Happy 70th, WIBW! Bill Kurtis shares how WIBW impacted his career

WIBW-TV marks 70 years on the air Nov. 15, 2023.
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:20 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Perhaps the most famous phrase ever uttered on WIBW-TV during its 70-year history came as the June 8, 1966 tornado barreled toward town.

Then-Washburn University Law School student Bill Kurtis turned to the camera and stated, “For God’s sake, take cover.”

Kurtis reflected on the moment and his time at WIBW-TV for an interview with Eye on NE Kansas for the station’s 70th anniversary. Kurtis worked part-time for 13 NEWS from 1963 until just after that infamous weather event. He said he never looked at is a part time job because he was willing to pitch in wherever he could, though he primarily did weather and news announcing duties.

Kurtis said WIBW was his training ground and where he learned where his true talents laid. He had a job lined up with a law firm in Wichita after graduation, but ultimately realized broadcasting was his future.

Watch the interview to hear Kurtis’ thoughts on the importance of local news.