(WICHITA, Kan.) — Funeral services for longtime KWCH anchor Kim Setty were held Monday. She died Wednesday January 4th after a six year battle with cancer.
Kim shared 24 years with the people who work at KWCH and those who watched her on air. In that time, she balanced dedication to her job and devotion to her family; she balanced the gravity, and comedy, of working in the news business; and, while battling breast cancer in the public eye, she balanced fighting for her life and keeping normalcy in her family's life.
Kim started at KWCH in May 1987 as a bureau reporter in her hometown of Hutchinson. By the next year, she'd moved up the ranks to become anchor and producer of Eyewitness News at Noon, a newscast that earned high ratings under her command. Before working at KWCH, Kim reported for WIBW TV in Topeka. She began her broadcasting career on the radio, which helped Kim work her way through college at the University of Kansas.
Kim's reporting career ranged from working the medical beat and analyzing elections, to covering Hutchinson's natural gas explosions and interviewing First Lady Barbara Bush. She's best known for her series of consumer stories called, Does It Work? Trying to help viewers not waste money, she searched for products with hard-to-believe claims and recruited everyday people to test them. She concluded each story by asking testers for a verdict with her familiar question, "does it work?" Kim's homemaker sensibility and hearty sense of humor made her reports informative and entertaining. Over the course of a decade, Does It Work? became a popular series viewers looked forward to on Wednesday nights.
The Kansas Association of Broadcasters recognized Kim with accolades for Does It Work? as well as the Noon newscast she anchored. She also won awards for reporting on homeless children in Kansas and a story about Girl Scouts visiting their incarcerated mothers. In 2011, Kim received recognition by Goodwill Industries of Kansas for her service to the organization. She also volunteered at church, her children's schools, Girl Scouts and cancer support groups.
In 2005, Kim told viewers she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer. Through sickness and losing her blonde hair, she worked as much as possible. After recovering from surgery and treatment, she returned to anchoring as a redhead. Five years later, Kim let viewers know she was battling cancer once again. Through more surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy, she worked as much as she could. She insisted on coming to work until doctors told her she must stop, in the summer of 2011.
While Kim was a star on the Kansas airwaves, her two children and husband were the stars in her life. She mastered a balance of personal and professional life that's difficult when working in television news. In the newsroom, Kim loved to have a good laugh and she knew when to be all business. Because of the example she set, KWCH management created a Kim Setty Spirit of Excellence Award to recognize outstanding employees like her.
Colleagues at KWCH remember Kim for her diligence on the job, determination and dignity through cancer, and her down-to-earth and light-hearted character. We are grateful she shared 24 years with us.