2014 Buffalo Bob Smith Award
Susan King’s distinguished career has taken her from television news to the hallowed halls of
higher learning. She made broadcasting history in Buffalo. King was the first woman to anchor a
weekday television newscast in our market.
After completing college, King was hired by NBCNews and then moved to CBS where she served as New York Assistant to the National Editor, Correspondent for legendary anchor Walter Cronkite. In 1972, King arrived in Buffalo where she was hired as a reporter at WGR-TV, Channel 2. She anchored weekend newscasts and was then promoted to weekdays. King was the very first in a long line of female anchors and now joins those who followed her — Carol (Jasen) Nigrelli, Susan Banks and Jacquie Walker in the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame as this year’s recipient of the Buffalo Bob Smith Award.
From Buffalo, King moved to Washington in 1975, joining WTOP-TV (now WUSA) as a weekend news anchor. In the early 1980s, King was White House correspondent for ABC News during the Reagan administration, where she humorously noted that she was number 2 to Sam Donaldson.
In 1983, King returned to local TV in Washington. She was an anchor on WRC-TV before moving to WJLA-TV where she anchored the 5, 6 and 11pm newscasts from 1987 through 1993. King also reported for CNN and served as host for CNBC’s Equal Time, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and WAMU’s Diane Rehm Show.
In 1995, King left broadcast journalism. She became a presidential appointee, serving three cabinet secretaries as a communications strategist. At the Department of Labor, King worked with Secretaries Robert Reich and Alexis Herman. She crafted the successful No Sweat initiative under Reich that led to a movement to improve sweatshop conditions domestically and abroad. King shaped communication strategies for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo’s first six months in office.
In the 2000s, King served in vice presidential roles at the Carnegie Corporation of New York. There, she was responsible for the Carnegie’s relations with outside groups and devising strategies to ensure its work had an impact on society. Then, in 2012, King was named dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is also the school’s John Thomas Kerr Distinguished Professor.
King received a B.A. in English from Marymount College, Tarrytown, New York and an M.A. in communications from Fairfield University. She also studied at University College
of London University. She has won numerous journalism awards including Emmys for her reporting from Lebanon, three National Women’s Political Caucus awards, plus recognition from American Women in Communications and Sigma Delta Chi. King is active in community and professional organizations. She is a founder of the International Women’s Media Foundation and is a member of its Advisory Committee.
King is married and the mother of a daughter in college.