Ken Messer, former g.m. of Yakima’s KYVE-TV, dies at 70

By Dru Sefton

Ken Messer, who served as general manager of PBS affiliate KYVE in Yakima, Wash., from March 2008 through his retirement in June, died Aug. 21 at the age of 70 after a long battle with cancer.

Ken Messer. (Photo: KYVE)

Messer was a prominent broadcaster in Yakima. Before joining KYVE, he spent 38 years at Yakima’s CBS affiliate, KIMA-TV, beginning in sales and working his way up to g.m. He was voted Broadcaster of the Year by the Washington Association of Broadcasters in 2005, and by the Yakima Advertising Federation in 2002.

“As our friend, colleague and a tremendous community advocate in Yakima, Ken’s loss will be deeply felt,” said Moss Bresnahan, president and c.e.o. of Seattle pubTV station KCTS, which owns KYVE. “He was a strong executive leader for KYVE, and had a comprehensive knowledge and love for the region, playing a key role in the launch of programs like Valley Fresh Fare and Showcase Yakima. He will be greatly missed by everyone who has worked with him.”

He is survived by his wife, Kathy Coffey, and their six children, 16 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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