KING-TV consumer reporter Jesse Jones, 46, has been diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer and will be taking a leave of absence of four to six weeks for treatment, the station announced Thursday afternoon.
KING-5 TV consumer reporter Jesse Jones, 46, has been diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer and will be taking a leave of absence of four to six weeks for treatment, the station announced Thursday afternoon.
Jones was first diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2007, according to a news release from the station. In a recent routine checkup, doctors found the cancer had spread to Jones’ lungs. In November, he had lung surgery, during which two tumors were removed. In January, he will start immunotherapy to eradicate the cancerous cells.
KING-5 executive news director Mark Ginther said Jones is optimistic he can fight the cancer.
“He has a proper perspective on things,” Ginther said. “He’s a fighter; he’s somebody that’s going to look this square in the eye and tackle it.”
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In the KING-5 newsroom, Jones is more concerned about how his colleagues are taking the news than he is about his own health — consistent with his helpful, compassionate personality, Ginther said.
“He’s a tremendous partner,” Ginther said. “When people are struggling or need questions, he’s the first person to pick up the phone to help.”
Jones is known as an aggressive consumer advocate thanks to his KING-5 news segment “Get Jesse,” which began airing in 2008. The segment was introduced when the economic downturn began to hit local residents hard; Ginther said the TV station’s newsroom was overflowing with citizens’ money-related tips and cries for help, prompting the station to create the consumer-focused segment.
Jones seemed perfect for the job, Ginther said, because “he really looks out for the little guy.”
Jones started at KING-5 as an investigative and general-assignment reporter, having previously worked at television stations in Cincinnati and Baltimore.
Jones, a Tacoma native who now lives in Mukilteo with his wife and child, also worked at a now-defunct news station in Seattle long, long ago.
After a number of years on the East Coast, “I think he wanted to get back to the Northwest,” Ginther said. “This is where he grew up; his family was here.”
The KING-5 newsroom can’t wait to have the investigative reporter and avid golfer back on air following treatment and recovery, and Jones feels the same way. In a statement, Jones said, “I will fight this with all I have, and I look forward to getting back to fighting other people’s battles again in February.”
Jill Kimball: 206-464-2108 or firstname.lastname@example.org