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)


KOMO News Anchor Eric Johnson to retire in June after 39-year career? ›

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.

Did Eric Johnson retire? ›

It's the end of an era at KOMO News as it announced Tuesday that longtime anchor and reporter Eric Johnson will be retiring.

What does Eric Johnson do for a living now? ›

These days, Eric is a stay-at-home dad after working at wellness content platform Legendary Disciplines in 2021 and playing tight end for the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints from 2001-2007.

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.

What teams did Eric Johnson play for? ›

Upon graduation from WSU Eric played for the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers (NFL), Southern California Sun (WFL), New Jersey Generals, and New Orleans Breakers (USFL).

Is Erik Johnson married? ›

He doesn't want to get married, or have children, until after he retires from the NHL. That could be awhile. Johnson is under contract through the 2022-23 season, when he'll be 35. “Waiting for all that until I'm done playing,” Johnson said.

How rich is Eric Johnson? ›

Johnson began dating artist Jessica Simpson two years after he hung up his cleats. A few weeks later, the couple made their commitment public. They currently have three kids together. As of 2022, Eric Johnson is worth $10 million.

Are Jessica and Eric still together? ›

Jessica and Johnson first connected in May 2010 during what the actress called a chance meeting. After six months of dating, the pair got engaged and officially wed in 2014. “I don't feel like our marriage has been long, but I feel like I've loved Eric my whole life,” Jessica exclusively told Us Weekly in April 2022.

Who taught Eric Johnson? ›

Growing up in a pre-instructional video and pre-internet age, Johnson learned many guitar basics from playing along to records. He credits a childhood friend, Jimmy Shade, with helping him along the way. “Jimmy had a great ear, and he could pick out anything off records,” he says.

Did Eric Johnson leave Bethel? ›

Eric & Candace Johnson's Transition

After much prayer and consideration, Eric Johnson and Candace Johnson have resigned as the Senior Pastors of Bethel Church, and will be planting a church in Greenville, South Carolina.

Where did Eric Johnson grow up? ›

Proclaimed "one of the most respected guitarists on the planet" by Guitar Player magazine, Johnson was raised in a musical household in Austin, Texas. He began on piano at age five and took up guitar six years later, when bands like the Beatles, Cream, and Jimi Hendrix ruled the airwaves.

Who was Eric Johnson's first wife? ›

Johnson was previously married to stylist Keri D'Angelo from 2005 to 2010. Though they were still legally married at the start of his relationship with Simpson, they had reportedly been separated since 2009 and were in the midst of divorce proceedings.

How many years did Eric Johnson play in the NFL? ›

Johnson played linebacker for eight seasons (2000–2007) for the Oakland Raiders, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Arizona Cardinals, in the National Football League. Johnson is best known for blocking a punt and returning it for a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXVII, which the Raiders lost 48-21 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Is Duke Johnson still playing football? ›

Bills' Duke Johnson: Added to backfield mix

After joining the Bills' practice squad back in August, Johnson is poised to potentially make his 2022 debut in Week 10. With five running backs in total suiting up for Sunday's game for Buffalo, Johnson doesn't have a clear path to much rushing volume right away.

How long was Andre Johnson in the NFL? ›

He played 14 seasons in the League with the Texans (2003-2014), Indianapolis Colts (2015) and Tennessee Titans (2016). An offensive powerhouse, Johnson helped the Texans reach their first playoff berth in 2011. In 2008, he led the NFL in both receptions (115) and receiving yards (1,575).


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