50 Years of KATU TV...


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KATU in Portland, Oregon, is home to the original news report on Oregon’s exploding whale. As part of KATU's 50th anniversary celebration, the station re-aired Paul Linnman’s famous report in its entirety. It includes a brief interview with Linnman at the end.

50 Years of KATU TV: A whale of a story that became a legend

Thursday, March 15th 2012

by KATU.com Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. - Like Bigfoot, D.B. Cooper and Mt. St. Helens, it's part of Northwest lore and legend.

It's KATU's famous (infamous?) Exploding Whale story from 1970, and 42 years after it aired, it's still going strong. And for the first time in a long time, we present the story as it aired in 1970.

Most people who have lived in the Northwest for more than few years know the basics: a dead whale washes up on the coast near Florence, and Oregon State Highway Division officials devise a highly explosive plan to remove it.

Newsman Paul Linnman was sent to the scene along with photographer Doug Brazil to record the event.

The results of the disastrous efforts to remove the whale are best explained in the story itself.

Linnman, who now works with KATU news partner KEX radio, has some remarks about the legacy of the story at the end of the replay.

According to Linnman, media watch groups have called it the single-most viewed news story in history and the BBC estimated several years ago that it had been viewed online about 350 million times in various incarnations.

KATU TV went on the air for the first time on March 15, 1962.