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KEYT former anchor and news director King Harris dies at 75

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Former KEYT anchor and news director King Harris died at his Arroyo Grande home Tuesday night at the age of 75.

Harris was KEYT's main anchor from 1984 to 1997, while also briefly serving as news director for the station. He also went on to be the news producer at then-KCOY Channel 12.

Harris was a legendary Central Coast broadcaster who started his career at a television station in Monterey before coming to Santa Barbara to anchor at KEYT. He taught journalism at Cal Poly for two years before returning to the airwaves and becoming news director at KVEC radio in San Luis Obispo.

During the 2000s, Harris jumped around news organizations, from acting as a news producer at KCOY Channel 12, managing editor at the New Times, or writing his weekly column "It's Good to be King" for the Tolosa Press.

A Vietnam veteran, Harris accompanied former UC Santa Barbara professor Walter Capps and a group of Vietnam veterans to the Soviet Union in 1988, capturing their journey in an award-winning documentary "Brothers in Arms."

Harris returned to KVEC radio in 2007 and remained the news anchor there until his retirement in 2015. However, he would make regular appearances on the station each Friday afternoon to salute his favorite music from the 50s and 60s.

Harris collapsed unexpectedly and paramedics were not able to revive him.

KVEC radio host Dave Congalton had lunch with Harris Tuesday afternoon before his passing.

King had health issues, but he was in good spirits the whole time. We’re all in shock at the news. Total shock," he said. "My favorite radio memories all involve the times I shared with King Harris. He truly was the King.”

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here


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