UI Honors Karole Honas, Long-Time TV News Anchor
Karole Honas recognized for leadership, mentoring
After working in TV news right after college, University of Idaho graduate Karole Honas took a few years off to raise her three sons. In 1990, KIFI-TV in Idaho Falls asked her to fill in for an anchor for a few weeks. She never left.
This year, she marked her 27th year with the station. In recognition of her long career in broadcasting, she received a Silver and Gold Award from the University of Idaho Alumni Association. That honor came two years after she was inducted into the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS).
“Honas is a role model for young reporters and anchors, helping them prepare for jobs in larger media markets,” said Patricia Hart, interim director of UI’s School of Journalism and Mass Media in the College Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. She noted that Honas has covered nearly every major story in southeastern Idaho for the past four decades.
Former television news director Mark Browning, now a vice president at the College of Western Idaho, summed up Honas’ contributions in this way: “In the days where nano-second journalism is the norm, Karole remains the quality standard by which all who labor in the field should be judged.”
Honas said she became more aware of her contributions to television news after her nomination and induction into Silver Circle. Many reporters with whom she has worked over the years – her “kids” as she calls them – have gone on to have successful careers in such major markets as Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Portland and Seattle.
The Silver Circle honors broadcasters with at least 25 years of experience who have advanced the profession during their careers. Looking back, Honas realized that the young people she mentored over the years have been part of the impact she has made on the industry even though she never moved on to a big market herself.
“They call me back and say, ‘I'm already better than some of their experienced reporters,’” Honas said of her “kids.” “That was a treat. It was a treat to think ‘Wow, I have made an influence on the industry by just teaching the basics, the good solid journalistic basics, that I was taught in college.’”
While at the University of Idaho, Honas worked for student media such as the Argonaut newspaper and KUOI radio station. She also worked for UI’s two public broadcasting outlets, KUID-FM and KUID-TV. There, students did everything from running the cameras and setting up lights in the studio to producing the audio for stories. She graduated in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in Radio/TV and was immediately hired by KPVI-TV in Pocatello.
Honas said two classmates, Greg Williamson and Larry Gilstadt, were mentors who became long-time friends. Both were military veterans and Gilstadt had been a disk jockey for the Navy. They surprised Honas by attending the Alumni Association brunch in Idaho Falls at which she received the Silver and gold award.
“They got me into everything,” Honas said of Williamson and Gilstadt. “By the time I was a senior at the University of Idaho, I was hosting a show called ‘Northwest Sports Digest.’ That was the kind of opportunities that the University of Idaho gave us.”
In nominating her for a Silver and Gold Award, CLASS Dean Andrew Kersten wrote: “Because Karole is such a public figure, she naturally helps to elevate the presence of the college and university. People know her, and therefore know that a University of Idaho education is part of the foundation for her outstanding career.”
In introducing Honas at the brunch, former JAMM director Kenton Bird said she now has a Vandal gold accent to complement her Silver Circle award.
Reporting by Stephan Wiebe, a 2015 journalism graduate, now a sports writer for the Alaska Dispatch News in Anchorage. Updated July 2017.