Signing Off

News anchor Karole Honas retires

Published online: Aug 11, 2020 Articles, East Idaho Outdoors Kris Millgate
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You’ve seen her face and heard her voice for more than four decades in eastern Idaho. Through elections and earthquakes, fires and floods, 9-11 and COVID-19, Karole Honas is the anchor you know for your news. And she knows you as the community that welcomed her. 

“The viewers let me in based on my personality and my caring and I thank them for that,” says Karole Honas, KIFI Local News 8 anchor. “A long time ago, I was told by a consultant that I’d never be able to take this show on the road. I said, ‘Well good because I don’t want to leave.’” 

Honas, born in Gooding, covered local beats and breaking news starting in 1977 as a new University of Idaho graduate and a newlywed. She held herself to a rigorous schedule full of credible stories through motherhood and into her empty-nester years. She’s done every job in the newsroom, including sports. She’s covered every event in town, including the fair. She’s seen it all, heard it all and done nearly all. Just one thing left to do. Retire. She’s signing off this month. 

“When you’re in news, you work with people who love to talk and who like to be with people,” Honas says. “I know I’ll miss that. I don’t know what I’ll do to fill that need, but I know enough about me to know I will need something.”

#tvnews

Karole Honas started as a KPVI reporter in July 1977. The station’s three person news team included Honas on news and sports, a male anchor and a weatherwoman. Honas started filling in as anchor at KIFI while raising three boys in 1990. The temporary gig turned into full-time work.

#anchoring

Honas is a morning person, but she’s anchored the nightshift for three decades. The schedule is contrary to her farm-girl-early-to-rise nature, but her career choice caters nicely to her strong ability to connect with people. That’s why she tolerates the night shift. 

#technology

“I started with film so editing video on a computer doesn’t come easy to me. I couldn’t edit a story on the computer if you made me,” Honas says. “The technology just freaked me out and Facebook horrified me. Now I post on social media, but I still don’t edit videos on a computer.” 

#fakenews

“The immediacy of news today means many outlets do Facebook Live before verifying details and that’s not good,” Honas says. “A lot of times it’s wrong and you don’t have perspective. Fake news is not on purpose, but it goes out before you’ve solidified what’s going on. I don’t like that.”

#favoriteassignment

Targhee Trails was her monthly horse riding segment in the 1990s. Honas would spend a day in the woods shooting stories with the U.S. Forest Service. It was her way of showing viewers places to recreate before OHVs.

#family

“I can remember going to my minister and saying, ‘My work schedule means I’m never with my kids.’ He said, ‘This is what will be normal for your kids.’ My husband Ken was self-employed in construction and because of that, it worked,” Honas says. “Our kids never missed out on a thing when I was at work because their dad took them.” 

#minihorses

Honas fell in love with mini horses at the Eastern Idaho State Fair. She has two: Pretty and Sassy. They’re trained to pull a cart. 

#retirement

Expect a rentable, commercial-size, garbage dumpster in the Honas driveway before the year ends because, “Everything has come in and nothing has gone out,” Honas says. “All the toys I saved for my grandkids are toys grandkids today are not interested in. I’m cleaning everything out so my kids won’t have to later.”

#community

“When I retire, I want to do more with my church and several women’s organizations that meet in the evening that I could never go to,” Honas says. “I want the chance to belong to my community more than just sleeping in Blackfoot and working in Idaho Falls.”

#viewers

“I thank the viewers for letting me be myself and for being willing to accept me as a non-traditional anchor. I’m not trying to skinny down and say all the perfect things. And I don’t need to,” Honas says. “I had the joy of working with Jay for 30 years and we reflected the yin and yang of this market. Between the two of us, we offered a balanced degree of coverage that is so rare.”

Outdoor journalist Kris Millgate is based in Idaho Falls where she runs trail and chases trout. Sometimes she even catches them when she doesn’t have a camera, or a kid, on her back. Her first book ‘My Place Among Men’ is available now. See more of her work at www.tightlinemedia.com.

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