of becoming a sportscaster since he was 9 years old after watching Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football.

“I saw Howard Cosell and it was, ‘Woah! What is that? I want to do that!’” Eric laughed recalling that day.

After spending two years in Boise working at two different TV stations, Eric made the leap to KREM TV in Spokane. In local broadcasting, talented reporters jump quickly to bigger cities and stations.

But Spokane was uniquely special for him; Eric was born and raised in the Spokane Valley, and the viewing audience was filled with family and friends.

“I had a blast,” Eric said. “My mom and dad are watching. My high school friends are watching. I remember my dad walking around in a CBS jacket with a KREM hat and shirt as if to say, just ask me what my son does for a living.”

Eric excelled at liveshots and unscripted storytelling. When the Washington State Cougars went to the Aloha Bowl in 1988, he turned the event into a weeklong sports feature, showcasing his creative, performative, and communicative prowess.

His skills continued to evolve at KGW in Portland, where he served as the main sports anchor. After four years, a unique opportunity arose in Seattle. All three major stations - KOMO, KING, and KIRO - extended job offers to him simultaneously. He chose KOMO in 1993, a decision that marked the beginning of a long award-winning career in Seattle.

“I wanted to work with (former KOMO sportscaster) Bruce King, and I wanted to work with the best team in television,” Eric said. “I learned so much from those guys: Dan (Lewis), Kathi (Goertzen), Steve (Pool) and Bruce.”

At KOMO, Eric’s passion for storytelling expanded beyond the sports desk. He created documentaries and wrote unforgettable feature stories. He created one of KOMO’s most beloved segments called “Eric’s Little Heroes,” where he featured the joys of youth sports.

“It went crazy,” Eric said. “It was wild. It made my career. It put me on the map in this town where I desperately wanted to be on the map.”

Viewers submitted story ideas and families tuned in regularly to see Eric’s stories. "Little Heroes" gave way to Eric's Heroes, which continues to have a large following.

WATCH: Eric’s Heroes on YouTube

Eric’s dedication to journalism was evident as he transitioned to a dual role of sports and news anchor, eventually moving to the news desk full-time in 2010. Along with anchoring the news, Eric continued to write specials and long-form stories.

He wrote and produced three TV specials that looked at the state of the city. The final documentary called “Seattle is Dying” has millions of views and generated important conversations about addiction, mental illness and homelessness.

“I feel like I’ve always had this need to communicate, to tell stories, to reach out into the world and say, listen, I have something to say and here’s what I want you to know about,” Eric said.

Eric’s ability to engage with the audience and tell compelling stories earned him seven National Murrow Awards and some 50 Emmy Awards over his 30-year tenure.

Eric is now contemplating his next chapter. His passion for writing has a new focus – a new challenge outside of television news.

“I fancy myself a writer,” he said with a smile. “I feel like I have a novel in me, and you can’t do it part-time.”

It’s a decision Eric made with the support of his family, and he looks forward to writing without the demanding deadlines of a daily newscast.

“I want to see if I have any other tricks in the bag while I’m still young enough to make some of those things happen,” he said.

Eric may be retiring from KOMO News, but his creative spirit is about to shift gears into the next unwritten masterpiece.

“I want to see what else I can make happen,” he said. “I love the possibility!”

So do we, Eric. So do we.

Eric’s last day at KOMO News is on June 6, with his final Eric’s Heroes story set to air on June 5.

KOMO News Anchor Eric Johnson to retire in June after 39-year career (2024)


Is Eric Johnson still at KOMO? ›

His last day will be June 6, bringing to a close a decadeslong career that began with Johnson covering sports before joining KOMO as a weekend sportscaster in 1993 and then moving to the anchor chair in 2006.

How long has Eric Johnson been on KOMO? ›

Johnson first joined KOMO News in 1993 as a weekend sportscaster, then became the lead sports anchor when Bruce King retired. Eric was promoted to KOMO News anchor in 2010. Johnson also worked at KBCI and KTVB in Boise, KREM in Spokane and KGW in Portland, Oregon.

Does Mary Nam still work for Komo? ›

Mary anchors the weekday 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. newscasts.

What happened to Dan Lewis Komo? ›

Lewis, 64, says that after 27 years anchoring at KOMO, he's retiring so he can do things like travel and enjoy his passion for golf (his handicap is 11).

How does Eric Johnson make money? ›

As of 2022, Eric Johnson is worth $10 million. He's made all of his money by playing American football professionally. For $11.5 million, Johnson and his wife bought a glamorous and opulent house in the Hidden Hills section of Los Angeles in 2013.

Did Eric Johnson play in the NFL? ›

Eric Maxwell Johnson (born September 15, 1979) is a former American football tight end in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft.

Who is retiring from KOMO? ›

SEATTLE — Longtime KOMO News Anchor Eric Johnson will retire in June after a nearly four-decade career in local television. Eric's 39-year career in television began in Boise, Idaho, shortly after graduating from Washington State University.

What happened to news anchor Rob Johnson? ›

On March 13, 2019, CBS Chicago announced that his contract with the station would not be renewed. He subsequently joined a company as a communications consultant.

Where is Elias Johnson going? ›

Elias Johnson, who brings 14 years of broadcast experience, including eight in Des Moines, is returning to WHO 13, the news station announced Friday.

Where is Brittany Johnson going? ›

Emmy award-winning journalist Brittany Johnson joined WCVB Channel 5's market-leading investigative unit, 5 Investigates, in June 2023.

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